We recorded the Presidential Suite on Sunday, and I can't express how thrilled I am to have this day arrive, and experience such great attitude and musicianship from everyone involved. We got all eight movements plus the Overture done in eight hours. My executive producer, Kabir Sehgal, invited some wonderful guests, and two of the other contributing producers, Adam Inselbuch and Michael Fricklas, also were attendance. Some brought family and friends and there was such a great vibe in the studio all day.
Our engineer, Rob Macomber, is so easy to work with, and everything, with the help of his interns, and our assistant Jay Sgroi, went smoothly.
Our lead trumpet player, Ryan Kisor badly inured his shoulder the day before the recording and played the entire session with one hand. Heroic is the only word for it.
Joe Temperly made a cameo appearance, playing the first eight bars of the movement Churchill, a solo section I wrote with him in mind. He is a big Churchill fan and was excited to play this on the premier in January, but he ended up missing that performance, so I am so happy to have him bring his big, beautiful sound to the piece.
I want to thank all the people who made a contribution to this project. Without all of you this recording couldn't have happened. Thank you!
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Men Say the Darndest Things - New Show, New Music!
Actress and writer Trish McCall has a new show for which I wrote original music - seventeen jazz pieces that serve as interludes between each scene. "Men Say the Darndest Things" is not a musical, but a dramatic play full of irony and humor (and not for kids!). The show has a limited run and I hope you can make it. The music will be performed by the Robert Rucker Project. I will be there on October 16th to check it out! Show runs September 25th - October 18th at the Black River Center for the Arts, 345 Lenox Avenue.
Trish's concept to include live music between each scene is pretty unusual for a straight theater piece. Trish told me at the rehearsal the other day the first two directors she considered asked her to eliminate the music, that it wasn't important to the story. But Trish's vision of having these pieces evoke specific feelings and set up the scenes was so clear she decided to direct it herself. Although not performed during the scenes, the music is almost a fifth character.
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Chucho Valdés, Pedrito Martinez & Wynton Marsalis
I have been rehearsing all week with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra for this weekend's concerts with guests Chucho Valdés and Pedrito Martinez. These amazing Cuban musicians are featured in an extended work by Wynton, blending jazz with the traditional folkloric music of Cuba and the Santería religion to create a work that illustrates the ability of music to elevate us from social and political unrest to the greatest heights of humanity.
It has been an intense week putting this together. The music is complex, but the end result was worth the hard work. Our first concert last night was grooving and uplifting. CLICK HERE for more information.
The concerts will be live-streamed so if you can't be there in person be sure to check it out.
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JLCO Fall Tour
I am getting ready to hit the road with the JLCO. It's always great to bring the music to people around the world.
September 24 -- Lawrence, KS Lied Center
September 25 -- Manhattan, KS Kansas State University - McCain Auditorium
September 26 -- Lincoln, NE University of Nebraska - Lied Center
September 27 -- Champaign, IL Krannert Center for the Performing Arts - Foellinger Great Hall
September 28 -- South Bend, IN DeBartolo Performing Arts Center - Leighton Concert Hall
September 30 -- Bowling Green, KY Western Kentucky University - Van Meter Hall
October 1 -- Louisville, KY The Kentucky Center - Whitney Hall
October 2 and 3 -- St. Louis, MO Jazz St Louis - Jazz at the Bistro
October 4 -- Germantown, TN Germantown Performing Arts Center
October 5 -- Nashville, TN Nashville Symphony - Schermerhorn Symphony Center
October 7 -- Charlotte, NC The Belk Theater
October 8 -- Chapel Hill, NC University of North Carolina - Memorial Hall
October 10 -- Bloomsburg, PA Bloomsburg University - Mitrani Hall
October 11 -- Greenvale, NY Tilles Center
October 12 -- Rutland, VT Paramount Theater
October 13 -- Hanover, NH Dartmouth College - Hopkins Center for the Arts
October 14 -- Quebec, QC CND Festival de Jazz de Quebec - Capitole Theatre