Past gig notes
Sep 23, 2023 @ Blue Barn, Novato
First chilly night that I've experienced all summer. Loved every minute of playing music tonight with the quartet. To be able to have my daughter sing on a few songs with us, was a memory I will always cherish. Really looking forward to having her sing more with us and hoepfully adding in my wife Christine too. Next question is....should I start hustling for more gigs!?! It's such a game and one I really don't enjoy...but, it would be nice to play out a bit more. We'll see what happens...
Aug 5, 2023 @ Blue Barn, Novato
Well, these 90+ degree days are becoming the norm around here...crazy stuff! Super hard to play in those conditions as a sax player with all the reed and intonation issues that creates, but as usual I was thrilled and honored to play with close friends Jake Smolowe and Jason Carr. I think the world of the both of them and love making music together. Hopefully, in the very near future, I'll be able to bring the quartet (Jake Smolowe, Jason Carr and Alex Aspinall) together for a gig. I really dislike the hustle of trying to get gigs at new venues, but in order to play with these guys, I'd happily do it! We'll see what happens. No more gigs planned as of now...
July 22, 2023 @ Blue Barn, Novato
It was a 90+ degree day, I had a splitting headache all day from playing basketball that morning and I wasn't feeling very well. But, in knowing that I'd be playing with Jake Smolowe, Alex Aspinall and my wife (for a few tunes), I knew I had to rise to the occasion. I was so pumped to be playing with them, as well as the songs I chose for the gig...a combo of Pat Metheny, Joshua Redman, Brad Mehldau, my originals, etc. I'm so thankful to my friends and family who braved the temps and long drive to be there to support our music. I had a blast all night playing with my guys and especially loved playing music with my wife again after such a long hiatus. Very much looking forward to playing in Aug with Jake and Jason Carr and I will definitely be having my wife and oldest daughter Gianna sing some tunes with us as well. Gianna was supposed to sing on this gig, but lost her voice earlier in the week. Very proud that she's carrying on our family tradition of using her creativity in her life.
June 3, 2023 @ Blue Barn, Novato
I loved every minute of making music with Doug Morton and Jason Carr. Thrilled to see Jason's parents and family. I really do miss the times of us playing together regularly, he's just one of my favorite musicians to play with, easily my favorite bass player to play with. I also really enjoy playing with Doug and being able to play some piano on a gig.
May 27, 2023 @ Blue Barn, Novato
Great time playing with new friend Adam Shulman and seeing Eric Vogler again. Adam's a heavy hitter on the bay area scene and he definitely lived up to his reputation. Eric played electric bass, which I wasn't aware he played, and he KILLED it! Looking forward to playing with my longtime friend Jason Carr and trumpet friend Doug Morton next Saturday. It's always nice to play a little keys on gigs, which I really enjoy doing.
May 6, 2023 @ Blue Barn, Novato
Had a nice time playing with Jake Smolowe and Doug Lee for my first gig of the year. Feeling a bit rusty, but enjoyed the camaraderie on the bandstand. Looking forward to the next date in late May.
October 2, 2022 @ Private Party, Mill Valley
As a lead instrument, you rarely, if ever get called for gigs (unless you play in a big band). I'm very thankful to Jake Smolowe for calling me for this private, as we played duo together. Such a beautiful setting overlooking the bay, playing music for an appreciative party of people. No gigs planned going forward, we'll see if it'll be an extended break for me or if I start hustling again for gigs. The grind is truly exhausting.
September 24, 2022 @ Blue Barn, Novato
Really thankful to have Sanford Barnett step in last minute to play with Fred Randolph and I. Looking forward to next weekend when I get to play a private with my good pal Jake Smolowe.
September 17, 2022 @ Blue Barn, Novato
Cold and windy night here in Novato, but the weather would not affect our music. Really enjoyed playing with Blake Richardson and my all time favorite drummer Alex Aspinall. Calling tunes was fun and I think we all vibed really well together. Looking forward to the next gig, coming on saturday.
August 13, 2022 @ Blue Barn, Novato
Super fun night of music with Jake Smolowe and Joe Nemzer. Despite 10+ children running around and screaming as loud as possible (yeah, thanks parents), we really enjoyed playing together. School starts next week, here we go!!!
August 6, 2022 @ Blue Barn, Novato
I gotta say, it felt pretty awesome to be back playing music after a July filled with Covid hell in my household. Loved playing with Fred Randolph and Alan U'Ren, just a really fun and for not having practiced much at all in 3 weeks; a pretty darn good night of playing. Looking forward to hitting next saturday.
June 25, 2022 @ Blue Barn, Novato
What a crowd! So pumped to be playing music for such a large number of friends and family, supporting our music. Really enjoyed playing with Ken Cook and Blake Richardson. Been a super long time since played with either and I really had a good time. Still very rusty and hopeful I find the inspiration to keep the drive going to get better.
June 18, 2022 @ Blue Barn, Novato
Fun night of playing music with Doug Morton and Jason Carr. Really enjoyed being able to play a little keyboard, while Doug played flugel. Love playing music with Jason Carr, my favorite bass player and wonderful friend.
May 21, 2022 @ Blue Barn, Novato
Nice night playing jazz with Fred Randolph and Alex Aspinall. Haven't been able to play with Alex since our recording in 2019 and it's always such a pleasure to be in his company. Amazing drummer, wonderful dude! Super cool to hear Fred's stories about taking lessons with Joe Henderson and talking music teacher shop...
May 7, 2022 @ Blue Barn, Novato
Beautiful night of music making at Blue Barn, with Jake Smolowe and Alan U'Ren. Crazy wind and pollen particles in the air couldn't slow us down. Very appreciative to the number of audience out there supporting us, minus a football being thrown on the stage multiple times ,lol. Pumped to come back and play on May 21st.
April 16, 2022 @ Blue Barn, Novato
Super happy to be back playing gigs and back at Blue Barn. They've updated their outdoor setup and it's one of the nicest outdoors settings I've ever played in. Lots of fun playing again with Jake Smolowe and Alan U'Ren. Definitely feel quite rusty, so back to the woodshed to get my chops back. Looking forward to our next hit in May, same group, same spot!
October 2, 2021 @ Blue Barn, Novato
Another fun night of jazz at Blue Barn, with Doug Morton and Eric Vogler. Really enjoyed being able to play some piano, backing up Doug on flugelhorn. Such a treat! Really looking forward to playing on the 30th, there will be a surprise vocalist coming to hang with us...
September 11, 2021 @ Blue Barn, Novato
Had a great time playing music with Jake Smolowe and Chris Amberger. Very fun to reminisce and hear Chris's stories of playing with many of the heavy hitters, of which we were playing the music of. As usual, which is very uncommon in the world of gigging, many friends and family continue to come out to each gig. It means the world to feel the support and makes us musicians feel so appreciated and loved. Really looking forward to playing with Doug Morton on Oct 2.
August 27, 2021 @ Jillie's Wine Bar, San Anselmo
What a treat it was to play outdoors at Jillie's, in celebration of the owner's bday. Jake Smolowe really held it down on piano, dropping bass lines, keeping solid time and comping chords over my melody and improv. So thankful to work with such a talented dude. Super impressed by the support and love we felt at Jillies. Hoping to be back soon.
August 28, 2021 @ Blue Barn, Novato
So pumped to be playing public gigs outdoors again. 100+ degree, high AQI kind of a day, but the music was super happening. What a pleasure it was to play with Jake Smolowe and Scott Pingel. Huge thank you to my family, friends and students who came out to support me. Definitely felt amazing to be making music again with friends!
July 16, 2021 @ Private Party
What a special event to make our trek back into the world of live music; honoring marin county health workers who have been paramount in getting the community back to a place of normalcy, to a degree. Thankful to be playing live music again, even though I am extremely rusty.
November 1, 2019 @ Marin Country Mart
The energy and musicianship was on full display on this beautiful friday evening. I was honored to have Chris Amberger join my group for the night and he played fantastic. Focusing for the most part on the music of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, made for a super fun amazing night of music. Blessed!
September 14, 2019 @ Private Party, Stinson Beach
Another beautiful setting for solo piano on the beach. Thrilled to be able to play music for the SPARK fundraiser dinner and serenade all of the people who donate to SPARK to make music possible in the district.
July 11, 2019 @ Mr Tipples
Quite a happening little spot. Cool jazz club vibe. Really enjoyed the night of music and making memories with David Jeffrey's group.
June 28, 2019 @ Marin Country Mart
I was so proud and appreciative to have many family members, friends and former/current students at the country mart to support my music. Playing with my favorite rhythm section in Jake Smolowe, Jason Carr and Alex Aspinall is always such a treat. Looking forward to our family trip to Maui and then eventually really digging deep and focusing on recording my originals album coming in the fall...
June 1, 2019 @ Osteria Divino
Nice night to play jazz at Divino. My favorite part of the night was playing with Doug Morton on piano and flugelhorn. So nice to back him up on piano, myself. Wonderful musician, with lots of humility and humor. It's how every musician should be! Happy to call him my friend.
May 16, 2019 @ Fenix, San Rafael
Wonderful night of music with my hall middle school jazz bands and john mattern's redwood high school jazz A. I was so proud of my own students as well as my ex students who are sounding wonderful with the high school groups. Very thankful to Fenix for having us and giving our schools a percentage of the door. Beautiful night!
