Since my last post I have been busy with concerts and teaching. Here is a rundown of my latest and future projects.
This is my second year at Riverdale County School. Teaching enriches my playing and satisfies my urge to pass along knowledge to the next generation. The faculty/staff at RCC is top notch.
It has been years since I last played with the Birdland Big Band. What a welcome experience it was to join them again recently. The band has evolved over the years. The trombone section was out of sight with Sarah Jacovino on Lead, Ron Wilkins, and James Browski on bass trombone. I hope to be back there again soon.
Since the closure of Carousel, I am back to “subbing” on various musicals. I was back to one of the most enjoyable shows that I sub at, The Lion king.
I played at Birdland for the CD release of Migiwa Miyagima’s Augmented Orchestra. We recorded the CD last year and I am excited for its release. She packed the house at Birdland and the music sounded fantastic. My mom came out to this one so it was special for me. She lives on the “Left Coast,” so I don’t get to see her everyday.
Rufus Reid’s “Quiet Pride” project took me to Iowa City, IA. The music was challenging and the band delivered an exciting performance. I was impressed with he playing of Ryan Keberly and Michael Dease. Monster players and monster band.
Ron Carters Great Big Band performed at Birdland as well. Mr. Carter takes you on a ride when you are playing with him. He will do something you don’t expect. That is why I love playing in his band. What an honor!!
We had a wonderful concert with the John Eckert New York 9 Nonet at St Peters Church, Manhattan, NY. This is where I have been focus some of my writing lately. This band regularly plays my compositions and arrangements. We have been together for several years and the band is really developing a strong personal sound.
Next week I am busy with The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra. First I am taking over the Lead Trombone Position in the band moving forward. Second, we are beginning the New School Residency with an Open Rehearsal on October 29th from 4-6pm, at 55 west 13th St (2nd Floor). The band will be rehearsing various charts from the book, as well as instituting an emerging composer series.
Third, after the open rehearsal, we pack up and head over to the Village Vanguard for our regular set this Monday, October 29th. Sets are at 8:30PM and 10:30PM. Finally on Saturday, November 3rd, the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra Brings Big-Band Swing to Lawrence Memorial Chapel, 510 E. College Avenue, Appleton Wisconsin, 7:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Next month I will be recording with the NEA Jazz Master Jimmy Heath as he puts together another big band album, subbing at the Radio City Musical Hall Christmas Spectacular, and eating lots of “healthy” food for the Holidays.
Tonight I am performing with the Grammy Award winning Vanguard Jazz Orchestra at the Village Vanguard Jazz Club in New York City. Sets are at 8:30pm and 10:30pm.
Since 2008, Flushing Town Hall’s QueensJazz Orchestra, under the direction of NEA Jazz Master Dr. Jimmy Heath, has performed to thousands of jazz lovers, honoring music made popular by jazz icons who called Queens their home, featuring established jazz heroes and the next generation of greats.
This special 10th anniversary celebration on Friday, June 29 at Flushing Town Hall will honor Jimmy Heath and his life’s journey through jazz. Tickets and more at http://bit.ly/QJO2018
Queens Jazz Orchestra 10th Year Anniversary! – Flushing Town Hall
— Read on www.flushingtownhall.org/event/0eca78ba9ee6f2a731e23e486361b37e
Join us this week, July 18-23 at the Blue Note jazz club in New York City. Paquito D’Rivera leads an all-star big band of Dizzy Gillespie alumni and world-class jazz artists. We will be for performing some of Dizzy Gillespie’s most famous works as well as samba Jazz and Cuban jazz for your enjoyment.
Joining us for the set will be the Grammy nominated artist Roberta Gambarini singing some beautiful selections from the Dizzy Gillespie repertoire.
All weekend I get to play with the legendary Earl Gardner at A Bronx Tale on Broadway in NYC. I also get to dust off the tuba and play some sweet baselines in the book.
Wednesday was my first day of teaching at The Dalton School in NYC where I am now the trombone teacher.
My next student was up town at the City College New York where I have taught for 6 years now.
And finally I ended the night at Sunset Blvd. starring Glenn Close.
Tonight I’m at the South Orange Performing Arts Center in South Orange NJ with the Seaton Hall Faculty Jazz Ensemble. Concert starts at 7:30pm.
Back at “A Bronx Tale” for the matinée today. Tuba Time!!!
Nice rehearsal with the Seaton Hall Faculty jazz ensemble. Looking forward to our concert on march 21 at SOPAC (South Orange PAC.)
I am subbing for the great Douglas Purviance so I’m playing my bass trombone.
There are strict rules governing when a substitute musician is allowed to play on with a Broadway orchestra. One of the rules is that in a given section, if there is a 1st time sub, all the other musicians in that section must be a regular member OR a substitute that has been designated “as good as the regular player.”
