October has come and will be gone by the end of this week and my has time flown. I am at a loss of what to say about it all, but I can be thankful for several reasons. First, I passed my recital preview, which means I get to give my recital on November 10th at 7pm in Radke Recital Hall on the main campus at the University of Central Oklahoma. Secondly, I am happy to be playing regularly at People's Church here in Oklahoma City. I did my second week this morning, and truly feel inspired to be working with everyone who volunteers and is on staff at the church. It is a truly diverse and excellent place to be a part of.
Melissa Brumfield and I will be making our Oklahoma City debut a week from Friday on November the 8th at The Paramount; 701 W Sheridan, OKC, OK. Our show starts at 8pm, so come on down for some wine, coffee, and our warm sound on a should-be-chilly-eve. Also, we will make our Norman debut on December 28th at Othello's Italian Restaurant from 9pm to midnight. The ante has been raised and we are working hard for more Oklahoma City metro-based gigs, so look out OKC! We are both excited to be playing a little closer to home than Stillwater. We love our crowd from Stillwater, but our goal in the beginning was to break the ice in a smaller town and work toward playing in our hometown. Do not fear though, we will still be at Zannotti's about once a month for our loving Stillwater family.
I am so thankful and inspired by everyone I am coming in contact with lately. It musically did not work out to where I will be playing at the Sushi Bar in Edmond, but I believe that to be the best for everyone involved. Initially, she came across as a jazz vocalist, but her focus seems more on the popular side of music, and my heart is just not into what she was asking of me. However, I saw how hard I could work balancing my rehearsal and practice of her music, the churches, and my own for my recital - and I now know I can up the ante on my own practice and make myself even better.
I've met with a great yoga instructor at 3rd Street Yoga in Edmond, OK named Nora McColgan. We have only met once so far, but I can already tell that I have a lot to learn from her about becoming more aware of my body. She has terrific energy and I believe she can really help me to improve my overall health and posture while playing.
Come out to my recital if you're in the Oklahoma City metro area on Nov. 10th at 7pm!
It seems like a lot happened last week for having only had classes three days that week. I was asked to play at a local church in Oklahoma City, by an incredible local drummer/bassist Jemar Poteat, and we had our first rehearsal on Tuesday this week. It went well, but it was a long night for four short songs. It took some time to get into the rhythm with everyone and really feel it all out. I have spent most of my life playing in jazz duos, so playing modern church music with a full band is definitely new to me. I haven't had much rock and roll experience in many many years. It was a lot of fun and hopefully will turn into a regular experience. I will be playing this weekend for four services and it promises to be a fun and fulfilling time.
Melissa Brumfield and myself will be at Zannotti's Wine Bar in Stillwater, OK once again on Tuesday, October 22nd from 8-10pm. We are going to add a few new tunes, not simply unfamiliar tunes, but covers of modern music to attempt to reach a newer (younger) audience. In addition, we have a few pending dates set in motion for our Oklahoma City debut. I have contacted several local businesses and restaurants about gigs with a positive response. We are working with them setting up dates and times as we speak. You could hear us live in our hometown as early as next weekend!
I'm also playing with another vocalist out of Edmond at the Sushi Bar. The gig basically fell into my lap via the internet, she posted an ad for a guitarist for upcoming gigs she had already booked. I took a chance and sent her a message, and we had a rehearsal last night. It was pretty productive. It will take a bit to learn all the songs since I am unfamiliar with most of what she does, but I can handle it. It's not very challenging music, but it will be a challenge seeing as I am the only rhythm section instrument. She advertised for a saxophone, and/or trumpet, as well, so we will see what comes of that at our next rehearsal. Our first gig should be October 26th at 9:30pm unless she decides to go another way.
Rehearsal late next Monday for my recital preview next Wednesday. I will hear advice, tips, and complaints from my recital committee at 7:15pm. This is the moment where you find out if you are approved to give your recital or not, and I feel confident in my group and my playing that it will go just fine.
A lot is going on these next few weeks, but I am honestly excited about it. It is good to be busy. It helps put what I want to do in focus and gives me the drive to achieve through practice what I want out of my playing.
Also very inspired by Dutch jazz guitar great, Jesse Van Ruller. He has an album Live at Murphy's Law, which is absolutely astounding. His touch, tone, style, and groove are absolutely remarkable. He's one baaaad dude.
Check out the gig's section next week as I will have added a bunch of dates, hopefully by Monday.
Thanks for reading!
I'm sitting here listening to my newly acquired collection of Smalls Live recordings from Smalls Jazz Club in NYC, NY. A few months ago they had a fundraiser to upgrade their live video feed, get a new piano, and create their musicians' revenue project - to fund the incredible players that make music and get recorded at Smalls. As part of my pledge package, I got a flash drive full of their entire Smalls Live catalog to date. I'm currently checking out the Lage Lund Four recording by the incredible Norwegian guitarist Lage Lund.
In addition to checking out new tunes, a lot has gone on throughout these past few months - so I'll give you a brief overview. I have been having some issues with tendonitis, so I have not been playing as much. I just recently got back to really practicing again this week. It's been great to be on the up and up with it, but dealing with the physicality of being a musician is certainly one of the hardest parts. Since my recital is on November 10th, the timing is not ideal, but I will take the current relief as a good sign.
I've got the set list picked out for my recital and have had a rehearsal already. I'm desperately trying to go against the grain of what is standard around here at UCO. Generally you are required to have another chordal instrument on your recital, but I have rehearsed with the trio and enjoy the sound. I'll find out on October 23rd, if my committee would rather have me add a keyboardist or not. I like the trio element since we can really work hard together to get a good balance and really deliver the tunes our way - plus being able to stretch out improvisationally. Two great local players, Stephen Schultz on bass (but he is also a guitarist/saxophonist/awesomeist) and Drew Wilson on the drums, will be accompanying me on my recital. I'm so thankful for being able to play with such a great group.
I am working toward updating this regularly, but I am becoming increasingly busy as the weeks go on. The next few weeks will truly be a test!