BIG WEEKEND!!! sheesh, big week!!

prohibition party2OK folks. Here is the scoop. Friday nite, played with the combo at the Prohibition party at the History Center. Tomorrow, I’ll be on Channel 11 with Douglas Cameron for a promo for the up coming concert. Monday nite, GPC Jazz rehearsal. Tuesday morning interview on WYXC for upcoming EJS Concert at the Grand. Thursday morning, interview on WBHF for the same concert. Thursday 5-7pm playing for FCA banquet, then run back to the house for rehearsal from 7-9:30 for the EJS Big Band.  Friday, doing Career Day ALL DAY at Ga Highlands College to help young people understand about life and money!!! Saturday, Home owners meeting at Monument Falls in Jasper, followed by a birthday party at my house for all the Feb birthdays in my extended family.  Sunday, I have rehearsal with the Big Band Contractors for the concert coming up on Feb 12th at the Strand. Monday a production meeting at the Grand Theater for the EJS BIG BAND  matinee on Valentines day. Wednesday am, back at WBHF for another interview and then a meeting that evening with the Etowah Share a Song group at Johnny Mitchells BBQ. Thursday am, playing with a group in Rome at the Westminister Presbyterian Church, then back Thursday at 7pm for the DRESS REHEARSAL for the Matinee on Sunday at the Grand theater in Cartersville for the EJS BIG BAND.  Friday, the DCO is playing at the STRAND theater in Marietta on the Square. Sunday, its Playing at the Grand Theater in Cartersville with the EJS BIG BAND matinee for Valentines Day.

Busy Much??? You betcha… Life is good!!!

strand 2016program with ejs

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Radio Spot one minute

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Upcoming concert!!

program with ejs

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Little virions……

When they discovered the “germ theory” of disease, it must have been a really big deal because it explains a LOT. I know its a universal theory like E=mc2 but it really takes away all the guilt from an activity.  It also explains the spike in Grandmothers and Grandfathers viral illnesses as soon as grand children begin to interact. The little critters run to day school or kindergarten or ballet or wherever they can get the most “load” of virions, and then freely dispense them in the form of hugs and kisses. Almost like a venereal disease yet not as sordid.  I have been recovering from an attenuated dose that I received from my wife, who has more surface area contact with the critter/s than I.  Wow. I don’t like being sick.

So, started back rehearsal with the Jazz Ensemble at Ga Perimeter College which has merged with Ga State, so who knows what we will be called…GS@GPCJE???  We have some stand fronts that will need updating!!LOL!!  Plan is to have a trumpet guest artist who did a lot of studying with Winton Marsellis (SP?) and the gang in N.O. so we are playing some old timey stuff!!!

The EJS BIG BAND has a couple of gigs coming up in the form of the Annual Valentines Concert as a matinee at the Grand Theater in Cartersville on FEB 14th at 3pm.  Our theme this year is to put a big band twist on TV and movie themes that you have been familiar with , thru out the years.  We have had some serious illnesses amongst the group but have hung on and I think will have a great show.  Roberta Longacre will sing all the vocal tunes for us. Also playing in Calhoun at the Gem Theater there for a fundraiser for the theater group on April 16th so get your tickets now!!

The Big Band Contractors group has been looking for a regular venue where we can play once a month. We will see. We have  a rehearsal gig on Feb 7th and then we will again populate the Strand Theater in Marietta on Feb 12th with Douglas Cameron and Ashley Rivera who is a great strong singer from the Atlanta area. Then we have another video date with Channel 47 while Douglas is out on tour on April 3rd.

The Little Jazz Band (trio/4 piece/5 piece/6 piece) is playing for a Prohibition party on the 29th of January for the Historical Society. We were told to play period music so I will have to brush off my banjo skills!! That should be fun.

Finally, the Etowah Song group, a group of musicians who have “banded together” to play at some local retirement facilities and the like has the January schedule out. Its always a great way to give back.

The group that went to Berlin last year is looking at a Spain tour in Jan of 17….woo hooo!!!

So, all things considered, once the virions have left, life will be much better.  Life is good!

Go Play some MUSIC!!465_for_dummies

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A great year…and one to come!

Looking forward to a great 2016!!!!  Funny, I thought that when I got this old I would feel smart and talented and accomplished. Not to be. Although,  I did get to go thru some recordings that I had made as far back as 2002-2006  (PHEW!!!  somebody needed to practice). Yet, I feel better about my playing and my music here in 2015.  I have a studio at the house big enough to record a big band (which we did!).CD cover 2015 I am now playing with a small combo (with a couple of gigs pending) IMG_0991and have started with a small group in a town nearby (west). The Big  Band Contractors have played a number of gigs with and without Douglas Cameron and we have some going forward in 2016!  We have rehearsed with another singing couple. The EJS has 3 gigs coming up to include Valentines day at the Grand Theater.strand 2016 My horn parts that I have recorded for a contractor have made it to the retail public. I have traded my curved Yani Soprano for a Selmer strait Soprano and my Bari sounds great, thanks to a great repair tech! bari  I am now playing episodically at the local assisted living facilities and am really enjoying the practice!!!     So…..thinking about going overseas again maybe???   the opportunities are abundant.

