Since my relatively slow schedule this week has allowed me a half a second to take a breath, I thought I’d take a moment to reflect on two inspiring tours in Europe to start the year. Thanks to my dear friend the amazing bassist, Gianluca Renzi, we were able to spend most of January and the first half of February in Italy, France, Switzerland and even a pass through London. It’s amazing how strong the love for this American art form is throughout the world and it was a real treat share this music in an intimate trio format (tenor saxophone, bass, and drums) in wonderful venues with exceptional fans.
For the last three years I have been lucky enough to bring the Jazz House Kids Ambassadors combo to the prestigious Charles Mingus competition. Through this process, my love of Charles Mingus’ music has grown exponentially as I study it more deeply to teach it to the members of the group. The event itself allows our students to gain more insight into the music by getting instruction and feedback from the members of the Mingus Big Band. There are panel discussions for us directors in which we gain further insight into the compositions and the genius of Mingus.
On the day of the competition, this past Sunday, we performed “Reincarnation of a Lovebird”, “Portrait”, and “Peggy’s Blue Skylight”. And low and behold they won their category. To make the day complete, our Jazz House Kids Big Band under the direction of Abraham Burton won as well!
This is a video from a couple of years ago that I just stumbled upon on YouTube.I miss playing in this band! Josh is an incredible force in the music.
Josh Evans- Trumpet, Arranger
Bruce Williams- Alto Saxophone Solo
Mike Lee- Tenor Saxophone Solo
Bruce Williams, Yunie Mojica- Alto Saxophone Stacy Dillard, Mike Lee- Tenor Saxophone Frank Lacy, Stafford Hunter, David Gibson, Max Seigel- Trombones Tony Sisson, Linda Briceno, Vitaly Golovnev, Marquis Hill- Trumpets Theo Hill- Piano Ryan Berg- Bass Kush Abadey- Drums