Thanks To Sandhya Sanjana

I was very fortunate to be asked to be musical director for a great show on Oct 2.  Visiting Indian singer Sandhya Sanjana was in Texas for a short visit and music promoter Jakes Srinivasan jumped on the opportunity to have her give a special performance here in Austin.  His music organization WOBEON (World Beat Online) has a regular monthly showcase at the One2One Bar, the first Wednesday of each month.

I put together an ensemble of some of Austin’s tastiest and hard-hitting musicians to back up Sandhya.  With Carter Arrington on guitar, Evan Arredondo on bass, and Wayne Duncan on drums and darbuka, we laid down some nice grooves for Sandhya’s voice to soar over.  Jakes added great rhythms on congas and his brother Jay also sat in.  After our set, Zoumounchi kept the grooves going with high energy Afro-Beat.

It was a pretty magical night, and I think Sandhya got a good taste of how we do things in Austin.  I hope she comes back soon!

Sept 20-27

September has been busy, like every month so far in 2013.  I’m already planning events for 2014 and I’m probably not the only one who wakes up in the morning and groggily asks, “What year is this?”

As most folks who know me already know, I play a lot of different kinds of music, as long as there’s some kind of woodwinds involved, sax, clarinet, flute, or a paper straw with finger holes cut into it.  I teach private and group instruction by day, then don my superhero costume for music performances by night.  Somewhere in between, I sleep.

I have had a couple great shows already this fall with my world music project My Exotic Other.  We’ll be back at the One2One Bar in October.  Meanwhile, I’m playing several shows with Sangeet Millennium, an Indo-Jazz Fusion project.  We’re at the Concert For Peace on 9/20, Marigold on 9/24 (part of HAAM Benefit Day), and the Sahara Lounge on 9/28.

My classic American music group Manteca Beat started a monthly residency at the Skylark Lounge in September.  We will be playing the 3rd Wednesday of each month (mostly).  The Skylark is just getting started and is already becoming a popular watering hole for those in the know.  It’s tucked away on Airport blvd & Manor rd. in beautiful East Austin.

Manteca Beat is also playing a new venue for us: The Syndicate, in Lakeway.  Food, drink, dancing, for those over on the West side of Austin.  The fun goes from 8pm-midnight on 9/27.

Then it’s back to one of our favorite joints, Tom’s Tabooley, over by UT campus.  Backed up by my band Manteca Beat, I invite students and music friends to sit in and show us some of the songs they’ve been shedding on.  It’s a great family atmosphere and it happens 9/28 from 7:00-10:00pm.

And then suddenly, irrevocably, it will be October, with the age-old question, what will you goes as for Halloween?

- Paul Klemperer

Working Your Show: Dealing With Insecurity

As a music teacher I have a duty to build up my students but also to keep it real.  I stress the balance between believing in yourself (working your show) and being honest with yourself (breaking it down).  An artist needs a healthy ego, but students (and we are all students at some level) need to have critical self-awareness in order to improve and grow.  One of the main ways we find that balance between confidence and growth is accepting the challenge of insecurity.

There are lots of ways to feel insecure, and lots of ways to describe the feelings of doubt, despair, frustration and all that good stuff.   I think it is helpful to stay grounded in the music.  Other triggers for insecurity (body image, family history, personal relationships) should be dealt with in appropriate ways, but they are peripheral to the space/time ritual of music performance.  So, seek strength in the music to work through feelings of insecurity.

What does this mean in practice?

A) Separate your ego from the music.  This means accepting the challenges of musical growth while never doubting that you are the center of your universe.  When you have doubts (“Am I good enough?”, “Am I just one among thousands of wannabe rockstars?”, “Why is this so hard?”), it is usually because you’re letting your ego wander into the area of critical thought.  That’s not where it belongs.  It belongs in the imagination, in the ritual space/time.  Critical thinking is useful when directed toward specific tasks, like researching, rehearsing, refining.  Don’t confuse emotion with analysis.

B) Insecurity is a helpful adaptive trait: It is your mind telling you to be more observant, so you can adapt to your environment.  If you respond to feelings of insecurity by looking outward, trying to learn more, not accepting limitations, then you will continue to grow.  It is emotionally hard work, but this approach leads you forward and creates tangible results.

C) There is a cycle to taking on a challenge.  First there is the desire to get there, be the thing you dream.  Then there is the resistance, the work, as you move from where you’re at to where you want to be.  Finally there is the elation and satisfaction of making progress.  After that there is usually the awareness (and emotional low) that accomplishing your goal only opened the door to another challenge ahead.  We all have to learn how to deal with the emotional ups and downs of that cycle, and making insecurity a tool for critical awareness and improvement.

Now, on with the show!

Fall 2013 Events

After a great working vacation in New England, Paul K returns to his home base in Austin for a busy fall.

Sept 6 finds Paul joining with Larry Lange and the Lonely Knights for some old time Texas blues, Louisiana swamp pop, and Tejano roots R&B at Evangeline Cafe.

The following week, Sept 14, Paul teams up with jazz combo J’ai Beaux at the swanky sushi restaurant Takara in Cedar Park.

Sept 20, Paul teams up with the Indo-jazz fusion Sangeet Millennium for the Concert for Peace (see www.amalafoundation.org for details).

Sept 21 Paul is with Bett Butler & Joel Dilley  in San Antonio.

