Blog- August 2012
This summer has already been one of the best summers I’ve ever had. I’ve already had gigs in Maine and Spain that basically became full-blown vacations. I just had a private gig at a beautiful house in the middle of the woods in New Hampshire. And on the 19th, I will play a long solo piano concert on Spectacle Island outside of Boston.
But at the end of August, I will conclude the summer with something I’ve wanted to do all my life. It’s a four-concert tour of western Japan. After that, I will go back to Berklee for my last semester, although during the second week of the semester, I will play two concerts at the famous Monterey Jazz Festival in California. So it’s intense!
On August 4, my neighbors (who live up the road from my family’s farm in New Hampshire) hosted a special 25th wedding anniversary party. But this wasn’t just any party; it was a huge jazz party. The couple’s wedding 25 years ago featured a top jazz band from Boston, so a jazz band was needed for this event as well. We created a special quartet for the event. I played two keyboards, Mark Zaleski (an awesome young Boston alto and soprano saxophonist) played two saxophones, Bruce Gertz played bass, and Yoron Israel played drums (both Bruce and Yoron are amazing professional musicians and respected professors at Berklee). We played entirely standards, including fun renditions of Herbie Hancock’s “Chameleon”, Gershwin’s “I Got Rhythm”, and Ramsey Lewis’ “The In Crowd”. So it was a big jam, basically.
On August 19 from 1 to 3:30 PM, I will play a long solo piano concert on Spectacle Island outside of Boston. I’m going to play new originals, old originals, standards and maybe some pop tunes as well. More info here.
And a week after that, I will go to Japan. It’s going to be a very exhausting trip, as the flight time is about 14 hours (a 13-hour flight and a 1-hour flight) each way.
And I’ll be going by myself, but I won’t be alone. I’ll meet the bassist (Shota Ishikawa, a Berklee friend from Kobe) and the tour’s promoter (Dai Murata) in Osaka. The band for the whole tour will be a trio with Shota on bass and local jazz great Tatsuhiko Takeda on drums.
On August 29, we’ll rehearse all afternoon. I have over two dozen tunes planned for the tour, so it’s going to be a long day.
Then, on the 30th and 31st, we’ll play two nights at Osaka’s respected jazz club, Mrs. Dolphin.
On September 1, we will go to Kobe and play an afternoon concert at Kobe’s Chuka-Hall. The concert will be part of Dai Murata’s twice-yearly “Kobe Modern Jazz Club” series. Our concert will be the first concert in the series since the earthquake and tsunami of 2011. I think it is wonderful to be part of the rebuilding of Japan in this way.
The last and most mysterious gig will be on September 2nd at Yagi Tei in Kizu near Kyoto. Yagi Tei is a large and old house that is still owned by a very important person. Concerts there are special and expensive events; tickets for this concert sold out in June!
And then I have a couple of days to take time off in Kyoto before my flight back to Boston.
But five days after Japan, the Fall 2012 semester at Berklee will start. So basically, from the time I write this blog until December 21, 2012 (the last day of the semester), I have nonstop craziness. I won’t even have time to prepare for the apocalypse! Hahaha…