NEWS & VIEWS
NEW WORKSHOPS THROUGH BOB MOVER ACADEMY
February 7, 2021
I’m looking forward to teaching solo guitar workshops at the Bob Mover Academy! Stay tuned for further updates - Here’s my solo version of Duke Ellington’s “Love You Madly”...
January 26, 2021
This fantastic new biography of the great Jon Hendricks just came out. The author, Peter Jones, did tremendous research and is wonderful writer, the way he tells the story of this one of kind artist's life makes it a great read. I was blessed to work with this giant of the music for the last 23 years of his life, playing in his band and getting to know him well. He was a tremendous musician and of course a genius lyricist - he wrote words to everything, the tunes, the solos ( everyone from Lester Young to Coltrane and all in between ) , the background riffs - and also English words to Brazilian tunes, especially bossa nova which he really loved. All of it always told a story - and he was wonderful to hang out with, the stories, ideas about everything from politics to his favorite movies, and the jokes... A truly wonderful spirit, and thank you Peter Jones for this great book!
JAZZ GUITAR TODAY DISCUSSION WITH PAUL MEYERS
January 14, 2021
A new interview just came out in Jazz Guitar Today...
DANCE OF THE SUGAR PLUM FAIRIES
December 25, 2020
I made a little video of Tchaikovsky's Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies - I came up with this arrangement for Bradley, my step-grandson, who is a huge Nutcracker fan. And I've been sharing it with friends for the Holiday season - folks seem to enjoy it. It's a great little tune and worked out in G minor with a Drop D tuning...
Happy Holidays & Cheers- PM
ELEGY FOR RBG
October 26, 2020
On the day that we received the news of Ruth Bader Ginsburg‘s passing, I went up and got the guitar and wrote this short elegy. Her tremendous work and spirit, and the sadness of losing her especially at this time, are all in there. Thank you RBG…
INTERVIEW WITH MICHAEL BENEDICT
I recently did a great interview with my friend Michael Benedict. We spoke about my career and experiences in the jazz scene. I encourage you to check it out...enjoy!
INSPIRATION AND A NEW DAY
Greetings It’s been awhile - my gigs have been good, as always, great just to play good music with other wonderful players ( and sometimes challenging myself with solo gigs! ) - and all of the teaching, now at three different schools, has been going well.
I am always uplifted by the students, there’s so much talent in these young people, and it’s a pleasure for me to work with them and pass along music, insights and ideas that help them develop. I believe the talent today is at a very high level, and look forward to hearing the music they will make in the future.
But this new pandemic is starting to hit home, gigs are getting cancelled and we are all thinking about what’s going on, hoping it won’t last long - starting to teach online ( which I’ve done before, for private lessons anyway it can work very well ) and thinking about changing plans for the future if need be. I hope you’re all well and stay safe! ….and stay tuned….
Quite a but of news since the last update. In June I taught at the Skidmore Jazz Institute in Saratoga Springs, a wonderful 2 week program, with great faculty and great students - and in a lovely part of the world. I have also just begun teaching at SUNY Purchase College - again, a stellar faculty and some wonderful students. The sad note that goes along with all of this is that I am filling in for the great Vic Juris, who as teaching at both places but has now come down with cancer. We are all hoping for his speedy recovery.
I also traveled to Bari, Italy in late September to teach and perform at Il Pentagrama. This was a fantastic time. Pentagrama is a private school with hundreds of students run by a really wonderful jazz guitarist, Guido DeLeone. He also has the Duke Jazz Club on the top floor of the school building, a beautiful place that had live performances every night followed by jam sessions with faculty and students. I taught jazz guitar classes during the day ( fueled by generous espresso breaks! ) and performed twice at the club. One of the highlights was an evening where I was featured playing duo with a marvelous Italian tenor played, Emanuele Cisi. No rehearsals, we just played a set of standards and some originals of his, and the chemistry was magical. There were other wonderful Italian musicians there too, Aldo Zunino, the bassist, and Renato Chicco, the pianist, both great - and I knew Renato from some years before when he lived in NYC and we both were touring with Jon Hendricks. And the Americans, all great and all long time friends of mine - Andy Watson on drums, Joe Magnorelli, trumpet, Dena DeRose piano and vocals. It was all lovely, and I hope to return soon!
I will also be doing a three day residency with my World on a String Trio at St Lawrence University, in upstate NY, at the end of this month. We’ll work with students in classes and play a concert on our last night there. Working with this trio is always a great joy for me, we’ve been together for years now and so it’s like mind reading when we play together.
Along with these highlights there are always some great local gigs - keep an eye on the events calendar to see what’s coming and hope to see you somewhere.
SO MUCH MUSIC
Yes, it's been a VERY long time - 2 years!! - since I've updated this section. But I can assure you there has been a great deal of activity during this time!
