Traveling abroad helped expand my expectations!

This summer, I travelled to Europe for 14 days with the El Cerrito High School Jazz Ensemble. We visited four different countries in Europe: Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland and Italy. In Germany, we were treated like family, and welcomed to stay in a community hostile, where we were fed, and entertained for three days. We did some sight seeing in a small old town, called Luebec. This is the home of the music conservatory Big Band (OGT), who we later performed with. It was nice getting to listen to their interpretation of Jazz. It really broadened my view of the different ways to articulate the music, which can be useful in the future. We travelled to Rotterdam, The Netherlands, where we performed and watched many performances at the largest Jazz festival in Europe, the North Sea Jazz Festival. This festival was not restricted only to jazz. It featured a variety of music, including R&B, pop, rock, and fusion, but in a Jazz-like fashion to implement that all of the genres originated from Jazz. We got to see many Jazz greats, such as  Joshua Redman and Tom Harrell, as well as a few popular American artists, such as Sheila E. and Pharell Williams. We went to Black Forest Germany, to rest and enjoy great views of the forest and mountains that soar over Germany. Next we went to Montreux, Switzerland, where we performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival and got to see the most beautiful sights ever. The amazing views paired with the peoples’ support and appreciation for Jazz music, made this the highlight of my trip. The next two days were spent in Perugia, Italy where we performed at the Umbria Jazz Festival.  The sightings were almost as beautiful as Montreux, but in a different way (more of an old beauty than modern). Not to mention, the food was also delicious! Perugia was definitely another one of my favorite places and another highlight of our tour, not only because of the views, people, and food, but because it was where my family came and joined us on our tour. For our final two days, we stayed in Rome, where we stood on the grounds of one of the oldest structures in the world; “The Roman Coliseum”, and where we visited one of the most religious buildings in the world; “The Vatican.” Everything in Rome was basically all I thought it would be, with old narrow streets, small cars, cobblestone roads, old hole-in-the-wall stores and restaurants, and street musicians. It was very historic and beautiful, and I really enjoyed it!  These 14 days of traveling broadened my mind and opened my eyes to the world and everything that is out there. In my opinion, it prepared me for what is to come if I end up traveling as a professional musician.