|12/4/2020 11:15:45 AM - |
Well, it's been a while since I posted here. It's been a year unlike any other, for all of us. I was supposed to be on sabbatical this fall, and touring Europe, Australia and the U.S. But all that changed in March. So thankfully I'm back teaching again at the U of Manitoba jazz program. On that note, please do what you can to support all the great performing artists that don't have a teaching job to pay their bills. I'm hoping that by this time next year we'll be back to some kind of normalcy and sanity.
But I have been busy with a few things. When I started my artistshare project in 2005-06, I decided to do interviews with friends and mentors in the music as part of the content I would put out. That's turned into a book, entitled, "Jazz Dialogues". It combines those interviews with brief stories and quotes from people I got to know and work with over the years, and will be published in the fall by Cymbal Press.
My friend Will Bonness has a new CD coming out this fall that I was happy to be a part of, entitled, "Change of Plans". He's our jazz piano prof. at the university, and an exceptional pianist and composer, and I'm very happy for his success! We'll be doing a CD release party on Oct. 29th at the Park Theater in Winnipeg.
Also, I'll be starting a Nonet recording this fall in Winnipeg. We'll rehearse and record the basic rhythm section tracks here with myself and Derrick Gardner on trumpet. I'll have some other local folks, including some former students, along with John Ellis, Alan Ferber and others in the U.S. recordng some parts and solos, along with a few guest artists contributing some playing and solos. I've never done a project like this before but am really looking forward to it. I've been wanting to do another nonet project since my last one, "Evolution", in 2009, and have been planning the music for some time. If you'd like to be a part of the creation of the project I'll be posting it here on my artistshare site.
Lastly, this week marks 40 years since I started attending Performing Arts high school. It's hard to believe it's been that long. But it was such a blessed and impactful experience in my life. I went from being a shy, quiet kid on Staten Island, that hadn't seen very much of the world and had very little exposure to great music and musicians, to all the sudden being surrounded by brilliant musicians, actors and dancers from all over the world, and my sense of what was possible went through the roof! As Eddie Locke told me, you learn from being in a great environment, and that's what P.A. was. I had some great teachers and made friendships that have lasted a lifetime. I'm really thankful for that, and great NYC public schools. I don't know where I would've been without the outlet I found in music, thanks to people like Larry Laurenzano and Caesar Di Mauro on Staten Island, and Jonathan Strasser and others at P.A. and elsewhere. I hope that we can help kids find their way through this year, and continue to build a culture that nurtues the arts and students, which is what I was lucky enough to have. I hope everybody had a great summer! Thanks for checking in...