September Happenings

A little rain, a hint of a breeze… It must be fall in Texas!  Still, we have plenty of 100 degree days ahead, but the busy bees among us are already making plans for that winter ski trip.  My biggest challenge is always planning ahead (I think I’m missing that chromosome).  But I’m involved in several projects that will loom large on the fall horizon:

1.  The Texas Jazz Jam Cruise.  Leaving from Galveston, the cruise is October 5-12, and is designed for jazz players and fans who want to get a little deeper into the music.  Workshops offered by day, jam session at night, and in between, ports of call in the Caribbean.  Not bad!  I’ll be leading the band and facilitating the jam sessions, as well as offering a few workshops on jazz topics. Details: www.texasjazzjamcruise.org

2.  Paul Klemperer’s 3rd Annual Festivus Celebration.  Date and location to be revealed soon, but it will be a musical extravaganza like last year’s event at the Paramount, and will be sometime in mid-December.

Also, some events and projects by colleagues are happening this fall…

WOBEONFEST: Coming up is the WOBEON world music festival, a 1-day jam-packed music experience on September 20.  Check www.wobeonfest.com for details.

Manuel Cowboy Donley at the Cactus Cafe. September 25.  I’m honored to be playing with him at this special performance. For details: http://cactuscafe.org/events/an-evening-with-manuel-cowboy-donle/

Sangeet Millennium will be presenting shows in Dallas and Austin.  This Indo-Jazz Fusion project, led by Amie Maciscewski always brings wonderful musicians together for memorable shows.  Check their website: www.sangeetmillennium.org.

Free Music Workshop: “Using Blues In Jazz” @ TX Historical Society

On June 15, noon-2:00pm, Paul Klemperer will lead a free workshop: “Using Blues In Jazz.”  The 2-hour workshop, sponsored by Diverse Arts Culture Works and the Austin Jazz Alliance, is aimed at beginning to intermediate players who want to learn jazz, but may be coming from other musical styles like rock, blues, folk and classical.  Some knowledge of basic major and minor chords, and the minor pentatonic scale, is helpful but not essential.

Paul will demonstrate melodic and rhythmic phrases that occur in many jazz tunes, and are helpful for playing solos over various jazz song forms.  Participants can bring their instruments and will have a chance to play.

This workshop is an introductory sample of other workshops and classes offered by Paul.  Handouts and links to helpful online PDF’s will be available.

Summer In Austin

May has given us a taste of summer with some  sweltering days, but we still get reprieves of cooler weather and spring rains.  As a sometime gardener I do appreciate the rain.  My big satisfaction this spring is a crop of artichokes which I’ve started sharing with friends.  My mom makes a delicious hollandaise sauce and I always associate that with artichokes.  But I’m too lazy and set in my ways to learn how to make it, so I make do with lemon & butter, or throw together some kind of remoulade with mayonnaise, hot sauce and whatever else falls into my hand.  Really, the artichokes are so deliciously fresh they taste magical just by themselves.

Musically it has been a productive spring as well.  I finished up a semester playing with the ACC big band under the direction of Tom Husak (I love his arrangements, always fun & challenging to play).  We closed the semester with a fun concert at the Clive Bar, with Redd Volkaert as the featured artist.

I’ll be playing a show in June with my old compadre Graham Reynolds and the Golden Arm Trio.  It will be a concert in the park in Houston, June 6.  I’ll have a few more shows in June and then it’s off to New England to play and teach for several weeks.  That will still leave plenty of Texas summer for me when I get back in August.  Gotta love it!