March 16, 2019 @ Osteria Divino, Sausalito
Thrilled to join the David Jeffrey Fourtet at Divino for a night of jazz. A few of the highlights of the night for me were, playing music for my wife, and three different music families from my school. Playing alongside Ken Cook is always such a treat and I think we each raised the bar within one another. Great times!
March 2, 2019 @ Private Party, Scottish Rite, SF
Nice 20's themed private party gig, led by Nick Knoles. Had fun playing with him, SR alum Julian Garfolo and Davidson Music Teacher Dana Trillo. Nice group of guys, fun tunes and good times were had by all.
December 21, 2018 @ Private Party, Kentfield
Holiday music for a party in the beautiful hills of Kentfield, makes for a great night!
December 15, 2018 @ Noir Lounge, SF
It's always quite interesting playing in San Francisco. It makes me realize what I bubble I live in. Fun times with buddy Jake Smolowe at the Lounge, playing for a 1920's themed private party. The piano didn't look like much, but Jake played that thing like it was a beautiful Steinway. His reharmonizations of christmas songs were extremely creative and super neat to play, as well as listen to. Always a great time playing with Jake.
November 30, 2018 @ Marin Country Mart, Larkspur
Breezy and chilly, but extremely fun night making music with old friends Jake Smolowe and Alan U'Ren, along with new friend Fred Randolph. We played some challenging and really fun music. I was honored to have 6-7 of my students come check out the gig. They are so thoughtful and wonderful kids. What a joy it is to make music. Blessed!!!
September 10, 2018 @ Private Party, Stinson Beach
Playing jazz with the sound of crashing waves and breeze of the ocean......there are worse things in life, lol. Beautiful setting and ambience to entertain for a private party. Music has created so many avenues for me, and I'm very thankful to have this gift that I get to share with people and connect.
August 31, 2018 @ Private Party, SF War Memorial
What a pleasure to play with the guys (Jake, Jason and Alex) at a venue like the War Memorial. The beautiful Green Room, with a lovely of all of the arts district, not to mention a great baldwin grand piano. Beautiful night, awesome event, thankful to play music.
August 10, 2018 @ Private Party, Los Altos Hills
The Los Altos Hills......wowza! What a beautiful place! From the views of the beautiful surrounding area, to the contemporary style homes, to the land on each house, I was extremely impressed and humbled to play in this setting. The home we played at was about an acre filled with vineyards. Making music with Jake Smolowe, Jason Carr and Alex Aspinall is always such a wonderful inspiring time. I think we added a tremendous amount to the wedding dress rehearsal for this Cal/Stanford couple. The rivalry is real!!! Blessed to be able to share my music with like minded talented and humble musicians, as well as people who appreciate what you're doing.
August 4, 2018 @ Marin Country Mart, Larkspur
This was a first for me.....getting to play with an all Sun Valley Elementary, Davidson Middle and San Rafael High graduates. The musicians included: Garrett Michaelsen, Sean Castle, Zach Wookey, Trent Boeschen, Ricardo (don't know his last name) and myself. Marcia Miget and Blake Michaelsen also sat in and played a few tunes. About two months ago or so, Garrett contacted me and mentioned putting together an all SRHS band to play some jazz together. The Marin Country Mart was the perfect venue for us. The history of the SRHS music program is a long and storied one. Mark Peabody, who is a legend in Marin County, engineered the some of the best high school bands in all of the bay area. SR was MSA (Marin School of the Arts), before MSA became MSA, in Novato. We attended many festivals and won more unanimous superior awards than I can count. If you went to high school in marin during the 90's and 2000's, you knew that SR was the best band around, by a significant margin. With our red coats and black slacks, we played our hearts out with a passion you can't measure. Mark Peabody brought this out in his students. We wanted to play at the highest level for him and honor the wonderful music we played and all of the masters who came before us. Today was a really special day that I will remember for a long time. The amount of SR grads throughout the country, still playing music professionally or for fun, is a testament to our high school experience. Much love, respect and pride for San Rafael High School and it's alums.
July 20, 2018 @ Marin Country Mart, Larkspur
Amazing, amazing, amazing night of jazz at the country mart. So many people came out to support live jazz and Jake Smolowe, Alan U'Ren and I were on fire. It's a trip how an actual audience of listeners and supporters can raise your energy and level of playing. Mostly used to playing background music for audiences who don't listen or care, so it was such a refreshing beautiful thing. Looking forward to the next one.
July 7, 2018 @ Private Party, Mill Valley
Beautiful setting among the trees in Mill Valley. Playing jazz for the birthday audience in the hot weather, was a real treat. Playing with Jake Smolowe and Jason Carr is always such a great time. July 8th, will mark the 12 year anniversary of my wife and my wedding. Very excited to celebrate that time with her and my kiddos.
June 3, 2018 @ Private Party, Strawberry
Good times playing piano duet with Jake Smolowe, poolside at the Strawberry Rec Center. It's quite fun trying to keep up with his piano musicianship. Hopefully I held my own.
April 28, 2018 @ Private Party, SF
It doesn't get much better than overlooking the ocean, bay bridge and coit tower while playing jazz. Such an exquisite view and great company of people. Thanks to Jason Carr, I was able to play this event yet again, and hope to continue in the future.
March 30, 2018 @ Servino’s, Tiburon
Another beautiful night of music at Servino’s with Jake Smolowe and Alan U’Ren. Super happy to have these guys on the gig with me and to make music with them. Both dudes are super open minded to tunes, have big ears for some great musical conversations and personalities of true happiness that fit well with me. Glad to know these guys and call them friends!
February 16, 2018 @ Marin Country Mart, Larkspur
Good times were had by all: Jake Smolowe, Jason Carr and Rick Rivera. Challenging to play outdoors without a mic/monitor and cold weather (intonation), but we definitely enjoyed playing with one another.
February, 3, 2018 @ Servino’s, Tiburon
Man, this is what it feels like to be completely on the same page with other musicians. Jake Smolowe and I just have a fantastic connection musically. He really plays the keyboard exactly how I’d like it to sound, with gospel/blues influence, straight ahead chops, and adding some really good dissonance. Dude is the real deal and joy to play music with. Alex Aspinall is just a flat out fantastic drummer. Wonderful feel, great sense of time, super hip ideas and awesome accompaniment of what he hears from the rest of the group. Again, another dude that just flat out plays his tail off. With two guys like that, it makes my job quite easy, and effortless to be inspired to come up with creative and unique ideas. I really feel so good playing with these two guys, blessed to know them as friends and musician colleagues.
January 27, 2018 @ Private Party, Richmond
Good night to play a little jazz for a youth baseball fundraiser trip to Cuba. Haven’t played with Ken Cook in awhile, which was a treat. Looking forward to playing with Alex Aspinall this saturday, for the first time since his broken foot.
December 20, 2017 @ Cavallo Point
Nice night of solo jazz/christmas piano music. I enjoyed playing for my friends Michael and Maria and their friends. It was supposed to be an ugly sweater night, but I only saw one or two. Where’s the holiday spirit? Well, I guess I’m a hypocrite because I didn’t wear one either. Looking forward to a much needed 2 week break starting on Dec. 23.
December 17, 2017 @ Private Party, SF
What an unreal view from the family room/deck from the gig in North Beach. Panoramic views of the bay bridge, coit tower, and the bay. Wow, what a place! I really enjoyed and am grateful to have been called to play with Jason Carr. His friend Addi, a young music conservatory jazz piano major, was also a pleasure to play with. Good times were had by all!
December 2, 2017 @ Servino’s Tiburon
Nice night of music with pals Jason Carr and Casey Cameron.
November 4, 2017 @ Servino’s, Tiburon
Pretty slow night, audience wise, but as usual, I had a great time playing with Jake Smolowe. The two of us enjoyed playing for some customers who were visiting from Ireland and Scotland. They appreciated us and we appreciated them!
October 28, 2017 @ Cavallo Point, Sausalito
Great night of music with Marcia Miget, my wife Christine and myself playing jazz. Marcia is a wonderful mentor and friend to me, and as usual, it’s an honor to make and play music with her.
October 13, 2017 @ Cavallo Point, Sausalito
First time playing duo at Cavallo, and my man Jake Smolowe and I held it down. Very thankful to have my wife, sister, and multiple friends there to enjoy the show. They’re so thoughtful for coming. I think the highlight for both Jake and I was 1) playing a Joshua Redman tune called, “Faith,” and a Brad Mehldau tune called, “Sky turning grey for Elliott Smith,” 2) Ending with, “Gravy Waltz” and “I wish I knew how it would feel to be free,” was the cherry on top!
October 7, 2017 @ Servino’s, Tiburon
Super happening night of jazz with Jake Smolowe, Alan U’Ren and myself. To say that I’ve always been down on my tenor playing, would be a massive understatement. For years, I would only bring my alto on the gig. Just recently, I’ve been woodshedding and starting to feel really good playing tenor. It’s a wonderful feeling because, the tenor is such a beautiful warm sounding instrument. The guys and I played a bunch of my originals, which I’m very thankful to them for. The highlight of my night was playing, “Teefeeze,” for my then 8 year old. It was a song written about her, when she was a baby growing in her teeth (which we called teefeeze). She has an emotional connection to music and it melts my heart to watch her listening and taking it all in. I love her to the moon and back!
September 21, 2017 @ Cavallo Point, Sausalito
My first time playing here at Cavallo Point, man what a view of the golden gate bridge and city. Beautiful ambience! It was also my first time playing solo piano for 3 hours. Man, my wrists are sore, but I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Special thanks to Stefan Angelo for hooking me up with the gig!
