Last I wrote, it was August — hard to believe we’re approaching the end of 2015. I have so many things to be thankful for— one of them is a great group of fans and friends— THANK YOU!! You help make it all worthwhile!!
September brought the release of Many A New Day— we started out in Kansas City playing the new material with “12th Street Jump” at the Broadway Club with the wonderful house band; Joe Cartwright, Rod Fleeman, Tyrone Brown and Mike Warren …. along with the fun cast of characters; David Basse, Pete Weber, and Eboni Fontes. Check their website out as you can hear the shows they do on the radio or online: It’s a very funny and creative show filled with good music and political commentary. Big thanks to Mark Edelman for his support of music and theatre in KC and beyond!! I then performed later that week as a guest of Bob Bowman’s at the Blue Room in the Historic 18th & Vine District. I got to spend a few extra days there and saw many KC friends— thanks to my gracious hosts Paul & Sara!
Back in NYC we had a festive CD release party with Motema team— they’ve been doing such a great job with the new CD— many thanks to all of them.
Onto our 3rd fundraiser for “Women, Cradle of Abundance” at the College of New Jersey… many thanks to Elsie McKee and Ellen Friedman for all of their hard work. We raised some good funds and awareness for this important cause.
Check out this website, http://www.womancradleofabundance.org/ for more info.
Back to KC area, and played to an always very spirited crowd in Topeka for the Jazz Workshop there. Thanks to “Uncle Dave” for all his generosity and fun, and to some of my favorite KC players: Bob Bowman, Gerald Spaits, Todd Strait and Rod Fleeman— we had fun with the new material.
And onto our week at the wonderful Birdland in NYC with another great band; pianist Miro Sprague, Ed Howard and Adam Cruz— also doing the new material. Here’s a video of us at Birdland.
Heading to the West Coast, I got to spend a few glorious days in Yosemite National Park— Bill, Tracy and I had great hikes, saw amazing sites (pix on Facebook)..What a special place!!
We were in the area to play in Stockton CA — at the Dave Brubeck Festival and then to Yoshi’s in Oakland with Bruce Barth and Jeff Johnson (a power-house duo)… What a beautiful theatre in Stockton !! It was an honor to play there.
Yoshi’s was soulful as ever, with great crowds and special guests; our great friend & trumpet player Nick Phillips and the great singer Kenny Washington tearing it up with us. Thanks to you both! We met other new fans and friends too… And to new friend Peter Anastos for hosting a party, also happens to be a wonderful trumpet player..
Onto another favorite venue and city: Seattle’s Jazz Alley with Rod, Jeff Johnson and wonderful Portland-based pianist Randy Porter. It’s been fun and challenging to do the new music with different bands and instrumentation. Everyone of them brings something special to it.
I then took a red-eye from Seattle to NYC after the last show at Jazz Alley, back to NYC so I could another red-eye the next day to Budapest! I went there to meet and tag along with Bill and great group of classical music fans for a Beethoven Tour —with the amazing Cypress String Quartet playing ALL 16 of Beethoven’s String Quartet’s along the way in Budapest, Vienna and Prague. Check out this wonderful quartet: Cypress Quartet
What a trip we had— Thanks to our wonderful tour guide Jonathan Parry, WFMT, and the whole gang for making it a trip of a life time. Here’s to the next one!!
Onto to Paris… where we played the Duc des Lombards but first to just enjoy that magical city for a few days, and thanks to our great friend Franco for hosting us. When you’re in Paris, you must go to his restaurant: Restaurant-Da-Franco We had a lovely celebration there with his friends and beautiful wife/ cellist Elisabeth. We took a lovely “bateau” ride up the Marne River — really beautiful! My guitarist Rod, had a passport issue (hint; if you’re going abroad, make sure your passport is good for 6 months expiration!!) so very sadly, he could not join us there… Wonderful New Orleans based guitarist Brian Seeger was thankfully there for other gigs… so, he kindly stepped in at the very last minute and did a stellar job with me at Duc des Lombards. Also met a few of his musician friends from Cirque de Soleil after, merci pour le champagne mes amis!! We left Paris 3 days before the horrific attacks happened…. Our hearts go out to Parisians and the only response can be to keep making music and loving our sisters and brothers.
Next day, St Louis MO ! A lovely venue “Jazz at the Bistro” with Randy Porter and Bob Bowman. It was great to see St Louis fans again.
Onto Minneapolis and another favorite venue of ours, the Dakota. Thank you to Lowell Pickett for his long-time support of our music and to the always spirited fans there!! And of course, to my family; my Mom (Chrystopher) and my sister Elisa, ‘my’ Uncle Dave, Sonya, Julia and Paul… you make our Thanksgiving very special.
Just last night, we played Lincoln Center’s Apple Store in NYC just after the tree lighting, with Steve Cardenas and Ed Howard — fun~!
Now— onto Pioneer Valley MA, Jonathan Schwartz’ Christmas Concert at Birdland Dec 20, another set at Birdland in January and then…. Hawaii !!
Thanks for reading, and we look forward to seeing you out there—
Sacha Boutros at the Metropolitan Room in NYC— a good friend and wonderful singer based in San Diego
Kendra Shank at Bar Italia in NYC— another good friend/ singer.
While in Budapest, Vienna — heard all 16 Beethoven String Quartets at the most esteemed venues in the world! Hope you saw some pics on Facebook.
In Vienna we heard the most amazing Cleveland Orchestra play Mahler Third at the Musikvein…. it was very memorable and beautiful !!