Greetings from heaven…heaven on earth I should say just to be clear…or as some people call it, The MacDowell Colony!
I have been living in the “Watson” cabin pictured above for the past 5 weeks with one more to go – eating great food, meeting amazing people, working 8+ hours per day, running, biking – I would go on but don’t want to make you jealous. So instead, to distract you, here is a short video of my daily bike tour of the MacDowell Colony:
[The musical accompaniment is "Tongs of Joy" from the album Shut Up And Dance performed by Orchestre National de Jazz]
While not on the bike, I have been writing three new arrangements for a recording session in a few weeks with the Frankfurt Radio Big Band with the delicious Kate McGarry, the sumptuous Theo Bleckmann, and the delectable Uri Caine. Yes, I skipped lunch (bad idea).
What tunes am I arranging you ask?
Well since you asked: “How Can I Keep From Singing”, “The Snow is Deep” (my own composition from CQ’s What is the Beautiful?), and a de-rangement based on what I think the Russian Police Choir should have sounded like when they sang “Get Lucky” at the Sochi Olympic Games opening ceremony. We are also recording “True Colors”, “Close to You”, and “Up, Up and Away.” The album will be called Songs We Like A Lot and should be out in the spring.
The John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble with Theo and Kate will definitely be playing these new ones live at the next Newport Jazz Festival on July 31, 2015!
I’ve also been working on some new music for the Claudia Quintet. We’ll be performing in Boston, New York and close to Philadelphia:
>>> Wednesday, SEPTEMBER 24 - CAMBRIDGE, MA
THE CLAUDIA QUINTET @ Lilypad
>>> Thursday, SEPTEMBER 25 – BROOKLYN, NY
THE CLAUDIA QUINTET + Anna Webber’s SIMPLE CD Release! (I hear the drummer in Anna’s trio is hot)
@ Shapeshifter Lab
>>> Friday, SEPTEMBER 26 – BLACKWOOD, NJ
THE CLAUDIA QUINTET @ Camden County College
7:30 PM & FREE!!!!
From MacDowell, I go directly to the New England Conservatory where I’m teaching this semester for Ken Schaphorst, who is on sabbatical. In addition, the Claudia Quintet will be offering a masterclass at NEC during the day on September 24th. And here why this is such a special thing for me! (from the NEC press release which you can read in its entirety HERE):
“NEC has impacted my life as a musician/composer quite significantly over the course of my life,” says Hollenbeck. “I had an unforgettable rehearsal with George Russell and his Living Time Orchestra in the basement underneath Jordan Hall when I was 18. Two years later I heard/saw Ken Schaphorst conduct The True Colors Big Band with incredible players that I would later meet and play with professionally. Moving to NYC, I quickly realized that most of the musicians I felt to be kindred spirits had studied at NEC. The faculty at NEC past and present is extraordinary and among them are several of my heroes: my brother Pat Hollenbeck, George Russell, Jimmy Guiffre, Vic Firth, Bob Moses and my musical father, Bob Brookmeyer. It is an absolute honor to have this opportunity to teach for a semester and be surrounded by the NEC legacy.”
I’m also very happy to be teaching at the next Creative Music Foundation Workshop at Full Moon Resort, located one half hour west of Woodstock, New York from SEPT 29 – OCT 3.
“Intensive Workshops, Jam Sessions and Intimate Concerts in a Spectacular Mountainside Setting: Composer/multi-reedist Marty Ehrlich, composer/drummer John Hollenbeck, Indian music masters Steve Gorn (flute) and Badal Roy (tabla) will join Creative Music Studio Artistic Directors/Co-founders Karl Berger and Ingrid Sertso as Guiding Artists for the CMS Fall Workshop intensive, September 29 – October 3, at the well-appointed Full Moon Resort in Big Indian, NY. “
Last but not least:
Team Hollenbeck along with ActiveColor is very close to unveiling a NEW WEBSITE! We’re very excited, working diligently away at it, and anticipate it’s arrival sometime soon during the month of September.