September 2, 2017 @ Servino’s, Tiburon
The highlight of the night was having the support and love from the Berreman family, who I think the world of. I so enjoyed teaching all three kids and love both of their parents. The other highlight was having my friend Kellen Harrison’s folks, Patty and Lewis, attend. They are wonderful people.
August 15, 2017
My dad passed away today. He was 80 years old and battling Alzheimer’s. What an incredibly awful disease it is. I loved my dad very much and can thank him for my ability in music and sports. He literally and figuratively passed on his passion and love for both of those things to me. My dad had a beautiful spirit and had a warm smile that brightened everyone’s day. His memory will live on within my family, and we will honor him at all times. I love you dad and miss you, may God be with you and have you watch over our family.
August 5, 2017 @ Servino’s, Tiburon
Another enjoyable night playing jazz on piano at Servinos, with Rick and Jake. The highlight for me was getting to play a few songs with my wife singing. She has such a beautiful voice and is such a beautiful spirit, I’m blessed to share my life with her.
August 4, 2017 @ Marin Country Mart, Larkspur
What a pleasure it was to play with old friend Jake Smolowe and new friends Mike Bordelon and fellow SSU alum, Alan U’Ren. The night was so full of energy and positive music making, that you couldn’t help but dance or groove all night. Man did I dig playing with those dudes!
July 11, 2017 @ Aegis, Corte Madera
First time here playing solo piano and I very much enjoyed it! There is something very special about senior citizens, when they hear the music of their time. It brings them back to past experiences and they sing along or just have the biggest smile on their face. That makes me happy!
July 1, 2017 @ Servino’s, Tiburon
First time playing with two pianos and drums. Jake Smolowe and I held it down on keys, with Rick Rivera on drums. I really enjoyed this setup and look forward to trying it again. Definitely keeps you on your toes….switching from bass lines and comping, to playing melodies, to soloing without comping, to soloing while comping. All around good time!
June 4, 2017 @ Strawberry Rec Pool
Wow, amazing Sunday! First, Jake Smolowe and I played a gig as dueling pianists, and it was a HUGE success! Next, the Dubs smoked the Cavs for their 2nd win of the series. Man, good times, and school is out on June 7 and Christine and I are headed to Kauai on June 8. So excited!
June 3, 2017 @ Servino’s, Tiburon
SSU alumni in the house. Enjoyed playing with Miles Wick and Casey Cameron. The best part of the night was seeing two of my 8th graders and family/friends come out to hear us play. I’m super rusty, but I was very thankful to see have their support at the show. Looking forward to play today with Jake Smolowe poolside in Strawberry.
May 23, 2017 @ Corte Madera Community Center
It was my honor to play solo piano for my friend and superintendent Valerie Pitts. She has been a huge supporter of mine these past 11 years at Hall, and to play for this event was a small token of my appreciation for her.
April 22, 2017 @ Servino’s, Tiburon
The Sonoma State University crew was alive and well last night; Casey Cameron, Alex Aspinall and myself. Good times, just calling tunes, and diggin playing with one another. Looking forward to the next one.
April 7, 2017 @ Farm Shop, Larkspur
Well, the rain cancelled our friday night jazz series outdoors, but luckily we were able to play in Farm Shop, in the back lounge, near the bar. Sweet night of music with Jake Smolowe, Kellen Harrison and Rick Rivera. It made me so happy to see three of my student families at the gig, and especially Kellen’s folks, who I got a chance to have a really nice conversation with. Cheers to great jazz and great friends/students. Now, onto spring break! So needed! I’ll enjoy a bit of a recharge for the last two months or so of school. Eyes on the prize!
March 31, 2017 @ Servino’s, Tiburon
The month of march was such a busy one. My students had three gigs this month, my wife had her 35th birthday (I mean 25th, lol) and at the end of the month I had this show at Servino’s. Haven’t not had a chance to practice a whole lot in the last two weeks, I weirdly decided to call a kind of recognizable/kind of unrecognizable challenging set. Being a little nervous before our downbeat, I decided to go with it, and if we weren’t feeling the tunes, we could just call some that we felt good with. Playing in a trio with Jake on piano, and Rick on drums puts a ton of responsibility and challenge on the pianist. Jake has to lock down the chords as well as bass lines. Needless to say, Jake is the man and made it happen, sounding great. Funny enough, I mentioned to the guys after we played an abstract tune by Pat Metheny….we are the first group ever to play, “Lakes,” on a gig. Happening tune, very challenging chords. All in all, I was really pleased with our level of playing in all 3 sets, and the audience was really digging our sound. I was also thankful to see two of my families from school come out and enjoy our music. We took a few requests from them. Blessed to be able to play the music that is in my heart! Jazz is so difficult and takes so much technicality on your instrument, knowledge of theory that you put into playing on the spot, playing with your heart, etc. that you can’t slack off, you always have to hit the woodshed and find a way to improve. It’s an artform that you’ll never master and will always remain a student to the music, and it’s our responsibility as musicians to honor the men and women who came before us. We don’t do it for fame or fortune…we do it because it’s a soul cleansing experience that makes our hearts happy. We do it because we have to! Much love to the music that makes me unbelievably grateful that I have an ability to play it.
February 18, 2017 @ Osteria Divino
Even in sickness, I was thrilled to be playing jazz again with the David Jeffrey Fourtet. Something that I’ve always neglected in my practice time, are longtones. I’m finally putting the time in, and already seeing results. Pretty cool feeling. It’s really amazing though, if you don’t keep your chops up every day, they fade quick. Also, trying to incorporate new ideas into my practice. To stay up and creative with all of the new things going on in jazz, you really have to push the envelope and at the same time, come up with my own take on things. Hopefully I can find the value in practicing every day again, and really put the work in. The end goal is to finally record the many many originals I have written. Once I get to a level that I feel is where I need to be, and save up enough money, the goal will be accomplished!
February 10, 2017 @ Servino’s, Tiburon
Nice night of playing jazz with buddy Jake Smolowe and new friend Tyler Harlow. I felt such love and support from my student families who came out to support me. What a wonderful caring community I work and live in. The surprise(s) of the night were longtime family friend Sandy showing up, and then, out of the blue, one of my best friends from high school walks in the door with her friend Lindsay, who was also a sweet girl I went to school with. Five minutes later, my sister and her friend Amy popped in. Needless to say, everyone’s presence made for a very special night! Blessed to have people in my life who care about me. Despite being out of shape musically, I thought the night went pretty darn well. Time to get in the woodshed and get the chops up!
January 27, 2017 @ Marin Country Mart, Larkspur
Super bummed to miss this gig, home with a fever! Looking forward to the next gig at the country mart.
December 16, 2016 @ Marin Country Mart, Larkspur
Lowlight of the night: my buddy Jake’s car breaking down in SF and he couldn’t make the gig to play piano. Highlight of the night: playing music with my buddy Kellen, whom I’ve been friends with since elementary school (it’s been about five years plus since we’ve played). We were lucky enough to avoid the cold outdoors and were able to play jazz inside the bookstore instead, right next to a blazing fire. A big thank you goes out to all of my students and parents that braved the cold: Virginia, Adriana, Connor, Bennett, Gabe, Aidan, Hayden, Ben, and Luke (I think that’s it). Another great pair of supporters and two people I haven’t seen forever, were Kellen’s folks Patti and Lewis. It was so nice to see them and to see that they are in good health. An all around beautiful night of music with Kellen Harrison and Rick Rivera despite me cutting my lip about 30 min in and Kellen cutting his finger about the same time, lol. Good times, great music, with great friends. On to the next….I hope sooner rather than later.
October 29, 2016 @ Private Party, Pacifica
Beautiful setting to play jazz for the memory of a jazz enthusiast. I haven’t had the opportunity to spend much time in Pacifica, but man is it pretty! Overlooking the valley of green, as well as ocean in the far off distance, was quite a scene to honor the memory of this lovely lady. Jake Smolowe and I played duo, which I think might be a new setup for us, for future gigs. Blessed to honor the memory of a loved one through our music!
October 7, 2016 @ Servino’s, Tiburon
Good times with friends Jake Smolowe and Chris Gamper! Jake stepped up and played piano, while intertwining bass lines, comping chords, playing melodies on certain songs, and improvising, all by himself. Truly impressive and something I really enjoyed listening to, and playing behind. Looking forward to playing at Servino’s again in the near future.
October 1, 2016 @ Servino’s, Tiburon
Man, am I happy to be back playing out in public. So glad to come back to Servino’s and serenade audiences. Last night I played with old friend Rick Rivera, and new friend Danny Castro. The highlight for me, was having five of my families from Hall Middle School there to support us in our music. I was thrilled to see them and thankful that they showed up! Super fun playing a piano trio, but I’m reminded how tough it is to be a rhythm section player. With all of the setup/teardown and very little breaks during songs, they’re the real deal. I will say however that I’m excited to hear that Servino’s will allow me to bring my horn next time. We’ll see what happens. See you all on Oct 7, next friday, same spot, same time, 7:00-10:00.
July 16, 2016 @ Private Party, Kentfield
Playing jazz, on a warm day, in a beautiful setting in the Kent Woodlands neighborhood of Kentfield, with great friends……it’s a good life. Jason Carr, Alex Aspinall and I serenaded the audience attending our host’s mother’s 90th b-day party. Beautiful day, very kind people and an all around great time. I don’t have any other gigs listed for the foreseeable future, but here’s hoping that something will pop up here in the near future!
