Last time I wrote we were just on our way to work with Matt Catingub (conductor, arranger, musician extraordinaire) and the Florida Orchestra. Just took Danny with me on this one as Matt had his very good rhythm section. Really a great sounding orchestra!!! Working with orchestras is certainly another type of performing experience which I really enjoy. Then, onto West Palm Beach. We met up with Paul, Bob and Todd for this.

Driving from Tampa to West Palm we stopped at a wonderful bird sanctuary. Since I’m a ‘fledgling’ birder, watching them so closely is fascinating to me. (Didn’t know pelicans nested in trees – what wonderful creatures.) Gig in West Palm was good and we hosted to a lovely after-party @ our friends, the Aspers. Back home to NYC to help celebrate Marian McPartland’s birthday at Birdland. Lots of wonderful players showed up and I sang one of Marian’s tunes with her (Twilight World) which was very touching for me. (Talk about ‘wonderful creatures’ – Marian’s one of them!)

Next day, to Spivey Hall in Atlanta – loved this great old hall, and the audience was amazing. Played in Pittsburgh next (just now flew over it again! ahhh…the road) at Dowe’s on 9th – always enjoy that club and Pittsburgh audiences too. Reading PA next at the ‘Burke’s Jazz Festival – double billed with the wonderful Cyrus Chestnut trio.

Then onto another favorite club, Jazz at the Bistro in St Louis. It’s a treat to be at a (good) club for several days in a row with favorite players. It gives us a chance to try new material (actually had a rehearsal!) and get a real groove going for the whole week. Since I was so close to KC, I went to my ‘hometown’ (going there several times this month) to help my friend Beena open her new club – Jardine’s. We invited so many KC players/friends – that was a real great night of music.

Saw my family in Omaha and then on to Minneapolis (all 3 cities were ‘hometowns’ so I got my FIX!) for more family and also played and did masterclasses for my sister’s kid’s schools there. Now THAT’S work! How I admire teachers! The kids were good though and seemed to dig it.

Finally back home to NYC for a whole week. While there, I did an interview for Jazziz Magazine with Diane Schurr and that evening performed a couple tunes with her at the Blue Note. One tune was for her upcoming CD on which we sang a tune together called ‘Stay Away from Bill.’

My good friend Ann Hampton-Callaway joined me (and Bill ūüôā which was great fun. Diane and band sounded fantastic- really enjoyed that. Then onto Philadelphia – another fun club, Zanzibar Blue. (The staff there is a great group of people!) After our Sunday performance there, we got to hear an amazing gospel choir who were in the audience. We started to talk and then they started to sing, then we all did til about 2:00 AM. That was a special night – what energy and talent … hope to do something with them someday. (Their minister of music’s name is Tamira Devlin – she’s a FORCE!)

Philadelphia has a rich heritage that I really love. We also did a small tribute to Nina Simone, I loved her unique style (and of course, Coltrane songs too) Yesterday, I did a performance/interview with Ann Hampton-Callaway at ‘Sirius’ Radio-cable. We’ll let you know when that will air.

All for now, onto KC again for the Ozanam Guild benefit, then the Green Mill in Chicago, back to KC for the Coda Jazz Fund benefit and later this month – Brazil!

Thank you for checking in and I wish you all PEACE….