Hope that everyone is well. I\'m settling down from a fairly intense spring season. A quick update.....Shortly after returning from the Virgin Islands, I went out for a short residency with my man, Justin Kauflin, at We Always Swing in Columbia, MO. It was a very-well received performance, and we also did some great masterclasses for a few thousand elementary school kids. Fun! The following week, I got MARRIED! Yes, Yes....I took the plunge and I\'m so happy I did. It was a beautiful ceremony and we had an amazing honeymoon in Cancun. Upon returning to the states, I traveled to Philly to perform a 2-night engagement at South Jazz Parlor with the Terell Stafford Quintet. As usual, Terell, Tim Warfield, Peter Washington, and Bruce Barth blew the house off the joint. An amazing time! The following week, I reconnected with my dear friend, Pianist Larry Willis, in Hartford, Connecticut for a tribute concert honoring the Legendary Jackie McLean. The Quintet (with Trombonist Steve Davis and Blake Meister) was augmented by NEA Jazz Master, Gary Bartz, for the performance. A beautiful evening honoring a great man. The last few weeks were spent with Terell\'s band performing a 4-night run at the Jazz Showcase in Chicago, IL...followed by a 6-night run in NYC\'s legendary Village Vanguard. Both runs were amazingly fulfilling and well-received. I look forward to some upcoming performances with Terell\'s band in the fall...Stay Tuned!
In the meantime, I\'ve finally had the opportunity to catch my breath and gather my thoughts......which leads me to the point of this whole post. I am going to be taking on a limited number of students for private study (In-person in VA or via Skype). Many people have inquired and I feel that now is the best time to start. So...if this is something that interests you, please head over to the \"Lessons\" tab to find out more information.
Thats all for now. Until the next time, be blessed!
Hello! Hope all is well out there. Unfortunately, it has been almost a year since I wrote an update and a lot has happened since then. Last week, I returned from a week of performances from what is becoming my favorite club in Europe, Jazzhus Montmartre in Copenhagen. I had a blast performing with Justin Kauflin and Thomas Fonnesbaek. Looking forward, I\'ll be headed to Vegas for a couple of weekends to perform with Vibraphonist/Pianist/Arranger Christian Tamburr, whom I was fortunate to meet during my time performing at JALC Doha in Qatar. I started working with Christian shortly after we returned and it\'s always great. We had a really cool performance at the Google Headquarters in Mountain View, CA in January. That was pretty cool! I\'m also looking forward to visiting St. John, Virgin Islands next month with the amazing Victor Provost. Victor is a killin\' steel pannist whom I had the pleasure of recording with last year. Really beautiful music. I believe the record is scheduled to come out later this year and I\'m excited for everyone to hear it. Speaking of recordings, my friend Christian Winther\'s newest recording, \"Refuge In Sound\" has been released. It was a really great session that featured the talents of Allyn Johnson, Reuben Rogers, Christie Dashiell and Mike Moreno. As announced a few months ago, I am glad to now be a part of the Paiste Cymbals family as an endorser. I\'m also excited to have recently joined the Protection Racket Gig Bags family as well. More information can be found in the \"Endorsement\" tab under \"Showcase\". I\'ve updated my itinerary with some cool things, so if you are around, please come out and say yo. That\'s all for now! Talk soon!
Hey everyone! I hope this update finds you well. I'm just getting back from a fabulous European tour with my friends, Justin Kauflin and Chris Smith. We were out supporting Justin's new release "Dedication" and we had a great time. It's been a great spring/summer season filled with many fulfilling gigs (as noted on my "ITINERARY" page) and recording sessions (of which I will speak more of when they release!). Speaking of which, I've up dated the discography on my "ABOUT" page (if you're interested!). I also had the distinct pleasure of doing an interview for the Jazz Access Podcast with my friend, Tyler Henderson. It was my first "official" interview and it was great! I've attached a link to that interview on the "SHOWCASE" page. LASTLY, I am proud to announce that I am officially an endorsing artist for VIC FIRTH Sticks/Brushes/Mallets and REUNION BLUES gig bags. It's an honor to be officially affiliated with companies whose products I would continue to use either way.
Welp....That's all for now. Stay Tuned!
02.24.15Happy New Year
First off, HAPPY NEW YEAR! 2015 is off to a great start. The second half of 2014 was great as I had the opportunity to go on the road with the bands of Trombonists Steve Davis and Delfeayo Marsalis, and Pianists Justin Kauflin and Larry Willis. I also got the opportunity to perform with one of my heroes, Ellis Marsalis, as a part of of Delfeayo\'s \"The Last Southern Gentleman\" Tour. I was fortunate to be a part of a video recording for Voice of America with Delfeayo, Ellis, and Bassist Dezron Douglas. The end result can be viewed under the \"Videos\" tab (along with other new videos!) Shortly after, I was contracted to do a 5 week run at Jazz At Lincoln Center Doha as a member of the JALC Doha All-Stars. It was a great time! So great, in fact, that I came home for the month of December, and went back to do another 4 week run in January to start 2015 off right! In addition, I was fortunate to record with some of my favorite people/musicians in 2014: Pianists Justin Kauflin, Debo Dabney, and Weldon Hill, and Vocalist Desiree Roots. All of these recordings are out now, and I encourage you to check them out! 2015 is looking bright as I\'ve started to perform with the great trumpeter, Terell Stafford\'s Quintet, in addition to touring with my man/amazing pianist, Justin Kauflin. Please keep an eye on the dates as new dates are being added fairly regularly. Hope too see you around!
