2011 is history, or more poetically, gently receding into the mists of memory. Before it becomes too misty, perhaps I could relate a light recap of what was a most eventful year. There was a lot of change, some of it both unexpected and most welcome.
The biggest change involved a expansion of scenery. Out of nowhere (at least to me), the opportunity presented itself for me to accept a professorship at the Frost School Of Music, University Of Miami. Now, y’all, let’s get this straight right off the bat; I can’t do without New York, won’t do without it, ain’t leaving it. But after I went down to Miami and saw what they’re doing at the Frost School, I knew I had to figure out a way to be a part of it. So now I’m in residence both in NY and Miami; Hollistic MusicWorks now has a Miami branch.
I love my new teaching gig! There’s a great culture in the Frost School as a whole and in the jazz and studio music department (that’s where I’m working out of, natch). There are great students and inspired teachers aplenty; I’ve learned much already from them. The scene is livened up by the “cats” (like Terence Blanchard, Dave Douglas, and Dave Holland) coming in for residencies and extended stays. And the weather ain’t bad right around now….
You’ll still see me on the scene in “town” and out on the road. But I’m happy to be settling in to a new phase and new place as far as the teaching part of my career is concerned, in one of the best music schools on the planet.
The reception of my Unsung Heroes recording project during this past year was very gratifying to me after all the work I put into it. Five stars (very rare for a “straight-ahead” recording!) and a Best CD of 2011 designation in Downbeat, one of the Best 50 Jazz CDs of 2011 in Jazz Times, #3 on the JazzWeek chart and lots of other kudos. It feels good when your DIY job goes so far! I had another CD release in 2010, ConClave Vol. 2 on CrissCross, the same label I recorded my first album on 25 years ago last week. ConClave V2, featuring my Spheres Of Influence band, had a bit of success also; in particular being named one of the best Latin Jazz CDs of 2011 by WBGO and enjoying many glowing reviews.
Downbeat also conferred kudos to me this past year through the agency of their International Critics Poll, which placed me 3rd in the Trumpet category. Nice to get some recognition, even as I remind myself of accaim’s fleeting nature and its often tenuous connection to real artistry….There were many great experiences and good times playing in 2011, both with my own projects and with my musical families like Eddie Palmieri, Phil Woods, the Curtis Brothers and others! I’m looking forward to an even more fruitful and musically venturesome 2012, as I turn even more to following my own musical imperatives to their logical (or illogical) nexus.
Another thing I hope to put into action in this coming year is an expanded presence on my blog, not so much tooting my own horn as sharing thoughts about music and especially celebrating the musicians that mean something to me, whether an influence, favorite, or colleague (they can be all of the above too, and usually are!). I hope to start putting things of interest up soon.
I have some good gigs coming up soon, so keep looking at my calendar. One of special note, the Frost School of Music’s Concert Jazz Band is playing a complete concert of my big band music with myself as special guest this coming Thursday, February 2nd at 7:30 PM. I’ve been working with the band along with my esteemed colleague, CJB director Dante Luciani (who also is a wonderful be bopping trombonist) and the music is going to be happening. The concert will be at UM’s Gusman Concert Hall. You can find out more at: http://everitas.univmiami.net/2012/01/27/grammy-winning-jazz-trumpeter-brian-lynch-to-perform-with-frost-concert-jazz-band/