June 5, 2016 @ Strawberry Music Festival, Mill Valley
Beautiful late afternoon/early evening gig, poolside, in Strawberry. It’s been quite awhile since I’ve played a piano gig, which I’m hoping to do more, and I really enjoyed myself. Hanging with Blake Richardson and Rick Rivera is always a good time, and we made some nice sounding jazz together. The best part of the night was watching the Warriors beat the Cavs by 30+. Exciting stuff!
May 21, 2016 @ Divino, Sausalito
Even though I was absolutely exhausted from the full day of events, I enjoyed playing with pals Casey Cameron, David Jeffrey and Chris Gamper. I’m thankful to my colleague Debbie for coming out and support us at the gig. The audience seemed to dig us, and we even had a couple start dancing right in front of our performance area. Good times. Looking forward to watching the Dubs smack the Thunder tonight in Game 3.
May 20, 2016 @ Marin Country Mart, Larkspur
Wind, Wind, Wind! There was a lot of it. I’m thankful for all of the supporters who braved the cold and wind to support our jazz. The highlight of my night was playing for my students who came to support me. I purposely called tunes on the set list that they knew and had played before in jazz band at Hall Middle School. You can tell that they truly get it, and understand the beauty of this music and how important it is to cherish, honor and keep it alive. I’m thankful for them and know they will carry on the torch. To my buddies in jazz: Jake Smolowe, Dan Feiszli and Alex Aspinall; always an honor my friends! Looking forward to my 5 year old’s b-day party today (I hope it doesn’t rain) and a gig later at Divino in Sausalito. Going to be a great day!
March 19, 2016 @ The Bistro, Hayward
Surprise, Surprise! Good times at my mother in law’s retirement party. Highlight of the gig was playing, “Isn’t she lovely” for her entrance. Always a great time playing with Casey Cameron, Jason Carr and Rick Rivera. Happy Easter to everyone!
March 13, 2016 @ Hillside Church of Marin, Corte Madera
Enjoyable time playing music at church today. The highlight was being able to share the stage with my sister. Looking forward to hearing my wife sing next week at church.
March 11, 2016 @ The Mill Valley Clubhouse
What a pleasure it was to play with The Full Moon Swing Sextet. With my pal Doug Morton on piano and Mark Peabody (my high school teacher and forever friend), who I have the utmost respect for, we enjoyed playing together very much. The highlight of my night was watching my gorgeous wife, all decked out in a swing era dress, hair to boot, dancing all night long. After our recent devastating event, she reminds me everyday that she is the best thing that has ever happened to me, and that I need to honor her survival with nothing but love, admiration and positivity. Here’s hoping that I can live up to those expectation of myself. Looking forward to playing next Saturday at the Bistro, ssshhhooo, it’s a surprise party for a special family member!
January 23, 2016 @ A Taste of Rome
Another nice night of jazz, courtesy of the David Jeffrey Fourtet. I had a blast playing with Ken Husbands, Rick Rivera and David Jeffrey. It’s really nice to be called on a gig as a sub in a group, because in playing an instrument such as sax, it’s super hard to get work, unless you’re leading your own group. I’m thankful to David for calling me and for being open to everyone in the band playing what they feel. I look forward to the time I’m able to sit in with them on piano.
January 15, 2016 @ Belcampo, Larkspur
It’s been four months since not playing a gig, and this night turned out to be pretty magical. With friends Jake Smolowe, Jason Carr, Alex Aspinall and surprise special guest Marcia Miget, the night turned out to be quite a special and one that I’ll remember for a long time. Since our traumatic family event during christmas vacation, it’s been hard to take my mind off of it. Music, specifically Jazz, is truly a healing art form. Blessed to be able to play, and to share the stage with such great friends and musicians.
September 11, 2015 @ Caffe Trieste, Berkeley
After my first week of school and having not played a gig since July, I needed this. Extremely fun night playing with Casey Cameron, David Jeffrey and Chris Gamper. Caffe Trieste was a new venue for me and the crowd seemed into it the 1st set and a half, and we appreciated their enthusiasm. Not sure what the future holds for jazz gigs for me, especially leading my own groups, but I’ll continue to hustle to find worthwhile places to play that pay the musicians a fair amount and have crowds that actually want to listen to quality music (jazz that is). Thankful to David Jeffrey for continuing to call me as a sub for his groups. Lots of fun!
July 17, 2015 @ Fountain Grove Lodge, Santa Rosa
What a beautiful view from our 3rd story patio area of the the rolling hills and valley of Santa Rosa. Really enjoyed myself playing at this resort as well as the musicians who invited me to play. Looking forward to playing jazz tomorrow night at Divino in Sausalito.
June 27, 2015 @ Osteria Divino, Sausalito
Enjoyed my night hanging with some of my students at their bar mitzvah, followed by a great night of jazz with Jake Smolowe, David Jeffrey and Rick Rivera. All around great evening, thrilled to be on summer vacation!
June 12, 2015 @ Marin Country Mart, Larkspur
80+ degree night of jazz at the country mart playing for a packed crowd of jazz appreciators. I had a blast playing with Casey Cameron, Blake Richardson and Bryan Bowman, honoring the music of Wayne Shorter and Thelonious Monk. One more week left in school and I’m done. Can’t wait, and also can’t wait to see the Dubs beat the Lebron’s the next two games to win the NBA championship!
May 29, 2105 @ Terrapin Crossroads, San Rafael
Nice night of music with Bob Schleeter, Mark Peabody and Rick Rivera. Happy to play both keyboard and sax tonight. Glad to see my folks at the gig as well as a family from my school and another family friend. Looking forward to my next gig at Larkspur Country Mart.
May 16, 2015 @ Marin Civic Center Showcase Theater, San Rafael
Fun times playing standards for the cocktail hour. Glad to be a part of the SPARK fundraising event that supports music, art, technology and science in the Larkspur – Corte Madera School District.
May 2, 2015 @ Strawberry Rec Center, Tiburon
A little chilly, but still a very fun day playing jazz with Eric Vogler and Omar Aran. I really enjoy playing piano on gigs and feel as though I should try to get more gigs subbing on piano. Looking forward to both upcoming gigs this month. One at Terrapin and the other a private for my school district.
April 24, 2015 @ Terrapin Crossroads, San Rafael
Best part of the entire night, was walking into the gig and seeing my three girls surprising me for the night. So happy to have a supportive family that loves me and supports my music. Fun night with Cody Anderson, Jason Carr and new friend Matt Camgros. Can’t wait for the 2nd round of the playoffs and for the Warriors to beat the Grizzlies!
April 18, 2015 @ Terrapin Crossroads, San Rafael
After a wonderful trip to So Cal last week, I feel refreshed and ready to close out the school year well. Trying to take a new stance on the material I choose for gigs. Last night we played recognizable tunes that most everyone felt comfortable with. It was empowering! I of course want to continue to mix in some originals and challenging unrecognizable tunes at times, but overall playing what you feel good about is much more comforting. Looking forward to seeing my students tomorrow and getting back in the swing.
April 11, 2015 @ Private Party, Novato
Unbelievably beautiful setting to play music for the Carr family. The weather was in the 70′s, playing poolside for jazz enthusiasts. What more could you ask for? Fun gig of standards with Jake Smolowe, Jason Carr and Alex Aspinall. Love playing with those guys. Sitting here in Malibu watching the waves crash on vacation beachside, is so needed and well deserved. Looking forward to playing at Terrapin on the 18th and for Warriors playoff basketball. Exciting times ahead!
April 3, 2015 @ Marin Country Mart, Larkspur
Cold, yet fun night of music. Appreciative to Casey Cameron, new friend Noah Schenker and Alex Aspinall for playing my compositions and braving the cold. Also thankful to all of the audience members, including my parents and friends for hanging with us. Excited to play with Jason Carr at his folks house next Saturday, and then off to Santa Barbara and Malibu for a much needed and deserved trip with just my wife and I.
March 28, 2015 @ Terrapin Crossroads, San Rafael
Good night of music with Jake Smolowe, Doug Lee and Omar Aran. In my circle of jazz friends, I’m known for calling obscure and challenging tunes. I think at a certain point, you gotta just call stuff that everyone knows, or has heard of, and can really sound good on. Getting the feeling lately that its not as fun to call stuff that no one is used to playing. I myself, have been feeling a bit of stress on the bandstand reading new obscure tunes, and its probably time to just focus on what makes everyone in the band feel great to play, and not worrying about trying new harder tunes every gig. Enter Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers! Next friday will be a fun gig at the country mart.
March 6, 2015 @ Terrapin Crossroads, San Rafael
Extremely fun night of music with Doug Morton, Mark Peabody and Rick Rivera. My favorite part of the night was playing a horn duo with Doug (him on flugel, me on tenor) for the tune, “On the sunny side of the street.” What a hit it was. Definitely have to play more horn tunes together without keys. Always an honor to play with Mark Peabody, a man who inspired me to become a teacher, and shared his love and passion for music. All around fantastic night!
February 13, 2015 @ Marin Country Mart, Larkspur
What an honor it was to play with one of my musical mentors Mark Peabody. He singlehandedly kept me in high school (along with sports) and I don’t know where I’d be without him. Mark continues to inspire all of his students with his passion for music, care for children, and work ethic second to none. I’m blessed to have had four wonderful years at San Rafael High School and to now call Mark a colleague, and more importantly a dear friend. Last night’s weather was so beautiful…there was a good amount of people at the gig to show their support for jazz and for my group. Through the crowd’s encouragement and our joy of playing with each other, it all made for a fantastic night. Big thanks to Dennis for taking care of our sound. I always feel like their gear really makes for an authentic sax sound, which I don’t always feel at the gigs I’m mic’d up. Looking forward to taking a break from playing the rest of the month and then coming back strong in March.
