John and his two best friends were walking around the small city of Red Bank, New Jersey, with their guitars on their backs. They had just finished practicing for an upcoming show as students of the town’s most well-known music program. As they approached their favorite burrito shop, they were stopped by a new café owner who noticed the instruments on their back. When asked if the three of them were part of a band and where they were from, John told him that they were jazz musicians and were seniors in a local high school. The café owner then offered them the opportunity to play inside his café the following weekend. John and his friends took the opportunity without hesitation.
By the next weekend, John had invited many of his friends and family to come see him play with his band. On the night of their gig, he watched as countless friends and family poured into small café. They played countless songs, many which were instrumental/jazzy renditions of popular songs, blended with some of their original experimental jazz/rock songs, for hours. They played with full energy and enthusiasm up until the café closed. John was often too busy focusing on playing guitar with his band to notice all the people coming up and throwing money in his guitar case. Whenever the band would start a song, John would completely cancel out anything around him mentally and would devote his whole attention and emotion into his guitar playing. By the end of the night, John had a guitar case filled with tips and an extremely happy café owner. The band split the money among the three of them and the owner offered them a weekly slot to let the three of them play music for however long they’d like. The band played every week until they went to college later that summer. Each week they were able to do what they loved while making money in tips and were being served free food from the café. John’s favorite part of this experience was seeing his friends come together to watch him play guitar, as well as being able to play with his band enough to develop their own unique sound.