We know that musicians sometimes have to travel for a gig but it’s not often that the gig actually takes place on the road. So when we heard about the Verde Canyon’s Railroad “Rhythm on the Rails” event we wanted to learn more. For the first annual Rhythm on the Rails event, passengers on the Verde Canyon Railroad were able to take part in a musical journey. The event featured performances by eight musical acts, including GigMasters members The Nuance Jazz Trio (Phoenix, Arizona), who played a private concert in each coach car. Musicians rotated throughout the train on this five-hour trip through one of Arizona’s scenic inner canyons. Guests enjoyed live music while traveling among wildflowers, blossoms, and Southwestern landscapes. According to organizer Teresa Propeck , the event was inspired by “the soothing clickety-clack of the train gliding along the railroad tracks.”

Arizona Scenery

The Nuance Jazz Trio, comprised of bass, guitar, and trumpet, found it easier than expected to perform on a moving train thanks to their compact size. The staff was also sensitive to the needs of the musicians, operating the train at a slow pace and assisting with instruments between train cars. There was also a car dedicated to the musician’s comfort, complete with food and beverages. Nuance Music Promoter/Planner Irene Romero noted, “The staff tried their best to make things as easy as possible for the musicians.  As you can imagine, on a train that wasn't easy. Although the gig was tiring, it was well worth it and quite a memorable time!

The trio performed several fast tempo Dixie classics as well as a ballad and an upbeat blues tune. “When the Saints Go Marching In” was a crowd pleaser and played in every train car. In addition to The Nuance Trio, the sold-out event included country, jazz, and rhythm & blues groups. The staff encouraged promotional opportunities for all acts and kept the event running smoothly. Attendees also enjoyed appetizers and wine throughout the event.

Rhythm on the Rails performers

“The train, both inside and out is lovely,” said Irene. “The scenery was beautiful, and with the live music shows, the whole afternoon was quite special!”

What do you think of this event? Have you ever played a gig or seen a show while on the go?