Last weekend I enjoyed playing with Nels Cline’s “Lovers” project at CAP UCLA and SFJazz. It was great to hear Nels’ incredible range on the guitar and hang with this 17-piece band full of amazing musicians.
I had a fantastic time doing a solo concert of trombone/computer at Palomar College including a conversation with the audience about exploratory forms of music and live electronics. Thanks to Ellen Weller and Madelyne Byrne for having me and to all the curious students and community members who came out!
We had a great conversation on the Refest 2.0 panel, “The State of Telematic Art in 2017” presented by NYU/ITP, CultureHub, and WITNESS and featuring Billy Clark, Jesse Ricke, Robert Rowe, Kate Sicchio, Sarah Weaver, myself and Daniel Pinhero (not pictured but like, me joining by Skype). I wish I could have been there in person since it sounded like a great day of events. Congrats to Billy, Jesse and all the organizers!
I had a quick but wonderful trip up to the SF Bay area to record Lisa Mezzacappa’s Gloriour Ravage project and also enjoyed a gig at the Luggage Store Creative Music Series – which people have been sustaining there for over 20 years! – with my great friend Scott Walton as well as Phillip Greenlief and Donald Robinson. It was a privilege to get to play for the first time with Phillip and Donald, and I enjoyed connecting with Tim Perkis and others from Lisa’s band.
The live radio broadcasts run by KSDS in San Diego always have a super enthusiastic crowd, and it was such a pleasure to play there recently with Mark Dresser’s Quintet along with Nicole Mitchell, Joshua White and Kjell Nordeson.
Had a fantastic time playing with the Stephanie Richards Quintet at The Loft – Stephanie is amazing, and it was also my first time playing with Chris Speed whose music has been an inspiration for many years. Thanks to Robert Bush for the review, with metaphors as colorful as always!
It’s always a joy to play with Mark Dresser, whose latest band is a septet with Nicole Mitchell, Marty Ehrlich, David Morales Boroff, Joshua White, Jim Black and myself. The septet’s album “Sedimental You” will be out on Clean Feed in November, and I was happy to see Nate Chinen plug this track in the NY Times. Mark titled “TrumpinPutinStoopin” months ago but it turns out to be timely now, given last week’s chapter in the Trump media circus.
I once asked Yusef Lateef what he practiced. He replied: “I try to discover things that I had not known before.”
Somewhere In The Upstream is a piece for my trio, featuring incredible collaborators Chris Tordini and Dan Weiss. I dedicated this music to Yusef, a very important teacher of mine. (You can read about my perspective on Lateef in the Preface I wrote for his 2005 Songbook publication.) This piece is a “scorestream,” my term for algorithmic, networked compositions that are displayed dynamically on computer screens for improvisers to interpret. I had a wonderful experience performing and recording this piece with the trio in June, supported in part by a project award from New Music USA. In addition to playing at iBeam in Brooklyn, we had a very special concert in western MA on the Pioneer Valley Jazz Shares series. My friend Glenn Siegel organized a pre-concert interview/conversation about Yusef, and wrote a beautiful blog post about our concert.
I just had a fantastic week in Manizales, Colombia participating in the “Festival de la Imagen.” I spent much of the week collaborating on a telematic concert between there and San Diego as part of the Tele-Espacios series, including a new piece I composed along with other works by Mario Valencia, Juan David Rubio and Hector Fabio Torres, performed by Santiago Osorio, Yosvany Betancourt, Tommy Babin, Tata Ceballos and Juan and myself. I also gave a talk on telematics and a really fun half-day trombone workshop for young trombonists from the region. This was my second time at the festival and I hope to continue working more in Colombia and with my wonderful friends there!
I’m always inspired by the deep musicianship of pianist Joshua White, and recently enjoyed two different performances with him in April. The first was an improvised concert at Dizzy’s in San Diego with his sextet, which also included Stephanie Richards, Ellen Weller, Mark Dresser, and Kjell Nordeson (thanks Robert Bush for the review!) . The next weekend, Joshua performed on a new piece of mine titled Bonegaggle #2, for trombone, piano and electronics, on our ICIT Faculty Concert at UC Irvine, which also featured works by my fantastic colleagues Nicole Mitchell, Chris Dobrian, Ko Umezaki, and Lukas Ligeti, with special guests Joshua and Maggie Parkins. [photo from Dizzy’s concert by Peter Kuhn]
On April 10, we performed the third and final concert of “Changing Tides: A Telematic Translocational Concert Series,” a series I’m co-directing with Mark Dresser. This concert was with a fantastic quintet in Stony Brook, NY: Marty Ehrlich, Ray Anderson, Min Xiao Fen, Denman Maroney, and Satoshi Takeishi, with our co-director Sarah Weaver conducting. In San Diego, I performed with Nicole Mitchell, Stephanie Richards, and Mark Dresser. I was one of the composers and created a new piece for each of the three concerts, so the whole series was an amazing experience for me on many levels. It feels like each year we gain more fluency working within the telematic space, and our community of collaborators is constantly expanding. More to come soon!
I recently enjoyed performing on and co-directing a telematic concert featuring George Lewis’ work “Spooky Interaction: Lesson II (2016).” It featured Geri Allen (piano) and George Lewis (trombone) performing from the University of Pittsburgh, Nicole Mitchell (flute) and myself performing from UC Irvine, and Francis Wong (saxophone) performing at the San Francisco Jazz Center. There were also two “virtual performers” on disklavier, one at UCI and one at Pitt, driven by Lewis’ Voyager software system. John Crawford did a fantastic job directing video and visual design in our black box theatre at UCI. It was such a privilege to collaborate with these musicians who have all been inspirations to me for many years! Special thanks also to Mount Allen at SFJazz, the UltraGrid video software development team, and the many tech team members at all 3 sites.