Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Karrin's Roadwords - November 2012


What a fall it's been! But first, I'll start where I left off back in August.

I got to go to Akumal, Mexico to visit our good friends Susan and Nancy along with my sister Elisa and Bill. It was a lovely, relaxing (and HOT) time. Ceviche is my new favorite dish! We also visited the ruins in Tulum which was very close by. See pictures on my facebook page.

Then back to work. The first stop was one of our favorites, Jazz Alley in Seattle. We had great crowds and the band played beautifully: Rod Fleeman, Todd Strait and Jeff Johnson. And as always got to see many great friends, including the KPLU folks and Jim Wilke. On to Portland where we played at Jimmy Mac's, a sweet supper club. Thank you to the staff and crowd there for making us feel at home and to the great Nancy King for sitting in with us.

Next stop was beautiful San Francisco at the Rrazz Room. Rod, Ed and I had a great time with the crowds there. It was very intimate and vocal! Also got to spend a few hours at the wonderful pier on the Embarcadero - way too much good food and the weather was amazing!

Then to Kansas City, where I first was a part of a very cool live radio music show called "12th Street Jump" with a great cast including David Basse, Joe Cartwright among others. That same night I got to hear Pat Metheny and his trio at the Folly Theater in downtown KC. It was very inspiring!

The next night we played the Prairie Village (Kansas) Jazz Festival with Bob Sheppard as our special guest. The great Bob Bowman & Bobby Watson sat in with us too. It was a starry night indeed!

Mid-September, in the lovely Pioneer Valley I played two concerts with the Amherst Jazz Orchestra. What a great band! I really enjoyed both: in Easthampton, MA and the beautiful old church in the Berkshires.

Back to the West Coast, Hollywood to be exact to another favorite place, Catalina's Bar & Grill. Had a wonderful weekend with Todd, Tom Warrington and Chris Caswell. Chris and I have been working on original songs and we tried many out that weekend. I think his accordion playing was a big hit too :) !!

I then went to be a Bill McGlaughlin groupie in Las Cruces New Mexico, where his original orchestra piece was performed. It was a huge hit and the orchestra sounded beautiful!! Congratulations Bill!!

In October, I made a surprise (very quick) visit to Minneapolis where my sister Elisa & I gave our Dear Mom a surprise birthday party-- Happy Birthday Mom. You are an original, a pioneer and we love you very much!!

Back in NYC, I got to hear a beautiful concert given by the Chamber Music Society in a patron's very cool loft apartment downtown. What a treat and that's one of the things I love about living in NYC, you just never know!

Next was Boston. I taught a masterclass for the vocal students at Berklee. I was so impressed by the whole scene there. Imagine, over 4,000 music students there! I thank the 75 or so that showed up (and especially the ones who sang!) and the faculty for making it happen.  We then played another favorite place that evening, Scullers, to a great crowd and the band (Bruce Barth, Ed Howard and Mark Walker) sounded groovin' and beautiful. I also want to thank Freddie, Alexandra and Chris there for putting heart and soul into that place!

Back in NYC, I sang two of Marian McPartland's songs for a book signing at the Harlem Jazz Museum It was Paul De Barros’ wonderful biography of Marian. Check it out: "Shall We Play That One Together?"

Then, hurricane Sandy loomed for the east coast and then hit big time. My heart goes out to the folks still suffering... there are lots of ways to help and I hope we all can do a little something. I made it to my gig in Northampton, MA the day after. It was cathartic to play with the wonderful house trio at the "Loft" to a wonderful crowd of folks.

Then, the election! It was greatly anticipated to say the least, and I think we're all glad it's over. One of my favorite things written about it is here. Check it out. But I gotta say, after voting I felt a real chill (in a good way) at being able to VOTE!!!

Next to Ohio, to Bowling Green University where I did a couple vocal masterclasses with students and also a concert with the student LAB/Big Band. Fun! Conducted by talented David Bixler. I also sat in for more than a set with the faculty at one of their gigs. Great fun with David, Chris, Jeff and Roger. Many thanks to them and all the folks at the University there.

This fall I got to hear and see some amazing things, among them (aside from the beautiful fall colors) : Christian McBride talk on Jazz in Film at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem.

And Thank YOU for checking in! We look forward to seeing you out there somewhere soon!
With Love, Karrin

Monday, August 13, 2012

Karrin's RoadWords - August 2012


Looks like I haven't written anything since the Spring! Time does fly . . .

In April, we had a great gig at the fabled Green Mill in Chicago - great crowds and the band was swingin' (Rod Fleeeman, Larry Kohut and Eric Montzka!). As always, thanks to Dave Jemilo.

On to Vancouver, BC for me to sing with 2 very different groups: the big band, and "Nite Cap."  Wonderful arrangements and fun for me to mix it up with those fine young musicians. Thanks to Fiona Black, my hostess who made it all work!

The next amazing place was New Harmony Indiana. Who knew? So many 'hidden jewels' in this biz! Thank you to the Mumford's for inviting us and making it all happen. What a special place! Even with all the flight difficulties (!), we made it work. Also thanks to Rod and Jeff.

Wilmington, NC was next with Rod, Ed, Todd and the University of North Carolina big band. We had a grand concert and time there. Dining outdoors, beside the theatre was a highlight! (And what about that Pawn Shop?!)

