NYC - My Home Away From Home

Just spent the first 2 weeks of June in NY, my home away from home. I found an in-good-shape kind of city, extremely vibrant, full of energy, inspiring and perspiring. It was great to reconnect with so many recent and old acquaintances, play sessions almost every day and see live gigs every night. These are some of the shows I've attended:

Don Byron's Ivey Divey Trio (feat. Geri Allen & Charlie Persip); The Adam Cruz Group (feat. Chris Potter, Steve Wilson, Scott Colley, Ed Simon, Steve Cardenas); The Aaron Parks Group at the Gallery, Colin Stranahan with Fred Hersch & Matt Penman at Smalls, the Brooklyn Boogaloo Blowout (feat. Leah Siegel, Tim Luntzel, Tony Mason, Chris Cheek, Andrew Sherman, Steve Walsh) at 55 Bar, Ehud Asherie's Samba de Gringo at Fat Cat; Richard Julian + band at Rockwood.

I enjoyed seeing Charlie Persip still playing his heart out at age 83 along with Don and Geri. They performed music from the Ivey Divey project, a Blue Note release that Don recorded along with Jack Dejohnette & Jason Moran.

I was particularly struck by the voice and energy of singer Leah Siegel performing with Tim Luntzel's Brooklyn Boogaloo Blowout at 55 Bar. The following video was not taken on that night and I can guarantee that it was even more uplifting and energetic when I was there.

Richard Julian's performance was also a lot of fun, his stage presence and his songs are mesmerizing. I especially enjoyed Dan Rieser's drumming, definitely one of my favorites. I am looking forward to perform a couple gigs with Richard in Italy during the month of July along with singer Rosita Kess.

During my stay I got to play with great tubist Marcus Rojas, up and coming guitar player Todd Neufeld and the incomparable Michael Blake. I never played with tuba before and I have definitely been treated for a first time! The sound of this particular ensemble was something special. Maybe an idea for a new project?

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