Wil and Chris invited me to join them for Kimo’s birthday party. They described Kimo’s birthday as a “highlight of the whole year” and this one, being his 40th, was promising to live up to events past.
A key bit of information for the reader: Kimo is a tremendous musician. As is Chris. As are most of their friends. And they’re not just musicians, they’re happy, friendly, welcoming musicians whose energy is infectious and inspiring.
Much of the party resembled parties you’ve been to before: They meet at a place with a bar, there’s barbecue, people mill about chatting and laughing with friends. The big differentiator is the room in the middle of the party in which there’s a band set-up but for which there’s no particular band. All night, people drop in and out of this on-going jam, inviting everyone — everyone — to join them. And, during the longest, funkiest, most excellent birthday song ever (not at all based on that slow birthday song usually sung in the States), I accepted that invitation. My joy and eagerness overcame my shyness about singing and I hopped on to one of the three mics and did a little improv vocals. And then stayed a while because it was not like performing for an audience, it was hanging out with people who were also singing and playing and joining in on their most excellent party game. I could not stop grinning. Until last night, dancing was my one way to jam with a band. Now I know it’s possible for me to sing a jam, too.
My grin only grew wider when, as we were making the rounds to say goodbye, I was asked by one of the vocalists to join him for a little bit more. Yeah… at that point my night tipped from “excellent party” to “dream come true.” My grin was near-permanent then, later imprinted on the pillow as I finally fell asleep.