January 31, 2015 @ Terrapin Crossroads, San Rafael
Night of Coltrane….fun times, great playing by everyone on just about every song, minus me blowing it on Grand Central, lol! Man, that song is hard to play up. Anyway, I was happy to see students of mine, colleagues, and friends showing their support for jazz at Terrapin. We’re doing our part to keep the integrity of jazz alive in a music world with no integrity. It was my honor to play the music of the master John Coltrane and to dedicate our night to him. Although, his playing was on another atmosphere, I know he would have appreciated us doing our best to honor his legacy. He has inspired so many jazz musicians and its our responsibility to aim for his level every time we play.
January 30, 2015 @ Sheba Piano Lounge, SF
Nice night of music with the David Jeffrey Jazz Fourtet (Jimi Mitchell and Rick Rivera). David always calls good tunes on his gigs and I always enjoy playing with him and the guys he calls on the gigs. Nice little spot on Fillmore, but they need to get the piano fixed up!
January 23, 2015 @ Terrapin Crossroads, San Rafael
Can’t beat playing for a huge crowd of hundreds and hundreds of people! Super fun night of music. Called some great tunes to jam over and Doug Morton, Jason Carr and Rick Rivera played fantastic all night. To have family, friends and school families their to support our music meant so much to us. I’m finally starting to feel comfortable with my horn setups/mouthpiece/reed choice. Feeling good about playing again. Looking forward to next week, with back to back gigs.
December 20, 2014 @ Terrapin Crossroads, San Rafael
Fun night of music with Jake Smolowe, Jason Carr and Rick Rivera. After getting over a 2 week cold, and having not played the whole time, it felt good to play again. Looking forward to the next two weeks of break and spending christmas with family.
December 7, 2014 @ Terrapin Crossroads, San Rafael
Challenging, but fun gig last night. I was definitely in a weird mood; atm machine ate my debit card and cash and the 49ers played pathetically. Felt in a strange mood all day and into the gig, but was happy to be cheered up through music with my friends Cody Anderson, Blake Richardson and Alex Aspinall. Very much looking forward to a break this weekend. Go Warriors!
December 5, 2014 @ Belcampo, Larkspur
On a stormy night in Larkspur, Jake Smolowe, Jason Carr and Alex Aspinall (hi-hat less) played 3 sets of great jazz. I actually really enjoyed the space. The plan was to play outside at the country mart, but due to the rain, we were moved inside to Belcampo. Being a little separated from the dinner tables helped us to play a bit louder and overall I think we were enjoyed but the large majority of the patrons. Its’s been a busy couple of days of music making. Going to rest up my chops, and prepare for sunday night at terrapin.
December 4, 2014 @ Terrapin Crossroads, San Rafael
What a fantastic night of music. For the first time in awhile, I used my clip on mic and had such a change in tone and effort being able to hear myself in a monitor without having to blast. What a great feeling! Lots of fun playing tunes by Freddie Hubbard with friends Doug Morton playing beautiful flugelhorn, Rob Forduce laying down some happening bass lines, and Rick Rivera on fire on the drums. What a night! So happy to be a part of it. Looking forward to playing tomorrow night at the Larkspur Country Mart with Jake Smolowe, Jason Carr and Alex Aspinall.
November 25, 2014 @ Terrapin Crossroads, San Rafael
Fun night of music with Casey Cameron, Eric Vogler and Omar Aran. Very nice to have my sister and some of her friends, as well as one of my students at the gig supporting me. Despite issues with my old horns; man they can be annoying to deal with, it was a nice night of music. Anytime you’re playing Wayne Shorter, Oliver Nelson and Cedar Walton, it makes for a memorable time. Looking forward to spending time with family on thanksgiving and watching the NINERS beat the seagulls!
October 30, 2014 @ Rustic Bakery, Larkspur
A long day of work, led to a nice night of music. I think the only thing that kept me going was the high from the Giants winning the world series and the enjoyment of playing music with Jake Leckie and Bryan Bowman. A bit chilly, but a nice setting for some standards. Trio is always a fun group to play with, because their is so much space to be inventive without having accompanying chords. Not to say that I don’t love having piano play as well; that’s my second favorite instrument, but it’s nice to stretch a bit more. Looking forward to Halloween today, hopefully it doesn’t rain too hard so my girls can enjoy a nice night of trick or treating.
October 23, 2014 @ Terrapin Crossroads, San Rafael
One of my favorite gigs playing in a long, long time. The music I chose fit so well with the group, as well as environment. Jake Smolowe, Jason Carr and Bryan Bowman literally tore it up all night. Amazing, amazing, amazing!!! Looking forward to watching the Giants win game 3 tomorrow night. Thanks boys for making this night so special with your tremendous musicianship.
October 18, 2014 @ Terrapin Crossroads, San Rafael
Amazing night of music with Doug Morton, Blake Richardson and Rick Rivera. Was so blessed to be able to play some originals and believe me, they are not easy tunes to read. Thanks to the guys to being open to playing them. So nice to be able to switch back and forth from piano to sax, with Doug doing the say on trumpet. His flugelhorn playing was beautiful and sounded fantastic in our setting. Can’t wait to play music next week. Giants game 1 on tuesday and niners playing broncos tonight on sunday night football. Great day ahead!
October 14, 2014 @ Terrapin Crossroads, San Rafael
Great time playing with the music of Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, Dave Brubeck, etc. with Jake Leckie and Alex Aspinall. Small crowd watching the alcs playoff game, but we were happy to be playing, especially for one of my student’s families in attendance for their birthday party. Looking forward to actually being able to watch the giants game tomorrow night. Game 4, time to go up 3-1. Go Giants! Can we hit the ball this game!?!
September 30, 2014 @ Terrapin Crossroads, San Rafael
Perfect way to end the month of September, with a great gig at Terrapin. Honoring the music of Joe Henderson, Oliver Nelson, Charles Mingus, etc. I had a great time playing with Jake Smolowe, new friend Andrew Emer and Rick Rivera. Can’t wait to watch the Giants play the Pirates tomorrow evening. Let’s get a win!!!
September 28, 2014 @ Terrapin Crossroads, San Rafael
What an amazing night of Oliver Nelson composed and inspired music, with friends Jake Smolowe, Jason Carr and Bryan Bowman. Tonight was one of those nights that you are thankful that you can share music with people. I feel truly blessed by God, and thankful that I was given a gift to be able to share with the world. Music is a wonderful thing; jazz specifically!
September 23, 2014 @ Terrapin Crossroads, San Rafael
Great night of trio playing with Jake Leckie and Alex Aspinall. It’s been way too long since I last played with Alex, and he’s sounding better than ever. Man, do I enjoy playing and listening to both Alex and Jake. Such fresh, original and soulful ideas. Love making music with those dudes.
September 20, 2014 @ Terrapin Crossroads, San Rafael
Huge thanks to my boys Rick Rivera and Doug Morton for bailing me out last minute with two musician cancellations the day before the gig. They stepped up huge and played great on some very challenging tunes. Also, I enjoyed meeting and playing with Andius Jent who rose to the occasion playing unfamiliar tunes, that I’m so accustomed to calling on these gigs. Glad to have musician friends who are willing to think outside the box and try new tunes, rather than always playing standards. Looking forward to playing at Terrapin next Tuesday with Alex Aspinall and Jake Leckie.
September 6, 2014 @ Private Party, Mill Valley
Beautiful environment to play a private in Mill Valley. What an exquisite home and backyard setting. This was a real treat. It was the first time in a long time, that I played a gig on piano. Fun times with Blake Richardson and Rick Rivera. Looking forward to the many more gigs I have this month, as well as watching the 49ers beat the Cowboys today!
August 29, 2014 @ Terrapin Crossroads, San Rafael
Nice night of music with Casey Cameron, Jason Carr and Bryan Bowman. Honoring Joshua Redman, Michael Brecker, Kenny Garrett, Brad Mehldau, Wayne Shorter, etc. was a lot of fun. Packed house and as usual it was great to see one of my favorite people, Sandi Malstrom. Also, nice to see my buddy Greg Schlaepfer and his wife. School starts soon, looking forward to it….
August 23, 2014 @ The Cove, Corte Madera
What a beautiful campus my wife and 5 year old will be teaching and attending. I’m very happy for both of them. Nice times with Omar Aran and Blake Richardson. Looking forward to next week at Terrapin.
August 17, 2014 @ Terrapin Crossroads, San Rafael
Short, but fun gig playing with Doug Morton, Adam Gay and Bryan Bowman. Zan Stewart swung by to sit in for a song and we all had a very enjoyable night. I used my clip on mic for the first time in a long time. What a difference it makes! Typically, I’ve had to blow as hard as possible to match volume with the rhythm section which has negatively affected my tone as well as blow my chops much faster. Excited to start using on every gig and I’m able to sound the way I want.
August 8, 2014 @ Terrapin Crossroads, San Rafael
Fun night of music with Ken Cook, Eric Vogler and Bryan Bowman. The highlight of the night for me was being able to perform with my wife Christine. She sang, “Besame Mucho, ” and “Feeling Good,” and sounded great. Another highlight was running into piano friend Greg Schlaepfer and his family. Great guy, as well as pianist. Looking forward to my next gig at Terrapin.
