It’s Blue Interlude time at the Hotel Normandie for the Dale Fielder Quartet with Rita Edmond as we are now on hiatus after our April 14th performance. I have to admit; it’s a pretty gratifying feeling to see a project conceived and make it to fruition. I remember how it all began back on Halloween of 2016 when I was driving Uber and got a call to go there to pick up co-owner Christian Page. I liked him immediately and we clicked right away, especially when he mentioned looking to put live music in the hotel. Driving Uber is great for networking and as my habit, I had a flyer for an upcoming gig and a few copies of our latest CD in the pockets behind my front seats. Needless to say, he was impressed and just said, “Let’s do this!” That’s ‘Chef’, as we call him! He is a man of action whose word is his bond as I have since learned and he invited me back to see a solo piano performance for an event there the next day.
When I walked in the lobby, I felt as if I had come home. And it was home for the DFQ for exactly a year. Good vibes all around. Just a shame that it had to end right as things began to bloom. But we’ve had a wonderful 12-month run at the hotel that began on May 6, 2017, and with the exception of the month of July 2017, ran consistently until April 14, 2018. For me personally, it allowed me to break through my “writer’s block” to actually break new ground with my writing. I’ve written quite a few new compositions that I’m quite pleased with. They’ll be on our next upcoming CD to be entitled: “Consensus.” Big kudos to owners Jingbo Lou and Christian Page for having us and sticking with it for so long. According to Jingbo, the hotel is going through some restructuring and at some point, we’ll be back. While I believe he really means that, experience has taught us as jazz musicians not to hold our breath for it. I’ve always joked about how expendable musicians are and are usually the first to go when the going gets tough; even the dishwashers get paid before us! While we started noticing 15-20 regulars coming back for each of our last 3 monthly performances and thus slowly building an audience, jazz is a hard sell in 2018 Los Angeles. Not just jazz, but all of the arts are a hard sell in this city. Only commercial music such as rock and pop as well as hip-hop gets over in the city for now. In fact, they are thriving! For us, we can’t help but be the force to change that; to change people’s idea of listening to live music; that it can in and of itself be entertaining, inspirational and even aspirational. That was my mission objective in what I was trying to do at Hotel Normandie; to give audiences a unique music listening experience, and one that could not be duplicated elsewhere. And boy … it was really working! With the hotel’s award-winning Cassell’s Hamburgers and eclectic food menu, full bar, and historic 1926 landmark hotel ambiance, it was a perfect marriage. The DTLA Koreatown location also provided excellent foot traffic as we had some nights so overflowing, they had to bring extra chairs out. Especially during the summer months as there were many people out and about strolling the streets in Koreatown. Our success over the last 12 months, lets me know that the vision I hold and concept I have is sound. I’ve always thought that what I needed was a venue owner who loved the music enough to give it a chance. And I had that at the historic landmark hotel, Hotel Normandie. I have no doubt that given the chance to return, we will come back even stronger!
Play List From Final Performance @ Hotel Normandie
Dale Fielder Quartet performs at Hotel Normandie in Los Angeles April 14, 2018:
1. “Blue Interlude” by Dale Fielder
2. “Lush Life” by Billy Strayhorn
3. “Shoulders” by Cedar Walton
4. “Afternoon In New York” by Ricky Ford
Dale Fielder-tenor or baritone sax, Jane Getz-piano, Bill Markus-bass and Thomas White-drums. The last performance of a year-long hotel residency that began in May 2017.
Photos from the last two performances @ Hotel Normandie:
Photos by Patricia Jordan Fielder