What He Said

One Crazy Summer

Summer took off like a rocket with a number of events and programs for Berklee and is culminating in a few exciting opportunities.

My apologies for the lapse in posts here after launching this new site and blog. This was due to an unexpected interruption, which included a forced holiday and hospital stay. It's enough to say that when you feel aches and pains, check them out. Do not let them continue, for say...5 or 6 years, otherwise you might not have the chance to get them checked out.

Now for the cool stuff.  In late May we held a great program in Puerto Rico culminating some awesome student performances at Ventana al Jazz Festival in Condado. The students rocked it and the place was packed with listeners.

Next, I was off to Japan to explore new opportunities Berklee is developing, meet with alumni in Roppongi and hang with some dear friends including the brilliant drummer Dennis Frehse, excellent trumpeter Yukiko Nakagawa and their son.

enoughnew_photoThen, we were off to Santa Monica for two excellent programs with some brilliant artist/educators.  We were joined by even more stellar artists, including Dawaun Parker, Bob Reynolds and Roy Kariok who were our guest lecturers.  The highlight, of course, was working with some fine students.  Many of whom, we look forward to seeing in Boston soon.

We wrapped up the visit with a week in the studio on a new project that I will share at a later point.  Top secret-ish.

While all of this was going on, I receive news about the release of Dweezil Zappa's new recording Via Zammata (on August 24).  Though I play on one track, it is still a huge deal for me.  Moreover, it is interesting to watch the success of this project through Dweezil's Pledgemusic campaign.

Also, I received an invitation to be featured with the National Conservatory Jazz Orchestra in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic led by guitarist and composer Javier Vargas at the 2015 Dominican Republic Jazz Festival in November.  I will be joined by two close friends and teachers saxophonist Jim Odgren and guitarist Jim Kelly. We will be making a short tour, playing a few concerts as we lead up to the festival. We are hoping that this will be the start of a new adventure and more opportunities to have our music performed and have the chance to play for new audiences.

At present, I am getting some material ready to present in my new online store.  The material will include the scores and parts for selected original octet pieces (e.g. tenor, trumpet, trombone, guitar, vibraphone, piano, drum set and bass). These will go live on September 1st, 2015.  Soon to follow, will be selected original jazz orchestra pieces.

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More news to come!

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