Dear Friends, greetings!

I hope the New Year is great for you so far.

It’s been a calmer beginning for me….It was a very busy 2014. Now, it’s good to sit back and assess what’s been and new possibilities ahead. And for me, that means new music–I look forward to sharing it with you very soon.

I last wrote in September… mid- Sep. I was literally on my old stomping ground in Kansas City at Loose Park . (When I lived there, I went to that park a lot to run) I played with my wonderful KC players to benefit the Rose Garden there– great fun!

Then off on the Signature Jazz Cruise, a week on the Mediterranean — with an amazing band; Shelly Berg, Randy Brecker, John Clayton, Jeff Hamilton, Anat Cohen and Wycliffe Gordon. This was a cruise like no other I’ve ever been on–they’re ALL good! But this was an exceptional, smallish ship with all the accoutrements and to be in the Mediterranean was so special.

One of my favorite things was when Anat and another friend and I got IN the water at one point, and paddled in kayaks around that boat!! Music was wonderful, our leader (Shelly!) planned a musical theme each night, so it was varied and fun.

Thank you to our hosts and all who made that possible. Bill and I planned a week in Rome and Venice after that (might as well! ) Needless to say, it was a very fun week too.

Back to the mainland– had a lovely performance in Schaumberg Illinois with Rod, Larry Kohut and Eric Montzka– always a pleasure to be back there.

Onto the Northwest– first a visit and hang with my 2 sisters and niece (Elisa, Tracy, Sydney and Uncle Dave) for fun…. then, played a week at Jazz Alley- always a favorite! Great band; Bruce Barth (who also sang some harmonies on some new tunes) Rod, Jeff Johnson and Todd Strait. We love Seattle audiences!

From there to another beautiful spot– Santa Cruz CA– at Kuumbwa with Rod and bassist John Witala. Great crowd of music lovers, and also great to see Bill’s son (Bill !) and our Dear friend Blanche Williams. (Claude “Fiddler” William’s widow)

Onto one of the best cities on the planet; San Francisco. And to the new and beautiful SF Jazz Center– Rod, Larry Kohut and I played in the Joe Henderson Lab for 2 sold-out evenings… what a cool venue!

While there, I visited my high school alma mater Holy Names High in Oakland –got to speak with the students (and find my senior year picture– wow, that’s an eye opener) But it was special to re-connect — I have very fond memories of that school.

Back to the other greatest city; New York and BIRDLAND; our New York home…. A fabulous week with Chris Caswell on B-3, Adam Cruz on drums, and Rod on guitar… we tried out many new tunes, and the audiences were great.

A sweet little venue in Ridgefield CT where Ed Howard and I played as a duo– which we want to do more of… thank you to our gracious hosts Ken & Marcia.

Onto Pioneer Valley and a holiday show at the Loft in Northampton MA with Paul and his great trio… audiences there are always spirited & fun.

Another holiday performance in Omaha (at my other alma mater) UNO– this time, a musical extravaganza playing with the student big band, and orchestra. Arrangements done by Bill McGlaughlin and conductor Barry Ford– Rod joined me and we thank Pete Madsen for putting it all together– what a blast! And thank you to my step-Mom Ardi, Mary and Steve for hosting beautiful after-parties.

Onto the West Coast– and @ Catalina’s in Hollywood– our LA home for years now. Playing with Chris on B-3, Larry Koonse on guitar, and Adam Cruz on drums- we had a ball, and the crowds were wonderful… we subjected them to both Yuletide Hideaway material and NEW songs– An adventurous crowd :))

As was the audience in Kansas City at the beautiful Folly Theatre. When I lived and worked in KC as a local, the jazz stars would come in to our gigs after their performances at the Folly (that’s where I first met James Williams as a matter of fact) and I dreamed of one day, playing that venue– full circle.

And for the last holiday concert of 2014, we concluded at the great supper club the Dakota in Minneapolis. Rod, Laura Caviani and Bob Bowman had some wonderful musical moments and as always, we thank Lowell and the great audiences in the Twin Cities. Having my Mom and family there always makes it even better.

Please check out our new reviews of many of these concerts, new pics, and other news on the website, as well as new dates being added.

And I’ve been a guest on several new recordings…
Please check out:

Cindy Scott’s “Historia”
Pianist Dave Bass’
Bassist Bob Bowman’s “Songs for Sandra” available through KC Jazz Ambassador’s.

And as always, thank YOU for listening.

Seen, heard, read and other:
Was fun to be a guest at Birdland for Jane Monheit’s “Jazz Party”.
I was a guest DJ on Jonathan Schwartz Channel (please see website to check that out) What an honor! We’re asked to feature some of our favorite recordings and influences, speak about them… thank you to my engineer for helping me along! Jonathan Schwarz’ Holiday radio show also at Birdland, alongside such luminaries as our host Jonathan, John Pizzarelli, Jessica Mollaski, Harry Schearer and his lovely singer/pianist wife, Gene Bertoncini, Ann Hampton Callaway and I ‘swapped some bop’ (as we like to put it) together– aka sang together.

In Amherst MA– a fun Judie’s Art Bar event where they featured the cover of “Yuletide Hideaway” for everyone to draw– we all came home with our artwork.

We attended the memorial tribute to Charlie Haden at Town Hall in NYC…
too many jazz stars to mention– the music was great, as were the video clips of Charlie…a beautiful tribute to a jazz icon.

In Kansas City very sadly, we lost a Dear friend and drummer extraordinaire Tommy Ruskin.Our hearts go out to Julie and Brian.