Hello to all. I hope you enjoyed your holiday weekend.
This month has been quite monumental for me… not only is this my last full month of graduate school (I will graduate in May), but April will also be the month of three of the most important concerts of my life.
First of all, my graduate recital is on the 10th (a Friday night) at Manhattan School of Music. This recital will include a whole host of new original compositions, plus some unusual tunes that are not your typical jazz standards. None of these tunes have ever been recorded on my albums before. And the musicians are some of my best friends from MSM, Berklee and beyond (Adam O’Farrill, Patrick Bartley Jr., Ben Flocks, Mike Bono, Tom Berkmann and Curtis Nowosad).
Also (backtracking for a bit)… on April 2, I had a last-minute opportunity that was one of the most special moments of my life. I performed at the United Nations’ World Autism Awareness Day reception, after a major scientific/educational panel focusing on the theme of employment as “the autism advantage.” Many ambassadors were in attendance at the panel, as was Ban Soon-Taek (spouse of Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon). The success of the “Light It Up Blue” campaign (where world landmarks are lit up blue for autism awareness) was celebrated. In short, it was an honor and an incredibly touching moment, especially with the realization that autism awareness is increasingly global.
Finally, on the 25th, I will perform at Hollywood’s Pantages Theatre for a concert event called “Light Up the Blues” for Autism Speaks. I will play a song with Crosby, Stills and Nash’s backing band (Doug Pettibone, Kevin McCormick, Steve DiStanislao). This concert will also feature Neil Young, Stephen Stills, Shawn Colvin, Steve Earle and more. It’s truly an all-star concert so I’m really excited.
Preparation for the completion of my Master’s degree has been intense, but the reward will come in May. I’ll graduate from Manhattan School of Music on May 15 and will play a gig in Corning, NY the next day.
I’m still not sure about my plans for most this summer, but I’m looking forward to taking a break after school and focusing more on tour dates. The highlight of the summer will be a major event- my second Japan tour in the first week of September.
I haven’t caught up to everything just yet, but things are looking up. And I’m excited for the summer.