My father passed away in June. At the time, I had planned to move to New York in the fall but, in the aftermath, decided to stay in Seattle to regain my bearings and keep making music with the incredible musicians I love and am lucky enough to work with. I played with Joe Doria and Dan Heck the night he died and was immediately reminded of the healing strength of what I get to do. Playing served as one of the few things that made me present and pulled me out of the darkness, helping to slowly rebuild the drive and energy I lost in the weeks afterwards.
So I want to thank Joe, Dan, Tim Kennedy, Andy Coe, Skerik, Ian Sheridan, Thomas Marriott, RL Heyer, Kate Olson, Neil Welch, Tim Carey, Brad Gibson, the many others I’ve played with since, and the wonderful women of The Tiptons who I’m about to tour with and know will leave me feeling warm and full. I’m going to stay in Seattle for now, play with my friends, work on the Happy Orchestra record that’s sounding SO good (see below), and stay happy.
This past year has been incredible. As a performer I’ve been lucky enough to play over 140 shows in a dozen cities with 45 stellar musicians making up 20 different groups, not including the many I’ve met and played with at sessions and private events. As a teacher I’ve witnessed long-time students enter music programs all over the country and continue their growth here at home. As a homeowner, I survived a brutal attack by what I can only assume to be jazz-hating yellow jackets that built a nest in my backyard. Revenge is a dish best served in a spray-can filled with poison.
After joining Seattle’s Table & Chairs Records, Hardcoretet‘s album Do It Live got the press and radio attention it deserved and reached #16 on the CMJ (US) Top 40 Jazz Chart and #8 on the Earshot (Canada) Jazz Chart. McTuff recorded a new album at Electrokitty studio and our residency at Seamonster Lounge produced a constant flow of notable nights including a drop-in by Dave Matthews Band saxophonist Jeff Coffin, a night of music by Richie Aldente featuring Richie himself (Tim Kennedy), and the birth of TIBORFEST – the celebration of Seattle’s most energetic and supportive music fan. Jen Grajewski at Kentridge High School, my alma mater and home to Washington’s best drama department, contracted me to direct the pit in two shows, Legally Blonde the Musical and Godspell, and Farko and Feodor Dosumov enlisted Joe Doria and myself to fill out their jazz fusion group Double Trouble. Continue reading 2012 In Review→