As I look forward to the week ahead of me I am amazed at what I get to do for a living!
Performing the music of other composers (in their ensembles) is one of the perks of being a musician.
Performing my own music with the wonderful musicians I am so blessed to have the opportunity to play with is really the ultimate goal of anyone who is a band leader.
Guess I am doubly blessed this week!
I mentioned the word "opportunity" in my previous post... well I am very grateful for the musical opportunities I have this week.
All the details are on the Calendar page... check it out and come to the gigs if you can!
Thanks for stopping in,
Happy New Year!!!
2017 brings some interesting music, some skiing, some travel, and other opportunities with it for me.
I am starting my second season as a part-time ski instructor - for me skiing is very much like music.
I will be performing often this year with Cynthia Hilts' Lyric Fury - an ensemble that I have been fortunate to perform with for over 20 years. A really lovely musical gift in my life.
I will be traveling quite a lot this coming Winter/Spring both for work and play, it's always nice when I can combine the two!
These and other opportunities have the potential to change my life. That's what it is really all about, isn't it? Having an opportunity to do something... to be given opportunities in life, to learn, to grow... It's part of our process.
For those of you who have stopped by and read this, and to all my family & friends, I wish you a 2017 filled with opportunities!
A few thoughts the day before my final rehearsal with my band for the upcoming gig at The Tea Lounge (see Calendar listing for the details).
The process of rehearsing is different with every band that I play with. And, for myself, the process of rehearsing my own big band has evolved over time. It's interesting to me what musicians respond to… whether its how the music is copied, how I am conducting (ouch!), or just the response when I ask for a specific focus in their interpretation of the music. I still hear Manny Albam saying (at a BMI reading session years ago) that "if its not in the parts, it won't get played" Well, that is true, to some extent, but both as a musician and as a composer/band leader I have found that sometimes you simply need time to discover the music, and that requires time rehearsing and playing together. And the time that I have spent wasn't just for my band, it was for me too!
Suffice to say I am very grateful that these wonderful musicians have been willing to give me their time to discover my music.
P.S. For those of you in the NYC area, come to the gig to hear the results...
Ah yes… the real joy of writing music… finishing a new piece and getting to hear it for the first time!
Had a wonderful rehearsal with my big band last Friday and it was nice to hear what I have been working on for the past month… Finding time to write has been supremely challenging... on trains, in between students, after gigs… (though no complaints… it is good to be a busy, working musician) But I did finish, and I look forward to premiering the new piece at my upcoming gig on Dec. 2nd at The Tea Lounge in Brooklyn, NY. (all the details are on my calendar page).
I have one more rehearsal, next week, with this wonderful group of musicians that have agreed to play my music, and I am ever so grateful to live in a city where such amazing talented musicians are available (and willing) to explore my own musical journey with me. The music just exists in my head till they play it. As Ellington wrote… "I am Just a Lucky So & So"
Feeling very grateful for this particular blessing in my life.
P.S. For those of you in the NYC area, hope to see you at the gig
Hope everyone's summer has been going well. I was out in the southwest, connecting with some wonderful local musicians in Phoenix while working on the family home with my sister. Then had a bit of a "road trip," which was a lot of fun & inspiring too. Passing through a misty cloud bank while driving on a high-mountain road was especially memorable!
I have just updated the Calendar page of this website with some new gigs/corrected dates, etc... And I am beginning all the preparations for my next gig with my jazz orchestra on October 1st at The Tea Lounge (check the calendar page for the details). So please take a look and come out to the gigs when you can.
One of my Fall projects will be to update this website with new audio and video from my own gigs, so I hope to have something new to listen to/look at for you in the near future!
For now, hope you enjoy the rest of summer and, as always, thank you for checking in and supporting live music!
All the best,
Just a few thoughts here...
All the rehearsals are done, the new piece is finished, and the gig is tomorrow night!
How's that for a few thoughts, ha!
The band sounds wonderful and I am truly blessed that these amazing musicians have agreed to play my music & be part of my process in writing a new piece...
I know their names are listed on my calendar page, but I want to share my sincere thanks to all of them here too:
Erica Von Kleist - Lead Alto Sax, Soprano Sax, Flute
Lily White - Alto Sax, Flute
Dimitri Moderbacher - Tenor Sax, Flute, Clarinet
Virginia Mayhew - Tenor Sax, Clarinet
Claire Daly - Baritone Sax, Bass Clarinet
Darryl Shaw - Lead Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Eddie Allen, Barry Bryson, David Smith - Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Mike Boscarino - Lead Trombone
Jack Davis, Mike Fahn - Trombone
Dale Turk - Bass Trombone
Bruce Arnold - Guitar
Ratzo Harris - Bass
Rob Garcia - Drums
Most of these wonderful musicians have their own bands and websites, so I highly encourage you to check them out and go hear them play at the gigs that they are leading too.
Hope to see you at the premiere gig for the Deborah Weisz Jazz Orchestra, tomorrow night at The Tea Lounge!
P.S. I will be posting some audio (and maybe some video too) on this website of the concert, so check back in.
Happy Holidays everyone!
I am back in the large ensemble writing groove and have booked the first concert gig for my jazz orchestra in March 2012. (See calendar for details). Maybe it was my Jazz Arranging students at WCSU that inspired me, or perhaps it was just time for me to dive back into the insanity that comes with the desire to write for large ensembles (plus scheduling all the rehearsals and hiring the musicians too!). Well... onwards! I am looking forward to performing some older pieces as well as something new that I have been working on.
I also hope to have some smaller ensemble gigs (the Trio) in 2012 as well, so looking forward to that too.
On a more somber note, I just want to acknowledge, here, the recent death of Bob Brookmeyer. A brilliant jazz composer and valve trombonist. I had the great fortune to study (briefly) with him. I also had the wonderful opportunity, for many years, to be part of the BMI Jazz Composer's Workshop, which was created by Bob Brookmeyer, along with composer Manny Albam and jazz journalist Burt Korall. Thank you Bob, for a lifetime of musical inspiration. My sincere condolences to his family and close friends.
Slowly updating this website... more to come.
Recent news is about the upcoming gig I have on Tuesday, July 26th with my Trio - featuring Ratzo Harris on Bass & Eric Halvorson on Drums. (for more info check the Calendar page)
The past two years I have spent some time writing/rehearsing with this new version of my Trio.
The upcoming gig will feature some old & new music and some re-worked versions of tunes I have performed with my quintet. Looking forward to playing in NYC and a possible new recording early next year.
Thanks, as always, for checking in.