Redefining the “Gig”: A name change

I’m very happy to announce the new name of this blog – which I think continues the theme that I’ve started but makes it even more clear. While “Jesus and Jazz” was catchy, I’m certainly not just a jazz musician.  I am, however, a gigging musician. I’ve spent most of my life in musical circles where people were either working gigs, talking about gigs, or searching for gigs.

Even when you play for a small room, perform like this is your audience. (not in volume though – you’ll get fired.)

The word “Gig” itself is of questionable origin. The Online Etymology Dictionary (say that 5 times fast…) states that the word was first used in 1905, but it’s unclear who started using it. One theory is it may have something to do with jazz musicians in New Orleans that were not allowed to play their ‘devilish’ music in public. There were carriages in those days called ‘gigs’ and the musicians would hop a ride and play a rolling concert along the streets of the city. It seems to make sense, given how modern Mardi Gras bands frequently perform on rolling floats in the parades.

However the word came into use, it is now the phrase used by musicians for any paid musical performance. In a lot of ways, the “gig” defines how we musicians see our success. If we work for a high-profile artist or a well-paid corporate event, we feel that we have achieved a certain status, while performing in local restaurants and small clubs makes some of us feel like we are lesser musicians.

It’s important to remember that more important than the ‘gig’ we work, is the God that gives us the gig. God appears first in the title of this blog because without Him, we would have no talent to share, no music to write, and no joy in doing what we love. He created music not only for worshiping Him, but also to  lift our emotions, to make us more sensitive, more alive, more human. Our gigs should first be seen as an opportunity to share the gift we have. Whether there are five people or fifty thousand in the audience, we must always realize that playing music for others is a privilege and a blessing, and give those listeners our best effort.

So as we continue this journey as artists, musicians, and creative Christians,  I hope you’ll always see God and gigs connected in this way – as we work the gig, we can thank God for the opportunity to share our gifts.

I encourage all my readers to share the new domain name with their friends and continue the discussion on how creative Christians can thrive in music and all other art forms. 

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