Music is our guide, as musician and host Norm Susser takes viewers inside the music scenes of all cultures and corners of the world. Think Anthony Bourdain meets Kenny G. and you have “The New Norm In Travel” series delivering broad appeal to both music and travel audiences. We’re watching an entertainment/travel series that personalizes the places and people Norm encounters.
As Anthony Bourdain used food to tap into locales and cultures, The New “Norm” In Travel uses music to do the same. Music is both the anchor for each episode, and the point of departure as we discover food, families, musicians, landmarks, restaurants and undiscovered aspects of the new cities and cultures we explore.
Who’s Norm Susser?
Norm has produced events for corporate America for over three decades. Now it’s time for some fun and adventure as a pied-piper of sorts taking us to some of the most unexpected and entertaining locales across the country to test his talent and let music coax a sense of passion, romance and adventure. Originally from Brooklyn, NY, Norm has lived in Arizona for the last 35 years. His performances are warm and highly accomplished from a musical standpoint but there is also a charisma and rapport with the audience that elevates the performance to a personal, interactive experience. It is obvious that he cares about stirring emotions and communicating with his listeners. These attributes of his talent and personality will be our host as we discover the heartbeat of any city or town, and enjoy the music, the culture, and of course the cuisine!
Every episode begins with a montage of music with stunning visuals and teases of what we’ll see in the series. With that we see scenes of nightlife, community of other cultures, dancing, music production, live event production, with one repeating flash of frame…the image of Norm Susser performing and enjoying the comraderie on stage.
With his narration as the backbone of our coverage, we sit with Norm as he pursues visual information and writings for what appear to be a globetrotting adventure he’s planning. Where to this week? As we cut back and forth between Norm at the actual destination and his planning, he narrates a reasoning for choosing this place we’ll soon be privy to. The reasons may be personal, or it may be to touch a place in history one of his music heroes frequented.
At the destination, we’re introduced to local culture, cuisine, and a variety of music scenes where he always congregates with the local musicians gigging in the area. There’s nothing more fun than seeing someone sit in with a band live, often unrehearsed, jamming, as we witness the “dance” they must do to find their harmony and beat. And when it clicks…it is the coolest…As if their souls are breathing, and we’re the fortunate witnesses. And what adds color to the set are the personalities that Norm gets to know, the stories shared, and the human side of “show business”. Traveling to both U.S. and exotic locales will serve up a menagerie of the senses. As music lovers, we’ll see the common thread shared between professionals of any culture, learning and understanding what life is like as a music-maker, and how the micro-climate one lives in often dictates the hurdles and expectations.
Norm is as comfortable sitting in with a Klezmer band in Williamsburgh, Brooklyn as he is with a jazz ensemble in Paris. And what would this tournée de musique be without the frequent bump-in to a celebrity tied to the area or music itself. Imagine a scene in New Orleans with Harry Connick Jr. pouring sweat as he irreverently pounds on a century old piano. Or the intimate setting of a shotgun bar in Nashville with local songwriting talent, undiscovered musicians, and maybe a country star dropping in for a set. Or experiencing the intoxicating music of another era in any number venues that cater to the “purest” of music lovers. It’s about LIVE….PERFORMANCE… with rhythm resonating through every fiber in your body and mind.
As the music settles, and the bar empties, Norm always takes a collective breath with the band, sharing a cocktail or a bite recommended by the artists themselves. They commune. They take a collective breath as they recall certain moments in the set that none of us civilians would even know, but any true musician does know. Norm will guide the conversation toward the creation of the band, their history related to the locale, personal challenges they’ve shared, and what they hope to continue as their musical legacy.
Norm and the other performers may take to the streets on a walking tour to discover their locale through the eyes of the musicians. This may be a favorite eatery, a sporting venue, a museum or art collective, an historical landmark, a dive bar, or even a block party or cookout with neighbors.
The episode comes full circle as Norm and the band “gig” together. At that performance, we’ll notice that Norm and the band now have a “synergy” in their playing together, with a tight feel to their music. Perhaps sharing a bit of life together as they did, connected each of them in an unspoken intuition within their music together. And as the crowd fades, we follow Norm out the door of the venue saying “watch for future episodes of The New Norm in Travel” with an undercurrent of exciting theme music. End Episode.