Sept 27 Paul leads Manteca Beat at the sophisticated club The Syndicate in Westlake.

More events to be added soon.  Check Paul’s calendar for details.

My Exotic Other Spring Concert

My Exotic Other Spring Concert…

The concert is set for May 26 at the Stateside at the Paramount Theater in Austin. 7:00-10:00pm.

There will be an intermission with cash bar and concessions.

The concert will feature new compositions, both instrumental and vocal.  We will also have special guests for the Drum Invocation, and Finale Jam.  The music is going to take you to familiar and new places and should be quite exciting.  The theme of the Spring Concert is to explore musical styles from around the world and discover new connections through the music.

As we say in the band, My Exotic Other plays “where the fire meets the dark.”

Paul’s Fall Projects

After an energizing tour through New England, it’s great to be back in Austin.  I have a array of shows lined up through the fall, bringing out some new compositions for my various bands.  Manteca Beat, My Exotic Other, and Paul Klemperer’s Jazz have shows around town in September and October.  Also, I’ll be doing a short tour with Sangeet Millennium up to Oklahoma the last week of September.

There are some exciting new house concert shows taking shape.  It’s a great way to hear music in an intimate setting.  Also, MeetUp is a good way for people to organize their own social events and support live music at the same time.  I think both of these trends are bringing some good energy into Austin’s live music scene and I will continue to support them as much as I can.

I’m working on a new recording project which will be connected to Kickstarter.  The idea is to involve fans and music supporters in the creative process.  I’ll have details soon, so let me know if this interests you.

Onward into the fall!

- Paul Klemperer

Moon Child Rising

Thanks to everyone who helped me celebrate my birthday in fine style this July.  I started off the festivities at the Manteca Beat house concert, where I unveiled some original songs that had been in the works for awhile.  We taped that show, so if we got any good live versions of the new material I’ll make it available to interested parties soon.

Then I had a big throwdown at the Elephant Room, with many friends, musical guests and a big ol’ mocha cream cake.  Quite yummy.  My band at the ‘Phant was David Marsden on guitar, Steve Summer on drums, and Russell Scanlon hammering out the bass notes (everybody knows him as one of Austin’s best guitar players, but he played some amazing stuff on electric bass that night).  We played a bunch more originals, and I want to thank the fellas for letting me use them as guinea pigs, lab rats, or whatever the appropriate metaphor is.

I have a few more shows happening in July, then I’m making a quick tour to Los Angeles with Larry Lange, followed by a much-needed trip to the ancestral homeland to visit the parental units back in Boston.  September’s going to be busy with new shows, so I hope to have my batteries charged, spiritual sparkplugs perfectly gapped, etc., as the musical clown car takes off again.

(I was going to use a Formula One analogy, but try as I might, I just can’t get on board.)

Festival Music

I had a great time a couple weeks ago at the Old Settlers Music Festival in Dripping Springs.  I played a set with the Jitterbug Vipers in the evening, then hung out and jammed til the wee hours at the campsite.

Here’s a sample of the music…

“They Raided The Joint”
<>

“Adder On A Ladder”

 
<>

Theme Music by P.K.S.A.X.

I have been working on adding more cultural elements to my shows, particularly with Manteca Beat.  Over the years I’ve been fortunate to play with musicians from all over the world, and I like drawing from these influences in my own music, playing classic songs from all over, and writing my own material.

I’ve also been fortunate to travel and play music in many wonderful settings – Europe, Turkey, Latin America, Asia… and deep in the heart of Texas.  I’ve accumulated pictures, stories, and friends from these experiences, and I’m trying to incorporate them into my shows with theme-nights.

Manteca Beat put on a really fun show in April at Tom’s Tabooley:  Cuba Night.  We played classic Cuban songs, some originals inspired by my trip there, and showed slides of the trip.  Also offered Cuba Libres, of course!  The response from folks was great, so we’ll be doing another Cuba Night.  Also in the works are Asia Night, and Mediterranean Night.

it’s going to be an interesting summer!

-Paul Klemperer

SXSW Wrapup 2010

 

South By Southwest was bigger than ever and, to quote Charles Dickens, “It was the best of times and the worst of times.”

 

There were a lot of interesting bands from around the world, and the umbrella genre of world music was well represented at clubs and parties around town. The jazz offerings, on the other hand, seemed to have shrunk from years past.

 

I was fortunate to be able to offer a world music sampler showcase at the Butterfly Bar of the Vortex Theater. We had the show March 13, and featured local groups Sangeet Millennium, Ethereal Spectrum, and my band Manteca Beat. It was a pretty magical evening.

 

During the week I also played shows with Larry Lange and the Lonely Knights, kicking the blues and swamp pop at Tom’s Taboley, Guero’s, the Broken Spoke, and the G & S Lounge.

 

One of the high points of the SXSW week was playing with Bett Butler and Joel Dilley at the Elephant Room. They are a wonderful jazz duo from San Antonio and I hope to do more music with them soon.

 

One of the low points of the week was trying to get to my downtown gigs while dodging drunks, thick crowds, and miserable parking. But that’s just normal working conditions these days. Builds character.

Thanks to everyone who made the week a full and inspiring experience!  A special shout-out to my sister Joyce Klemperer who attended SXSW this year and shot a lot of video of my shows.  Keep an eye out for various clips as we edit and post them.

- Paul Klemperer