Happy New Year!
2014 was a great year for me, with lots of new and fascinating experiences. I'll have a short look back and try to list at least some of the (mostly) musical events of the year.
January was mostly spent in teaching and playing with my students. In February I traveled to Lisbon, to play with my friend, the great guitarist Bruno Santos, and to give master class at the Hot Clube/ Escola de Jazz Luiz Villas-Boas. I had a tremendous time there, and got totally enchanted about the city. Such a great vibe, I'd love to spend there more time at some point in my life for sure! On our concerts at Hot Clube, me and Bruno worked with drummer Luis Candeias and bassist Antonio Quintino. We also played a Sunday afternoon jam at a cafe Tati, which turned to be really great! There we played mainly with bassist André Carvalho, Luis on drums and Goncalo Marques. A lot of fun indeed!
Here's a few shots from IASJ and Cape Town:
After coming home from South Africa, I left for Italy for about a month. First stop was Atina Jazz Campus , as part of Atina Jazz Festival in Atina, Lazio (near Frosinone). I was heading the campus and we had a great collection of students and teachers from Finland, Denmark, Italy (naturally), Portugal, Serbia, Brazil, Hungary... Such a great campus, and musically so far the most satisfactory of these camps. Everybody worked really hard and still the vibe was loose and creative! Looking forward to next summer! Special thanks to teachers Markus Niittynen, Peter Szendofi Carlos Ezequiel Dario Germani Ettore Fioravanti Marta Raviglia Susanna Stivali Pericle Odierna !
September I spent mostly teaching and practicing, and playing with my students. Anyhow I did a weekend trip to Tallinn with my son Milo, for his fencing competition. Such a nice city!
Me, Tuure and Ville flew Japan Airlines via London, while Mike came directly from Amsterdam, so we met and rehearsed in Tokyo.
Our first gig was a small festival in Tokyo, called Ochanomizu Netsuretsu Gakkisai, organised be the Meiji University. On the same night we still dropped by in the famous Body and Soul club in Minami-Aoyama. Owned by a great old lady called Kyoko Seki, it is one of those places that has the right vibe for a jazz club. Me and Mike got invited to play a few tunes with the rhythm section of that night, Kengo Nakamura and Dennis Frehse who, except sounded great, were working that night with the well-established pianist Junko Moriya who was so kind to invite us on stage. After a couple of tunes also Tuure and Ville joined us, and we played some tunes from our repertoire.
The following day we were off to Niigata, to perform at the Jazz Flash which also a legendary club, with a long history. In some way, this felt like the opening night of the tour, and the audience really loved us. We also had a great party there after the concert, cannot really complain! Hope to go back soon!
Next day we traveled to Kobe, it took the whole day, but luckily that night was free. Next day we performed at Kobe Modern Jazz Club, organised by Dai Murata. What a brilliant night!
that has been working under the same owner and name since 1962. Small and quite cozy place, we played with a very good energy that night. After that we headed back to Tokyo, to meet some people and take care of business. Great dinners and lunches always in Tokyo! Next gig was at Jazz Club Someday in Shinjuku, which is quite a big place for a Japanese club, and also very well established. Unfortunately the owner hadn't obviously taken care of his business, so there was only a few customers. But, blessing in disguise - one of them was a well-known Swedish jazz pianist, Ronny Johansson with his wife. Ronny played with us a few tunes, so we did have small jam session as well.
And off we go - heading now back North, and performing on the same night in Nagoya. We had (again) our luxurious 30 minutes at the hotel before rushing to the club..
Next day we had to return to Tokyo for our hotel, and then continue to Mito, Ibaraki, for our gig that night. A bit of a stretch again, but we made it and had a great night at the Girl Talk which is undeniably the best club in the whole region. We had also some friends in the audience and it was wonderful to play there!
I also played several concerts with my students towards the end of the year, and we worked really hard for those. I was supposed to go to Cuba in early December, but for practical reasons we postponed the appearance at the Festival Jazz Plaza in Havana, for December 2015.
- give master classes and play some duo concerts with Benito Gonzalez in Spain and Italy (February)
- do a 5-day teacher exchange to Royal Conservatory in Den Hague
- do a tour in Asia with Mike del Ferro (+ a rhythm section for sure..)- including Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia (March)
- visit South Africa and perform and teach at the SAJE festival and Cape Town Jazz Festival, plus do some recordings there(March-April)
- visit Japan (May) for some concerts and business
Thanks so much for reading/going through all this! (not sure if I would've managed myself:)
I will post shortly more news, please stick around!!!!