Yeah, it’s been a long time indeed since I’ve dropped a newsletter! Since I’ve been getting inquiries whether my mailing list is still intact, I thought I’d better get busy and pull some things together to recount. Guess I’ve been so busy doing that it’s hard to tell about it. That’s where I’m a little “old school” – we older cats grew up in an era where social networking meant “after hours”, not Facebook.
Anyhow, here’s my “new school”, “all about me” report. There might be a thing or two of interest to you….
SUMMER MADNESS – when will it end?
Even as the new school year is starting up for me at the University Of Miami Frost School, my summer touring still has not ended. I’m writing while enroute to Johannesburg, South Africa for 2 performances at the Johannesburg Jazz Festival with Eddie Palmieri. This is the capper to a busy and exciting summer with Eddie, taking part in his 75th Birthday tour. Highlights were playing for a crowd of over 50,000 at the Parque de Salsa festival in Bogota, Colombia (Aug. 17);
a memorable concert at the Marciac Jazz Festival in France (Aug. 9)
and a number of double bills of Eddie’s salsa orchestra with the wonderful Ruben Blades, including at the Hollywood Bowl(Aug. 15).
Phil Woods and the Quintet were active this summer too, with a Japanese tour and a week in NYC at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola in July.
My own gigs included a magical performance at NYC’s Rubin Museum as part of their Harlem in the Himalayas series (Aug. 3).
Still to come are two concerts in Boston and Detroit with my “Unsung Heroes” project. Since they’re still coming up (but quick) , maybe some of you out there can stop by!
Brian Lynch’s “Unsung Heroes” Project featuring Bill Pierce at Scullers Jazz Club – Thursday, August 30
Brian Lynch – trumpet
Bill Pierce – tenor sax
Rob Schneiderman – piano
David Wong – bass
Pete Van Nostrand – drums
The rhythm section and I will also be hosting the Festival jam session later that evening.
MADERA LATINO -Woody Shaw en Clave!
In the middle of all this touring and playing, I managed to pull off a pretty cool recording project for my Hollistic MusicWorks label. Some of you may remember a couple of years ago the “Madera Latino” (Latin Wood) concert I did for the Festival Of New Trumpet Music celebration of Woody Shaw. I decided for this summer’s record date to revise and expand that music, write a couple of original pieces dedicated to Woody, and invite some of my favorite trumpet players to play these Latin-jazz imaginings of the great master’s music with astounding rhythm section players and percussionists . It was a blast! Here’s a few shots from the sessions showing this killer cast:
(all photos by Gary Stager)
Bryan Davis, Etienne Charles, me, Diego Urcola, Dave Douglas
me and Dave Douglas; Sean Jones and I working out:
Mike Rodriguez, me, and Josh Evans:
Luques (b) & Zaccai (p) Curtis:
Obed Calvaire (d); Little Johnny Rivero (conga):
and Pedro Martinez, Anthony Carillo (percussion)
Trumpeters, Latin Jazz fans, Jazz fans, Woody Shaw fans, this is going to be a good one. The second stage (post production) starts soon and you can be a part of it! I’ll be letting you know how very soon – stay tuned! “Madera Latino” will be dropping next spring from http://hollisticmusicworks.com
Posted in News | Comments Off on News – End Of Summer 2012
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/
Posted in News | Comments Off on 2011 Roundup (briefly)
Hi all – hope you’re keeping cool on this increasingly warm planet, and solvent amidst default, both monetary and ethical alike! It’s been a good while since I’ve done a newsletter and so many things have happened since the last one. Herein a few of the most notable:
UNSUNG HEROES – 5 STAR REVIEW IN DOWNBEAT!
My Unsung Heroes recording project continues to gain plaudits from the critics. One of the most notable of these appeared in the July 2011 issue of Downbeat, arguably still the most prestigious jazz publication extant.Reviewer Eric Fine gave Unsung Heroes the honor of its highest possible rating, the coveted 5 stars. This is my first 5 star rating, and in my experience very rare for a “straight ahead” jazz CD in this day and age. Thanks to Eric and Downbeat for this recognition of UH’s quality!
I’m still chipping away at the mountain of additional Unsung Heroes content to come, but some significant progress has been made! I’m happy to announce that all the Unsung Heroes Vol. 1 play alongs are ready for download through the website and Bandcamp page. They’re available for all the Unsung Heroes instrumentation as well as being suitable for other axes such as trombone and guitar. Play along with the original performance as recorded, or stretch out for more choruses with alternate versions cutting out the other horn solos! Charts for your instrument are included. You can download UH playalongs here: http://brianlynch.bandcamp.com/
I’m happy to report success in my trial run on the Unsung Heroes audio stem project, and I will be getting these multi track audio file versions up for download as soon as possible! We are going to have some fun with these. Cryptic? – perhaps, but stay tuned….
