September 2007

September sees the re-commencement of the Rat Pack Tours; both in the UK and US. Bryan will, as last year, be travelling between the two tours fulfilling the dates on both sides of the Atlantic and collecting the airmiles as he goes! The UK tour kicks off in Liverpool, and Bryan will also be visiting Dublin, York and Grimsby before jetting off to Atlanta for the first leg of the US dates. Lessons are, as ever, available. Please check the Tour dates and get in touch if you’re interested!

The Munich Experience

I’ve just returned from our stint in Munich with Dancing In The Streets. It’s been a lot of fun, despite the gig in the evening! The highlight of Munich for me, despite the beautiful architecture and interesting places to visit, is catching up with all the fine musicians there who I’m proud to call friends. There are a whole gang of great Trumpet players in town who, in particular, always welcome me as part of their community. I had the great pleasure of hanging out with Nemanja Jovanovic, Florian Jechlinger, Rich Laughlin, Thomas Bendzsko, Gabriel Keogh, Omar Kabir and last, but definitely not least, Dusko Goykovich. It’s always really entertaining to hang out with Dusko because he’s really lived the Jazz life and has all the stories to go with it. Having lived in New York in the 1960s he’s met/played with so many of the greats of this music.

Another great pleasure in Munich is always visiting the excellent Jazz Clubs there. My favourite remains the Unterfahrt. Both Sundays during our visit, the DITS band were in full effect at the Jam Session there – the perfect way to unwind after 2 shows! It was great to see the guys cut loose and (really) play following the routine of the show. A particular pleasure for me was the playing of pianist Mike ‘Junior’ Guy – a really fine Australian player who’s settled, at least temporarily, in London. We were also lucky that our Baritone player; Dave Ledingham, chose to document much of these sessions on his video camera. We already have a few clips up on YouTube with more to follow as I have time. Here’s my favourite:

Video embed broken – please visit on YouTube

Dancing in The Streets.

The UK tour of The Rat Pack – Live In Las Vegas finished, for me, this past Thursday – a day of unforgettable events! We’re on a six week summer break and start again in early September in Liverpool. It seems almost certain that I’ll be doing much the same as last season and fulfilling dates on both sides of the Atlantic.

I was still not quite home from Aberdeen on Friday when the Flying Music office rang to ask if I could recommend anybody to play Trumpet on the imminently forthcoming tour of their other show; Dancing In the Streets. My good friend Steve Parry will, therefore, be doing the show from late August but was unable to play the first few weeks due to other commitments – he’s working with pop starlet Corinne Bailey Rae on her summer festival gigs. So, no sooner am I home than I’m off on the road again! I’ll be playing the DITS dates in Europe in July and August, as well as a couple of ‘muddy field’ events when we get back and then a have week off before heading back out with The Pack. No rest for the wicked!!

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!!!