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I came up with this arrangement for “Tracks of My Tears” in 2004. I saw Smokey Robinson in the flesh that year when Prof. Dennis Wilson let me tag along to the BET Walk of Fame rehearsal in NE DC. However, the best part of the whole day was Stevie Wonder and his reggae version of “Tears of a Clown”. It made me CRY it was so funky. It inspired me to take liberties with my version of “Tracks of My Tears”, and I brought it back for a second round with my favorite guitarist.

Springtime in DC. Nats losing, allergy-inducing cherry blossoms and hordes of elevator-standing tourists.

What is my personal sign of spring? Jazz Appreciation Month. That’s right. Appreciate me. There are so many great events going on this month it’s overwhelming. Check out some examples on my new favorite blog
My dear Diev and I were out today at legendary Bucky Pizzarelli’s masterclass and were thrilled to get to meet him in person after the show. What an amazing guitarist, and a cheerful guy to be around. I think he smiled through the whole set with bassist Tommy Cecil.

As for my own contributions to appreciating jazz this month, I will be performing tonight with the Howard University Jazz Ensemble at Westminster Church in SW DC. We will also be performing Sunday at the Anacostia Community Museum.

I am thrilled that my composition and arrangement “Lightning” will be performed by HU’s (Downbeat Award-Winning!) Afro-Blue, together with the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra on April 24th at 5pm in the Sylvan Theatre on the National Mall for the closing weekend of JAM activities. Many thanks to fabulous arranger and donut-bringer Scott Silbert for his tips on the arrangement!

Please, if you can, appreciate some real live jazz this month.