The Happy Orchestra record got its start in January with a day-long session of rhythm section tracks. We got foundations for about half of the record, a snippet of which you can hear at the successfully-funded Kickstarter Update Page. Check it!
Happy has also been nominated 2015 Alternative Jazz Group of the Year in the Earshot Jazz Golden Ear Award poll. You can vote over at earshot.org until March 10th, and while you’re there read my Ask a Jazz Musician column from the January and February issues.
It’s been about a year of writing, rehearsing, and performing with Happy in its many sizes and flavors. Whether a trio in a tiny bar or the six-piece lineup on a venue stage, it’s been important to me that I’m surrounded with humans I love and respect both as musicians and people. I’m lucky enough to live in a place where that’s an easy reality to create, and now it’s time to document that reality and share it with all of you!
Over the next year I’m bringing these people together to make a record that paints a picture of the incredible musical landscape we live in. The record will feature the stellar musicians who have played with Happy so far including Skerik, Thomas Marriott, Andy Coe, Tim Kennedy, and Ian Sheridan, and a few who have yet to join the fold like Damian Erskine and Brian Haas.
Visit the Kickstarter Page to read more, check out the rewards, and support the music!
This is Jessica Lurie. JUST LOOK AT HER. A modern Mona Lisa. Her kind visage belies the burning intensity within, a theme that translates perfectly to the music she writes and performs. There’s an ever-present sweetness and humor to her sound that’s braced by the muscle and fire she carries with her at all times, and I’m honored to be playing with her and a group of similarly equipped badasses in the coming days.
See and hear Jessica’s Instant Light Ensemble with Bill Horist, Rene Hart, and myself here:
Mon, Oct 26 @ Rhythm & Rye Olympia, 8pm
Wed, Oct 28 @ 90.7FM KBOO Portland, 3pm
Wed, Oct 28 @ Analog Cafe & Theater PDX, 8:30pm
Thu, Oct 29 @ The Jazz Station Eugene, 8pm
The seeds of 4Culture’s Arts Project Grant award are starting to take fruit. Two weeks ago I visited Kentridge and Kent Meridian High Schools along with Skerik, Tim Kennedy, and Evan Flory-Barnes for a workshop on artistry and emotion. We had an incredible conversation about what we all do and why, and brought a few brave volunteers up to make some music with us. We’ll be doing more and more of workshops in the future, so keep an eye out for how you can help make these happen.
I’ve also spent the last few weeks polishing the audio from Happy’s video recording and just released a few full-length tracks for streaming on Soundcloud. Check em out below and let me know what you think!
Writing for and rehearsing Happy Orchestra has been my main focus for the last few months and, after some solid progress, it was time to document the music and give the project its own internet home. Take a look at the video above to hear Skerik, Thomas Marriott, Andy Coe, Tim Kennedy, and Ian Sheridan play through my composition “The Dance” and visit happyorchestra.com to see and hear more.
Thanks to 4Culture for the financial support, and to all of you for coming out to hear the music! See Happy Orchestra at Nectar 9/10, Rhythm & Rye 9/11, and The Goodfoot 9/12.