July 26, 2014 @ Rustic Bakery, Larkspur
Warm and breezy night of music at the larkspur country mart, playing at Rustic Bakery. Good times were definitely had tonight. Nice to meet and play with Adam Gay as well with buddy Omar Aran. After a long day of running a garage sale in the heat, it was nice to play some music to finish out the day. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to play there again. Garage sale starts again in 11 hours, can’t wait……not!!!
July 25, 2014 @ Terrapin Crossroads, San Rafael
Nice night of music with Jake Smolowe on piano, Blake Richardson on bass and Bryan Bowman on drums. I was really happy with the how the gig turned out, especially since it was the first time playing on my new mouthpiece. It performed admirably and I think once I get used to everything and find the right reed/mouthpiece combination, my sound will continue to improve. Looking forward to playing tomorrow night at Rustic Bakery in Larkspur, with new friend Adam Gay and old friend Omar Aran.
July 12, 2014 @ Terrapin Crossroads, San Rafael
I was very pleased and pleasantly surprised to walk into Terrapin and see a great new stage set up for the dinner music. It really adds to the space and makes it a lot easier for the musicians to feel like they have a section of the bar cut out that is strictly for the music. Great time playing with Ken Cook, Blake Richardson and Omar Aran. Can’t wait for my family trip to Tahoe tomorrow morning!
July 27, 2014 @ Terrapin Crossroads, San Rafael
Fun night of music with Casey Cameron, Jake Leckie and Niels Myrner. Looking forward to my vacation to Yosemite next week!
June 21, 2014 @ Terrapin Crossroads, San Rafael
In honor of the late great Horace Silver, we played his music all night long. It was a pleasure to play with Maury Maverick for the first time, as well as play with Blake Richardson yet again, not to mention my main man Niels Myrner on drums. What a treasure Mr. Silver was as a composer and musician. He is someone that I definitely draw inspiration from and will continue to honor his legacy.
June 13, 2014 @ Terrapin Crossroads, San Rafael
Great night of music honoring one of my musical heroes, Kenny Garrett. Playing with Jake Smolowe, Jason Carr and Rick Rivera was so much fun. The highlight for me was playing my original, “Teefeeze,” for my 5 year old Gianna. I wrote this for her when she was a baby and started to grow teeth, that we called her little teefeeze.
June 8, 2014 @ Strawberry Festival, Strawberry
HOT, HOT, HOT! About 90 degree weather down in Tiburon area. Fun gig playing poolside with Jake Leckie and Omar Aran. Jake brought his sweet looking travel bass, and we had a great time calling tunes and stretching out without chords. Very enjoyable time and I look forward to playing with them again.
May 31, 2014 @ Osteria Divino, Sausalito
Fun gig last night with the David Jeffrey Fourtet (Casey Cameron, Chris Gamper) at Divino. Really liking my new mouthpiece, but its pretty tough playing back to back nights. My lip is pretty shot! Looking forward to playing with the guys again soon.
May 30, 2014 @ Marin Country Mart, Larkspur
Windy/breezy, beautiful night of music. I was really happy to see about 4-5 families of my students come down to support the group. I think the audience was really digging the sounds of Jake Smolowe, Jason Carr, Niels Myrer and myself. Fun tunes that we could really stretch out on, and all around a really enjoyable night of music. Really liking the new vandoren mouthpiece that I tried last night. Could possibly end up being my mouthpiece of choice, over my jody jazz. Looking forward to playing with David Jeffrey’s Fourtet, tonight at Divino.
May 17, 2014 @ Yoshi’s lounge, SF
Amazing, amazing show last night at Yoshi’s. Jake Smolowe, Jason Carr, Niels Myrner and I played unbelievably well together, which made for an unforgettable night. From Wayne Shorter, to Duke Ellington, to Thelonious Monk, to Dizzy Gillespie, to W.C. Handy, to Kenny Garrett, to my original, etc. the music was so happening!!! Loved playing last night and hope to carry on this momentum with the same group on May 30, at the Marin Country Mart, in Larkspur, starting at 6. Can’t wait!
May 9, 2014 @ Yoshi’s Lounge, SF
Enjoyable gig at Yoshis last night with David Jeffrey’s Fourtet (Casey Cameron, David Jeffrey and Chris Gamper). I’m thankkful to David for having me on the gig. My favorite tune of the evening was, “Bye George,” made famous by Michael Brecker. Although, I don’t sound anywhere near as good as Brecker, its an honor for me to honor him through the music. One of a kind player!
May 4, 2014 @ A Taste of Rome, Sausalito
It’s been a long time since I last played at A Taste of Rome. Stacks played a short gig tonight to a small amount of audience members who appeared to be enjoying the music. Tough to play on a sunday night, but always fun music with Stacks, and a great group of guys to play with.
May 2, 2014 @ Terrapin Crossroads, San Rafael
Always a fun night at terrapin. I was happy to have met and played with Malcolm Campbell, and of course Jake Leckie and Niels Myrner. Two great friends who I always love playing with. Overall, a fun night of music!
April 19, 2014 @ Yoshis Lounge, SF
One of my favorite gigs that I’ve played in a long time. The musicianship was at an all time high and I think the tunes that I chose fit everyone’s playing really well. A big thank you to Jake Smolowe, Jake Leckie and Rick Rivera for being so humble and talented. What an amazing night! Like I was telling Rick; this is one of those nights that reminds you why you play music.
April 13, 2014 @ 19 Broadway, Fairfax
Fun night of music with Stacks. A couple of those tunes were blazing fast and challenging to solo over, but overall a very fun night of music. Looking forward to our next gig in Sausalito, next month.
April 6, 2014 @ Terrapin Crossroads
Nice easy gig last night at Terrapin with Casey Cameron, Jason Carr and Omar Aran. I was very appreciative to have my parents, sister and many friends their to support us. Last week I tried out a bunch of mouthpieces, and I’m super excited to finalize my decision this weekend in hopes of improving my sound and ease of playing. Looking forward to next sunday at 19 broadway.
April 5, 2014 @ Oakland Rotunda Building
What a unique and beautiful setting to play music. The reverb throughout the building was quite evident and fun to play with. I’m appreciative of Jason Carr for giving me the gig and for meeting a new friend in fellow Sonoma State alum, guitarist Cody Anderson. Looking forward to playing tonight at Terrapin. Hope to see you there.
March 23, 2014 @ Terrapin Crossroads, San Rafael
Nice, easy and relaxed gig on sunday night at Terrapin. Small crowd, which was actually a lot easier to play for, than a loud raucous one. Its been too long since I’ve played with Bryan Bowman on drums, and its always fun to play with Casey Cameron and Jason Carr. Looking forward to our next date in April.
On a side note…I got the opportunity to see Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Big Band with my dad last Thursday, and to say that I left their inspired, would be a massive understatement. What amazing talent that band has! I was blown away by everyone’s tone…they played with the most beautiful warm tone that I’ve ever heard. Unbelievable show, and something I’ll be sure to attend in the future. Honoring the late great Duke Ellington, with such hip arrangements, made for a once in a lifetime type of night. Truly inspired and in awe!!! Reminds me why I play music and how I hope to touch people with my music, as they touched me that night.
March 15, 2014 @ Terrapin Crossroads, San Rafael
Another interesting night of music at Terrapin. Really looking forward to taking my dad to see Wynton Marsalis this Thursday. Hope to see everyone back at Terrapin next Sunday!
March 14, 2014 @ Marin Country Mart, Larkspur
Beautiful night to play jazz outside in larkspur. The kids were all running around jumping and playing all over the large pieces of wood sculptures behind us, having a good time. Casey Cameron, Jason Carr, Niels Myrner and I get the mood pretty relaxed and enjoyed playing for the audience for 3 hours. I look forward to playing tomorrow night at Terrapin. Hopefully my lip holds up!
March 8, 2014 @ Yoshi’s Lounge, SF
Another good night of music at Yoshi’s with Casey Cameron, Jason Carr and Niels Myrner. Cool experience with a manager from another restaurant stopping by to hear the music and letting us know that they’d like to book us at their restaurant as well. A night of firsts! Missed having Christine sing with us, but really looking forward to playing next friday at marin country mart in larkspur and saturday at terrapin.
March 1, 2014 @ Terrapin Crossroads, San Rafael
What a great night of music. The highlight of the night for me was playing, “I want you back,” ala Lake Street Dive, with my wife singing. Very funky and soulful playing, lots of fun. I also really enjoyed playing with Ken Cook, Jake Leckie and Niels Myrner. Great sounds, lots of freedom, creativity, and originality. Looking forward to next Saturday at Yoshis.
February 22, 2014 @ Terrapin Crossroads, San Rafael
Nice gig tonight. It was a pleasure to meet and play with Tomoko Funaki and of course play with Casey Cameron and Niles Myrner. As usual a great atmosphere to play. I really appreciated having my parents, family friends and middle school families there to hear my group play. Terrapin is quickly becoming one of my favorite places to play!
February 15, 2014 @ Terrapin Crossroads, San Rafael
Fun night of music with Ken Cook, Piro Patton and Rick Rivera. My favorite tune of the night was jamming on “Got a Match,” by Chick Corea. Thankful to have some of my families from Hall come check out the group. Looking forward to our next gig, next saturday.
