The Dakota Bar and Grill in Minneapolis is always like going home to me. My Mom and sister live there, as well as many friends and I spent several good, formative years in the Twin Cities. Steve Nelson, Rod and Larry Kohut joined us along with drummer Phil Hey.
Next was Springfield, Missouri at the University there, a beautiful renovated theater, old friends and great musicians – Kim Park and Gerald Spaits joined us. Travel was challenging as I recall – barely making that gig due to flight troubles, but the audience was great.
Then to Jazz at the Bistro in St Louis, another great jazz supper club with lots of history – a big pleasure to be there.
In May we played the Hague Jazz Festival– a huge and musically inclusive event! We had a great set with Rod, Todd and bassist John Goldsby. More flight trouble with lost luggage! So, we bought clothes, borrowed cymbals and microphones, copied music, then after a set to a tremendously enthusiastic crowd, we got back to the hotel. Lo and behold, there was our luggage! Such is life on the road 🙂
Off to the West Coast in June. First stop was in LA/Hollywood at Catalina’s with Larry Koonse, Tom Warrington and Todd. Catalina’s is a favorite – another great jazz supper club with an amazing history.
Then to another favorite: Jazz Alley in Seattle, which feels more like a concert setting than a club while still keeping it’s very intimate and classy setting. We love it there!
Next was back to California in beautiful Santa Cruz to Kuumbwa Jazz Center. Amazing crowd! We were definitely seeing signs of the fires they were having there then. We wanted to stay but needed to move onto the new Yoshi’s in San Francisco – what a beautiful club, and great crowd. We were able to stay in San Francisco for a few days for R&R before our performance at the Filoli Festival. It is an amazing outdoor concert in the beautiful Bay Area I was joined by Rod, Todd and bassist John Witala. If you’re in that area and have a chance to attend one of these, it’s a great afternoon.
In June we were off to Europe. The first stop was for the Estoril Jazz Fest in Portugal, a lovely outdoor setting … with Rod, Ed Howard and drummer Anthony Penciotti. Next was Madrid to a funky little club there for a few nights. We met some lovely people there. Off to Poland in Gadansk for the “Ladies Jazz Festival.” We shared the stage with Toshiko Akioshi and several other women in jazz.
Our final stop in Europe was in San Javier, Spain for their festival – another cool, outdoor event with a wonderful crowd.
I had some much needed time off at home in NYC, then to Litchfield, Connecticut for their Jazz Camp. I really enjoyed teaching there. I was so proud of ‘my’ students at their concert! And also had a few fun musical moments of our own with other faculty members: Virginia Mahew, Dave Stryker, Steve Johns, Andy Jafee, Don Braden.
Returning to “Happy Valley” in North Hampton, MA we played at the Iron Horse in August – a very cool, funky music room and what a crowd we had there! Rod, Todd, Ed and I had a ball. Then onto Marblehead, MA to help end their summer jazz series which takes place in an old church with a packed, enthusiastic house. What a sweet town that is!
While I was in the area, I got to attend a concert at the Marlborough Music Festival: a wonderful classical music event with many luminaries. The music was very inspiring! Next tour is Brazil, which needless to say, we are looking forward to.
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