Well, now that you ask 😉 Let’s take some bullet points
- Stephen Keogh to visit in April
- Irish tour in mid May into June with Dublin City Jazz Orchestra and some solo guitar performances and workshops
- The “Chet Fest” with Howard Paul and Benedetto guitars in Nashville, Tn.
- On a sad note, George Mesterhazy’s first anniversary of his passing is coming up (April 2012)
First of all, other than one Cork Jazz festival in the early/mid 90s and a brief hello when we were both headed to gigs in opposite directions – also at the Cork Jazz Fest I have not spoken to Stephen Keogh at any length in over 20 years. We played together a lot when I was coming on the scene first and became friends at the same time. About a year before I left for the USA Stephen moved to London and then to Barcelona, Spain. Through the years I would hear about the impressive list of great musicians he was touring Europe with. There was the cream of European jazz artists and then he seemed to be the drummer of choice for most visiting American artists e.g. Benny Carter, Brad Mehldau, Bill Charlap, Charles McPherson and Bruce Barth. I got call one day from Bruce where he asked me if I knew this drummer he had been working with in Europe for a few years and who headed up The Global Music Foundation. I had been searching for contact info for Stephen only months earlier hoping to find a direct number and then it went out of my head until Bruce called me late last Fall. Stephen and I have since gotten hold of one another and are playing catch up while also in full forward motion. Since our first conversation Cole Davis from the Jazz Standard Youth Orchestra has received a scholarship to the Global Music Foundation London Jazz camp while several are on offer for a camp in Germany. In mid April we are having meetings here in New York City to start the ball rolling for a joint venture between GMF and JSDP (Jazz Standard Discovery Program) which I head up – planned for summer 2014. I haven’t had a lot of time to process this but I do find it interesting that we were on very similar paths, albeit in different locations. more to follow on all this soon
I have posted the dates already for my upcoming Irish appearances and have no further updates as of now BUT will add them as soon as I do!
The Chet Fest I am very much looking forward to this years Chet Fest – the Chet Atkins Festival in Nashville, Tn.. with Howard Paul, CEO of Benedetto Guitars. I won’t be flying to Nashville from here in NJ – I will fly to Savannah and join Howard for the road trip part of the equation as we drive to Nashville from Savannah. My desire to cover as much of this country as I can will be sated by road trip component and then all those pickers AND I get to meet John Hinchey in person. I talk with John by telephone or Skype but we have never met so looking forward to finally meeting in person.
I recently spoke at the Somers Point Jazz Society’s award ceremony where a special lifetime achievement award was named in George Mesterhazy’s honor. George’s loss hit all, of us, his friends, VERY hard and continues to be something we are all struggling with trying to come to grips with. For the first time I found the joy of seeing everyone was beginning to overcome the grief and this was helped along considerably when I learned that George’s son was now deep into playing the piano!
That’s all for now folks…