I'm a freelance writer by day and a working jazz musician by night, and often I am able to combine my two lines of work. This blog is for posting gigs & various rants about music and life in general.

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Location: Central Illinois, United States
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Sunday, October 30, 2005

autumn leaves

Daylight savings time. I wish we had eliminated it this year instead of the planned 2007. Messing witht he time really screws up your schedule (that's why I was up at 7 am on a Sunday). Plus the whole getting dark at 5.00 thing stinks. Prozac, anyone?

Random thought: I'm excited about Halloween. For the first time in years I'll be able to hand out candy! Bought some Snickers and Paydays the other day for the occasion. I have no idea how many kids will be showing up--there aren't that many in the neighborhood--so I guess if we get only a slow trickle there'll be lots of goodies left to eat. Can't complain about that. (The pregnancy diet is basically an excuse to eat what you want, right?) I've done a little decorating...bought a couple of really cheap skull candles for the window, and last weekend I got together with a friend for our second annual pumpkin carving event. The little orange dudes are sitting in my front yard right now. So far, nobody's gotten the urge to smash them.

With November on our tails I'm realizing that other than the regular gigs I don't have that much going on. (Note the updated calendar to your left for updates.) I'm still planning on playing as much as possible through Feb. at least, or until I get so huge I can't even hold my sax without help. Still not sure what to expect in this area, but it'll be interesting to find out.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend everyone. It's supposed to be beautiful.

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Thursday, October 27, 2005

beneath the mask

Since I can now post pics, I thought I'd add another just for fun. This corresponds to a couple of posts ago and was taken at the Dave Weckl concert. That's Dave on the right (minus his cool 80s hair), Kevin next to him, and two of Kevin's students on the left. Enjoy!

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Tuesday, October 25, 2005

kenny, kevin, & me

I'm experimenting with pictures again...if this takes, it's a shot from a couple of years ago at the Indy Jazz Festival. That's Kenny Garrett with Kevin and me. If not, forget I mentioned it. On to other things....

I'm watching Game #3 in the World Series as I type. Sox are leading, 5-4 in the 7th. This pleases most folks I know...my in-laws, because they're near Chicago and are huge Sox fans. My dad, because he hates all teams from Texas. And the local Cub fans, because their team didn't even come close to making the Series--for them I think the Sox are the next best thing. I'm rooting for 'em too...been to a couple of games over the past few years and enjoyed the experience. Well, except for the 2-hour rain delay earlier this year. There really isn't much to do at a ballpark when the game's not going on. You can eat, I guess, if you want to blow 6 months worth of salary. Or gig money (whatever it is that you do--however you get paid).

Hey musicians...do you ever set up gigs exclusively via the Internet? I'm playing a private party on Friday night that I booked about a month ago. I just opened an email one day asking if I'd be available to play on Oct. 28 for a cocktail hour. I didn't know this person, and I don't think she knew me--now that's having faith--what if I couldn't put a decent band together to save my life and if I sucked big time? Fortunately, I'm usually able to assemble a group of musicians that anyone would be happy to play with, and we work pretty well together. And I don't always suck...just the occasional gig here and there. :-)

Seriously, I've booked a few gigs this way. Sight unseen, sound unheard. Usually I'll send a demo CD out upon request, but this time there was no request. It's interesting. Just wondering if anyone else has come across this booking method.

My battery's low so I'd better sign off. More as it happens....

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Thursday, October 13, 2005

armando's rhumba

Sometimes I feel incredibly lucky to have the good fortune to have opportunities to see some the best jazz masters at work. Last week yielded three unbelievable concerts: on Oct. 8 we scored tickets to see the Pat Metheny trio at U of I's Krannert Center. The group featured, of course, the guitar whiz himself on various afflictions, and also Christian McBride on bass and Antonio Sanchez on drums. There was even a surprise guest saxophonist during the second set: David Sanchez (no relation to Antonio). What else can I say but that this group was nothing short of amazing? Fabulous musicians, arrangements, technique, sound...you name it, it was integrated in the show. I gave it an A+++.

The following Friday we headed to Springfield (well, actually we were already there for a Swing Daddies gig) to catch the Dave Weckyl Band. If you like fusion (ala Chick Corea Electrik Band) you'd have loved this. And I've never seen so many drummers in the same room--it was kind of scary actually. The music was fast-paced, energetic, and believe it or not, not too loud. These guys were tasteful and friendly to boot. I wish them well (like that means anything, but still...) as they continue their tour to promote their latest CD, Multiplicity.

Last but not least, last Sunday Chick Corea was at the College of DuPage in Chicago. Kevin and I had a gig in Peoria that afternoon, which is about 3 hours from the City, so once that was done with we high-tailed it northward to witness this keyboard master at work. Great stuff...Corea has teamed up with a bunch of native Spaniards (and an American drummer) to produce some tasty flamenco-style jazz. Corea is a jazz giant, and definitely someone every musician should see at some point.

Am I listened out? No way. It's been great. Besids, I need to get this out of my system before March and babytime. Jazz concerts in auditoriums and screaming children are a big no-no (see, I've got the lingo of parenthood down already). We'll be sticking with outdoor concerts for quite a few years, I think.

More as it happens. Happy listening & gigging to all!

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Tuesday, October 04, 2005

that's my baby

I'm taking a much-needed break from working on various writing projects to catch up in blogworld. Actually, a much-more-needed break would entail me leaving this computer, but I'll do that in an hour or so when I head out to teach some lessons.

Just updated the October calendar. My schedule is starting to be a bit less hectic now that many of the outdoor events are winding down. As I've mentioned before this summer was pretty hectic. It'll probably be the last I'll see of that type of schedule for quite some time due to the upcoming life changes that are in the process occuring...we're expecting our first little jazzer in March. That's right folks, you heard it here first.

Actually, I'm hoping anyone that knows me doesn't actually find out via this blog--I hope I've been able to tell you in person. But I know there are a couple of friends I haven't been able to reach yet, so if this is your introduction to the news...sorry!

Not sure yet how this will affect my gigging. I do still plan to play, but probably not as much as I have been. What I'd really like to find is some other woman who has dealt with performing and pregnancy because I don't know what to expect. The many questions I have include things like how long will I be able to play--comfortably--before having the baby? Right now I'm planning on taking gigs through February, and probably leaving March-May completely gig-free. We'll see what happens after that.

Well how do I top that news? I can't so I'll just get back to work. More later...

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Sunday, October 02, 2005

quick note (no song title today)

Thanks to the crazies out in cyberworld that post meaningless advertisements in the comment section, I've had to implement Blogger's verification system. If you decide to comment you'll have to prove you are a real, live person by first typing in the letter/number combination shown. Please don't let this minor adjustment deter you from commenting...it only takes a second to complete the process.

I've got news but no time to share right now...I'll try to post later in the week.