This summer has been very eventful so far for me; I received a grant From OSU for a recording project which I will be doing in September, my quartet won a competition at the Rochester Jazz Festival (which included a big ass Happy Gilmore check, a recording session (late December), album design, a main stage performance at the XIRJF, and album design), and I’ve been playing and traveling constantly.
The recording project in September is going to fill half the CD which I will be releasing this spring. It will be a mixed bag of originals and arrangements of tunes by Sting, Nick Drake, and Leslie Bricusse (that guy who wrote the music from Willy Wonka)
My Quartet (Angelo Di Loreto Piano, Danny Ziemann Bass, John Hubbell Drums) won the first Rochester Jazz Star Competition this June and we had the opportunity to play at the Gibs St. Stage at the Rochester Jazz Festival. The whole competition was an interesting ordeal. I had a TV interview at in which a reporter told me I had a “Mellifluous Broadcaster’s Voice”. We made it through two (ridiculously competitive and long) rounds of internet voting to get to the finale where the top 5 acts competed live. We played an arrangement I did of Irving Berlin’s Blue Skies, then we played and original of mine named Chief Waneta. I was a great chance to play in front of all of my extended family (from Rochester).
Here is where you can see the finale: http://www.rochesterjazzstar.com
By the way THANK YOU to every one who voted and helped me get to the finals of the competition. I am completely humbled by the friends and family who helped support me through the competition!
After we won the competition I traveled to San Fransisco to visit family. I got to see the beautiful UC Berkley Campus (and the city) and relax after a busy spring semester. I flew back to Buffalo to perform in Webster, then I had the great opportunity to play on a main stage at the Rochester Jazz Festival. We enjoyed hearing and meeting the other contestants in the Jazz Star Competition. We met some more nice players at the Jam sessions at the Plaza Hotel.
This past week we played the Rochester Music Festival at the Water St. Music Hall. There was some great energy from the sold out 1200 person crowd.
Right now I am teaching sax lessons in Buffalo during the week, and playing every Tuesday night at The Stillwater. I’m composing constantly for the upcoming recording sessions. I am leaving Thursday for another trip to New York to see some shows and line up some gigs.
Recent Books/Recordings/Movies that I enjoyed:
Highway Rider-Brad Mehldau, Pink Moon-Nick Drake, Home-Aaron Goldberg, Songs in the Key of Life-Stevie Wonder, Hunger Games I & II– Suzanne Collins, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo- Stieg Larsson, Inception– Christopher Nolan/Hans Zimmer, Edward Scissor Hands– Tim Burton/ Danny Elfman