I’ve missed a lot of things during this forced shutdown and at the top of that list has to be seeing and hearing the great performers that are a part of the Palladium family. It is these folks, who rely on shows like ours for their livelihood, who have borne the brunt of this dark period.
I’m looking forward to getting them back on the Palladium stage later this summer. For now, you can spend time with them through a series of blog posts that will feature some of our favorite performers.
I spoke recently with James Suggs, the trumpet star, who released a very successful album on Arbors Records in 2019. His Miles Davis tribute concerts at the Palladium were both sold-out, and he’s been in the Side Door and Hough Hall as a guest artists with lots of other acts, including The Florida Bjorkestra. He’s also still a relative newlywed.
PalladiumPaul: When was your last paying music gig?
James Suggs: March 16th. It was a small wedding in Bellaire Beach. I can remember being surprised that the couple didn’t postpone. We were all being somewhat cautious and already had many gig cancellations at that point.
Paul: Do you have a paying gig coming up?
James: I have my first gig back as a live performer. I’m returning to the Horse and Jockey Pub with Bryan Hughes, John Lamb, and Nate Najar. We really don’t know what to expect because of limited capacity and social distancing but we’re just thrilled to be back together performing again, like we’ve done countless times together. (AFTER WE SPOKE THE HORSE AND JOCKEY GIG WAS CANCELLED!)
Paul: What has kept you busy during this shutdown?
James: Home life. It’s been beautiful getting to finally spend extended quality time with my wife at home. We’re cooking a lot (only ordered take out twice), going on walks and bike rides, watching a lot of movies and shows, etc. Before, being a regularly gigging musician kept me away from our home a lot. Also I’ve been focusing on studying specific trumpet techniques that I haven’t had the time to focus on before.
Paul: Has there been a silver lining, personally, for you?
James: See the answer above!
Paul: Is there anything you’d like to share with your Palladium fans?
James: I miss you all! At one point someone made a joke saying that I should just sleep at the Palladium because I was playing there so often. It really is a sense of family there; including the staff, volunteers, and patrons. Hopefully I will see you all again soon and we can enjoy live music together!
Paul: This has been a very tough time for working musicians. Can you talk a little about that?
James: Obviously, overall this has been a very depressing situation for all. Unfortunately performing musicians have taken a bigger hit than most. We are expected to draw crowds but currently crowds aren’t allowed.
Our hearts and souls are made complete by performing for live audiences but we are being silenced. Our primary income was based on this lifestyle but it has come to a halt with very little assistance from the government. We are resilient but we have been greatly affected. Thank you for thinking of us!