I just returned from playing the Kaliningrad International Jazz Festival with the Monty Alexander Harlem Kingston Express. What a dream this was, fantastic music, great audience, and some beautiful scenery in the fifty six hours of travel to and from the gig. It was a great way to spend a weekend! Check out a clip I found below.
I am so excited to share that I finished my Doctorate of Arts in Jazz Studies at the University of Northern Colorado and graduated on Friday December 9th. This was a VERY LONG ROAD, and I have a lot of people to thank. First of all my mom and dad always supported me in my musical endeavours and everythinge else. They really are the reason I am who I am, and I owe everything to them. Besides that, I honestly had no idea what going to music school entailed, but fortunately my mom bought a book on applying to college for music and I had a band director that helped talk me through the audition process and let me take a xylophone home to learn my scales and my audition music by ear. By some miracle I got into music school at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire. It didn't take me long to realize that I had a lot of work to do in order to catch up to my peers. To my teachers' credit, I always felt that I was capable of getting better and acheiving my goals; which I did by doing what I was told in lessons and rehearsals. I also met my wife Mary during this time. She has been so supportive and loving since the first day we met, and after we got married we got to plan our future together and moved across the country to Colorado where I started at UNC. The faculty recognized my passion for this music and they pushed me beyond what I thought was possible for myself which made the transition very difficult for Mary and me in many ways. However, I experienced significant growth immediately, but also realized how much farther I have to go. In the last five and half years here in Colorado there has been significant changes in our lives. Perhaps most exciting was that my niece Emily moved in with us last January. It has been amazing learning from her, and seeing her grow in her own journey here in Colorado just as I have experienced throughout my own life. Reflecting on my own experiences today, I realize that I've become a better musician and a better person, and I've literally seen many of my dreams come true.
I just got back from another whirlwind weekend in Miami, Florida with Monty Alexander's Harlem Kingston Express. It was an honor being in Miami with Monty and we got a little tour of his old stomping grounds. He moved to Miami from Kingston, Jamaica before getting his ticket to New York from Jilly Rizzo and Frank Sinatra in the sixties. I always learn a ton working with all of these fantastic musicians, and it's such a fun and swingin experience!!
I just wrapped up a succesful tour through Minnesota and Wisconsin with my good friends Tom Amend and Braun Khan. We were promoting our self titled new CD The CO Jazz Trio at various venues and we also did numerous clinics at High Schools and my own alma matter the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire. A local Colorado release is in the works for the spring of 2017. Here are some pictures from the trip.
I was tickled to find this review of the Saturday night show in Los Angeles during the run of shows I did with Monty Alexander back in November. I love this band, and the music, and that night was something special. I'm so thankful I could be a part of it!
I'm very excited to be performing with Monty Alexander and his Harlem Kingston Express while he is in Denver and Los Angeles. All four of his sets sold out last year when he was in Denver, so please make sure you get tickets soon!
The new Giants and Pilgrims album comes out online TODAY! I am very excited to share this with you. I'm playing drum set and marimba, and my wife Mary is playing keys and singing, she also co-wrote a song with Tim on the album.
Check out the EPK to my new album "The Cairn Project." This is a band I formed with my good friend Joel Harris, and we'll be releasing the CD at the Moxi Theater on Sunday August 30th.
Check Out the Facebook Event: