After our European tour it was good to get some time off in NYC and Massachusetts while back. It didn’t last long! I was a part of Marian McPartland’s 30th anniversary of Piano Jazz at Dizzy’s. Lots of wonderful jazz luminaries were there to perform and what a treat to hear them all. Marian and I played two of her originals: Twilight World and There’ll Be Other Times. It’s always an honor and inspiration to just be around her.
Then a ‘quick trip’ to the Czech Republic and Hungary for just 3 performances, all great venues and wonderful crowds. I had never been there before and hope to go back.
A week in Birdland – yeh! When you travel so much, it’s a luxury to perform in your ‘own town’ – NYC! Especially when it’s at Birdland for a week and then again at Dizzy’s – two of the most historic and friendly clubs in the world. Performing with the Temple University Big Band at Dizzy’s was a blast! Singing with big bands is a whole other world – and usually a treat, especially with Terell Stafford leading the way and great ‘kids’ (!) playing so well in the band. Great to meet some of the alumni of Temple too that evening.
Next, we went back to the west coast and a few of our favorite jazz venues. First, Yakima Washington at the Season’s. Pat Strosahl and his family have created a wonderful series there and jazz writer/critic Doug Ramsey emcees the events which is a big plus. Wonderful folks there.
Then to San Francisco for the SF Jazz Festival. Our venue was the amazing Legion of Honor Theatre – what grounds! A view of the bay and the Golden Gate Bridge and GG Park – what a magical city. My sister, Tracy joined me there and we also were very happy tourists for a few days, staying with wonderful friends in “THE CITY”.
Jazz Alley in Seattle followed – always a great week there with lots of friends stopping in. My Mom often joins me while there, which is always a great and special time, also with Uncle Dave! Rod and I played a live session at KPLU-FM, one of the best stations around, of course! Off to Southern California to beautiful La Jolla at the Antheneum. It’s a great theatre, and loved playing there with Joe LaBarbera, Tom Warrington and Larry Koonse.
Then off to LA for Catalina’s. We saw many great friends there too. We always try to get some hiking in too while there. LA is not just city (although it often seems that way). Beautiful to get ‘out’ of the city and to the sea whenever possible.
In June, we found ourselves back in Switzerland, this time in St. Moritz for a private concert for the tennis star, Boris Becker’s wedding. After arriving in Zurich, we drove about 3 hours to St Moritz and stayed at the most beautiful resort there. Really enjoyed being a part of this very special occasion.
Back to the US and to be a part of the ASCAP award ceremony in NYC at the Allen Room. I was asked to perform a Johnny Mandel song in his honor. Chris Caswell and I performed his tune “Little Did I Dream” (lyrics by Dave Frishberg). It was daunting to perform in front of so many of your idols (Johnny himself, Jon Hendricks, Annie Ross, Randy Weston to name a few)! But also to be able to HEAR THEM was a thrill, among many others that great evening. Look soon for some photos in our photo gallery.
Off to favorite jazz spots in the midwest. First, to Kansas City and Jardine’s Jazz Club. This little club is becoming a great room for national artists due to the hard work of owner Beena and the great staff there. Sold out crowds and amazing energy, great friends there.
Omaha was next where we did a fund raiser for Hospice House and Ted E. Bear Hollow – two great causes. My Grandmother was in Hospice Care and there aren’t words to describe what a comfort that was for her and her family. We performed at the Joslyn Art Museum in the theatre. As a child growing up in Omaha I went there often to hear performances such as Vladimir Horowitz! And have done performances there that we remember fondly as well. We raised about $35,000 that evening.
While in Omaha I played in my father’s church (Augustana) for his 30-year anniversary of being an ordained Lutheran pastor. I grew up playing in that church. My sister Elisa was there also with two of her daughters, we had a great and special time. Which CONTINUED in Minneapolis (another home town for me!) at the Dakota. Bassist Larry Kohut joined Rod and me for 2 nights of fun music there to great crowds. Then onto Chicago at the Green Mill. It’s always an energetic crowd there and wonderful to play in that historic club. Drummer Eric Montzka joined Larry, Rod and me and sounded great.
Heading back East, I was honored to be part of the Interplay Jazz Camp in beautiful Woodstock Vermont – a great faculty. SHEILA JORDAN (we became FAST FRIENDS) and I performed and taught together. What an inspiration she is! Met so many great folks there. Of course we were very proud of the students at the concert. They worked really hard (and so did we! :)) And it rained like crazy almost the whole time!
Our new CD “By Request: The Best of Karrin Allyson” was released during this time (yes, the site is updated now!) Check it out! It represents several phases or ‘snap shots’ of my/our music making for the last 10-15 years with a varied repertoire and players along the way.
Then, some time OFF – in Massachusetts, loved it.
Back to California in Los Gatos for a fun outdoor concert – what a beautiful place that is! Then to Denver at the Soiled Dove, an intimate music club with a great staff and lovely crowd.
I was able to go on some great hikes with my friend Beth and visited beautiful Boulder. The mountains blew me away! Even more so when I got to Bailey Colorado for the Rocky Mountain Vocal Jazz Camp – what a great camp this is. The students were great and I again met and played with some great players/faculty (and had even more great hikes while there)
Until next time, I thank you for checking in – and wish you happiness, peace and great music.
Heard Out and About . . .
I went to violinist great, Mark O’Connor’s fiddle camp concert at the Ethical Cultural Society in NYC with our good friend Blanche Williams (Widow of the late Claude “Fiddler” Williams) – heard some wonderful music.
Heard Ingrid Jensen’s band in the Czech Repubic at the same festival we played. Mostly original, great tunes!
Heard vibraphonist Joe Locke’s band at Dizzy’s … with great singer Kenny Washington–lovely!