It was a cool June 2015, when Vincent van Hessen got the treat of a lifetime. He is a professional musician, and doesn’t really follow a routine. He usually plays at venues such as clubs, festivals, or cruise ships. His favorite place to perform is right there where he started, in the street. This is the place that saw him grow up as an artist. He made his music known and got his very first fans.
As a street performer, Vincent feels that an artist should have direct contact with the crowds that gather around to see what his music is about. After all, they go there out of their own will wishing to witness a spectacle when the opportunity presents itself. It is not as a result of a pre-planned agreement such as attending a concert on any given occasion. For him, these fans are the most loyal in the long run. They will be there listening to you in good and harsh weather.
Being able to entertain people spontaneously allows Vincent to play in front of crowds of up to 300 people at a time. He finds this way of performing to be “very pleasant” because as he would put it, “it creates an intimacy which manifests itself in a very subtle and unusual way.” The way the performer can connect with his audience is a lot more natural. It’s easier for a performer to feel what his audience is feeling with his music. This makes the whole experience much better.
The problem with street performing is that it’s not always magical and pretty. There are times when you need to deal with intoxicated or mentally ill individuals. Sometimes the problem are rude adolescents. Other times as in Vincent’s case, “wannabes.” These are people that try to perform with him without his permission. They feel they are amazing performers and should be given the chance to do it. Of course, they don’t even bother in asking Vincent if they can go ahead and do it.
When a bearded man approaches Vincent on Sunday, June 21st, 2015, he thinks he is experiencing one of these wannabes. Vincent is in the middle of performing a medley of “Sexual Healing/Ave Maria/Blowing in the Wind” by Marvin Gaye, J.S. Bach, and Bob Dylan respectively. This is one of the most beautiful medleys and Vincent plays it like no other.
The man insists on getting Vincent’s attention. When Vincent finally finishes, he stands close to him and tells him, “I have a young star here and she’d like to sing with you.” Vincent has no idea what to make of this odd request. People who usually want to sing with him just talk to him. They will ask him personally. Since this was a “young star,” maybe she needed permission from her parents or something. Vincent reluctantly agrees and when he hears the young star, he can hardly believe his ears. And so will you!