February 8, 2014 @ Yoshis Lounge, SF
Nice gig last night with Ken Cook, Jason Carr and Niels Myrner. Nice crowd who seemed to be enjoying the music and asked us for an encore at the end of the night. ”Georgia,” was requested and played. Looking forward to playing at Terrapin next Saturday.
January 31, 2014 @ Sheba Piano Lounge, SF
Another nice new venue to play on downtown Fillmore. Big thanks to Rick Rivera for setting me up playing with the Sebastian Parker Quartet for this gig. Fun night of music!
January 30, 2014 @ Marsh Arts Center, Berkeley
Nice new venue to play in downtown Berkeley. Really felt like a jazz club! I’m thankful to continue to get calls from David Jeffrey to play with his groups and to meet new musicians. Chris Gamper did a great job on set, and I was glad to play with him for the first time. Although our night was cut short, I appreciated the audience support and playing with humble and talented musicians such as the ones that David always puts together. Looking forward to the next time we all play again!
January 10, 2014 @ Yoshis, SF
Unbelievable night filled with loads of energy and soul. The audience at Yoshis was unreal tonight. So involved with every aspect of our playing and showing surreal support and love for us. We were having so much fun, we ended up only taking one break, and playing two 1 and 1/2 hour sets. That’s saying something, considering I for one, had split my lip at the beginning of the gig and was bleeding all over my reed the entire night. The energy was super high, to say the least! I chose tunes ranging from Cedar Walton, to Kenny Garrett, to Joshua Redman, and everything in between. The guys (Ken, Jason and Niels) played at such a high level. I got caught up so enjoying their solos on each song that I didn’t want them to stop. All around a real soul soothing night of music that reminds you how blessed you are to have an ability to honor this amazing music called Jazz!
January 4, 2014 @ Terrapin Crossroads, San Rafael
Fantastic night of music at Terrapin. This was my introduction to playing with Jake Leckie, a Baltimore bassist who just moved here to the Bay Area. To say that I was impressed with his playing and positive attitude would be a huge understatement. He’s the real deal, great player and person! It was also nice to play with Bryan Bowman again, after what has seemed liked many months since we last played. Casey Cameron was killing it as usual. Huge thanks to my mom for bringing out a huge audience of supporters that made our night really special. It was so sweet to see familiar faces who were their to share in our music. Much appreciated! Can’t wait to play their again.
December 28, 2013 @ Osteria Divino, Sausalito
Another fun night of music with the David Jeffrey Fourtet (Jimi Mitchell on piano, David Jeffrey on bass and Rick Rivera on drums). Small audience came out to listen, but the people who were their, seemed to really enjoy it. It was nice to play with Jimi, a fellow Sonoma State alum, who sounded very good, with fresh ideas. Looking forward to the next opportunity I get to play with David’s group. Happy New Year’s to all!
December 27, 2013 @ Larkspur Country Mart, Larkspur
Cold, yet fun night in Larkspur with Stacks (Nick Knoles, Sanford Barnett, Mike Bello and Marc Carmi Smith). We had a nice little group of listeners enjoying the music and showing their support for our music. I really enjoy playing the music of Joe Henderson, Bobby Watson, Art Blakey, etc. A special thanks to Dennis for being so accommodating with everything in regards to sound. Really looking forward to playing tonight with the David Jeffrey Fourtet at Osteria Divino in Sausalito.
December 21, 2013 @ Terrapin Crossroads, San Rafael
Our first gig playing here at Terrapin. What a fantastic venue this place is. Super professional staff and such a cool ambience. I really hope we get the opportunity to play here on a regular basis. Despite being deathly ill, I really enjoyed my time playing with Casey Cameron, Jason Carr and Niels Myrner. Looking forward to the next gig.
December 13, 2013 @ Yoshis Lounge, SF
Another fun night in the city with Ken Cook, Jason Carr and Niels Myrner. So nice to see my good friend Sandi Malstrom their in the audience, what an amazing supporter I have in her. I’m very lucky to have her in my life. Looking forward to playing at a new venue next week, called Terrapin Crossroads.
December 6, 2013 @ Hopmonk Tavern, Novato
Nice short set of music with Stacks, with a good following of people showing their love for all groups involved. Really fun to get a chance to play with Mike Bello again after we haven’t seen or played together since college. Looking forward to our next show at the Marin Country Mart in Larkspur.
December 5, 2013 @ Ondine Restaurant, Sausalito
What an amazing view of the city at Ondine. Playing for such a worth cause as the Angel Island Conservancy, Alex Aspinall, Ken Cook and myself really enjoyed the setting and playing for the audience. It was also a treat to hear Tim Hockenberry sing 4-5 songs during our break. All in all, a great night of music and very thankful to the Salk family for making this happen.
November 16, 2013 @ Osteria Divino, Sausalito
Exciting night of music with the David Jeffrey Fourtet. I’m consistently impressed with the crowds that come out to support live jazz in sausalito. Jazz lovers who really enjoy hearing quality music! I’m thankful to David for the opportunity to play with such a great group and really enjoy every time I play with them. I’m hoping to play with the group more consistently as I think we all work really well together. From Monk, to Kenny Garrett and everything in between, what a fun night to be a jazz musician.
November 1, 2013 @ Fairmont Hotel, SF
One of a kind experience playing in the penthouse suite of the beautiful Fairmont hotel. I was blown away with the architecture of the suite with all of the unique rooms. The views from the suite were unreal; full views of the entire city landscape. It was an honor to play music in the same place with such luminaries as JFK, Nat King Cole and President Obama, to name a few. It was truly an honor! I really enjoyed playing with Jason Carr and Omar Aran. Omar had double duty that night, as he played a gig before ours, just an hour earlier. Very nice to play with him again. I’m very thankful to the Salk family for having us and throwing such a fantastic, first class party. Can’t wait for the next opportunity to play music for the public!
October 25, 2013 @ Larkspur Landing
What a first class set up by Diana and Dennis at the friday night jazz series in Larkspur. I’m super appreciative to them for their hard work, and exceptional treatment of all of us musicians. The crowd really came out to support their local jazz scene, and we were very appreciative of the love they gave us. I really enjoyed playing with both Niels and Casey and was really impressed with Dan Feiszli, who I’ve never played with before. Much respect to the guys for rolling along calling tunes and being open to it. Its such a joy to play with musicians of those three’s caliber. Fantastic players and great people to spend time with.
October 19, 2013 @ Private Party, Novato
Beautiful scenery to play in last night. Besides being a bit chilly playing outside, Niels, Jason and I had a great time entertaining guests with out music. The theme of the night was older classic standards; honoring Duke Ellington. Besides being a challenge to play in tune with the cold weather, we all really enjoyed playing together and look forward to our next opportunity to do so.
October 17, 2013 @ Osteria Divino, Sausalito
Really, really fun night of music yesterday. I was very thankful to get the call from David Jeffrey to play in his fourtet with Casey Cameron on piano and Rick Rivera on drums. Its been a long time since I’ve played with Casey, but man did he play his tail off last night. Such creativity and passion in his playing. Quite an amazing talent! Last night was also my first time playing with Rick, and to say I was impressed, would be a large understatement. Dude, was killing it all night, I thought the drums might catch fire! David is such a kind and humble man and I really enjoy playing with his groups. Great song choices, very sensitive playing and a really positive atmosphere with lots of big ears from each player! A beautiful night to be a part of.
October 11, 2013 @ Yoshis, SF
Man, what a night of music. What a incredible crowd that came out to see us play. The energy from the music and the crowd combined; bonkers! With a combination of playing in, out, blues, funk, bebop, avant garde, etc. we definitely brought the house down. I very much enjoyed playing with Rob Fordyce for the first time on bass and as what I’ve become very accustomed to, Niels Myrner was just killing it all night. I feel like I’m finding my sound again, which for me is a huge confidence boost and something that I can bring into my upcoming gigs. Looking forward to playing in Sausalito with the David Jeffrey Fourtet next Thursday.
October 6, 2013 @ Elk’s Lodge, San Rafael
Perfect weather and wonderful setting for the wedding of guitarist friend Sanford Barnett. Short set of three songs that had the crowd digging our music. Overall a very fun night!
September 14, 2013 @ Larkspur Landing
Beautiful afternoon to play jazz at the Larkspur Landing. Getting a chance to play as a quartet with Ken Cook, Jason Carr and Niels Myrner, is my favorite setup to play with. The Latin Jazz tunes we pulled out for the gig were really fun to play. Thankful to be able to play music with good friends.
August 7, 2013 @ Yoshis
Great show at Yoshis last night. Packed house, really loving the music and showing their support after every song. Kevin Thaxton stepped in on bass and did a great job and Niels Myrner tore it up all night. As usual, I really enjoyed being able to perform with Christine (my wife) and she sounded great on her tunes. What made the night a challenge was my partially torn achilles from soccer. Couldn’t put any weight on it, and it made for a big challenge to load/unload. Big thanks to my mom and dad for bringing out so many people and showing their unconditional support for me. Can’t wait for the next gig.
August 4, 2013 @ Strawberry rec center
Beautiful day to play music poolside in Strawberry. Not too hot, nor cold; perfect for outdoor playing. Alongside good friend Marcia Miget, we played a two hour set of sax and piano duets. What a cool sound it is and challenge to play piano with bass lines and chords. The hardest part for me was playing the bass line and improvising while keeping solid time; definitely something to keep working on. I always love playing with Marcia. She possesses such a warm and bluesy sound on her horn, and she speaks the truth through it. Looking forward to the next opportunity we have to play together.
