I am very happy to share with you that I am one of the eight semi-finalists in the Michael Brecker International Saxophone Competition. This is a great honor for me and I look forward to traveling to Israel in the summer to compete against the seven other saxophonists. In the mean time, lots of practicing to do. I’d like to thank god, my family, friends and all of my teachers over the years that have helped me get to this point. It’s a surreal feeling.
I’ll be travelling to Eilat, Israel at the end of August to participate in the semifinal (and hopefully final) round held at the Red Sea Jazz Festival. Judges for the competition are: Ron Carter, Kenny Garrett, Donny McCaslin and Eli Degibri. Michael has always been a hero of mine…I first heard of MB when I was 14 years old, two months before he died. If you would have told me that 12 years later I’d be where I’m at, I wouldn’t have believed you. That all being said, I have a ton of work to do this summer to prepare. For the competition application I had to prepare a Michael Brecker transcription (in addition to some standards.) A lot of people are asking to hear my tape, I’m not going to post it but if you are interested in the MB solo, it’s from a Hal Galper record called “Redux 78.” The tune is called “Triple Play.” Like all MB solos it is near impossible to play and it took me many many hours to get even close. I chose this solo because it’s in 3/4 time at a medium-up tempo and has great changes. People that know me know I also love Hal’s music, having worked in his band for about 5 years. Here’s the solo:
I’ll keep you updated on the competition and related matters. Needless to say I’m extremely excited to travel to Israel. I haven’t flown anywhere in 4 years, and not out of the country in 6 years.
Summer Gigs & Stuff: I have some cool gigs coming up. This Saturday June 8th I’ll be playing with Bobby Sanabria’s Multiverse Big Band in the Bronx at Playground 52 at 7pm. More details on the “shows” page. I’m on another date with Bobby in July, details forthcoming. It’s always a pleasure to play with such a great and grooving band.
At the end of June I’ll be joining George Gee’s Orchestra for their monthly full big band hit at Swing 46. If you want to hear a truly swinging big band that you can dance to, come out. Music starts at 830pm.
More gigs probably to pop up as time goes by. As usual I sub a lot in Stan Rubin’s bands at Swing 46 on Wednesdays and at the Carnegie Club on Saturdays. Those are usually somewhat last minute but are always posted in the “shows” page of this website.
I’ll be going into the recording studio in July to record the music I wrote for the one hour film “A Beard Grows in Brooklyn.” This was my first go at film scoring so I’m excited and nervous to see how it will turn out- stay tuned.
If you haven’t checked it out, I’ve been compiling jazz listings in NYC on Ethan Iverson’s website Do the Math. We’ve been going for over a year now, compiling all the jazz shows we can know about in a single place called “Do the Gig” updated weekly. It’s a lot of work, but helps me stay up on what’s happening around the city. Looking for a show to attend? Check it out. As usual, I’ll be teaching at Turtle Bay Music School and Brooklyn Music School in addition to my private students. If you want to take a lesson go to the “contact” page.
Thanks for reading, thank you for your support,