Usually a person is not designated until they have played the show quite a number of times. In my case, I’ve played the show three times and tonight I was playing in the section with a first time lead trumpet player.
Although playing with a 1st time lead trumpeter can be nerve wrecking, I took it as a compliment to my playing. All went very well.
Vanguard Jazz Orchestra performing “Cherry Juice” by Thad Jones
Monday night with the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra
Join our weekly gig at the Village Vanguard.
We will perform the compositions of Thad Jones, Bob Brookmeyer, Jim McNeely and others from our library of over 300 tunes!
Sets 8:30pm and 10:30pm. Door open 7:30
Age limit: All ages
Gene Pritsker, Dan Cooper – Directors
Milica Paranosic, Peter Jarvis, Melissa Grey, Svjetlana Bukvich – Associate Directors
– CompCord Big Band –
Friday, March 3rd, 2017 at 7:30pm The Cutting Room
44 East 32nd Street, NYC
Featuring: Vesselin Gellev – violin, Melanie Mitrano – voice, Gerson Galante – clarinet, Sebastian Pritsker – voice, & Charles Coleman – conductor.
CompCord Big Band: Livio Almeida, Gerson Galante – alto saxophones;
Andrew Gould, Jay Rodriguez – tenor saxophones; Mercedes Beckman – baritone saxophone; Franz Hackl, Wayne J Du Maine, Peter Oswald, Jonathan Finlayson – trumpets;
John Clark – horn; Jason Jackson, Mike Seltzer – tenor trombones; David Taylor – bass trombone; Gene Pritsker – guitar; Carlton Holmes – piano; Laurence Goldman – bass; & Joe Abbatantuono – drumset.
1.) Groove From The Louvre – John Clark
2.) ADDIYO * – Alon Nechushtan
3.) Vav Hey Vav – Dan Cooper
4.) Three Paintings ‘Bout New York by Kostabi * – Gene Pritsker 5.) Waltz Heteroclite – David Taylor
6.) Forgotten Peoples – Anthony Branker
7.) Meu Adorado * – Melanie Mitrano / Gerson Galante
8.) Resist * – Joseph Martin Waters
9.) CLIMATE (a nasty woman’s guide to surviving the apocalypse) * – Marie Incontrera 10.) 139th Street – Kinan Azmeh
11.) New York, New York * – John Kander / Lyrics: Fred Ebb / Arrangement: Gene Pritsker
(* denotes a premiere)
Back at Beautiful tonight where the book calls for doubling on large-bore tenor trombone and bass trombone. We are going to make some “Broadway Magic!”
This video is from our rehearsal with Gene Pritsker’s CompCord Big Band ‘NY NY’ for our concert on March 3rd @ 7:30pm, At the Cutting Room, 44 E 32nd St, NYC
David Taylor, Gene Pritsker, Dan Cooper, Joseph Martin Waters, Marie Incontrera, Alon Nechushtan, Anthony Branker, Kinan Azmeh, Franz Hackl, Melanie Mitrano/Gerson Galante, John Clark.
CompCord Big Band, Vesselin Gellev – violin, Melanie Mitrano – voice, Gerson Galante – clarinet, Sebastian Pritsker – voice, Charles Coleman – conductor
Obout the concert:
Composers Concordance’s 6th annual festival, entitled ‘New York // New Music’, will be held from March 3-12, 2017, and will feature new music about NYC by more than 55 composers. The six-concert festival will launch at The Cutting Room, with the CompCord Big Band premiering 12 compositions. Composers will include Kinan Azmeh (“intensely soulful” – The New York Times. “spellbinding” – The New Yorker), as well as Dan Cooper, Dave Taylor, Franz Hackl,, John Clark, Anthony Branker, Joseph Martin Waters, Marie Incontrera and Alon Nechushtan. Composer-vocalist Melanie Mitrano will bring her “swinging, clean, cool and refined” vocals. Violinist Vesselin Gellev, Sub-Leader of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, will premiere Gene Pritsker’s violin concerto with big band. This new composition is about three paintings by New York artist Mark Kostabi, whose canvases are permanently featured at The Cutting Room. A new Arrangement of ‘New York, New York’ will be the finale and feature the voice of 12 year old Sebastian Pritsker. Gerson Galante will be the clarinet soloist and Charles Coleman conducts.
The picture shows me sitting next to Scott Wendholt (Trumpet,) and Chris Byars (Sax,) packed in a passenger van leaving the hotel on our way to the 50th Elmhurst College Jazz Festival with the Grammy Award winning Vanguard Jazz Orchestra
The band was in rare form last night. The students and teachers gave us a rousing ovation after our set.