February 7th: Tonight is the first of several concerts featuring brand new music composed during my residency at the 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica. I’ve enlisted the help of two friends from the east coast to help bring the music to life, guitarist Mike Moreno and drummer Joe Dyson. Also joining us will be bassist Dave Robaire and vibraphonist Diego Urbano who are currently participants in the Thelonious Monk Institute‘s two-year program at UCLA. Blue Whale, 9pm and 10:30pm
It’s truly hard to believe the amount of music that comes out each year. I’ve been trying my best to resist the urge to channel surf through everything; many of my favorite records have a subtle quality that demands the listener’s undivided attention in order to be discovered. So I say to you and to myself, don’t forget the value of stopping everything else in your life, closing your eyes, and listening to an album all the way through. It’s a radical thing to do these days, but it still feels as good as ever.
Although I didn’t release anything as a leader this year, I was featured on quite a few 2013 releases. Here’s the list. Enjoy!
Kendrick Scott Oracle – “Conviction”
Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society – “Brooklyn Babylon”
The Big Bright – “I Slept Through The 80s”
Camila Meza – “Prisma”
Alan Ferber – “March Sublime”
Bruno Santos – “caixa de música”
Les Grant – “Way Forward, Way Back”
Will Bernard – “Dime Store Thriller”
Dr. Lonnie Smith – “In The Beginning Vols. 1 & 2”
Beto Paciello – “Eleven Moons”
Jason Stewart – “Cyclicality”
Michael Blanco – “No Time Like The Present”
Miguel is one of my favorite musicians, and I’m honored to be working in his big band. Don’t miss this beautiful and ambitious multi-media work entitled “Identities are Changeable: Tales from the Diaspora”. 9:30pm, more info here.
I’m very happy to be heading back to New Orleans this week to play at one of my favorite clubs in the whole world, Snug Harbor. It is almost exactly 20 years ago that I moved to New Orleans to attend UNO and to study with Ellis Marsalis and Harold Battiste. I was sitting in with Ellis at Snug Harbor as often as I could, and I will always be grateful to him for the opportunity and to the club for giving us the space to grow on the bandstand. There are very few opportunities for that kind of apprenticeship learning these days, which only increases my feeling of gratitude. Joining me will be me another mentor of mine from that time, guitar legend Steve Masakowski, as well as old friends Jason Stewart, James Westfall and Kendrick Scott. Our sets are at 8pm and 10pm. We’ll be playing music from my latest Criss Cross release, “It’s You I Like” as well as tunes from “By A Thread” and others. Come by and tell your friends!
Pedro’s band is amazing live. We’ll be playing this Thursday and Friday, October 10th and 11th, at The Jazz Gallery – sets are at 9pm and 10:30pm. Come on out if you’re in NYC. Also, We’re going in the studio later this month. As you can imagine, recording a big band isn’t cheap. Check Pedro’s Kickstarter campaign and help him get everyone paid!
We’re playing this Friday, September 6th at the Neighborhood Church in the West Village, at 269 Bleecker St. It’s part of the First Fridays Jazz Series they’re hosting, and it’s free. Joining me will be Gerald Clayton on piano, Joe Dyson on drums, and Joe Sanders on bass. Sets are at 8pm and 10pm. It’s kind-of a warm up gig for our upcoming show in Mexico City with the same group on October 5th.
Get your copy of Will Bernard’s “Just Like Downtown” today featuring Rudy Royston on drums, Brian Charette on organ, John Ellis on tenor saxophone and bass clarinet, and Will Bernard on guitar and compositions.
I’ll be joining some old friends from North Carolina School of the Arts and New Orleans all next week at Dizzy’s for the late set. Trumpeter Antoine Drye, my high school roommate from 1989, put this thing together, and he’s calling it the Crescent City Collaboration. We start at 11:30 each night. Come thru!