Some of the many highlights - playing at Mezzrow with the Todd Coolman Quartet was fantastic. It was my first time playing with wonderful drummer Dennis Mackrel and the fantastic pianist Donald Vega - and Mezzrow with my own trio with Andy Watson and Harvie S, also fantastic - I was the guest artist at drummer Winard Harper's great and long running gig at Moore's Place in Jersey City - I was featured on a beautiful concert with Paul Winter in Connecticut that was a benefit to raise money for music scholarships for inner city kids - I did several magical duo gigs with Gene Bertoncini, where the guitar interplay is almost telepathic - And did another great duo gig with the wonderful guitarist Peter Bernstein at the great club Luca's ( we miss you Luca! ). Also, the Requinte Trio, featuring singers Janis Siegel and Nanny Assis, did a beautiful concert at the new Sheen Center in downtown NYC which featured the great Randy Brecker as guest artist. And so much more - great gigs with so many wonderful artists - Eddie Monteiro, Nanny Assis, Ali Ryerson, David Finck, Ed Laub - too many to mention.
And always, my solo guitar gigs, where I perform my own arrangements and compositions and continue to dig into the musical possibilities inherent this incredible instrument. If I had another lifetime I don't think I could ever finish discovering all that can be done with these six strings!
Ongoing projects that I always love playing with ( and which always keep evolving to even greater heights ) are my own World on a String group, and beautiful Brazilian drummer Vanderlei Pereira's Blindfold Test ( He plays in my group and I play in his...! ). Watch for the CD release of his band coming soon, it is a very special one - I've learned a lot about the music playing with him and the CD came out GREAT!
Many other new recordings I've also been a part of - One very special one was with singer Kate Reid, where we did two duets, including the rarely done Billy Strayhorn tune "Something to Live For", which came out so beautifully that she used it to open the CD. Sarah Partridge did a great CD of the music of Janis Ian that stands out, and the singer "Mia" did a wonderful Brazilian CD that I'm also featured on.
And I've really enjoyed the role of accompanist on gigs with so many fantastic singers - Rosanna Vitro, Roz Corral, Sarah Partridge, Mia, Martha Lorin, Maria Alejandra Rodriguez, Alexis Parsons, Darmon Meader ( who I was featured with at my annual summer gigs with the Wally Seibel Big Band ), and more -
Teaching still after so many years at William Patterson University and New Jersey City University, and enjoying it more than ever. I truly value being able to give the many very talented young musicians my insight and guidance and see where they go with it. I also recently gave clinics and concerts at Eastman and Nazareth colleges in Rochester NY. Seeing the "light bulb" go off in student's mind when they grasp a new concept is a great pleasure.
So, that's it for now, and I promise I'll keep updating regularly...
MORE GREAT GIGS!
Since my last update there have been many great gigs that I've had -
- with my own World on a String Trio - performances at a great new downtown Jersey City Jazz Series, at Maureen's Jazz Cellar in Nyack, at the Bar Next door in Greenwich Village, at LUNA stage in Orange NJ ( w/special guest Mike Lee ) and at a concert in a beautiful park on the St Lawrence river, with Canada in view on the other side, and a beautiful sunset during the last set
- two nights with the ever inspirational Paul Winter with a stellar Brazilian Quartet he put together with bassist Nilson Matta and percussionist Rogerio Boccato at Mark Morganelli's wonderful new club in Tarrytown, the Jazz Forum.
- a duo concert w/the fantastic Brazilian guitarist Romero Lubambo - I have played one concert annually for the past 8 years at this fantastic venue. Have done concerts w/Frank Wess, Rufus Reid, Helio Alves, Santi Debriano, my own World on a String Trio, Gene Bertoncini and Ed Laub - They have created a GREAT Jazz concert series and I always look forward to coming back!
- I filled in for guitar genius Gene Bertoncini at his regular Thursday night NYC gig at Ryan's Daughter, playing duo with his regular bassist Josh Marcum
- Two concerts in upstate NY with Wally Seibel Big Band featuring Nick Marchione, ( lead trumpet player with the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, the Birdland Big Band and more )
- was a major part of BRAZIL'17, a Brazilian concert featuring the music of Chico Buarque at Le Poisson Rouge ( the former Village Gate ) in NYC
- tow great gigs - at Trumpets isn Montclair NJ and at the Bitter End in NYC - for vocalist Sarah Partridge's CD release ( the music of Janis Ian ) - great singer, great band - and a wonderful CD, which we recorded last year
- In duo with Gene Bertoncini, we did a master class and performance for the annual Guitarfest at William Patterson University where we are both on the faculty
- Played a wonderful concert with Requinte Trio - featuring singers Janis Siegel and Nanny Assis, and pianist John DiMartino, with special guest Randy Becker - my first time working with him - at the fantastic new venue in the Village, the Sheen Center
- with singer Susie Meisner and her quintet at Chris' Jazz Cafe in Philadelphia
- and at the Cabin Fever Concert Series ( a wintertime series in upstate Potsdam, NY ) I played a duo concert with the wonderful trombonist Bret Zvacek - we are looking forward to recording a duo CD sometime soon
- I made the annual week long trip to Ketchikan Alaska ( in January! ) for performing and teaching as part of their annual jazz and cabaret celebration
- on the way to Alaska I stopped off in Seattle for a few days, and played duo with the great bassist Chuck Deardorf in nearby Olympia at the wonderful club Traditions. I've been stopping off there every year and have played duo there with other west coast greats Jovino Santos Neto and John Stowell
- and last New Year's Eve I played solo guitar at the beautiful Lake Placid Lodge in the Adirondacks. It was a great way to start what has been a wonderful year of music so far!