Hey Everybody! Hope that you are well. Just figured that I would stop in and try to do a brief update of my year so far. Gratefully, it has been rather eventful!
In January, I made my first trip to the NAMM Music Trade show in California. It was a great time and cool to be around so many of my favorite musicians showcasing the newest musical equipment. A great experience.
February saw me collaborating for the first time with the great trombonist and NEA Jazz Master Delfeayo Marsalis (Yes, he is one of them!). We performed at the National Museum of American History for a great African American History program. We also collaborated with the Young People's Chorus of New York debuting some of Delfeayo's arrangements for quintet and voice. The following week I headed to Copenhagen, Denmark for a week with Vibraphonist Warren Wolf. We performed 3 concerts at the Legendary Jazzhaus Montmartre to very enthusiastic crowds. Shortly after, I came back and did a short 3-day run in the midwest (Minnesota and Wisconsin) with Pianist Richard Johnson. In addition to some stellar performances, I also had the awesome opportunity to do some teaching through the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. A few days after returning home, I headed back to Europe for a week with Legendary Pianist Larry Willis' Trio. We performed some amazing concerts in Vienna, Paris, Ferrara and Perugia (where I had, probably, the best Tortellini I've EVER had!!!). BUSY Month!!
March started off with a great concert at the Berklee College of Music with Warren Wolf and Wolfpack for WBGO Radio's "The Checkout: Live". The full concert was streamed live via web and radio is archived on YouTube. Towards the end of the month, I went on a short run with the amazing Tromobonist Steve Davis' Quintet (promoting Steve's latest release "For Real" on Posi-Tone Records). The band featured Larry Willis on Piano, Nat Reeves on Bass and Abraham Burton on Tenor and Soprano Saxophone! We performed 3 nights at Smalls Jazz Club in New York City, followed by a concert at Caton Castle in Baltimore, MD. We finished the run with a masterclass at VCU (My alma mater!) and a performance at the Richmond Jazz Society's Guest Educator's Series. An amazing time! (Oh yea, and I MOVED TO RICHMOND, VA!!)
April kicked off with a concert with the Larry Willis Trio at the University of Maryland Baltimore-County. It's always an honor to share the stage with Larry. Shortly after, I performed at the amazing Tahirih Justice Center Gala with the Tim Warfield Band feat. Terell Stafford. Not only was the gig great, but it was enlightening to learn of the great things that the Tahirih Justice Center is doing in our community. I encourage you to check it out if you have the opportunity. The next day, I flew to Minnesota to start a short 3 day run with Delfeayo's band. We performed at The Dakota in Minneapolis, The Washington in Burlington, IA, and the Holland Performing Arts Center in Omaha, Nebraska. We also performed a clinic at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
In May, I performed with my good friend Justin Kauflin's trio at the Kennedy Center Jazz Club. It was an amazing performance and we had fun debuting some of Justin's new music. The next weekend I returned home to Virginia Beach for some exciting performances at the PANorama Caribbean Music Festival with the amazing Steel Pan-nist Victor Provost. I got exposed to so much great talent and music from people of all ages from all over. Great times! The next week I debuted some of my new music in Richmond and D.C. with some great friends of mine (Alan Parker, Andrew Randazzo, Mark Meadows, and Marcus Tenney). It is sometimes stressful being a leader, but those guys made it easy! I also got to reunite with the amazing Pianist Cyrus Chestnut for a performance in Montpelier, MD (in the same place that I had my 1st gig with him 7 years prior. full circle...). I finished out the month with a FUN performance at the Jacksonville Jazz Festival in Florida with the Delfeayo Marsalis Quintet. Delfeayo's gigs are always full of New Orleans-style fun.
In June, I traveled to Seattle to perform with Justin for the Seattle International Film Festival. Justin is being featured in a documentary chronicling the life of the great jazz musician Clark Terry and Justin as one of his most recent students. The film is being produced by the amazing Quincy Jones. Keep your eyes peeled for the movie's release this fall! A few days later, I rejoined Delfeayo for a performance at the Longwood Gardens Jazz Festival in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. A few weeks later, I again performed with Delfeayo at the Virginia Jazz and Blues Festival in Hot Springs, VA. This performance was great as the group was comprised of a few of my favorite musicians (and VA homies): Justin Kauflin, James Saxsmo Gates, and Jason Jenkins. I also had the pleasure of performing a CD release party with my good friend, Pianist Mark Meadows in Washington D.C. for his new release "Somethin' Good". The CD is amazing (I didn't perform on it) and I recommend that everyone check it out. Last week I performed at the Nordic Jazz Festival at the Embassy of Sweden in Washington D.C. with Saxophonist Christian Winther. The gig was great (but only 30 mins! If that!) and there was a lot of great music from many artists from the Nordic Region of Europe (Sweden, Finland, Iceland, etc..)
Well, that's all for now! Keep an eye on the calendar for some things coming up this Summer and Fall!
01.10.14NEW VIDEOS AND SOUNDS
Happy New Year!
Check out the new sounds in the "Listen" section and also check the links section to check out new videos on my YouTube Channel.