October 2011: Living for the City

Greetings and welcome to cooler, shorter days and the start of year-end holiday pilfering.  Its one of my favorite seasons when we actually have one. This year feels promising.  Brisk and crisps days warm enough for a rigorous walk through this illustrious city…and by that I do mean Brooklyn.  Oh I know people still think of Manhattan as the city and it is to a certain extent.  Yet Brooklyn is where it’s happening these days.  I’d argue (no throwing tomatoes!!) that Brooklyn is one of the most vibrant boroughs in our New York City.  My perspective may be jaded yet just to give a small example, my gig list this month, with one exception, is all in Brooklyn.  Mostly within an hour’s walk from where I live.  I say walk because if I get my act together, that’s how I’ll get to my gigs this month, reducing my carbon footprint just a smidge.  I hope you’ll join me.  Here’s what’s coming up…

On FRIDAY, OCTOBER 7th and SATURDAY, OCTOBER 8th – I am honored to be  small part of Anthony Braxton’s 4-Day festival (Starting on WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 5th) called Energies, Ideas, Institutions: The Music of Anthony Braxton.  Its the most comprehensive representation of his music thus far in the USA!  Please go to Roulette for all the details and visit the Tri-Centric Foundation for more details on all things Anthony including the Release of Trillium E, the wonderful project recorded last year and I’m in the cast alongside amazing vocalists such as Kyoko Kitamura, Michael Douglas Jones, Jen Shyu, Nick Hallett and more.  The 4-CD Box set will be released on October 11th, some will be available for purchase at the Festival this upcoming weekend. What a thrill to be part of this incredible production where the musicians and vocalists all were at service to Anthony’s music.  It was one of the richest experience I’ve had as a vocalist and to now have it in my hands leaves me speechless.

This SATURDAY, on the final night of the Braxtonian Festival, we’ll premiere two Acts from a new opera Trillium J and FRIDAY, I’ll take part in the Syntactical Ghost Trance Music Choir.  Towards the end of October the wonderful Austrian pianist Elisabeth Harnik will come to Brooklyn and we’ll play two concerts, one premiering our ReDDeeR group with UK bassist Dominic Lash.  We all met last year as fellows at Music OMI and hit it off musically there.  Since then I’ve played with Dominic (who is in NY for just a short while more) and Elisabeth has played with him in London.  These upcoming concerts will be first time we’ll play as a trio since our Residency last year. We’re at Korzo as part of the Konceptions Series curated by James Carney on TUESDAY, OCTOBER 25 and then Elisabeth and I will play a duo set at I-Beam on FRIDAY, October 28th as a double Bill with Go-Zee-Lah (Kyoko Kitamura & Yayoi Ikawa). Get all the details on the PERFORMANCE section of the site.

Wrapping up the month, Anders Nillson and I as the ExPosed Blues Duo will round out the last Monday on the Evolving Series this month. YES, we’re back up as of October 10th.  Please go to the Vision Festival website for the schedule and other info. On Halloween, The Evolving Series has a themed evening called “Blues Hues for Halloween” with vocalist Ayana Lowe and Roy Nathanson bringing thier own takes on the idiom in their respective sets.  This is my only gig in the Manhattan this month.  As a matter of fact its my last scheduled gig in town for the time being.  Early November I head out of town to work with musician/composer Ab Baars on a wonderful project called The Invisible Blow.  We’ll tour the Netherlands and Europe culminating in a recording of the project on the last day of the tour.  I just saw Ab in Amsterdam and we got together with the music and what I heard and will get to sing is just glorious.

Speaking of Amsterdam, I must say this past Sepetmber was something special.  I went out to the West Coast for the first time to teach a workshop and perform at the Jazz School in Berkeley.  As I mentioned in my last post, a feature on me ran in the SF Chronicle, which bought out lots of people to the concert  (that was well received!) plus a good showing on the workshop too. Not to mention San Francisco itself.  What a beautiful place to be.  I enjoyed my very short stay and stay turned for future plans in the Bay Area.  One of the most beautiful things I experienced when I was out there was being at the Memorial for drummer Eddie Marshall, who passed away in early September.  A veritable who’s who of the Bay Area Jazz Scene came out to express love and admiration for him.  A beautiful thing to experience, see and feel.

Later in September I went to Germany to perform some concerts in and around Munsterland, passing in and back through Amsterdam. I’m always happy to go to Amsterdam but this trip was especially fulfilling and rich.  The connections, the amount I packed together in a few days. While I was away, I was once again reminded and took a moment to reflect on what a blessing it is to go through this life making music to share.




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