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When I was in high school I was thrilled to attend the Washington Jazz Arts Institute, a free summer program created by award-winning educator/head of Duke Ellington School of the Arts jazz program, Davey Yarborough and his wife Esther Williams.

Now I’m honored to teach there every summer and I LOVE mentoring the newest jazz musicians in town. Please support this wonderful organization and swing by for the final free concert of the summer tomorrow at Peoples Congregational Church. (Flyer by superstar vocalist and fellow mentor Jessica Boykin-Settles, and I took the photos!) Watch out for our supersize trombone section this year!

July 19th was the sold-out and exciting world premiere of my five-piece Gwendolyn Brook’s song cycle for bassist/vocalist virtuoso Maggie Hasspacher presented by Wild Up at Boston Court in Pasadena, CA. I will have some audio/video soon and will include it in next month’s newsletter. (Read a review of the evening’s performance here).

Maggie and I will be performing my song cycle and more new music next month (Aug. 21) in Ann Arbor, MI along with Matt Dievendorf at Canterbury House. 

Maggie Hasspacher

I met the wonderful Candace Coles over 10 years ago when we were both students at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts. I am so excited to reconnect and hang with her out in Los Angeles. In addition to being my awesome k-town neighbor, we played a nice set on a gorgeous day in Santa Monica. Check out her music here.

(DC) July 3 at Twins Jazz with John Kocur / July 11 duo with Herb Scott at Chez Billy/ July 14 with Billy Wolfe Tetradectet and BCJO at Bohemian Caverns / (Baltimore) July 15 with Billy Wolfe Tetradectet at An Die Musik / (Los Angeles) July 19 with Maggie Hasspacher world premiere of my Gwendolyn Brooks song cycle for bass and voice! / (Ann Arbor) August 21 with Maggie Hasspacher at Canterbury House / (Ft. Wayne) August 23 Andrew Kratzat’s concert series with Matt Dievendorf

  I will be spending most of the summer in Los Angeles, but here are a few dates for my cross-country amigos to save: DC- Friday July 11 duo with Herb Scott at Chez Billy/Monday July 14 with Billy Wolfe tetradectet at Bohemian Caverns/Tuesday July 15 with Billy Wolfe at An Die Musik (Baltimore) Midwest- Thursday August 21 with Maggie Hasspacher at Canterbury House (Ann Arbor) Saturday August 23 Andrew Kratzat concert series with Matt Dievendorf (Ft. Wayne) More to come soon!

I spoke about the Washington Women in Jazz Festival and performed in Gothenburg, Sweden this past week. It was a surreal and wonderful whirlwind of amazing people and musicians. I saw 5 different bands, performed for an audience of advocates for women’s equality in music, and met so many wonderful Swedes. It was an incredible first trip to Sweden, and a HUGE thank you to Marie and Katarina for inviting me! I hope to get back there soon.

In the middle of the avenue in Gothenburg, all lit up for Christmas!

*The first day I was there I met Zara in the Kultur i Vast (Culture in the West of Sweden) office and we had an impromptu jam session in the middle of the afternoon. Of course, we had to play something from the most famous collaboration of Swedish/American Jazz, Bill Evans and Monica Zetterlund’s “Some Other Time”. Here’s a clip I hastily recorded. Enjoy!

We drove across the continent and now we’re settling in to Los Angeles life. Eating mangos and cheap tacos. I bought a little piano for our little place. Seeing tons of great music, Patrice Rushen, Stefon Harris and Ben Williams one night, Lisa Mezzacappa and Fay Victor, and COWBOP (my new favorite band) and more. I made friends with a yodeler. 

My new setup
The Grand Canyon from the viewfinder