It’s taken awhile to catch my breath since returning from all of these travels. Our European tour started in Vienna. I had never been there before. Played a cool club (actually, it was very HOT there!). We were just there for one night, so not much time to look around, but it seemed like a lovely city.

Straight onto England after a four hour layover in Milan and having some trouble in Customs. We got right on a bus ride to Rocheford – a very long day but luckily an extremely charming little town. The venue was a lovely hotel/restaurant which is owned by (booked by too) Derek Renouf, the chef! We did the gig that same evening to an enthusiastic crowd of about 50. (That is how small this sweet place is – one of my favorite, intimate ways of performing.) We had the next day off thankfully, and had a look around the town, back to dinner at Renouf’s who took very good care of us.

Next day, back on the bus to the Wigan Jazz Festival, performing in a totally different setting. It was a very large hall with a crowd of about 400 to 500 folks.

Flying out the next day to Rome. After discovering a couple of us had no luggage, we met our very nice host, went on to the hotel and had a ‘night off.’ The venue in Rome was a “new” one although the building is very old and beautiful outside. It is connected to a music school there. We played two nights there, then onto Vietri by train. This was lovely. On the way we passed ‘Mt Vesuvius’ – the volcano that ruined Pompei. Our wonderful hostess, Antonia, picked us up and we were soon climbing the beautiful hills along the Amalfi Coast to our sweet little hotel. What an amazing, enchanted place. Our gig was that same night – again, outdoors connected to a very old museum. We got to stay one more night there, had a lovely meal by the sea and walked around the city. It was like being on the set of ‘Il Postino’ – beautiful! They were lovely to us.

Then driving to Salerno airport the next day, flying onto Paris where we stayed for the remainder of the tour. We played at a cool little club called “Sunset.” The night before we played there, we stepped in to hear the drummer Jeff Ballard’s trio. They sounded great. Of course, for me (and soooo many others) Paris is very special, no matter what you’re doing. One thing we had to do was get our visas for Brazil! This turned out to be easier than getting one here. Also had a fun picnic under La Tour Eiffel, and of course always visit our friend and restauranteur Franco Della Corte. Also saw our friend Luigi Trussardi (great bass player who also sat in with us).

All of us back home for two whole days before heading to Brazil. Both clubs – Bourbon Street in Sao Paulo and Mistura Fina in Rio are great and the promoters take very good care of us. Many thanks to Inez, Herbie and Christian. The audiences were/are always glad to hear Brazilian songs and sing along which I love. It’s a very special feeling when that happens. They’re also very familiar with the “new material” of Wild For You (as are Europeans). This was a nice surprise to me, very welcoming.

One of the last “off” days in Rio we were invited to a friend’s friend’s for dinner in Barra di Tjuca – a suburb of Rio … a drive up the coast, looking at the amazing favellas. These friends are great people who do great work for the poor children in Rio. I hope to work with her someday, she has an incredible MUCH needed foundation.

After the long trip home to the US, I had a week with my family in Minneapolis and in Wisconsin (where it was a record cold of 48! Non-stop rain) BUT we saw beautiful wildlife: eagles, loons (and heard their incredible sound too) deer, blue birds, and heron. This was lovely.

Onto California this week, then two weeks in NYC at Le Jazz Au Bar with special guest Bruce Barth.

Thank you for listening.