Rat Pack US Tour Trumpets

While touring with The Rat Pack – Live At The Sands in the USA, we face the unusual situation of having to pick up almost the whole band in each city we visit. I’ve been very fortunate to meet and work with some wonderful musicians and occasionally remembered to get a photo with the guys in my section!! These pictures were taken between December 2006 and December 2009.

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By necessity, a couple of these photos were taken on my mobile phone. Please excuse the quality.
If any of the other folks who joined me in the section have any photos, please contact me so I can add them to this gallery.

April/May ’09

During April, Bryan Davis will be playing the last 2 weeks on The Rat Pack – Live At The Sands US National Tour. The show visits the Keller Auditorium in Portland, Oregon from April 7th-12th, and then the Segerstrom Hall at the OCPAC in Costa Mesa, California from the 14th-19th. There are lesson/clinic spaces available in both these cities – please check the Teaching section of the site for more details. These are the last Rat Pack dates for a while – there are apparently plans for the show to start up again later in the year but we have no specific details about that at the moment.

Following the end of the US Tour, Bryan will be returning to the UK to finalise his emigration to the USA. He will be home in Leeds until early July – at which time he should be, finally, making the move. He will be available for any and all performance and teaching opportunities during this period. If you’d like to take a lesson with Bryan but have been putting it off, don’t delay!

A highlight during March was Bryan’s trip to Austria to play with the Lower Austrian Concert Jazz Orchestra on their Spring Tour. The band played six concerts in Lower Austria and the final performance, in Schloss Grafenegg, was filmed. Hopefully, there will be sufficient footage to produce a DVD. The inaugural concert last September was recorded and will be released on CD during the coming months. Early mixes sound great and we hope that the final product will capture a good amount of the excitement this fine band generates! There is another LACJO tour planned for the Autumn. Unfortunately, depending on the progress of Bryan’s emigration, he is unlikely to be able to leave the USA to perform on that occasion but he will be back for the tours in 2010.

Looking ahead to May, Bryan will be attending the TrumpetParty 2009 in Noordwijk, Holland on Sunday the 17th. The concert features a number of wonderful players including Roger Ingram, Eric Miyashiro and Lee Thornburg. Bryan is very much looking forward to having the opportunity to see these wonderful musicians perform live. He will also be attending Roger Ingram’s clinic at the event. If you are also there, please come and say hello!

Speaking of Roger Ingram, Bryan will performing alongside him at the Glasgow Jazz Festival on June 27th. They are both playing in the Ryan Quigley Big Band. Ryan is a tremendous trumpet player in his own right and one of the leading lights on the Scottish scene. He has put together a great band for the festival and it should be a great concert.

There has been some great feedback about the new Bryan Davis podcast – details of which can be found on the homepage of the site. Please take a listen and contact Bryan with any feedback or suggestions for topics he can speak about. New episodes will be added at least once a month and hopefully more regularly than that.

Bryan Davis is available to teach Private Lessons and Clinics, whether at home or on the road. Online Lessons via webcam are also now available. If you would like to organise a lesson, please check Bryan’s schedule to find out if he is visiting your city (or when he might have time to meet you online) and then contact him directly to set it up.

Finally, the video clips which have been a feature at the bottom of this page for the past few months can now be found in the Media section of the site, along with Bryan’s Discography and Photo Galleries. Enjoy!

March ’09

Bryan is very busy this month, keeping up with his touring commitments, both with The Rat Pack – Live At The Sands US National Tour and the LACJO “Frühjahrstournee” (Spring Tour) in Austria. He kicks off with a week with The Rat Pack in Dallas, takes a few days off in New York, then heads to Austria for 10 days before returning to the Rat Pack in Tampa, FL – hopefully in time for the downbeat at rehearsal!! You can check out the full madness on his calendar!

The Rat Pack Tour got off to a great start again in Louisville, KY at the end of February. Bryan will be writing about that in his new Blog very shortly. The website has had a facelift in the past few days, with some new features being added and a few existing ones being moved around a little. We hope you like it! If there are any problems with the new design please let us know so we can fix them – details are in the news post about the redesign.

Bryan Davis is available to teach Private Lessons and Clinics, whether at home or on the road. Details can now be found in the Teaching section of the new site. Online Lessons via webcam are also now available. If you would like to organise a lesson, please check Bryan’s schedule to find out if he is visiting your city (or when he might have time to meet you online) and then contact him directly to set it up.

Finally, the video clips which have been a feature at the bottom of this page for the past few months can now be found in the Media section of the site, along with Bryan’s Discography and Photo Galleries. Enjoy!

Rat Pack Round-up 2009 – 1st Installment!

Welcome to the newly re-organised blog section of the site. You’ll notice that some of the previous ‘News’ posts are here as well – I wanted to bring them over to this page since they were really blog-posts already. I hope you like the new version of the site – we’ve all been working pretty hard to bring it to you – and my busy schedule has gotten firmly in the way, as usual!

I’m taking a couple of days break at home in New York before hitting the road again on Friday with the LACJO Spring tour throughout Lower Austria. Following the tremendous fun we had at the first gig in September ’08, I’m really looking forward to getting together with the band and seeing what we can make happen with the music. I’m excited – it’s not often I get to work with such a talented AND motivated group. They have released one video clip of the September concert on to YouTube – you can see it on the new Video page on this site.

The main reason I’ve been so busy is, as usual, the Rat Pack – Live At The Sands US Tour. We’ve just played two great weeks in Louisville, Kentucky and Dallas, Texas. The show is actually carrying on without me in Schenectady, NY this week – a curious feeling to say the least. My dear friend Augie Haas is doing a magnificent job of covering for me, by all accounts!

