Bryan Davis Podcast Now Live!

I’ve now finished recording, and have uploaded, my first podcast episode. This post serves, as well as anything, as a test to see if it all now works as expected.

In the first episode, I give a brief introduction and then talk about “backing off” to make trumpet playing a bit easier.

Please have a listen and send me a message with any feedback. I’m well aware that I burble my way through it a little – this recording was entirely unscripted and off-the-cuff. Hopefully I don’t sound too incoherent!!

You can subscribe to the podcast using the following URL: http://www.bryandavis.info/feed/podcast/

Greetings from Austria

I’m in Austria right now, performing with the Lower Austria Concert Jazz Orchestra on the Spring Tour. I was hoping to have stopped by with some news about it already but, unfortunately, our accommodation doesn’t have internet access. Luckily, a couple of the other ‘foreign’ guys on the band with me have their cars here. Trumpeter Erik Veldkamp was kind enough to offer to drive ‘in search of civilisation’ – another way of saying that he wanted to check email too!

The tour got off to a heavy start on Sunday with a 7 hour rehearsal in the small town of Langenlois. We’re playing the same “Murdering The Classics” programme as we did back in September and it’s a heavy book! Included are the Stan Kenton versions of “West Side Story” as well as a couple of the things he did based on opera/classical music themes. For the tour we’ve added a few other things as well to make the gig up to 2 sets. The long rehearsal would have been taxing enough without the jetlag I was ‘enjoying’ at the time.

We’ve now played the first 3 concerts; at the Radiokulturhaus in Vienna, and Stadthalles in Mistelbach and Zwettl. Despite some sound problems it’s really starting to kick now and is proving a lot of fun. I’ve now also slept enough to feel a bit more like I’m in the same time zone as the rest of the band!

I’ll be back with more news from the tour and hopefully some photos before long. I’m also almost finished recording the first episode of my new podcast, which has been under consideration for some time. This episode, and possibly one or two more to follow, will be largely based on questions I’ve been asked, by audience and band members, in the last couple of days on tour. More on that when it’s done. If you have any trumpet/touring related questions you’d like me to speak or blog about, please email me via the Contact page and I’ll see if I can help out!

Bye for now…

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 “Fr├╝hjahrstournee” (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…