I just got back from a most enjoyable US tour with the Brubecks (Darius, Chris & Dan). We started off in Connecticut, where we stayed at Dave Brubeck’s beautiful house in Wilton, then New York, Oklahoma, Memphis (Tennessee) and finally I went on to the Brubeck Institute in Stockton, California, to do some teaching & a gig.
In New York I got a chance to hear Jerry Weldon (playing with a great drummer, Luca Santaniello), Tom Harrell’s new quintet with Ralph Moore, Walt Weiskopf with Michael Weiss and the always magnificent Lincoln Centre Jazz Orchestra playing Wynton’s newly augmented Spaces suite with dancers. Everyone I spoke to was extremely welcoming and friendly. Smalls, The Village Vanguard, the Knickerbocker Hotel, Dizzy’s and the Rose Theatre were all buzzing with some cooking, swinging jazz.
We played Dizzy’s for 2 nights then performed two ambitious Dave Brubeck pieces for choir, orchestra and quartet in Bethany, Oklahoma and Memphis (“Light in the Wilderness’ and “To Hope”).
There was a fair bit of rehearsal (and winging it!) involved, but all went well.
I went on by myself to California to be artist in residence for 4 days at The Brubeck Insitute and thoroughly enjoyed working with the excellent Fellows and hanging out with director, Simon Rowe and University of the Pacific Head of Jazz, Patrick Langham.
Just back to the UK in time for the 3rd LCCM term which is extra busy for staff and students alike with the dreaded exam schedule!
Also quite a busy gig diary (see “Gigs”), a new Darius Brubeck Quartet cd to mix and a new studio collaboration with Mark Reilly from Matt Bianco, more of which in due course.
I’m just finishing production of some new YouTube videos, so keep your eyes peeled.