More recognition from Downbeat, this time of a more personal nature, came in the August issue of the magazine with the release of the 2011 International Critics Poll. The collective of journalists and critics gave me my highest ever placing of #3 in the Trumpet category! Thanks to all the writers for their recognition of my continuing efforts.
A short anecdote: When I first was with the Horace Silver Quintet in 1983,the great Eddie Harris came by the Hollywood club where we were playing atwo week engagement (sure would like to have one of those now!). Eddie, whoI had known and idolized since I was a teenager, complimented me and theband, but then asked me how old I was. When I replied “26”, he thought for amoment, and then said: “You’ll be alright. The hardest part is when you’re between 25 and 60. That’s when you’re too old to be a prodigy and too young to be a living legend.” Those words were a bit dismaying at 26, but they feel a bit more comforting at (almost) 55…
Brian Appointed Professor Of Jazz Trumpet at University Of Miami
I’m proud and honored to announce this next phase of my educational side with my joining the faculty of the Frost School Of Music at the University Of Miami starting this fall. Under the dynamic direction of Dean Shelly Berg (a wonderful jazz pianist in his own right) and Jazz Studies Director Whit Sidener, the Frost School boasts one of the premier university jazz programs in the country. I am looking forward to taking the teaching concepts I’ve developed during my tenures at New York University, the Prinz Claus Conservatory, and in my many years of private instruction to Miami and expanding my knoweldge together with my students and fellow faculty. While maintaining our New York residence and my artistic presence there, my wife and I will be also enjoying what Miami has to offer (such as the weather right around January and February).
I salute you if you’ve scrolled this far down the page! All for now -there’s some news I have about some special upcoming performances that I’ll let you know about in a separate message.
After the ball drops, the year’s odometer turns over and resets. Musically, it was a busy and sometimes challenging year. Herein is a review of various performing, recording, and educational highlights throughout 2010:
Looking back at the calendar, I wonder how I was able to pull some of those jaunts off – March, for instance, was insane! I feel a sense of accomplishment that I was able to keep it together and finish the year in one piece. Here’s a list of nine gigs that I especially enjoyed doing, some with my own groups and others with my musical extended family:
Brian Lynch Unsung Heroes Group (Brian Lynch, Donald Harrison, Alex Hoffman, Rob Schneiderman, David Wong, Pete Van Nostrand) at Jazz Jakarta March 5-6
We had an rewarding time in Jakarta with Unsung Heroes, playing this truly world class (one of the biggest!) jazz festival. Special guest Donald Harrison tore it up and made me feel good to be alive on stage with him, as always. The group played great and the experience solidified the chemistry of the band.
Eddie Palmieri/Brian Lynch Jazz Quartet (Eddie Palmieri, Brian Lynch, Boris Kozlov, Dafnis Prieto) NYC Iridium March 12-14
Reconvening this amazing gang of four after a two year hiatus was a revelation. With no opportunity to rehearse beforehand, we wondered if there would be any rough edges or even train wrecks. We weren’t surprised, however, when the music came out better and stronger than ever. This band will be a increasing priority for Eddie and myself in 2011, with engagements in DC (Blues Alley, Jan. 20-23 and Boston (Scullers, Apr. 1-2) already on the books. and a recording slated. Here’s the Quartet at Iridium playing Eddie’s classic Latin-jazz composition “Palmas”:
Bye-Ya The Latin Jazz Quintet (Brian Lynch, Mick Paauwe, Jens Kerkhoff, Randal Corsen, Enrique Firpi) Bimhuis Amsterdam March 24
My association with this excellent Dutch group (I’m on their latest CD, “Further Arrivals” on Challenge Records) deepened with the mini tour we did in the Netherlands to celebrate their new recording. Bye-ya has to me a unique and sensitive group sound that I really enjoyed playing with, and on the Bimhuis concert I really felt a space opening up for myself in the music that I’d like to pursue with them further.
Eddie Palmieri Afro Caribbean Jazz Sextet (Eddie Palmieri, Brian Lynch, Louis Fouché, Luques Curtis, Jose Clausell, Little Johnny Rivero) Copenhagen Jazz Festival July 5
Like I’ve said many times before, it’s always good times and great music when I’m out on the road with the Big Guy and the rest of the my musical family in the Palmieri organization. Our July European tour had many highlights; this gig in Copenhagen, a city I was to get to know much better later in the summer, was one of them.
Brian Lynch Quartet (Brian Lynch, Henrik Gunde, Jesper Bodilsen, Niclas Bardeleben) at Cafe Montmartre Copenhagen August 19-22
I returned to this sophisticated and gracious city to play at the historic Café Montmartre, newly reopened in its original location. Some wonderful Danish players were with me on this engagement and we were able to really dig in over the week. I had a ball!
Brian Lynch NYU Afro-Caribbean Jazz Ensemble Latvian Tour August 24-28
I went straight from Copenhagen to Riga, Latvia to meet my NYU student ensemble for a tour sponsored by the State Department, NYU, and the New York Foundation for the Arts. It was a great experience for the students, and some good music was put down too!
