So, I found my passport and we have solidified the playlist somewhat. Most of the logistics are beginning to raise their heads. I have tried to rent a sax in Berlin, but apparently that’s not something that they do. Also, we have been looking for a bass amp. We have found an upright bass for the week (REALLY BIG DEAL) and now we just need an amp, I think. None of these are my personal struggles but I am trying to help the group. You know, the more the merrier. I am now trying to decide whether to load my cheapest sax into the baggage compartment with a killer big road case, or just carry on my best horn and depend on my abilities to sweet talk the flight attendants into helping me stow it on board. The TSA and the other fed folks are supposed to let you take them on board but it only takes one attendant or ticket taker that has had a bad day………
Here is one of our gig posters and pictures that we are using…….
The team for Berlin 2015
flyer for one of our gigs.
Well, if David Hasselhoff can make it big there, and all the big jazz acts have played there, then that is where I probably need to go. Seriously, Steve Blair (one of the best bass players ever) said that he and some other jazz players were going on a church sponsored outreach to Berlin Germany and they needed a sax player and was I interested. Apparently, because East Berlin/Germany was under the Soviet control for so long, even though 62% ish of German is Christian (Lutheran and Catholic) the vast majority of folks in the West (80%ish) are unchurched and a significant number are agnostic (or just areligous). There are a number of small evangelical ecumenical churches springing up in Eastern Berlin and all over town. There is a concerted effort to get folks interested in Christianity and therefore the mission trip. So, I said,”sure” and hooked my wagon in with these guys. I have played with most of them in town so putting this together is a no brainer. We should have a blast and are scheduled to play 7 gigs in 6 or 7 days in 7 different places. The local congregations are using our visit to interest the unchurched and to attract a crowd of folks that might not normally come to a church “service”. Most of these are at night so we will have all day to tour Berlin. Maybe some impromptu street stuff, jam sessions, who knows. You can only find out so much in the internet. One guy is going to Prague for the day. So, I am going overseas to play jazz with a great group for a great reason.
The team for Berlin 2015
This stirs up all kinds of questions from how to get ones saxophone on the plane to what to eat and where is that doggone passport!! I have some idea how its gonna go but I am reaching out to folks in Berlin to see if any want to let us play at their venue or borrow their amp!!! At least I don’t play drums. Pray for me. Should be one of the most interesting things I have ever done!!!!
As Jazz musicians, it is really interesting the number of venues that are available for us to play. We play for schools, we play for weddings, funerals,concert goers,we play for drinkers, we play for dancers…and the list goes on.
Just in the last week I have played with a rock and roll band for a wedding and for career day with a bass player and I (sounded great by the way), with a collegiate jazz ensemble, and solo for a upscale restaurant. All require different skill set and different approach to things. Keeps it interesting!!
The EJS is plowing thru the “book” of tunes so we can get everyone conversant with the musical material. We will start the vocal tunes this week. Roberta brings it 110% even at rehearsal so it should be a fun rehearsal Thursday!! We had one gig cancel on us (“couldn’t get enough auction items to raise money”?) so we have found another venue (I hope!?!) Meanwhile, we are planning another CD of just the stuff we like and probably make that the playlist for our next concert in February.
New Sound baffles at Studio 222
I’m playing for the EVHS at their “event” and fundraiser. Good group and they pretty much let me play whatever. “Visible musak” again. I’m going to Germany with a Jazz combo for a week sometime in May. We should have a great time and do some good work while we are there.
We are cranking up the BBC for a couple of gigs in Marietta and in Sandy Springs. These are with Douglas Cameron as the Douglas Cameron Orchestra. We will have a rehearsal before this and I’m adding just a couple of tunes to our book.
I have found a tech for my horns who is a magician!!! This guy has made such an improvement in my enjoyment of playing. The notes just pop out of the horns instead of me having to work to make the sax speak. If you play an instrument you know what I mean.
Life is good. Weather is improving. Off to the shed……
Had an interesting couple of weeks here. I have found a fantastic Sax wizard who can fix my stuff so I know that I now don’t have to worry about them dying before me!!! You want your doctor and atty and other significant folks that you rely on to survive you!!!
We had about 4 inches of snow and it was nice, but I know Im getting older when we take pictures from inside the house and just put on another cup of hot coffee. Fortunately, we didn’t lose power so we had heat and hot water. Life is good!!
The BBC DCO played a great fundraiser at the Galleria and raised a lot of moola for the charity for the event. We all had a great time.
This week I got a call from someone who I had “stored” some “office room dividers” with and they finally didn’t need them. We have been having a situation in the rehearsal space at Studio 222 with bass bleed and the volume of the drum set (duh). So they have been installed and I am anxious to see how the sound is changed with these baffles.
New Sound baffles at Studio 222
Rehearsal is proceeding at GPC. I have a solo gig to play this next Saturday at Cork and Tap on Hwy 41.
We will see how that goes. Got a wedding coming up in Dallas soon. Life is good. Off to print some more new music for the EJS!!! Have a great day!!
What an eventful few days. Last week had an organizational meeting with the CFR folks about logistics and plans for the Oscar Fundraiser for this weekend. Had to communicate all that out. Then FRIDAY I played with Jason Passmore and Margaret Banton on alto and tenor and Greg Coile and Dave Martin on trumpet and Jim lee on Bone and Steven Blair on Bass……….along with Frankie Avalon Jr on drums and Enis Everly on guitar and Ray, who is Frankie Avalons long time music director with FRANKIE AVALON in Hickory NC at the Mountain Center.
What a fun gig. I played Bari and had a great time. We played every do wop hit from that era including Venus and Beauty School Dropout (from Grease) along with Everly Bros hits and even ELVIS. twas a blast!!!
Saturday we did the EJS Jazz Big Band and Dance Concert at Cartersville with great success!!!
Roberta and the Band. More pics at EJS Facebook page
Sunday I rehearsed with the combo that is going to Europe this May. Monday nite was GPC rehearsal again in the threat of a winter storm. Tuesday the Ryan Goodwin Superband crashed a open mic nite at the 6″s Tavern and killed it!!
Wednesday, I picked up my horn from Bill Smith who did a great job with tweaking it back into great shape!!!!
Going tonight to blow off some steam at the Firing Line and their competition. Shoot my Glock 17 and have a great time with my son….
Life is good. thank you GOD!
FollwingWhat a great week. I have been rehearsing with the EJS Big Band for the Valentine Dance which is this weekend. Met with the Dancers and are excited about their excitement. We have dress rehearsal this weekend and then the gig on Saturday night at the Grand Theatre in Cartersville. EJS VDay 2015_poster_PROOF
Thursday night I played (solo) for the Fellowship of Christian Atheletes and was “visible Muzak”.
Then last night, I played with the BBC and some of the best big band guys in Atlanta at 200 Peachtree for a private event. The band was awesome.
This week, meeting with a client about a gig on the 22nd for an Oscar Night, Dress rehearsal for Valentine’s Day, the I am travelling Friday with 5 other guys from the BBC to play with FRANKIE AVALON.
So blessed to be doing this. Then, on Sunday the 15th, rehearsal with a jazz combo that is going to Berlin in May!!!!! Good times. Time for a nap!