I left off in February. It’s been a very full year thus far. Our February/NYC masterclass was a big success. With about 15 students, we got through a lot of music. I was very proud of all of them. It’s so gratifying for me to hear and see progress and love of music in my students. Shall we do another next year? (Answer is yes!) Thank you to Hiroko as always.

On to a week at the Blue Note where we double-billed with Raul Midon, a lovely, very talented singer, song writer and guitarist. It was a great and packed week. And, I have to say my band mates (Steve Nelson, Rod Fleeman, Ed Howard and Todd Strait) were beautiful!!

I got to see family in Minneapolis and had lots of fun always with them. Even helped (a little) my niece move into her first apartment. I got to see other Honolulu niece who was visiting, and of course my beautiful Mom and sisters.

Going to the southwest in the winter is always welcome, especially when it’s such a great venue in Tempe – the Tempe Performing Arts Center! Thank you Woody, our host and the big band for making it such fun. We also visited the fabulous new music museum in Phoenix, “MIM” (Musical Instrument Museum).

Our friend from the Dakota, Lowell Pickett gave us the grand tour, and if you’re ever in that area, go see it!! I also got to see my friend Mary Kay while there. One of the benefits of travel when you can, is seeing great friends along the way!

Back to the Northeast, we had a great concert in Brattleboro, VT at the Vermont Jazz Center. Thank you Eugene and the staff there for making it such a success. And to the band: Steve Cardinas, Todd Strait and George Kay – to a sold out crowd!

I then played at the Holyoke Community College with the Amherst Jazz Orchestra. I also worked with the students for a few days. Thank you to all for that great experience!

On to Omaha for a visit, with Ardi and to see the great sand hill crane migration in Nebraska. Wow, it was spectacular! Also got to see great friends Mary and Steve while there. I do not recommend however, having food poisoning while on an airplane – ugh. That’s a not-so-good thing while on the road! (TMI?) I also did my taxes while there. Hey, at least I like my accountant! (It’s a glamorous life! )

Got to hang with friends along the Hudson River (Croton – beautiful) with hosts Doc C and Vi and Alan, the Toto bros among others – great day!

Back to NYC, where I was asked to play St. Peter’s Church Jazz Vesper’s service. I loved it! My theme was SPRING! An added plus was that Gene Bertoncini was there and sat in. Also thank you to Ivan Sturm for playing with me.

Bill McG and I went on to Philadelphia for a WRTI performance. Bill and I played and talked. It was great fun, and for his alma mater (Temple University’s) great radio station anniversary. WRTI has also been champion’s of mine ever since my first CD, “I Didn’t Know About You.” A big thank you to “BP with the GM” (Bob Perkins with the Great Music)  You can listen to the program soon, we’ll keep you posted.

Got to attend a very sweet children’s afternoon program at Carnegie/Zankel Hall. So great to see kids excited about real music (everything from show tunes, music of India, China). Thanks to my friend Hillary for inviting us!

Next, LA to one of the most beautiful venues I have ever seen, let alone played: SOKA University. (They say Yo Yo Ma agrees with me on that one.  🙂 I look forward to going back there in Jan 2014 as a tribute the great Bennie Golson. Thank you to our host Jim!

Went to hear my colleague Chris Caswell playing with Paul Williams at the Carlyse in NYC. It was a real treat hearing all of his wonderful tunes – hits all.

Blues Alley in DC was a real pleasure. We got to be there for three nights with great crowds. Loved playing on their new grand piano. Thanks to the staff and audiences there!!

Back to my beloved Pioneer Valley and on to Worcester, MA at the lovely Tuckerman Hall. WICN Radio also has been a very long-time supporter of mine. A big thanks to them and the to staff (Brian!)  and audience at Tuckerman Hall. It was a very special night. The band: Bruce Barth, Ed Howard and Mark Walker were amazing!

A very quick turn around to NYC, where I was a part of the “Lyrics and Lyricist’s salute to Jerome Kern” at the 92nd St Y, with a great cast (such talent!) and thank you to our host and presenter Deb Winer for such a success.

One more quick turn around to the great city of Chicago to play the Green Mill. What can I say about that place! Proprietor, Dave Jemilo sets the bar very high for presenting and keeping jazz alive there. The audiences were terrific. Thank you to my band: Rod Fleeman (no one plays like Rod! :),  Gerald Spaits, and Eric Montzka.  You all were great. Saw great friends while there too, and celebrated Bill McG’s 10th Anniversary with his wonderful WFMT radio show, “Exploring Music.” Congratulations Bill and all!!

Back to NYC this week where I hope you’ll join us in a brand new venue for jazz:  54 Below, with another of the great radio stations in the country (WBGO) presenting! Thanks to Todd Barkan for inviting us and see you THERE!