Eddie Palmieri Afro Caribbean Jazz Sextet (Eddie Palmieri, Brian Lynch, Louis Fouché, Luques Curtis, Jose Clausell, Little Johnny Rivero) Alverno College Milwaukee November 6
It was great to finally play in my home town of Milwaukee with Eddie after all these years. A memorable performance!
Phil Woods Quintet (Phil Woods, Brian Lynch, Bill Mays, Steve Gilmore, Bill Goodwin) at NYC Birdland November 16-20
It’s always a blessing to play alongside this master musician and this great band. We had two NYC engagements in 2010; I think the Birdland date was especially successful.
Brian Lynch NYU Ensemble (Brian Lynch, Ray Mason, Jinhee Lee, Michael Eckroth, Ku Oh, Sangmin Lee) /Unsung Heroes (Brian Lynch, Vincent Herring, Alex Hoffman, Rick Germanson, Luques Curtis, Pete Van Nostrand) Double Bill Zinc Bar NYC December 8
The fall semester at NYU brought another new student ensemble together, and a very good one indeed. Our end of semester gig at NYC’s Zinc Bar (now with a real piano!) was burning and set my chops up well for the Unsung Heroes band’s sets right after. I really enjoyed this night!
Honorable Mentions: University Of Houston February 20; Bill Lee Big Band Zinc Bar Feb. 23; CTI All Stars Burghausen Germany March 10; Eddie Palmieri Houston April 18; Charles McPherson Quintet Featuring Brian Lynch Wisconsin Conservatory Of Music Milwaukee May 6; Brian Lynch Spheres Of Influence Zinc Bar June 3; Maraca Jazz All Stars North Sea Festival July 11; Eddie Palmieri NJ Sep. 24; Killer Ray Appleton Quartet NYC Creole October 14; Eastern Washington University Jazz Dialogue Festival November 13; Brian Lynch Quartet Dazzle Denver Dec. 17
My recording activities of course were dominated by the Unsung Heroesproject. A considerable learning curve was encountered in mixing my own music for the first time, but with the help of Dave Darlington and later Tyler McDiarmid I was able to get a good result after much trial and error. Unsung Heroes is out (digitally), as most of you who are bothering to read this far know already. The CD of the Vol. 1 is at the manufacturer and should be trickling out in February, and play alongs should be ready very soon!
Other recording activities as a leader in 2010 featured a Criss Cross date with Yosvany Terry, Manuel Valera, Luques Curtis, Justin Brown, and Pedro Martinez; entitled ConClave Vol. 2, this followup to my well received 2005 release ConClaveon the same label should be out by the early spring. My 2009 release Bolero Nights For Billie Holiday(Venus) continued to show legs on jazz radio and critics lists in its stealthy (this Japanese import is somewhat hard to locate) way.
Every year I realize more and more how important teaching is to my continued development as an artist, and how satisfying it is to share with others what I’ve gleaned from my life’s musical journey so far.
My NYU teaching practice, now in its sixth year, continues to enrich my musical consciousness through the challenge of working with and mentoring the talented young musicians who cross my path there. As noted above, my Artist Ensemble embarked on a well received tour to Latvia in August, and my trumpet students have been a source of inspiration to me as I strive to do them justice as an instructor and resource for their learning.
My activity as a mentor for two different groups of young jazz players started up in 2010 and will be a focus in the new year. The Ensamble Tonica, based in Guadalajara, Mexico and composed of young Mexican jazz musicians, just aced their first international performances as a group at the Panama Jazz Festival under my direction, and will be making a number of other jazz festival appearances in Latin America during the next year. I’ve been coaching the group since last summer, in person and by distance learning, and will continue to work with them in this fashion throughout the year. My alma mater The Wisconsin Conservatory Of Music has named me their Jazz Institute’s Artist In Residence for 2010-11, and I’ll be going up to Milwaukee in February for the second of three residencies coaching the ensembles of the Jazz Institute, oriented towards developing high school age players.
NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS
2010 was the year where I really felt myself moving into a new phase life wise. I have more zest and drive to extend my reach in this music than ever. But I’m also perceiving that I’m not a young “cat” any more. I’m moving into a different stage of my life and career now, where time must be used wisely and productively – so much I still want to do! My New Years resolution is to privilege musical activities that give me the most satisfaction, whether they are practicing, performing, composing, or teaching. I also feel that I need to do some work on reevaluating musical values and goals, becoming wider and more open to different attitudes and idioms of the music, while still staying true to my history and core values. It’s inescapable to me now that the music has changed from the classic forms I grew up emulating and mastering. I feel it’s very important that the values of these forms remain strong in the music, but my feeling is that those of us coming from this older way of feeling need to be open to, and try to comprehend better, the contemporary sensibility. Only then can we effectively project our values and keep them a part of the music of today and tomorrow, and not just in a museum piece sort of way.
Hope the New Year is already a productive and satisfying one for you!