Here I go again – another attempt to catch up and make up for my lack of posting on this site for a dreadfully long amount of time! It’s been so long in matter of fact, that I now need to issue a multi part update. This first post will cover the second half of last year.
PERFORMANCES AND GIGS
What a joy it is to play music together with great people and players! I had a lot of good gigs in the second half of 2015. Here are some highlights:
A concert at Jazz A Vienne and two nights at the Duc de Lombards in Paris with The Messenger Legacy, a group devoted to the music of Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, played by alumni of the band. This edition comprised myself, Ralph Peterson (presiding on drums), Craig Handy (tenor sax), Robin Eubanks (trombone), Johnny O’Neal (piano), and Essiet Essiet (bass). The eminent one, Grand Master Benny Golson, joined us on the set in Vienne. We had a fun time in Paris, hanging with friends and fans!
August in Guadalajara, Mexico saw “The Meeting” of Aaron Goldberg (piano), Jon Irabagon (tenor sax), Reuben Rogers (bass), and Greg Hutchinson (drums) playing my music for a headline concert at the Jalisco Jazz Festival:
I had some great gigs at Smalls in NYC with my quartet: one in July with Emmet Cohen (piano), Boris Kozlov (bass), and Ralph Peterson and again in December for a two day run with Emmet, Luques Curtis (bass), and grand master Billy Hart (drums):
It’s always an honor an a thrill to play with another grand master, alto saxophonist Charles McPherson, who I go back with more than 35 years. The Jazz Standard run in October with Jeb Patton (piano), Ray Drummond (bass), and Billy Drummond (drums) was the best yet!
I put together my “Boleros Meet Jazz” presentation for radio station WDNA at the Miami-Dade County Auditorium at the end of October, and it was a gas! NEA Jazz Master Candido Camero, my buddy and jazz icon Donald Harrison, and the fantastic Cuban singer Gema Corradera headlined a show that also featured a crack 9 piece band of Miami and NYC’s finest:
I love the people and program at Michigan State University a whole lot! I was an Artist In Residence at the school in October for workshops as well as a state wide tour with MSU’s “Bebop Spartans” playing my big band music. I had a great time with students and professors alike! It was great to get to know Jazz Studies chair and great bassist Rodney Whitaker better, as well as hang with one of my main cats, trumpeter Etienne Charles.
So many other things happened! – but I want to move on to this year. The next post will get things up to date…