Right now, I'm working on a European tour for July - this will include engagments playing with several bands, as well as some teaching. At this point, I'm looking at going all the way across the continent from The Netherlands to Lithuania and many stops between.
This is all still coming together and I have some avails left in there and am working to connect the dots -- please contact me asap if you'd like me to come to you to play, teach, or both! [email protected]
I've been a resident of Harlem for quite a while - and am thrilled to be included in it's newest professional music project - the brass choir of the Harlem Sound Project. May 5 is the brass' debut concert -- with some heavy programming. Henri Tomasi's Fanfare Liturgiques (a tour-de-force!) and a new work by Sung Jin Hong called Harlem Fanfare. They are also doing Stravinsky's L'Histoire du Soldat... a heavy brass show!
This week is packed with some interesting brass music... tonight I got to play an exceptionally eclectic program with the Orchestra of the SEM Ensemble. It was nice to play with them again. I got to do some antiphonal Gabrieli as well as John Cage's Atlas Elipticalis.
Brass players all know to revere every second they get to play Gabrieli's antiphonal brass music (especially in a great space for it!) and Atlas Elipticalis is a work I've known about for some time, but had not, until now, had the chance to perform.
Also, the Paula Cooper Gallery in Chelsea is a great place to perform! It's big but-only-enough echoic space was perfect for both of these works.
Also through the week is some typical holiday brass quintetting. Always a decent time!
And then...tomorrow night I get my ass kicked! I get the pleasure of playing a NY premiere of a work for brass quintet, jazz tenor sax, and drumset, composed by NYC-Toronto sax player Quinsin Nachoff; his 'Pyramid Brass Project.' What a brass quintet to be a part of!! (I'll be shedding this one up until the last second before the gig!) I get to share the stage with brassers Ralph Alessi, Shane Endsley, John Clark, Ryan Keberle, drummer Dan Weiss, and tenorist/composer Qunisin. It's going to be brutal!
The fall is always a marathon, and I now finally have a couple of days to catch my breath. This fall has been a time of constant motion... Have tuba will travel!
Starting in September, New York's notorious Ja Ja Jas kicked off our Oktoberfest tear with shows in New York at our home base of Zum Schneider. It was madness as always; a line down the street to get in (and we heard that someone actually slept in their car to get a good space in line!)
(Zum Schneider photos by Richard Greene)
Right after rehearsing in NYC, the Ja Ja Jas immediately hit the road for the south, first down to North Carolina, then up through Virginia, back to NYC for a few shows, then back down to Virginia again.
(here I am with Herbie Abernathy of Valient Thorr -- was at our show!)
Big festival crowds and new friends and great food and... beer. Those shows are a lot of work, but are worth it for the vibe and the crowd!
I took a break from the Ja Ja Jas' constant string of Blaßmusik rocking, to head overseas again with the mighty Gato Loco for our third European trip in just over a year. We brought our "Psycho-Mambo" brand of jazz-rock to headline the Salzburg "Jazz and The City" festival in gorgeous Salzburg, Austria. (original home of W.A. Mozart, who I share a birthday with)
Gato Loco all converged in Munich, from what seemed to be a million different flights. We finally all made it in and got a great afternoon of rehearsal in a gorgeous art loft transformed out of an old post office in Munich's West End.
Here I'll mention that this was the maiden air flight for the famed Accord tuba case. This is the hi-tech carbon flight case which weights only slightly more than a soft gigbag. It worked great - I had to take 2 different airlines to get to Munich and they obviously put the case to the test (scratched the crap out of the outside of it, and beat the bumpers) but the ultralight case held it's own - no tuba damage! It came right out of baggage claim, right up the conveyor with the normal-sized suitcases, and I was able put the horn right on my back and walk right out of the airport and hop on a train. Tuba players will understand what a HUGE deal this is!
After rehearsing we hit the town
We visited this retro place called a CD store and look what we found displayed prominently!
and of course, we hit some bier halls!
The next morning, we got up early and hurriedly headed up the Alps toward Salzburg.
Once in this very pretty town, we got to the hotel and the band quickly befriended the dirndl-laden hotel staff and everyone got a quick nap to chill in our nice digs before soundcheck.
The venue was great - a large ballroom type of venue. The band and house staff got quickly to work putting together our sizable setup of two separate drum setups, two separate bass setups, guitar plus seven different horns.
During our soundcheck, a representative came to our venue in Salzburg from the Accord Case company in Croatia to modify my case for me! (Rockstar treatment! yeah!!) He set me up well!
Between soundcheck we had the pleasure of heading up the mountain to one of the most notorious restaurants in Salzburg which overlooks the entire town. Amazing! There we dined on Deer and got a chance to catch up with our festival-mates Bobby Previte and Steve Swallow, who had just finished their set. We didn't linger long tho... Gato Loco was on the clock and had a job to do!
We started our usual off-stage entrance and quickly surprised the crowd.
The band threw down for the entire extended-length set. The kind Austrian crowd ate it up, got out of their seats and danced the night away. It was a great show.
After the show, per Gato Loco tradition, we joined some of the locals for some reveling on the town.
The next day we traipsed back to Munich, then headed back to NYC.
Upon my return to the Big Apple, there was no time to rest! First, immediately, the De Bajo portion of Gato Loco played at our favorite home base of Barbes in Brooklyn, and New Beard was in rehearsal. I then headed with the Red Hook Ramblers for a quick jaunt to Boston, then rushing back for a show at Lincoln Center in NYC. Right from LC I ran to a CMJ spot with New Beard at Union Hall in Brooklyn. The next morning it was back to the studio with NB and then break and run to play an orchestral gig at Carnegie Hall, all of this within about 3 days time. Whew!
(the Accord case, backstage at Carnegie Hall)
Fortunately this week I have a few days to recover and then in a week it's back to the studio with New Beard, Halloween with Gato Loco de Bajo, then back to Germany for a few more shows with the full Gato Loco.
Lots of things to come... some great media from both New Beard and Gato Loco to be released soon and more shows shows shows with all sorts of bands. Tuba Life is never boring in NYC!
One of the recently released CD's I am on is is a recording of new works for brass ensemble. The "Tilt" Creative Brass Band is actually a standard-sized full brass ensemble made up of more than just great players, every member is a creative artist all in their own. I was honored to be a part of this group and to play this amalgomation of works by NYC "Downtown" composers. It was an inspirational group of folks to play amongst!
The group is led by trombonist Chris McIntyre and the CD was prodced by the legendary Anthony Coleman. We recorded it at Oktaven Studios in Yonkers, NY.