2010 Roundup

January 17th, 2011

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!

NYU Ensemble:

Unsung Heroes:

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 Heroes project. 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!

Buy Unsung Heroes: http://brianlynch.bandcamp.com

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 ConClave on 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.


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!


Unsung Heroes Project On Line and On Sale! + Progress Report

October 23rd, 2010

The Unsung Heroes Project , Volumes 1, 2 and 3, is finally live and online in its finished form! Thank you, everyone, for hanging in there patiently while I’ve been putting the final touches on the digital art and such.

Listen to all the music and buy the digital version (including full downloadable booklet) at http://brianlynch.bandcamp.com/

Next up is completing the design for the physical CD of Vol.1. I hope to have that ready in about a week to 10 days. Knowing how the process goes with manufacturing, I would say about a month from the time I turn in the materials will be when I have CDs in my hands. So, maybe around Dec. 1st? – I’ll have it ready in time for Christmas.

Play along track “prints” are being generated here at Hollistic Studios whenever I have spare hours – it’s a fairly simple process but time consuming since there’s 5 to 10 possible variations of “minus one” for each performance. It’s coming along – the trick is to figure out a way to master all this stuff cleanly, efficiently, and without undue expense. The multi track stem project will be addressed once I’ve achieved more traction on the play alongs.

Video? My man Nick Myers has been working away on the footage and achieving great results with the raw material synced up to the tracks. He’s a little less that halfway there; we’ve got seven videos up now for streaming on Vimeo. When all the tracks have been mated to image, then we’ll get to hooking up the DVD. The documentary is in process but a little farther back in the queue.
Here’s one of the Vimeo videos:
Access more Unsung Heroes videos at:
Household Of Saud:  http://vimeo.com/16032400
Terra Firma Irma:http://vimeo.com/15920034

News September 2010

September 2nd, 2010

The long summer is almost over, and as I swing into September, many things are happening. The most important pertain to my Unsung Heroes recording project:

1) LESS THAN 30 DAYS LEFT ON MY KICKSTARTER FUNDRAISING PROJECT! I’ve had great support from y’all so far for my effort to raise funds to promote and distribute Unsung Heroes. But time is running out, and I’m still short of the goal. If you’ve been waiting to help, now is the time – especially since I’ve added new offers oriented towards the non-musician jazz fan. See what’s new and contribute at: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1927361678/get-my-unsung-heroes-project-out-to-the-people

2) ADVANCE OF UNSUNG HEROES VOL.1 NOW AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD! Yes, at long last! Check it out at http://brianlynch.bandcamp.com/ The only difference between this advance release and the official release of the downloadable version is that the cover image and booklet will be slightly different on the official release (coming by the end of the month). If you get the advance version, I will make sure you get the updated material as they come on line.

I’d also like to invite you to check out the numerous blog posts I’ve written about my summer activities on this site…

Thanks, and hope to see you on my Kickstarter backers list!



News July 2010

July 3rd, 2010

Kickstarter Project in Support of “Unsung Heroes” Project Launched!

Now that the master recordings for my “Unsung Heroes” project are finally in the bag, it’s time to kick the next stage into gear. Design, manufacturing, promotion, publicity, radio play and the preparation of play-along and audio stem packages must all be attended to, and post-haste (I’m writing from Manchester England today, hence the Anglophilic lexicon); as those of you who have been keeping up with this know, I’m behind my release schedule a good bit. The problems as always are time and money. Time (whether 24/7 or 4/4) is my affair here; but I’m reaching out for help on the money part, through a cool fund raising tool I’ve recently become aware of called Kickstarter. Kickstarter lets folks like me raise money for their independent projects by offering the proverbial “cool stuff” in return for contributions. It reminds me a little of the ArtistShare platform, which served me well in my previous self-produced effort, the 2006 Grammy winning “Simpatico”, but with a more informal and flexible concept.

I’d like to invite you to check out my Kickstarter fundraising project and possibly contribute! Take a look at it and plunge in if you can. I will so appreciate your assistance in completing the job for Unsung Heroes, and I also think you will find some good value being offered in return for your contribution.

Contribute at: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1927361678/get-my-unsung-heroes-project-out-to-the-people

Travel Plans

I’ve gone over the water for a good bit; just started more than three weeks in Europe doing various fun things and playing the horn. Read more »

News – End o’May 2010

May 28th, 2010

As June approaches, I’m luxuriating in a little down time, as the pace slows a little after a whirlwind spring. But there’s still plenty going on; gigs, a new recording in the works, planning for new enterprises and always the quest to discover more about music, life and its meaning.

Brian Lynch and Spheres Of Influence at Zinc Bar Thursday June 3rd

If you’re in New York City, come on by one of my favorite spots through the years, Zinc Bar, and dig the sounds as we get ready to go into the studio the next day for Criss Cross Records. This edition of Spheres Of Influence includes:

  • Brian Lynch – trumpet & flugelhorn
  • Yosvany Terry – saxes
  • Manuel Valera – piano
  • Luques Curtis – bass
  • Justin Brown – drums
  • Pedro Martinez – percussion

Latvian Tour Rescheduled

I’m happy to announce that my NYU Ensemble’s Latvian tour, postponed from last month due to volcano generated travel difficulties, has been rescheduled to August 24th through the 28th. You can keep tabs on the Ensemble and the tour activities (and also make a tax deductible contribution towards out tour expenses!) at out New York Foundation for the Arts blog page. We also have a Facebook page and I’ll be blogging the tour and its runup on www.brianlynchjazz.com.

Unsung Heroes Mastered; Announcement Soon on Release Schedule

Another happy event is that my “Unsung Heroes” recording project will have completed mastering by the time you read this – it’s finally ready to move out into the world! I will be making some exciting announcements soon concerning the project release schedule and will give you a sneak preview of the music. Now it’s time for the second part of the project – how to publicize and market my sounds so they can get to the folks who dig. Y’all can help! I’ll be letting you know how very soon.

Unsung Heroes Project

Unsung Heroes on Facebook

Reading List

  • The Big Book Of Concepts – Gregory Murphy
  • Saying Something: Jazz Improvisation and Interaction – Ingrid Monson
  • When Surface Was Depth: Death By Cappuccino and Other Reflections on Music and Culture in the 1990’s – Michael Bracewell
  • Open The Door: The Life And Music Of Betty Carter – William R. Bauer

Listening List

  • Abelardo Barroso Con La Orquesta Sensacion – no Hay Como Mi Son
  • Cesar “Pupy” Pedroso – ‘Mi Timba “Cerra”
  • Calder Quartet – Transfiguration: Music Of Christopher Rouse
  • Pedro Martinez and Roman Diaz – The Routes Of Rumba

Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend!