Musicians love long running, ongoing engagements.  To have a situation where you can build an audience and your fans can get to know you and understand your music - it's a great thing no matter how big or small the venue.

I've been blessed with two significant long lasting engagements, which thankfully, are both still intact.  The first of these is at Round Hill Country Club in Alamo, CA.

I began playing piano at Round Hill in early 1998, and it has proven to be a wonderful situation for me.  Not only have I gotten to know a great number of members at this private club, but I've also been lucky enough to play at many of their weddings, celebrations of life, and private parties.  The members have allowed me to grow as an artist, developing my piano style and repertoire over the years.  Their many requests have kept me on my toes and helped me further add to my always growing songlist.

The club books lots of "outside" events, too. I've played at more than a few corporate meetings and gatherings sponsored by various Bay Area organizations.  I've sold lots of CD's at Round Hill, and enjoyed many a fine meal prepared by their always first rate chefs and kitchen staff.  Lots of times I've been invited into members' homes for family gatherings, and I love performing in those intimate surroundings.

The second long running engagement I continue to enjoy is at Vic Stewart's Restaurant in Walnut Creek.  I began playing there in the year 2000.  While they haven't had steady live music through those past 15 years, they have been nice enough to invite me back for their December Christmas Luncheons every year. 

Normally a dinner house,  "Vic's" historically opens for lunch only during December.  But during these past 15 years they've developed a loyal following of local businesses who book their Christmas Luncheons there for their employees.  Yours truly provides the piano music for these holiday parties throughout the festive weeks leading up to Christmas.  Its been a genuine thrill to come back for several weeks every December in conjunction with these Holiday Luncheons.

Lately, Vic's has added live music on some selected evenings, which is a special treat. for me.  I've been playing Sunday nights there since this past July, and we're talking about the possibility of having live music during one of the weeknights, something Vic's has offered on and off in the past. As is the case at Round Hill, I've gotten to know many of the customers who regularly dine at Vic's, and they've always treated me well.

With fine steaks and seafood, Vic Stewart's has earned its reputation as one of the Bay Area's better restaurants, and is regarded as one of the leading steakhouses in the East Bay.  Independently owned, it's got a look and atmosphere all its own, located in what was the original train station building in Walnut Creek many years ago.  A special place, indeed.

No, neither of these venues is a "concert hall" per se.  But the many hundreds of members and guests who frequent these two businesses are special to me.  In the entertainment business,  you perform pretty much the same whether its for five or five thousand people.  All a musician really hopes for is that the audience enjoys the music.  (Okay, compliments and tips and CD sales are nice, too, I admit it).

Hopefully, these engagements will continue as long as they make sense for everyone involved.  All I know is that playing music for people is just as fun for me today as it was when I started performing at age 10.  I feel extremely lucky to still be doing it after all these years.  Round Hill Country Club and Vic Stewart's Restaurant have provided me with excellent "steady gigs" for many years.

How cool is that?

Jim

 

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Jim Hudak

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