What Do You Do Before You Perform?

We asked several jazz musicians at the 2014 JEN Conference to tell us what they do right before they get on stage, to prepare themselves to perform at their best. Their responses were surprisingly consistent.

Here are a few highlights that represent the essential message we heard from everyone we talked with.

Randy Brecker, Grammy Award-winning trumpeter and flugelhornist:

“I find a nice quiet room to warm up in. I empty my head so I can go on with a clean slate.”

Bob Mintzer, member of the Grammy award-winning Yellowjackets, big band leader, composer, arranger; currently teaching at USC Thornton School of Music:

“I drink green tea. I relax and clear my mind.”

Steve Zegree, internationally-acclaimed vocal jazz conductor and educator; currently teaching at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music:

“I  rest, eat good food – I don’t like to go on stage hungry. I establish inner peace and conserve my energy so I can bring focus and energy to the stage. What I look like 30 minutes before I go on is not what I look like on stage!”

Before you hit the stage, what strategies will help you perform at your best?

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