The Dog Days Of August

After a great visit to the Northeast, I walked out of Austin Bergstrom Airport into a wall of hot humid air and knew I was home.  Back into the whirlwind of music, I had a bunch of cool gigs in rapid succession: The Kickbutt Jazz Jam, Jazz & Sushi in the wilds of Cedar Park, hot and heavy African grooves with Zoumountchie over at the Sahara Lounge, Sunday morning jazz at the Unitarian Universalist, more jazz with singer Divy Nelson at the Brass House, Blues & more at Elysium (a benefit for a very cool cause – Swan Songs), and the beat goes on.

On the teaching front, I have welcomed some new students into the fold.  I have some new tortures to share with them, in addition to the old favorites (like breaking them on the wheel, otherwise known as practicing the Circle of Fifths), so it will be an interesting fall.  I’m thinking of handing out mouse ears for them to wear, while I don a white lab coat.  It’s all in the interest of science!

In the midst of all these weekly musical machinations, I’m gearing up for the Wobeon Festival in September, the Texas Jazz Jam Cruise in October, the return of amazing Indian vocalist Sandhya Sanjana in December, and finally ending the year with another big Festivus Celebration (date and location to be determined soon).

Maybe, if time permits, I’ll make it to Barton Springs before the year is over!

PaulPromoCrop 249x300 The Dog Days Of August

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!