Blog – June 2017

I still feel both elated and tired from my two international trips this May/June… one to France and Spain, and the other to Alberta, Canada.  This summer I’ll be focusing more on local New England gigs, including a return to the small town where I grew up (Francestown, NH) with members of my original trio.

My summer tour dates are included on the right side of this newsletter if you would like to attend a show.  But first I should tell you what happened during my big trips to Europe and Canada…

First, on May 23, I flew to Paris and then took a train to Troyes, France in the Champagne region.  This was for a special recording project focusing on compositions by vibraphonist Thierry Collin.  The band is a Franco-American quintet made up of musicians from both France and the Americas.  Drummer Alexis Sereduik organized the recording, and the other musicians who traveled to France from North and South America were Song Yi Jeon (vocals) and German “Choby” Scheufler (bass).

I was so thrilled to have been part of such a unique and free-spirited musical project.  We recorded several tunes in a home studio… these songs feature catchy melodies on top and complex time signatures underneath.  These tunes were recorded on video and will be released in the fall, with additional songs to be recorded in the future.

After that, I did jazz club performances in Paris (with the Song Yi Jeon Quintet) and Madrid (with vocalist Aurora Arteaga, bassist Dario Guibert and drummer Miguel “Pete” Benito).  In Paris I saw the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower, as well as many sidewalk cafes.  And in Spain, I did a day trip with Aurora to Toledo – a medieval city on a huge hill with a great deal of religious architecture and art museums.  Toledo, Spain is definitely different from its Ohio namesake…

Then, last week, I traveled to Alberta, Canada for the Medicine Hat Jazz Festival.  This is a very well-attended local festival in a very beautiful and isolated location – Medicine Hat is a prairie city that’s 3 hours’ drive from Calgary.  There aren’t even any direct flights from Boston to Calgary, so traveling to Medicine Hat can take a while.

In Alberta, I saw the Calgary Tower (with views extending many miles through both the Rocky Mountains and the plains), as well as the town of Drumheller in the Canadian Badlands (known for its dinosaurs).

The concert was at Medicine Hat’s Esplanade Theatre – a double bill with vocalist and CBC radio host Tim Tamashiro.  Tim is a charismatic standards singer who knows how to excite crowds and I’m proud to have shared a stage with him.

That’s a lot of travel for the time being, so it still feels good to be back home for a bit… I’ll see you in Massachusetts and New Hampshire this July and August.

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