After 4 intense days in a rehearsal studio in Burbank, CA, at around 8pm on August 13, 2007, Stevie Wonder changed my life. Before that time, I had built a career as a professional pianist and accompanist, working and supporting myself (which in itself is a beautiful thing) at the local level in the San Francisco Bay Area. I was actively performing and teaching music in a wide variety of styles, including classical, pop, jazz, R&B, musical theater and gospel. The week before Stevie Wonder changed my life, I had been accompanying the Oakland Symphony Chorus for their performance of Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, playing in a few cover bands at local bars and small venues, for a couple of Bay Area churches (primarily Beebe Memorial in Oakland and Third Baptist in San Francisco), and for small private events. Apparently, it was a perfect cocktail for preparing me for what was to come.
When I was told that I got the job (keyboardist / background singer in Stevie’s touring band), I burst into tears, just like Miss America (not even kidding). Suddenly, I went from local musician to the biggest gig in the world, with my favorite artist. Stevie Wonder is the consummate singer / pianist / songwriter / producer, and I was given the opportunity to share the stage with him and learn from him directly. Just the thought of it fills my heart with both gratitude and humility.
Today, I celebrate 10 years since that beautiful day. I toured with Stevie for several years, all over the world. My experience working with Stevie prepared me for countless new opportunities, including my work on the Arsenio Hall Show and with Beyoncé.
I’m eternally grateful to you, Stevie, for believing in me, and for trusting me to accompany you for so many years. You are my hero and I love you.
Thank you, Stevie Wonder!ArsenioHall, Beyoncé, Blog, front-page, News, Stevie Wonder, Victoria Theodore. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.