2013: Looking Back
Many exciting things have happened over the past year in the world of Danjam, so I wanted to take a moment and reflect on some of the highlights as I have been too busy to write regular blog updates.
The most noteworthy endeavour of all was my Coltrane Ballads Project. For those of you who haven’t heard about it yet, I arranged all the music from John Coltrane’s Ballads CD for big band + orchestra. It took me about a year to prepare all the music and it was performed for the first time by the Metropole Orchestra in Amsterdam this past May. I conducted the concert – my first time conducting the Metropole – and it featured the endlessly musical Joe Lovano on tenor saxophone. What a great orchestra – I cannot say enough good things about that band! John Riley traveled from New York to play drums for the week. I love working with John because not only does he play his parts ‘correctly’ so to speak, but each take is equally different, creative and fresh. We had 2 days to rehearse, followed by a day of recording, and on the final evening we performed to a sold-out concert hall in downtown Amsterdam. It was a real treat to be able to perform the music acoustically – no microphones in the orchestra! Here are some photos from that week:
I am very proud of the work we did that week. It was such a great feeling hearing my music come to life, especially after working on it for so long.
As soon as I got back to New York, I moved to a new apartment (and built myself a new bed – yippee!), and quickly started work on 13 new arrangements for Jeremy Davis’ Equinox Orchestra & the Savannah Philharmonic. I spent most of the summer (more…)
Spectrum Artistic Advisor
Great news: I have been selected as an artistic advisor for Spectrum. Formed in 2010, Spectrum is a group of Canadian composers who create and present a contemporary hybrid of jazz and classical music. The 2013/2014 concert season looks like it will be amazing and I am proud to be a part of it.
Read more here: http://spectrummusic.ca/
Pearl Studios Big Band Debuts @ Iridium
After much anticipation, I’m thrilled to announce the debut performance of the Pearl Studios Big Band. On Tuesday September 10th, the Iridium Jazz Club will open its doors for this inaugural occasion. We will be performing classics from Basie to Brookmeyer, and of course by popular demand, some of my own material. Best of all, there is NO COVER! So come out this Tuesday to the Iridium and swing along with all of us in the Pearl Studios Big Band.
This performance will feature:
Reeds: Andrew Gould, Alex LoRe, Mike Ruby, Adam Larson, Dave Riekenberg
Trumpets: Dan Collette, Bud Burridge, Darryl Shaw, Greg Ruvolo, Jon Challoner
Trombones: Noah Bless, Richard Kay, Sara Jacovino, Dale Turk
Guitar: Pete McCann, Piano: Dennis Blischak
Bass: Alex Spradling, Drums: Paul Pizzuti
Tuesday September 10th, 8:00pm (2 sets)
New York, NY,
Getting ready for Danjam Orch rehearsal. We will attempt a Facebook live broadcast somewhere from ~11:30am- 3pm. Stay tuned!