The adventure continued – come along on the road trip! Monday, September 26, we continued to Oberlin to present a clinic on Women in Jazz. It was quite an emotional day for our bassist Jennifer Vincent who found her love for jazz and her calling to be a jazz bassist as a student there and she hadn’t returned for 20 years. The panel was very successful – here is a great article on the topic and our talk. Afterwards we continued to Huntington, WV, and listened to the presidential debate on the way which made for very lively discussions in the car!
Tuesday was our big day at Marshall University in Huntington, WV. They have a building dedicated to Jazz Studies – the Jomie Jazz Building – how cool is that! And NEA Jazz Master Ellis Marsalis was visiting and joined me for a duet and words of wisdom for the jazz piano students. We also did an afternoon clinic sharing our music and the stories of each band member – after all there are years of touring with Andy Williams and the Duke Ellington Orchestra and Ambassador Tours for the State Department and so much more! The evening concert was packed and we had to open the door for overflow crowd. We finally got to premier Jennifer’s composition C.C. based on a conflicted friend who was stabbed to death – the music is a beautiful portrait of the tortured personality. Here is a taste of the concert.
On Wednesday we continued to Louisville for an evening concert at the Kentucky Country Day School, a K-12 Performing Arts School. The stage and sound were fantastic and we added Reut’s “I’m a Superstar” to the repertoire. Her free approach to writing is refreshing and takes us out of behavioral patterns to just pure music making. We returned to the school Thursday morning for a series of workshops with the students who were very curious and supportive – nothing like an Auditorium full of cheering listeners!
Homecoming for me – we drove to Bloomington in the afternoon for a performance for the Jazz Fables Series at Bear’s Place. What an honor to get to present this group to my friends and family and thank you all for packing the place. I made sure to deck everyone out with an IU Sweatshirt to take back to New York. And best of all, I actually got to give Zackary Herzig a birthday hug on his 17th Birthday with the requested Kylo Ren voice-changing mask and light saber.
The city of Evansville hosted us Friday night. The initial plan was to perform at the new Deaconess Sports Park, but the weather did not cooperate and we moved to the rain venue. A nice crowd followed and the stage in the old North High School has a great sound. Documentary film maker Kay D. Ray, author of Lady Be Good, and originally from Evansville, joined us from Seattle for the rest of the tour and recording sessions to create a documentary on the project. Look for more info on the documentary soon!
Saturday was our last performance at the Jazz Kitchen in Indianapolis. Jamie presented an afternoon clinic at Marian University and of course, on our last run with the 12-passenger van a careless driver bumped our back! Oh well – with only one door opening now we did our last setup at the Jazz Kitchen and the band never sounded better. It was a bitter sweet moment to drop three of them at the hotel for their flight back to New York. Jennifer, Kay and myself took my Prius back to New York with the bass and three suitcases – don’t ask how we fit everything in! After 14 hours of driving we arrived Monday morning 3am in New York – with recording sessions starting at 3pm, coffee anyone?
Report on the recording sessions coming soon – help us make it possible by pre-ordering your copy now at http://igg.me/at/monika or picking any of the perks.