Tony: There are some fundamental differences in my performance philosophy and most other musos I know both in reality and on-line: I honestly believe in satisfying my own artistic values first and I prioritize that within a realm of acceptance. It's my belief that the audience, for the most part, is not the best judge of what represents quality in music. Much of what they request is what has been marketed to them by mass media or is stereotypical of what they expect solo keyboardists to play. If I based my performance solely on that, my best music would never be heard. None the less, I have found that with care I can balance my art needs with audience acceptance. The result is that I can deliver an eclectic mix of quality material that is unique, enjoyable, and even familiar but never cliche'. This is what seperates and identifies me from my competition, all of whom follow the safest and often the most predictable musical course. My greatest compliment isn't the "good job" or "we really enjoyed your music" (I get those too BTW) - it came from the girl in the front row one night who waited until a moment of dead silence to simply say "you're different...". And so far in the past year, I've only had one week off and that was by my own choice.
Jim Eshleman