Vernal Equinox, New Year, new moon, October, Harvest – much to acknowledge and celebrate right now. Much to lament and puzzle over as well, but those articles are being written en masse. This one focuses on the musical events of Sean Harkness, MFsG. I have consistently made the distinction that these posts and newsletters would focus on Artist activities, rather than list the multitudes of accompanist endeavors. The lines are delightfully blurred these days, however, so I will start with obvious solo and duo projects, then highlight some other very exciting things going on.
DUOS Goes Online Video ~On the front burner is the new incarnation of DUOS, which will be a web-based video series and YouTube channel. From hot young up-and-coming artists I am working with to name-brand established artists I’ve known for years, it will be the latest incarnation of my Life’s Work. This format will also be an arena to share my solo guitar work, plus develop instructional materials to supplement the clinics and master classes.
Japan 2016 ~October 24 I fly to Japan (dates link) where I will be doing a lot of shows and clinics as solo, duo, and with a few different bands led by Funky Saxman Chazzy Green. Washburn Guitars is putting one of their fine instruments in my hands for that run of shows.
Woodstock Invitational Luthier Showcase ~Just before I go to Japan there is the Woodstock Invitational Luthier Showcase. Rick Davis of Running Dog Guitars has entrusted me with showing off his new Flying Lion guitar. It is a new take on a nylon string guitar and is jaw-dropping delicious. When I opened he case I couldn’t breathe right for the first ten minutes going through it. Absolutely stunning. It’s voice is already voluminous and clear, and it hasn’t even begun to open up yet. Then the choice of materials, workmanship, appointments and artistic choices – all so elegant and tasteful. Whoever buys this guitar should have a rider in the purchase agreement that Sean Harkness gets to use it for his next solo recording…
Winter Solstice 2016 ~Close on the heels of all that is a good run of Winter Solstice shows (dates link) in 11 cities around the country; some with Liz Story and Barbara Higbie, others with Liz and Darol Anger.
Harkness-Herriott Duo‘s latest project Flights: Volume II is well underway, with mixing, mastering, artwork, and printing left to go. We will be offering another FanFunded opportunity for fans to share in this next phase of the creative process. Then the release parties in New York and Toronto… And Tokyo, and Edinburgh, and …. In the meantime, we are confirmed for 6p Thursday, December 1 at Birdland Jazz Club. We go up before Dave Holland, Chris Potter, and Kevin Eubanks, so it will be a great night of music all around. We look forward to seeing lots of you there.
On October 8 at 7p the band PHX, led by bassist/composer Patrick Pfeiffer, will be celebrating a CD release at Pink’s [242 E 10th St., New York, NY 10003 (646) 918-6231]. Saxman Brian Sears and I trade melody duties, with David Meade drumming up a storm, and Mitch Schechter serving up glorious textures and solos on the keys. If this band hit its stride and filled my calendar with shows it would be a dream come true. I love this band and share it with you enthusiastically.
Sophia Ramos is a force to be reckoned with, both as a powerhouse rock singer and as a human with an extraordinary story to tell. Rife with Carlinesque humor/social commentary, the show is either autobiographical vignettes interspersed with songs, or an intimate rock concert with a hardcore “Behind The Music” vibe. We’ve done a few of them so far, at Sid Gold’s, Rockwood III, and BAM Live. We return to Sid Gold’s for one last on the 10th. It’s no exaggeration that she uses my guitar abilities to the limit, and maybe beyond.
A very special thing is happening on December 14: Allen Palmer and I rented out the Newtown Meeting House and will give a concert. Guitarist, friend, and mentor Brian Keane will be joining us, with other possible guests. Newtown, Connecticut was my home. It’s a beautiful place in the world, currently known and remembered for all the wrong reasons. I learned to play the guitar there. Allen and I are simply bringing back the love we have for our hometown to share with people who are interested in a warm and positive evening. No affiliations with any parties, movements, or organizations political, religious, social, etc. Simply a lovely evening of music and poetry.
Other Highlights: Todd Murray’s “Croon” plays in Sarasota, FL [with one of my arrangements], Deb Berman reprises “All In Good Time” [I’m Music Director/arranger] at Metropolitan Room, Kelli Rabke reprises “The Wizard & I” at 54 Below [with two of my arrangements], and Dawn Derow throws a Birthday Bash at Carroll Place [I share Music Director/arranger duties with Andrew Satomayor].