Happy new year to everyone! The holday season was lots of fun here in Portland and I hope everyone had an enjoyable time as well. Having finally recovered from the festivities it was time for the Bridgetown Sextet CD release this last weekend (as usual my failure to post timely notices of these things on this blog is evident), which was a whole lot of fun. The CD will be online very soon. Meanwhile you can at least enjoy the cover art and some samples at the Bridgetown site. There’s lots of Bridgetown activity this winter and spring, with a Mardi Gras show at the Mission Theater and appearances at the Seaside Jazz Festival and the Portland Lindy Exchange as well as our usual club gigs.
There’s a lot to look forward to this year. My ongoing First Wednesday series at Tony Starlight’s will continue, this month (1/11) we’ll be introducing a new trumpeter, Tom Barber, who recently moved to town from NYC. The series will continue with various guests and ensembles throughout the year.
The Kora Band is back in action, starting with a quartet gig (no trumpet) at Traditions in Olympia next saturday and an appearance of my and Kane’s duo at the Blue Monk series next Sunday. The full band will be playing shows in Seattle and Portland throughout the year and is working on an April west coast tour and (hopefully) new album!
The Portland Jazz Composers’ Ensemble is also chugging along with our next concert during the PDX Jazz Festival Feb. 23 at Gallery 135 in the Pearl. We’ll have new music by Dan Duval, Reed Wallsmith, Joe Cunningham, and Justin Morrell and special guests Paul Brainard on pedal steel and Mike Horsfall on vibes. We’ll continue after that with a March octet performance and the full band again in May!
Pete Krebs, guitarist extraordinare, and I are starting a new trio tentatively called the Upright Piano Trio, along with Keith Brush on bass, playing some of the Nat King Cole and Oscar Peterson drummerless trio repertoire, as well as other old forgotten gems and new originals. We’ll be debuting that band Jan. 19 at the Camellia Lounge and performing throughout the year at various venues while also trying to encourage Portland venues to acquire upright pianos.
The Ocular Concern continues under the radar, we’ll be accompanying Haley Horsfall next Wednesday at the White Eagle Unfiltered Showcase and will continue to present slightly abstruse but hopefully intriguing original music and world folk covers. Wow, what a sentence!
Tunnel Six will be touring again in June, we’ll be in Alberta, BC, Washington, and Oregon and will be recording a live album during that tour!
OK more to come. Onward and upward and Happy New Year!