It has been a while since I have actually had the time to sit down and write a thoughtful post. Literally, finding the time has been virtually impossible! After trips to Cuba (mid February), Japan (mid March) and Toronto (early April) I thought things would calm down slightly but to the contrary. Things have heated up! Im not complaining for one minute though because its all pretty good stuff. This is however the time of year when my emotions run wild as the club is considerably more unpredictable than any other time year. Having said that however things have remained very steady and have shown no real signs of that aforementioned unpredictability (knock on wood) that characterizes the month of May and early June. Case in point, this months ARTIST IN RESIDENCE SHARON MINEMOTO. Im really excited for Sharon that she was able to basically fill up each of her 4 nights at The Cellar with the exception of the first one but even though the crowd was smaller for the duo of Sharon and her partner Ross Taggart on saxophone, the music was wonderful. I truly believe that artists should just be rewarded (with good crowds) based on their artistry and musicianship but unfortunately in these trying times for the music industry it doesn’t work like that. Sharon worked her but off spreading the word with posters, interviews, making sure the media had her new CD etc and it was soooo nice to see it pay off. Way to go Sharon, you deserve it!
Up next is my CD release party this coming weekend (June 6th and 7th). It seems like only yesterday I was fretting over sharing the stage with Peter Bernstein, Mike LeDonne and Joe Farnsworth. The whole process of the recording was invaluable for me and its nice to actually finally be holding the finished product in my hands. It turned out better than I could’ve imagined and now I just hope people enjoy listening to it. Im embarking on a bit of an Eastern tour in November to promote the CD. In Montreal I will be playing with organist VANESSA RODRIGUEZ and her trio which I just found out includes guitarist MIKE RUD so that will be great. Im in Toronto at The Rex with ROBI BOTOS, JOEL HAYNES and PAT COLLINS which will be very exciting. I may have some dates in Columbus, Ohio and Chicago as well but nothing in stone as of yet. It also looks like I will be doing a clinic or two in Ontario and Montreal on the business side of music so it should be a fun adventure to the eastern part of Canada.
My wife Alana and I are celebrating our one year anniversary this weekend and tonight are heading down to hear the Crescent Boogaloo Band with DR. LONNIE SMITH on organ, PETER BERNSTEIN on guitar, HERLIN RILEY on drums, CHRISTIAN SCOTT on trumpet and DONALD HARRISON on alto sax. I’m particularly excited to hear the Dr. play in a quintet format. He hasn’t done that for a long time. My interest is obviously because thats the setting that I played with him in and he has pretty much just concentrated on playing with his trio. Its gonna be great to see Peter B and hand him a copy of my CD!!
I will be updating my performance page soon, I’m just waiting for some things to come through and I will also have some other exciting announcements in the coming weeks so don’t be a stranger!