Happy Fall! After a hot Summer, with some fun shows and trips in the rear view mirror, I'm looking forward to a cooler, but still busy, Fall season.
First, thanks to all who came out to my GK shows in Annapolis, Albuquerque, Honolulu, Seal Beach, Atlanta and Pensacola. As always, the "promoter people" were great hosts and the response made up for the crazy and sometimes hectic airline travel experience. I'm thankful that Southwest still has a nonstop from LA to BWI, so most of my East Coast shows can be routed from there. The band had some delays and terminal running in Atlanta and ended up missing a connection-thanks Delta...... Luckily, the show was the next day, so once their luggage arrived (late), all was good.
Coming up, I'll be in Norfolk, VA, Richmond and Philly this October. I'm returning to Richmond at The Tin Pan after a memorable show at the Richmond Jazz Fest in 2013. An hour before my showtime a massive thunderstorm hit and poured so hard, sending everyone running thru the flooded streets for cover. We waited in the van for a while, then went back to the hotel. After an hour of that, it cleared up, people drifted back to the park and we were able to play to a very damp, but happy crowd. Come to think of it, we had a similar, crazy thunderstorm in Norfolk with Jazz Attack in 2012. That time the show was cancelled by the city. I guarantee that these shows will go on, rain or shine.
Back and forth a bit between shows with Peter White and Marc Antoine's "Guitar Tango"- including a return to Catalina Island Jazztrax for the 17th time.
Also, another great All-Star Festival in San Diego at Embarcadero Park Oct. 14. I'll be featured along with Paul Brown, Larry Carlton, Michael Paulo, Jessy J., Jazmine Ghent and DW3.
While back in town, we have spent lots of time at the beach whenever Yvonne has been feeling up to it. The great news is her brain tumor has not grown, and it even looks like it shrunk a little. Currently, I'm sitting poolside in Oakland with Yvonne while we play 3 nights at Yoshi's with Peter, Michael Paulo, Darryl Williams and Sergio Gonzales. Spectacular weather, and a nice waterfront area at Jack London Square. We will both be at Catalina Jazztrax for Oct. 21, going over early to hang with friends on their boat and condo. It will be nice to stay for a while and not have to rush to catch the late Catalina Express boat back on the sometimes choppy seas.
Looking forward to November 18, I will be with Deniece Williams, Michael Paulo, Freddie Washington and Land Richards at The Westin in Palm Desert. I always love playing with Deniece, who recorded our song, "This is as Good as it Gets" (written with Ron Boustead) as the title track of her 1988 album.
Deniece, Shelby Flint, Brenda Russell, Melissa Manchester, Patti Austin, Marilyn Scott......some great female singer/songwriters I've had the good fortune to accompany. It reminds me of my motivation to migrate to California from Maryland in 1982, after years in the original Jazz/Fusion bands East Coast Offering and Natural Bridge. My goal was not to become a solo artist. It was to stretch out and be versatile enough to support as many different artists and styles as possible- instrumental, vocal, fusion, jazz, R&B,Brazilian, whatever. As luck would have it (and thanks to Russell Ferrante's recommendation) on my 12th day in LA, I was playing at Donte's with some of the top players in town, reading the "book" (big stack of hand written, original charts in all those styles) of Shelby Flint. Being in Shelby's band for all those years, packing the best showcase clubs like At My Place led to just about every gig I've done since! And if you haven't heard Shelby's voice on our collaborations on my solo CDs, I urge you to check them out.
Speaking of Shelby, our acoustic jazz holiday CD, "Home for the Holidays" is now available with a special deal, since it is never too early to plan for all those last minute holiday gifts.
Realizing it is the 30th anniversary of my first solo CD "The Nightowl", we've been talking about putting together a new CD collection of favorite songs from my older catalog for those who may have just discovered my music recently. Volume 1 will cover my first 5 CD's up to 1995's "You'll Know It's Me". These projects feature some very early recorded work of future stars Dave Koz, Boney James, Richard Elliot, Everette Harp and Eric Marienthal. The real story is we all played in each others bands a lot. Dave played in my band while he was still in college (before he joined Richard Marx and Jeff Lorber), and Richard Elliot had me playing in one of his first bands. Boney played in my band before he got signed to Warner Brothers, and I went on to tour with him for 4 years until 1999. So, we're not only celebrating the music, but also our decades long friendships.
We plan to remaster the tracks to get them sounding better than ever. And, we will fit as many songs as possible on one CD which will be available everywhere, but an enhanced, autographed package will be sold exclusively on my website and at shows. I'd love to hear your suggestions of what may be YOUR favorite songs off of the titles "The Nightowl", "Key Witness", "Sound of Emotion", "Summerhouse" and "You'll Know It's Me". So, let us know and we'll try to narrow it down.
Oh yeah, happy 2nd birthday to Jazzmine the cat; and happy 20th to our son Stevie Oct 29.
Oct 1 - Temecula, CA Thornton Winery (Gregg guests with Peter White and Marc Antoine)
Oct 7 - Norfolk, VA The Attucks Theater GK w/ Darian Emory, Scott Ambush (Spyro Gyra), Stanley Cooper and Deren Blessman
Oct. 14 - San Diego, CA Jazz Diego with Paul Brown , Larry Carlton, Michael Paulo, Jessy j. and more Oct 21 - Catalina Island, CA Jazztrax Festival (Gregg guests with Peter White and Marc Antoine)
Oct 25 - Richmond, VA The Tin Pan GK w/ Brad Collins, Scott Ambush (Spyro Gyra), Stanley Cooper and Deren Blessman
Oct 26 - Philadelphia, PA South GK w/ Brad Collins, Scott Ambush (Spyro Gyra), Stanley Cooper and Deren Blessman
Oct 27 - TBA
Oct 28 - Philadelphia, PA South GK w/ Brad Collins, Scott Ambush (Spyro Gyra), Stanley Cooper and Deren Blessman
Nov 18 - Palm Desert, CA The Westin w/ Deniece Williams and Michael Paulo
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