And So Ends The Travelling…

We’ve now come to the end of The Rat Pack – Live At The Sands US Tour 2006-07. I’m currently resting up in New York before returning home to rejoin the UK Tour in my home town of Leeds on Monday! We finished the tour in grand style with two weeks in Cleveland; a much nicer city than you’ve been led to believe!

It’s been a great tour, despite the obscene amount of travelling involved, and we’ve been privileged to work with some fine musicians along the way. A vote of thanks goes to the other “travelling” musicians: Andy Rumble (Piano/MD), Ben Groenevelt & Andy Sharkey (Bass), and Wes Little & Dave Bryant (Drums). It’s been great to work and hang out with all of them. Same goes for the Tech Crew and the Onstage Folk.

I’d been intending to name-check all of the “local” musicians we’ve met along our way but through my poor record-keeping and social skills(!) I’ve completely failed to keep a log of exactly who played with us. I’m going to try and track such a list down and post in due course. In the meantime I’d like to mention all the other trumpet players (whose names I can remember – no offence, there has been 30 of you!) who’ve played in the section with me. They include: Rick Horn, Al Gomez, Andy Claasen, Jim Bovinette, Augie Haas, Tom Stancampiano, J.B.Scott, Joey Tartell, John Rommel, Steve Hawkes, Ryan ??, Bob Baca, Bernie Edstrom, Jason Colby, Bruce Staelens, Tim Wendt, Mark Thompson, Mitch Dreschler, Skip Stine, Bill Hicks, Joe Miller and Jack Schantz. Apologies to those I’ve (temporarily) forgotten.

Now it’s back to the UK, just in time to hit the ground running. We have seven remaining weeks on the UK tour before the summer break. Thereafter, we apparently are hitting Europe as well as the US again. More news about what I’ll be doing when I have it. In the meantime, as well as the UK dates, I’ll be found performing with The Allied Big Band, La Gran Descarga and Gansch & Roses. As ever, please check the Schedule for details.

Right, time to pack for the last flight home, for a while…

Please Vote For Me at BigPhatJam.com

The other day I found out about a competition being run by Gordon Goodwin‘s Big Phat Band; the Big Phat Jam.

It’s been going on for the last 7 weeks or so and is now in the last (8th) week. Participants are encouraged to recorded themselves soloing to various backing tracks taken from the most recent Big Phat Band CD – “The Phat Pack”. I recorded an entry of my own this afternoon and submitted it this evening.

Now, I need votes! Voting is open until May 15th 2007 and is accomplished by visiting www.BigPhatJam.com. You’ll find me under the Trumpet/Trombone category in Week 8 of the contest. Alternatively, just click here to register your vote. Thanks in advance for your support!

Thanks must also go to the Rat Pack sound crew; Dave Burrows and Kyle Ronan for lending me their expertise and equipment and recording the track for me. Cheers guys!

Return to The Swan

I’m pleased to announce that I’ll be back at The Swan, Liversedge for their regular Wednesday night session on the 2nd of May. I realised that I had a spare evening between my return from my sojourn to Austria in late April and my return to the Rat Pack in Edinburgh. I dropped a quick line to organiser/drummer/bandleader; Mike Hoggard and am delighted that he had a space for me! I’ll be playing with Mike’s excellent trio and saxophonist Mike Cox, a former college tutor of mine who I’ve not seen in about 10 years!

Unfortunately reestablishing contact with Mike Hoggard also brought some unhappy news. His wife Renee sadly passed away at the end of March following a short battle with Lung Cancer. My condolences go to Mike and his family. She was a lovely lady and Wednesday’s at The Swan won’t be the same without her enthusiastic support from stage-right. We’ll keep swinging nonetheless and I’m sure she’ll still be watching!

Customary reminder: The Swan is in Liversedge, West Yorkshire at the crossroads of the A62/A639. Free entry and music starts at 9pm.

A Busy Week In Jersey.

We’ve just finished our week with The Rat Pack – Live At The Sands at the spectacular NJPAC in Newark, New Jersey. We had a great band this week and I’d like to give a big shout out to all of them, especially my section mates Bruce Staelens and Tim Wendt.

It’s been a busy week which has seen me replace both my Trumpet and Mouthpiece! At the beginning of the week I found a used Schilke B7 trumpet at Roberto’s Woodwind in New York which is just fantastic. Then, on Thursday, Tim Wendt took me on a excursion to meet Greg Black; mouthpiece maker extraordinaire. We found that one of Greg’s stock rim/cups was almost identical to my Marcinkiewicz E13 and I spent a while trying out different backbores to accompany it. I was amazed to watch Greg make me a custom backbore on the spot and I’ve been using the mouthpiece since then. I hope to have a chance to pay him another visit very soon to iron out a couple of things that are troubling me with it but I pretty sure that I will only be playing his mouthpieces from now on. They really are superb!!
I took a few photos of the trip and they’ll be available in the Gallery shortly. A big thankyou goes to Greg for taking time to see me and to Tim Wendt for chauffeuring me there and back. Thanks guys!

Gansch & Roses Tour Dates

I just heard from Thomas Gansch about the final dates for the short tour we’re doing in Austria in late April/early May with his band; “Gansch & Roses“. They are:

  • 28th April – Lofer (7pm)
  • 29th April – Gutenbrunn (8pm)
  • 30th April – Porgy & Bess, Vienna (8pm)
  • 1st May – Horitschon (7.30pm)

If you’re nearby any of these places then come and check it out!