Then, Rod Fleeman and I embarked on a longer trip to Beirut, Lebanon! We played a private affair. It was a wedding for a beautiful couple, Fouad & Shirine. Also, hearing THEM play and sing was a highlight for us all!! Congratulations to them!

In May, I was asked to be a guest with the great pianist Eldar at the Blue Note in New York along with his wonderful trio. We played some cool material together including one of Eldar's originals. We hope to hear THAT on recording someday soon!

Off to Jacksonville Florida for their great festival. Rod, Ed, Todd and I had a fun set with a lovely crowd. A highlight also was hearing the great Sonny Rollins a little later in the evening. Wow!

Then was our week at Birdland in June. It’s always a pleasure to work there. Thank you to all those who came out and made it such a great week including also to my swingin' band: Bruce Barth, Todd Strait, Ed Howard and Steve Wilson!

Next were a couple other great festivals: first, the Rochester International Jazz Festival; then, Toronto Jazz Festival. More flight trouble for Rod! As Jeff Johnson and I were finishing the last tune ("Well You Needn't" how apropos!!) The audience stood up and applauded for Rod as he walked on stage. His flight FINALLY made it, but alas, his luggage did not. Jeff and I had a lovely duet for over an hour, and were we ever glad to see Rod!

I stopped with Rod and Bill McG in Montreal for a night. What a beautiful city! We drove back through Vermont and saw the Vermont Public Radio folks; and into Massachusetts for our sweet little gig at the Whately Chapel, another hidden jewel!

Next, the Interplay Jazz Camp where the faculty rocks! And the students are the BEST! I highly recommend this Jazz Camp in June of 2013. Think about it!!

So, now I'm on an actual vacation until August 16. I’m in Mexico, near CanCun to stay with great friends snorkeling and watching the surf. Lucky me!

But meanwhile, we can all do rain dances for much of this country. Come on rain!

Have a great rest of the summer and I look forward to our Northwest and beyond visits in August.
Thanks for your support of the music!!!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Karrin's RoadWords - April 4, 2012

Hi there -

We left off last November just after the European tour. I had a great holiday in Pioneer Valley and while there, a very nice gig at the Green Street Cafe in Northampton, MA. It was packed to the rafters with great spirited folks, and happened to be the last Monday night event they had there before finally closing their doors. It was a sweet and delicious cafe but their legacy lives on very vibrantly in the area.
Des Moines in January! "Somehow it doesn't sound so inviting..." but it was! After barely getting there on time due to flight issues (!) I did a masterclass with the Drake University students at their very cool venue for jazz and students. Heard some lovely singers and we had a great time. The concert was at Drake's beautiful hall and we had a wonderful crowd, lovely staff there and also saw several surprise friends, so it was definitely worth the winter trip to Iowa.

Back to NYC where we had a wonderful two days of masterclasses at a midtown studio with 9 students. What a blast we had! Several students had come all the way from Japan, and others I mostly had known before in the city. It was a beautifully eclectic group and they all sounded lovely.
After that, off to LA for the Grammies. It was, as always, exciting to be a part of that amazing spectacle! My Mom and sister Elisa went along with me so we had a great time. We saw and heard lots of luminaries which I wrote about on facebook.

Then off to Hawaii. We had three great gigs while there, first to Kona on the Big Island in a beautiful hotel with Hawaii Public Radio as our hosts. Bill, Rod, my sister Tracy and I took it all in along with the music, swimming, walking and driving along that beautiful coast. Then back to Honolulu for two more gigs, first was at the Honolulu Academy of Arts with Rod and wonderful friends/musicians Bruce Hamada and Jim Howard - always a pleasure. Then, to the Musician's Union for a concert with The Galliard String Quartet, and Bill McGlaughlin conducting. Bill's arrangements fit our music so well, you may already know of a few from our CD, "From Paris to Rio" among others. Then we enjoyed time 'off' while there on the North Shore and hanging out with family including my niece Sydney!!!

Back home to NYC, and also Pioneer Valley area again (early spring!). Then, to Appleton Wisconsin for a great couple nights at their very cool venue. It's a Performing Arts Center but they've made it more of a night club feel. It was a real pleasure to play there.

The Spring is busy so I hope to see you out there somewhere...
Meanwhile, take care and as always THANK YOU for your support of our music.

Saw . . . heard . . . read:

New Orleans’ vocalist Cindy Scott at the presenter's conference "APAP" in NYC - lovely!

Sheila Jordan at Lincoln Center to get her JAZZ MASTERS award. Congratulations Sheila !!

Heard Terell Stafford, Bruce Barth and wonderful band at Dizzy's/Lincoln Center - great as always.

Went to the NYC Chapter Grammy Party and saw lots of buddies (See some new pics coming soon on my web site photo gallery.)

Heard LOTS of music at the Grammy's and wrote about it on facebook. Maybe you read it?

While in Hawaii, it's so very cool to see hump back whales do their thing along with rainbows, and the absolutely amazing foliage and spirit there.

Heard the Hawaiian singer and slack-key guitarist Makana at a private event, sang for him too! Very fun, along with the wonderful Jimmy Borges and friends.

At Suny Purchase College I heard the amazing chamber music of WuHan and David Finckel (piano and cello) along with host Bill McGlaughlin. Three of the best in the business!

Saw the film "In Good Time," a lovely documentary on the great Marian McPartland.