Mid-May to mid-November of 2011 contained a great deal of musical activity for me. To get caught up to the present and not make a freekin’ book out of it I’ll make a list of things with short descriptions, using pictures where possible.
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Walden Guitars – we’ve done some fun things together this year. First, they were nice enough to put my picture on the cover of their 2011 product catalog. Then we built a custom [soon to be signature] 12-string guitar based on our previous collaboration, the Supra Natura G1017ce. Then we went to the NAMM show in Nashville to show it off, both on the floor and in a concert with Majestic vibraphone player Jason Marsalis. Then Jonathan Lee and I did a short clinic tour around the Northeast, introducing Walden to stores and their public. Complete blast. We’ll be developing some [LONG overdue] video content early next year, so stay tuned!
Stylus Pick – speaking of video content, this little device is an amazing practice tool for anyone who uses a pick. We started the process of documenting how I use it and will have content available soon.
Sweet Days – I produced and arranged an extremely satisfying CD for Monique Varsames called Sweet Days. Recorded by Ron Allaire, we had Valerie Ghent on keys/back vox, Skip Ward on bass, Sparky Sandler on drums, and Mauro Refosco on percussion. We’ll be doing promo for it coming soon, but do take a listen, start to finish. There’s love in it.
Croon – This show’s got legs! So far we’ve done Los Angeles, Palm Desert, and San Francisco, CA; Feinstein’s and the Metropolitan Room in New York; New Orleans, Baton Rouge, LA; Lewisburg, PA; and next week we go off to Omaha and Brownsville, NE, and Liberty, MO for more shows. Then Mexico. Steve Doyle, Alex Rybeck and I sing a lot and otherwise completely enjoy the delicious arrangements.
Duo shows – It doesn’t always have to be piano! More and more I’m being asked to be the sole accompanist for some fabulous singers. The first was Deb Berman with her show “All In Good Time”. She’s hilarious on stage, with a good through line, and more to the point she’s got chops. Vocalese for days. We had a great time creating completely original arrangements of some classic tunes. She also somehow has an encyclopedic knowledge of songs. And a gift for matching people with them – keep it in mind… Randie Shane also put me to the task and created a beautiful warm show, with another on the way for February. Dawn Derow and I had a rockin run of shows at Don’t Tell Mama’s, as well as the Core Club. Then Kathleen France and I celebrated the release of her first Miranda Music CD called The Book Of Love with a duo show called the Book Of Love Part 2. The girls all have me singing now too, which I enjoy greatly. I have finally shed my stage jitters around that.
H2 – My first visit to St. John’s, Newfoundland with Mike Herriot was a blast. The Jazz & Blues festival treated us nicely, we did a clinic and a show, then went for a visit to Dildo By The Sea. A great time was had by all. Keep an eye out for our Christmas CD “Home For The Holidays”. I’ll do a special page for that next…
The summer shows with Tycoon Dog satisfied my inner rocker. All outdoors [Central Park, Washington Square Park, Battery Park, Tomkins Square Park, Memorial Park in Maplewood, etc], these shows feature all original music in the style of Dire Straits, Grateful Dead, The Meters, Santana, Steely Dan, etc. Well arranged, rockin tunes. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.
KJ Denhert rocked my world. We met through a couple mutual friends, I sat in, ended up as a regular guest on her shows at the 55 bar. If you haven’t heard her yet – check it out! She’s a rippin’ guitarist, soul –stealin’ vocalist, and a first rate songwriter. She packs them in at the 55 so come early…
Patrick Pfeiffer, John Pattitucci, Anthony Wellington, Mike Visceglia – these guys put on an event called ‘Bass Immersion Day’ with clinics in the daytime and a concert at night. I go to play in the ‘house band’ that backed them all up. What a treat!
Will Lee – on the subject of bassists, Will hosted a beautiful evening at S.I.R studios to benefit Japan’s earthquake/tsunami/radiation victims. Great roster, great vibe, great hang. Taka and I loved it!
I’m running out of time for writing as I must pack for tomorrow’s early morning flight to Omaha. So, I’ll do this in magazine fashion…
Performances since May include: East coast shows with Craig Taubman, including an upcoming URJ Biennial in D.C. [with President Obama as a guest!]; Songwriter’s Beat and concert appearances with Val Ghent; solo performances at Madison Avenue Baptist Church and Community Church of Wurtsboro; a few ‘socials’ with Doug Acosta; recordings with Lina Koutrakos and Dan Gross’ Southern Rain; Terese Genecco keeps me busy with shows at Iridium, Out Music Awards, Queens Public TV, and Fresh Fruit Festivals; award winning Tudor City Greens concerts with Raissa Katona Bennett; an outdoor concert with Jonny Rosch, Sue Williams, and Sammy Merendino In Westtown, NY; the Mark Miller Septet hit it at Mile’s Café and the Zinc Bar; more shows with Mimi Jones; the Beechman and Metropolitan Room with Jillian Lauraine’s ‘Hello Gorgeous’; Miranda Music: Tracy Stark’s new CD; Marcus Simeone’s new CD; Kathleen France’s new CD; SUPER fun shows at the Duplex with Colleen McHugh; a solo slot on Jamie DeRoy’s televised show from the MetRoom; a run at Feinsteins w/Croon, Annie Kozuch and Frank Ponzio, and Elizabeth Tryon; house concerts in Dallas; one night in Scranton with Sam Glaser; Tamela D’Amico put together a big band for a couple shows; Peggy Herman made a CD; Broadway Sings For Pride [on the big weeked!]; Natalie Douglas shook the rafters at Birdland again; Melissa Heche rocked Triad; so happy to have befriended Anders Holst, and work with him at the Empire Room; Carole Demas reprised her stunning show at the Beechman, and delighted the folks at Music At The Mansion; dancer Mark Stuart brought meto Town Hall; Susan Winter gave a beautiful program at LeFrak Hall at Queens College; Christine Riley hired me to play my 12 string for a reading of Stewart F. Lane’s new show A Moment In Time which features the music of John Denver, featuring Drake Bell, Robert Cuccioli, Liz Larsen, and Lindsay Pearce; and finally, I feel privileged to share the stage with Mark Goodman for Lucio Fernandez’ show Less Cuban Than Ever.
In other news:
- My Dad got married! Welcome VERY warmly the lovely Melanie Fredericks to the Harkness clan…
- Taka’s photography is growing fast – catch her now while you can still afford her.
- I’ve become a member of The Players Club, and am very much enjoying meeting new people there. I’ll be giving a concert on the 7th of December…
- My good friend Rob Kohler [husband of Chantuese Karen Kohler] launched his new business Hammersmith Copper Cookware
- The world lost a great one last week with the death of singer songwriter Jimmy Norman. He will be remembered with so much love and respect.
- The earthquake in Japan this past march continues to be a real problem, particularly the way the Japanese government is handling the distribution of aid. Red Cross is NOT the way to go. This one is better: http://www.japansociety.org/page/earthquake
Coming up: Omaha, Mexico, San Diego, D.C., New Orleans, solo shows at The Players, Urban Stages, moreMusic at the Mansion, Somethin’ Café, then Christmas! Thanks for reading. Please comment, share, rate, review, tweet, and generally keep it moving along.