Just like that we're in the last 2 weeks of 2016.. and what a ride it's been. I'm grateful as ever to share this ride with you. We have to stick together in these volatile times! Hope you're hanging in there. My Sagittarius optimism has been working hard the last month to stay above the media mania. Speaking of, I recently celebrated my birthday or "BS Day" shared with Billy Strayhorn. Some other really funny things happened that day including a chance "meeting" with my long time idol Harry Connick Jr. (!) scroll down to see more about that.
In musical news... I just recorded another album! This is my first official album with Sony and let me tell you, we WENT FOR IT. I say "we" because it's my 2nd collaboration with Matt Pierson who produced "Bria". The goal was to have a sense of adventure, whimsy, good and love inspired by artists from Esquivel to Rosemary Clooney, Ed Sheeran to Peggy Lee, Valaida Snow to Perez Prado to Nina Simone and Spike Jones. We recorded 17 tracks including 8 arranged by Gil Goldstein, songwriting collabs with LA's Sam Hollander and NY/London/Nashville's Jeff Cohen, lots of original ideas and a musician palate of Matt Wilson, Scott Colley, Aaron Goldberg, Sullivan Fortner, tbones, viola, flutes, oh my! What can I say... I like music :) We're aiming for a June release. Stay tuned!
2017 kicks off with a wide variety of events as I venture out as a bandleader, guest artist, cruise pirate, AND I'll be hosting FREE open workshops for youth on behalf of the New York Hot Jazz Camp on Tuesdays January 10/17 at the Greenwich House Music School! We're all hoping this can build into a regular series.
I've recently been invited for Facebook Live chats from Harper's Bazaar and the New York Times which have been great and I'd like to do more of them because it feels more conversational than just posting videos. I'm up for doing weekly Facebook Live chats in January. My question for you then is - What time are you available? Let me know when you can chat and I'll set it up:)
As I write this it would've been trumpeter Clark Terry's 96th birthday who embodied the thought "keep on keepin' on." Maybe you've experienced the same, but when the optimism runs dry there are times when we need to just roll up our sleeves, put our head down and barrel through. I wish you luck, love and courage for the new year.