Catching up on 2017

2017 has been eventful to say the least, and I’ve been lagging on posting updates here but not for lack of activity. Above are some photo highlights. Back in January I was pleased to accept the Jazz Educator of the Year award from the Kern County Music Educators’ Association, which was a nice prelude to our 2nd annual KCMEA Jazz Day event at Bakersfield College in April, and a few months later my acceptance of a tenure-track, full time teaching position as Director of Jazz Studies at BC. Lots of exciting things coming down the pike as we expand and develop this program…

I’ve been doing a bit of work down in Long Beach at my friend Chris Schlarb’s new Big Ego Studios, playing on several soon-to-be released projects by Schlarb’s group Psychic Temple, LA bassist Anthony Shadduck, Virginia duo Honeybrandy, and Iowa-based songwriter Dana Telsrow. In May I made a new record with Mike Baggetta – our fifth duo project as Tin/Bag – which should be out next year on Big Ego records.

Other highlights include gigs in Idaho and LA with Cathlene Pineda‘s Quartet, Sacramento and Oakland with a new trio with bassist Lisa Mezzacappa and percussionist Nathan Hubbard, and an epic gig atop the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook organized by SASSAS and my friend Dan Clucas.

BC Jazz plays Sun Ra

Fireside Jazz
The Bakersfield College Department of Performing Arts will present a Fireside Jazz concert featuring the music of Sun Ra on Thursday, November 1 at 7:30 p.m. in the Fireside Room at the BC Campus Center. Admission to this event is $8 general and $5 for students, staff, and seniors. Tickets are available at the door.

The composer/pianist/bandleader Herman “Sonny” Blount (1914-1993), widely known as Sun Ra, was recognized for his pioneering musical experimentation, outer-space philosophy (he claimed to be from the planet Saturn), outrageous costumes and the earliest incorporation of electronic instruments in jazz. His music both encapsulated and influenced the popular music of the twentieth century, from swing-era big band roots through bebop, avant-garde jazz, even funk and disco. Artists ranging from John Coltrane to MC5 to George Clinton all professed a deep connection with Ra’s music.

Director Kris Tiner and the Bakersfield College Jazz Ensemble have prepared a dozen classic Sun Ra compositions for their performance, ranging from his very first recording session in 1956 to his “postmodern” Arkestra of the 1980s.

More info at