Non musically, Ive got a new trike so I can ride outside when the weather gets nice in addition to my swimming and have over 600+ miles on it since July.


catrike Trike!!

And I have a replacement for my 2005 Tahoe in the form of a full size van!!!

SO…….here is to a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!! See you in 2016!!!Santa_and_the_naughty_girls


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CD Choices from the EJS Big Band

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Living the DREAM!!!

Holidays were great with several solo gigs and some concerts. Family and all associated items are good. Everyone is healthy and safe. Those are the  important things. Music continues to be great!

microphone music

Microphone and music

The EJS last CD is back and ready for release and its really good.  We were able to do that because we had a good bit of absenteeism this summer so we could double parts. So we got everything covered. CD Cover

People think that running a big band is fun. It can be. BUT, along with all the moving parts of logistics of music, PA, licensing, programming there is a lot to do. It can also be like this……..

Percussion: a really good drummer who provides for his family by working moving parts at night by van. He has to leave every rehearsal 30 minutes early. My biggest struggle with him is that he is so good I don’t want him to get bored with the band and move on. I have to try to keep him challenged.

Bass Player :  a hard working physician who loves this stuff and who prior to the start of school, I could accommodate him not being at rehearsal  due to his schedule because I had a great bass player that would come from the other side of town every 2 weeks or so and would  make sure to articulate her schedule with his. Then she got a steady boyfriend and school started and, well, she is busy. So sometimes , because he works hard and has a busy schedule, we rehearse without a bass player.

Guitars:  I say plural because a big band doesn’t need but one but these 2 guys manage to pretty much always have at least one of them at every rehearsal and every performance.  Not a problem.

Keyboard: Great player, but has had some personal challenges with his family this year with  thefts in his house amongst his family and  care of his dying mother who finally passed. This was in addition to being involved in a MVA with a broken hand earlier before all this started.  So his attendance has suffered but, not without cause.Wonderful man and very supportive of all we do.

Trumpets;   First trumpet: detached retina and told not to play for at least 6 months(or go blind!!!). But he plays bass so he was subbing in at that slot until this week when he had a “cardiac event” with a hospitalization and a cath. ending up being ok but he is totally out of action for a while.  2nd trumpet.  Not a problem. Good support for the band. Doesn’t improvise well.  3rd trumpet: Newest member of the group and very enthused and was trying to get us more gigs. Was making great progress with his playing and I had him slated to play a pretty intensive solo at this year’s concert.  Quit for no apparent reason. Says he has something to do that will take all his free time.  4th Trumpet Split between the president of the group and a very faithful member. The president is occupied during football season and also has had his rotator cuff repaired a couple of weeks ago. He has responsibilities at the school that take priorities over the band. The other player is probably one of the greatest guys in the band.

Trombones:  First bone: Runs a very busy business. Great player. Too much on his plate. Comes to one in 8 rehearsals. He doesn’t need the rehearsal, but as we all know, it’s not the individuals that make the band but the band as a group. 2nd bone:  New to the band (2 mos) and very interested. But , has missed a couple due to other responsibilities.  3rd bone:  Came and went.  Total time maybe 3 rehearsals. 4th bone: Out all year with 2 knee replacements (age related) and has some fatigue issues. Nice guy you would ever meet. Have not had 4 trombones at rehearsal for about a year. I hire out at least 2 subs for concerts.

Saxophones: 1st alto:  great player, doing wonderful, solid and delighted to have him. 2nd alto:  not as good a player but dedicated and never missed rehearsal. 1st tenor:  Great player. Just a divinity student and has other responsibilities. Just can’t rehearse regularly. 2nd tenor:  Our first tenor player when the first tenor guy doesn’t show. He has his own business and responsibilities but misses only rarely. Can’t really learn one part for having to fill with the other, and doesn’t improvise well.  Bari player:  very workman like player but has hearing problems and medical problems, AND runs his wife’s martial arts after school program.

Vocalist:  No problem. Not always at rehearsal but the band needs to work without the vocalist episodically. Wonderful soul.


Smooth Operator…..

Just remember, I love all these folks. They are some of the greatest people around and do the best they can. Good people is what its all about.

Moving on……….!!

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