Greetings Friends. My last blog was a year ago, I don’t have a good excuse. Honestly being on the Internet has lost its allure for me. While I feel old saying this, I would much rather go for a walk, read a book, listen to a CD or LP, eat pizza, drink cider, go to a yoga class…the list is quite long before it says “go on the internet.” But I’m getting questions especially from people in the music business, like “Are you dead?” “Did you give up music?” “When is your next gig?” “Do you still live in Berlin?” which reminds me that a presence on the good ‘ole world wide web is helpful so that people know that you have a gig or need a gig.
As it has been a long time since we “talked,” this blog could sound like one of those Xmas letters one gets once a year from family/old friends. But I will do my best to stay in the present and future and not talk about all of my great gigs that you missed over the summer…like at the Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto and Montreal Jazz Festivals…which reminds me, in case you did not know, I live in Canada now! (I accept your congratulations and revel in how it makes me look for once like someone in the forefront who did what many were thinking about doing and are probably still thinking about doing!)
For those of you still thinking about moving or going to school in a nice country with healthcare for all, non-exorbitant college tuition, and a place where gravy and cheese on fries is a local delicacy, I heartily recommend McGill University where I teach drums and composition! Also I should mention Captain Kirk is an alumnus.
This semester at McGill I’m teaching a composition course – I think it is called Advanced Jazz Composition, but since I don’t know what “Advanced” means and certainly don’t know what “Jazz” means, I prefer to concentrate on Composition; a course called Foundational Drum Set Skills (pure fun!); and my Concentration Seminar, where an ensemble of 20 plays short quarter notes for long periods of time at insanely slow tempos – again, (for some of us anyway), this is the definition of fun!
Not to rub it in, but next weekend Canada is celebrating the Culture Days. At McGill, we are celebrating it with a new music concert led by the awesome Guillaume Bourgogne; a Thelonious Monk centennial tribute concert – inspired by Jason Moran’s Monk at Townhall project, Jim Doxas and I will improvise on drumset to Monk as we, but not the audience, listen on headphones to Monk playing “Four in One”; and in the afternoon, I will be hosting a showing of the Thomas Chapin documentary, Night Bird Song.
Before I get to current events, I do want to mention last weekend’s activities, where I so joyfully performed Fred Hersch’s Leaves of Grass at Lincoln Center Jazz. Here is a great review from Peter Hum at the Ottawa Citizen (Canada nailing it again!)
Fred’s settings of Whitman’s poems are so uplifting and resonant! It was a huge week for Fred, with a Terry Gross interview and the release of a solo piano recording and his memoir. He deserves any accolades that come his way! I was just thinking he should give a life course on perseverance and event planning. I also applaud Fred for putting a really unique group together – I love hearing Kurt Elling and Tony Malaby together, just to name two in this great ensemble!
In early October, I will be making my first trek to CHINA (or “Ghina” as some say) with J.A.S.S
05 OCT: Hong Kong International Jazz Festival, Hong Kong
07 OCT: East Shore Club, Bejing, China
08 OCT: La Plantation 璃墟, Beijing, China
10 OCT: JASS @7th Oct-Loft Jazz Festival, Shenzhen, China
12 OCT: C:union, Guangzhou, China
14 OCT: Red Live Blues Valley, Changsha, China
15 OCT: Xihu Blooms Music Festival, Hangzhou, China
Later in October, THE CLAUDIA QUINTET is touring ITALY, SWITZERLAND and AUSTRIA, starting off in Graz as part of my artist-in-residence at the KUG Jazz Institute.
Wednesday, Oct 25, 2017
Thursday, Oct 26, 2017
Auditorium, San Servolo
30100 Venezia VE
Venice/San Servolo, ITALY
Friday, Oct 27, 2017
A JAZZ SUPREME
Piazza Del Carmine, 14
Saturday, Oct 28, 2017
Monday, Oct 30, 2017
Tuesday, Oct 31, 2017
Jazz Club Ferrara
Rampari di Belfiore, 167
Wednesday, Nov 1, 2017
UN TUBO JAZZ NIGHT
Via Luparello, 61
Friday, Nov 3, 2017
Sud des Alpes / Salle de concert
10, rue des alpes
I am very close to completing the most perfect, beautiful version of every Claudia Quintet composition for the Claudia Quintet “Playbook,” a project I have been working on and promising for years. I’m hoping I can get it finished in time so that someone will get it for Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa this year (more info to come as it develops).
Lastly, I am putting the finishing touches on the next John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble release that will come out on New Amsterdam Records on January 27, 2018. It is sounding sooo good…I’m sure you (at least the cool “yous”) will enjoy it!
That’s it! See, that was not so bad, was it? Thanks for reading!
(BTW-FYI-LOL-FWIW-LMGTFY: Canadian immigration info can be found here.)
P.S. if you happen to be near Virgil, NY this fall, stop by the Hollenbeck Cider Mill – my nephew Matt has taken it over from cousin Bruce. Unforgettable Cider, Donuts, Pie and MORE!