La Gran Descarga

Last Saturday (30th June ’07) saw the inaugural performance by the force of nature that is La Gran Descarga! We had a great gig at The Lowry Centre in Salford for Cubanite. If you missed it, I implore you to come and see the band on one or other of the remaining gigs this summer – check the schedule for details. It’s the new Big Band incarnation of the fantastic salsa group Almeida Girl & Descarga which I’ve enjoyed playing with so much over the last few years. The songs written by Kirsty Almeida and Matt Owens are terrific and Matt’s done a tremendous job rescoring the music for a 22 piece band. This was the most fun I’ve had on a gig in a long time – the music was great and the people fun to be with. It was great to catch up with so many old friends and make some new ones!

We play at the Wigan Jazz festival fringe on Sunday 22nd July in the afternoon and at Leeds’ HiFi Club that evening. We will also be performing at the D-Percussion Festival in Manchester on Saturday 4th August. Come down and check it out!!!

July 2007

Bryan is currently finishing up the last dates of The Rat Pack – Live From Las Vegas UK Tour. Immediately after the tour finishes he’ll be back in Austria for a couple of dates with Gansch & Roses; led by Austrian Trumpet wizard Thomas Gansch. For the rest of the month he’ll be freelancing from Leeds, playing with such luminaries as The Real Macaws, La Gran Descarga and the One Night With Elvis show. As ever, Bryan is available to teach, particularly in the Leeds/Manchester areas. Please check the schedule and get in touch if you’d like a lesson.

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!