Guilt of the web blog…..

The weblog is a great place for me to put down my thoughts in a more complete way than FB or Twitter or whatever and to let “everyone” know what is going on with my music etc.  When things get really busy, however, I’m working and not writing.

So, booking a big band is a work/job in itself. Since the first of the year, I have booked and produced four events, all of which were well received but not great big moneymakers.

Back in November, we booked a fundraiser at the (Name deleted to avoid repercussion) and I made sure that we had confirmation about the date etc. because I had to sign some contracts and pay some monies to folks. I repeatedly asked for confirmation about the date and was told to go ahead in no uncertain terms.  So I went ahead, we had some rehearsals, got some new charts………and the venue “texted” me about 4 weeks before the gig and said they couldn’t “go forward, due to circumstances beyond their control”. Sheesh!!  So I’m out $2K and got no way to get it back!!  Thanks a lot!!!  So we move on to the next gig.

We played a great fundraiser for a High School and raised $1500 for their band program and it was a great rehearsal for a Country Club gig we have coming up.  We have another gig at the Yellow Daisy Festival coming up again and are working on some other dates. Just seems that a big band is not at the top of the general population’s preference.

EJS is booked in May and again in July.

I had a great trip to Portugal and played a Jazz Club, a number of churches and schools and had a great trip with the combo. You can see some pics at our FB page (Saunders Jones Music) and see all the fun times!  I hope to go back again next summer!!

So, we have not succumbed to life but have been swimming in soccer games, mission trips, church drama, etc. Life goes on!!!


Playing for a corporate gig at a Hotel in Atlanta


Playing a fundraiser


Toni Byrd at the fundraiser


Sax section


Toni, Roberta , and Laura


Roberta and the band

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Who says you cant play in a marching band as an adult??

I know there are a lot of drum and bugle corps out there and very good ones too. But Monday , on Craigs list and on FB there appeared this ad for 75 marching band players from 6am to 12 noon on Friday. Uniforms furnished, music furnished, Bkfst and Lunch furnished for a corporate gig.  $175 plus parking.

So, since I wasn’t doing anything else, I signed up. Many emails went out from the hiring guy who has a deal called the Patriot Brass, and they contract out bands for mostly veteran events. But this was a corporate deal. So…….off I went at Oh Dark Thirty to ATL.

78 of my closest musician friends and I all gathered in a classroom, were issued uniforms complete with hat and shako, and rehearsed, and at 11:15am or so, marched into this big room and played 2 tunes and marched out to a cadence. What fun!! Click on the links at the end for the video!!

hyatt-8hyatthyatt-7hyatt-4hyatt-3haytt-5hyatt-6the performance!!!              Marching in and the first song


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For those who might want to know..

Soprano  Yamaha strait / fixed strait neck  Rico Jazz Select 2H meyer hard rubber

Alto    Selmer Mark VI  (formerly owned by Jay Davidson) Rico Jazz Select 2H  RPC Hard rubber with small baffle

Tenor  Yamaha 82Z  (selmer Mark VI for recording) Rico Jazz Select 3S RPC hard rubber 115 with baffle

Bari   The Martin Bflat     Rico Jazz Select 3 S  RPC Hard rubber

Clarinet   Yamaha plastic  (I’m a doubler) Rico Jazz Select 2 H


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Merry Christmas

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Wow, has it been that long?

Well Merry Christmas to one and all. You are all loved and cherished and I appreciate all of you. ( Even the ones I don’t like.)xmas-tree-2017

Lots going on in the family. My mother in law is now moving to Cartersville and has bought a house here. This is one of the side effects of I-75 being such a bitch!! The traffic is really bad any time of day and it can get worse at a moments notice going to and from Atlanta. And all her family lives here. So she bought a house and is moving. That is a BIG deal. (in a positive way).

The GPC at Clarkston Jazz Ensemble had its last concert first week of December and is now on hiatus until the spring semester starts. This time was fun and I’m hopeful that the spring will be too!!  The Big Band Contractors had a GREAT show at the Strand and raised enough money to pay everyone and nobody lost money. We also paid the MDA folks as well. SO, that was considered a success.  today-is-not-the-dayWe are going back to COSMOS early in March and then are playing for the Museum of Southern Music in April. Still beating the bushes for gigs. Big Bands are hard to book. We might just make a Christmas album. The album that we made earlier in the year is selling well and is a good recording.

I played several venues in December as a solo gig. My Bose system, long in the tooth after 12 years or so, finally got replaced and it works fabulously!!! Played a couple of combo gigs in November with some really great players!!

The Peachtree Jazz Edition got busy in the last of the year and really enjoyed playing with them as well. Travelled a bit, but you gotta go where the music is. Great holiday parties but they were well south of town!!!

Going forward, in January25-Feb 4th I am going to Portugal with the combo like we did in 2015 in Berlin. Should be a blast.mission-of-6-portugal

Then Feb 14th with the EJS and the Valentine concert to celebrate the Harvest House (local food pantry). March 4th BBC at Cosmos then April 21-22 with the Big band and  a Sinatra group and then some lady jazz singers. All good.

Life is good and so is music.99a6b792d3c339ff069b1803708c7c4a

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So a lot has happened since last I took finger to keyboard.  Trump Won. There is that.

Music, well, I am going to Portugal in January with the same crew that I was with in Berlin playing Jazz at several big locations in Cascais (sp?). We will be playing with the combo for about 10 days and days and nights have been booked. We hooked up with a very talented keyboard player to go with us and another one to do our demo’s. Portugal 2 minute demo

Peachtree Jazz Edition has been playing at outdoor and indoor venues and I am now playing lead tenor for them instead of Bari. A delightful change simply because I hate lugging that thing around!! We have played a really classy benefit and had a great time. [je.JPG  This weekend we are playing for a fundraiser for the children and it should be a gas!!  Great Gatsby Party

The BBC playing for a Rat Pack Group just got thru at the Strand Theater in Marietta on the Square and did a great show. treio-nov-4  Tomorrow nite , I will be playing with the Jamie Leonard trio on the sidewalk for a Holiday Celebration outside (chilly) then for a Magnolia Garden Club reception Friday after that, and at the Tellus Museum for a Client appreciation dinner with the CJ “Little Jazz Band”. Got a full weekend coming up.

Sold my house in Jasper and my Mother in Law is moving to town. So………this should be interesting!!!

Life goes on!!!!  Shalom….   (found this TITUS3:1-15)





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They want an Audition tape…..

So if you have been reading this stuff, you know I am going to Portugal to play with a jazz combo. This group with only a few small changes went to Berlin last year or so. The keyboard player cant go this year, so we have a new keys player, and a Polish singer is going to join us OVER THERE!!!! So, it should be a blast.

They also wanted an audition tape and said they only wanted 2 minutes or less. Wow, you know how hard that is to get it down to 2 minutes when there was so much good stuff to hear !!!?!

So here it is: Portugal Demo

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