Louisville, KY

This was such a great city to start off the tour this year. We played in the Whitney Hall at the Kentucky Center – an enormous arts complex right in the heart of downtown Louisville. With a great hotel right around the corner we were well set for a good run. The local musicians in Louisville did a great job and were a lot of fun to hang out with as well. They displayed tremendous enthusiasm about the show as well – which is always nice. Joining me in the Trumpet section were Greg Wing and David Welch, and a big vote of thanks goes out to them for their playing and friendship. We had a ball!

L-R: Greg Wing, BD, David Welch

L-R: Greg Wing, BD, David Welch

Dallas, TX

This was the third time we’ve been to Texas since we started touring the Rat Pack in the USA – actually we opened in San Antonio in October ’06. We have always received a warm welcome in that area and Dallas was no exception!

The band in Dallas was one of the best we’ve had on the tour so far, which is no more than you’d expect since most were graduates from, and many still teachers at, the famous University of North Texas jazz program, just up the road in Denton. On trumpets, alongside me, were Jay Saunders and Keith Jourdan. Jay’s name will be familiar to many following his tenure as Lead trumpet with Stan Kenton in the 1970s. While Keith may not be so well known (at least he wasn’t to me) he has enjoyed a busy playing career which involved a long stint on Tom Jones’ band – now that must have been fun!

L-R: Jay Saunders, BD, Keith Jourdan

L-R: Jay Saunders, BD, Keith Jourdan

It was particularly interesting to meet Jay Saunders as he played Lead on the recordings of some of the Kenton music we’re playing on the LACJO – funny how those things come around!

While we were in Dallas, I also had the chance to go and watch, and sit in with, the Dallas Original Jazz Orchestra, led by Galen Jeter. Galen is a fine trumpet player who also had, among his trumpet section, Maynard Ferguson alum. Ken Edwards. Ken was the featured trumpet soloist on the MF band, alongside Maynard himself, and also recorded on Maynard’s last studio CD – “The One And Only”. He sounded absolutely incredible in the DOJO – definitely a player to keep an eye out for!

Still (vaguely) with the Dallas connection, I had the great pleasure of visiting Birdland in New York last night to watch the famed UNT One O’Clock Lab Band perform. I’m still reeling from the experience! I find it incomprehensible that a college band can sound that good! The musicians, along with their director Steve Wiest, are to be heartily congratulated – if they’re touring anywhere else, or if you’re local enough in Texas, I implore you to go and see them play. You won’t regret it!

I’ll be back with more from my travels soon, as well as news about the podcast and other bits and pieces. Bye for now…

February/March ’09

February sees the recommencement of The Rat Pack – Live At The Sands US National Tour. Bryan will be flying out to Louisville, Kentucky at the end of the month to get started again. The tour is visiting 6 cities between February 26th and April 19th. The dates are as follows:-

  • 26th February – March 1st :- The Kentucky Center, Louisville, KY
  • 3rd – 8th March :- Majestic Theatre, Dallas, TX
  • 10th – 15th March :- Proctors Theater, Schenectady, NY
  • 24th – 29th March :- Carol Morsani Hall, Tampa, FL
  • 7th – 12th April :- Keller Auditorium, Portland, OR
  • 14th – 19th April :- OJPAC, Costa Mesa, CA

Bryan will be performing at all these venues with the exception of Schenectady – this clashes with the Spring tour with the Lower Austria Concert Jazz Orchestra. While Bryan is away in Austria, he will be ably replaced by Augie Haas – a wonderful Miami-based trumpeter who played the show a couple of years ago when the tour travelled to West Palm Beach, FL. Many thanks to Augie for taking the gig on.

The LACJO tour dates can be checked on Bryan’s calendar or on the news item you’ll see listed in the sidebar. We’re visiting 6 towns/cities over 7 days. Bryan will also have the chance to enjoy a day off in Vienna – one of his favourite cities in the world. He’s very much looking forward to catching up with so many dear friends who live there.

Before all of that, Bryan is spending the early part of February catching up with life at home. He’s now getting set for his emigration to New York. The good news is that his Visa is approved. The bad news is that it’s not available straight away if he’s to fulfil his touring commitments. He should get it soon after the end of Rat Pack US dates in April and hopes to make the move shortly after that. In the meantime, he will find time to visit his friends at the Gordon Tetley Big Band in Bradford each Monday in February. In addition to this, he will also be performing as part of the Leeds Schools Big Band concerts – a week of concerts in schools. The band mostly comprises Music teachers from the Leeds area under the direction of Dale Gibson – a wonderful trumpet player best known as Lead Trumpet with the Glenn Miller Orchestra UK. It promises to be a lot of fun, as well as a great opportunity to introduce live music to local children – something they may not otherwise be exposed to in this day and age!

During January, Bryan was delighted to have the chance to coach the GCDYO Swing Band at two of their weekly rehearsals. This was a special event for him as it was the first Big Band he ever played with, when he was a teenager. Many thanks to Leo Solomon, their Musical Director, for the invitation.

Bryan is available for teaching opportunities of all kinds, whether at home or on tour. Please contact him for further details about one-to-one lessons, clinics and ‘Guest Artist’ performances. He is also in the process of ironing out the logisitics of offering Online Lessons via webcam. There will more information added to the site about all of this before long.

Finally, if you’re looking for any of the video clips that have been lurking at the bottom of this page for the past few months, they can now be found on the new Media page. Happy viewing!