July 27, 2013 @ Larkspur Farmer’s Market
Fun time playing with the organ trio today. What a unique sound it was to have Ken Cook holding down the chords and bass line at the same time. Must have been quite a challenge, but Ken is so talented, he played fantastic. With Niels Myrner on drums, you can’t ever go wrong. He sounded excellent as usual. The highlight of the day was having my family their to watch the music. Having my parents, daughters, sister and her friend, showing their support, made our jobs a lot easier. Great time and hope to play their again.
July 10, 2013 @ Hopmonk Tavern
First live show with Stacks. Great space at the Hopmonk, with an enthusiastic audience of music lovers. We played our four song short set, and brought the house down. Tough tunes, but really fun to play; especially cool to play in a quintet with another horn player. Great harmonies and balance. All in all, a great night and we hope to be back there at the Hopmonk for a regular gig.
July 5, 2013 @ Yoshis, Sn Francisco
What a fantastic audience there was at Yoshis last night. Music lovers of all varieties were there to support jazz at this landmark venue. I was pleasantly surprised to see one of my first sax students there with two of my elementary teachers as well. What a treat to have their support all night. Very enjoyable night playing music with Niels Myrner on drums and last minute sub Aaron Cohn on bass. Again, I was very proud and happy to be able to perform with my wife, who sang about five to six tunes. I think this will start to be a nice transition into getting her more involved performing. Hoping to get a regular gig at Yoshis from here on out.
June 26, 2013 @ Larkspur Landing
So fun playing with a quartet of sax, piano, bass and drums. My favorite setup, with a fantastic group of guys in Ken Cook, Jason Carr and Niels Myrner. Playing all new tunes in a relaxed environment on a sunny day in Larkspur; can’t beat it! There’s something about this group, that when we play together, everything just clicks and flows so nicely. We all speak each others language in a non-verbal way, and the music just takes off from there. Can’t wait to play with this group again in the near future. Next up, Yoshi’s on the 5th of July. Come check it out!
June 20, 2013 @ Angel Island Fundraiser Event
The waves were shaking the boat, but we weren’t fazed! Besides a bit of sea sickness on the ferry, we really enjoyed ourselves. Riding around Tiburon, Angel Island and San Francisco with all the beautiful scenery, was quiete a sight to behold. I really enjoyed playing with Marcia Miget and Jason Carr and look forward to the next opportunity we have together. What a great cause to be a part of! A big thank you to the Salk family, who continue to amaze me with their generosity and kindness.
May 31, 2013 @ Larkspur Landing
Fun night of music with Ken Cook, Jason Carr and Niels Myrner. It was a challenge to play without being mic’ed; I know now for the future, I absolutely need to be mic’ed. Besides that challenge, the music was very fun to play and audience was so engaged. I look forward to the next gig.
May 11, 2013 @ Larkspur Farmer’s Market, Larkspur Landing
Another beautiful hot day in Marin! Very nice turn out for our performance and an enjoyable time with friends Niels Myrner and Jason Carr. Really looking forward to coming back in a few weeks to play with the same group and Ken Cook on piano as well. Hoping to pull out some of the originals we’ve been working on.
April 19, 2013 @ Friday night music series, Larkspur Landing
Beautiful night and a great environment to play in with a supportive audience of my student’s families from Hall. Lots of dancing from young kids and fun music making. Looking forward to playing with Niels Myrner and Ollie Dudek again.
April 17, 2013 Jupiter @ Berkeley
Great new venue in Berkeley last night. The group really enjoyed playing for a large crowd of people at the brewery. Thanks to the sound guy for providing us with mics and monitors, we could be heard and played with lots of energy. Bryan Bowman and Ollie Dudek provided a solid rhythm section and we enjoyed ourselves all night. Hopefully we’ll be back soon, and can get a more regular gig their.
February 28, 2013 @ The Tavern at Lark Creek
These are definitely nights to remember. Fantastic first set of music with my guys Jason Carr and Bryan Bowman, followed by a spirited and energetic 2nd set adding in my individual students from Hall. The audience was really engaged and appreciative of the music and it was a beautiful night of music making. I’m honored to play with such talented musicians as Bryan and Jason and honored as a teacher to see my students play with such passion and fire. All around wonderful night!
February 8, 2013 @ Private Party, Pleasanton
What a friday drive from marin down to pleasanton. Barely made it on time for the gig, but just made it by a hair. Very enjoyable night of music with Alex Aspinall and Jason Carr. We all really enjoyed playing for a nice audience who came out in support of Kevin, the retiree. Put on by my mother in law, she did a fantastic job of really honoring her colleague. You could tell by the response and speeches from the guests, Kevin was a very respected boss in the office. Looking forward to the next time I get a chance to play with both Alex and Jason.
February 2, 2013 @ The Larkspur Farmer’s Market
Nice weather for an outdoor gig at the farmer’s market. First time playing with Ollie Dudek, and really enjoyed his playing. Bryan Bowman as usual was rock steady on drums. Great crowd came out to support us including many of my music students from Hall and family as well. So nice to be able to play in front of an appreciative and supportive crowd. Looking forward to playing there again.
December 22, 2012 @ The Larkspur Food Mart, Larkspur
Again, I was looking forward to playing with Marcia Miget and Jaimeo Brown, but rain again canceled the show! I look forward to the next opportunity I get to play with these two ultra talented musicians.
December 20, 2012 @ Holiday Sing Along, Loma Verde Elementary School, Novato
Fun night of music with my wife leading all of us playing lots of wonderful christmas songs. Great turn out!
December 1, 2012 @ The Larkspur Food Mart, Larkspur
Was looking forward to playing with Trent Boeschen and Jason Carr on this gig, but rain cancelled it! Look out for our next date together.
October 18, 2012 @ The Tavern at Lark Creek Inn
Last night was a special time. I was honored to be able to play with my mentor and friend Marcia Miget in a duet of sax and piano. We had a wonderful time playing together and working as a team. Love her sound and spirit and feel extremely blessed to have her in my life. My students from Hall sat in for the second set and played tremendously. Very soulful solos, with an excellent projecting sound, filled with tons of passion for what they were playing. Honored to teach them and to instill my passion for music onto them. Hoping that Marcia and I have another opportunity to play together in the very near future!
September 15, 2012 @ Wedding, Castro Valley
Another beautiful event in a backyard. The wedding ceremony we played for was filled with love, thoughtfulness and a warmth that was truly special to play for. Jason, Niels and I played with a lot of energy and had a really fun time. I just wish I could play more often with these guys as they are my favorite people to play with. Looking forward to getting some more gigs for the new school year and playing music as much as possible. I’d like to continue writing my own tunes and especially playing them at gigs. Let’s hope that we’re given the opportunity to show what we can do in public more often.
June 30, 2012 @ Private Party, Novato
Beautiful setting in the backyard we played, surrounded by lovely plants and flowers, swimming pool, hot tub, rolling hills, lovely trees and excellent company. Ken, Jason, Niels and I had a great time playing for such a special retirement day party and we’re honored to be a part of it. Special thank you to both Richard and Susan for having us be a part of their special day.
June 10, 2012 @ Strawberry Festival, Tiburon
Always a short fun gig at the festival, playing for pool enthusiasts. Been too long since I’ve played with Jason Carr and was fun playing with Michael Arrow again as well. Looking forward to the private on the 30th with Niels, Jason and Ken.
June 3, 2012 @ Georgia’s, San Rafael
Nice gig with the Mike Wray Ensemble at Georgia’s. It was cool to hear his students playing with the various groups and to get a chance to play with a horn section that I enjoy playing with.
June 1, 2012 @ Sausalito Cruising Club, Sausalito
Fun gig last night with the Bumpy Road blues/soul group. Definitely a unique spot over in Sausalito, right on the water. Audience was very receptive, supportive and dancing their tails off. All around a fun night of music. Guys in the group were very welcoming and kind throughout the night.
April 26, 2012 @ The Tavern at Lark Creek Inn, Larkspur
Great time at the Tavern with Doug Miller on bass and Niels Myrner on drums. We had the pleasure of playing the 2nd set with some of my students who did a tremendous job. Isabel Lee, Maggie Smith and Tomi Rajninger played, “When the saints go marching in,” Gordon Evans played, “James,” Everett Magnusson played, “The jody grind,” Tanner Jacobberger played, “Alfie’s theme,”Sean McGee played, “Watermelon Man,” and Blake Miller and Jericho Rajninger played, “One for daddy o.”
Hopefully we can make this a steady monthly gig in order to get a chance to play with my guys and to give my kids the opportunity to play with high level pros.
March 2, 2012 @ Bravado Coffee Bar and Lounge, SF
New venue last night for the trio featuring Doug Miller and Bryan Bowman. Located right across the street from AT&T Park, the Bravado was a great little spot to play. This new venue has been open for a year and featuring live music for six months. The managers Alex and Viktoria showed us so much hospitality and kindness that it reminds you what management and venues are supposed to be like. The audience was phenomenal, showing their support for every solo as well as song. All around a fantastic venue to play, great food, great management, cool setting, warm atmosphere! I hope we get the chance to play their again in the future. Special thank you to Alex and Viktoria for the opportunity and for treating us with respect and dignity.
January 31, 2012 @ Panama Hotel, San Rafael
Fun gig last night at the Panama with Erik Von Buchau on drums and new musician friend Eric Vogler on bass. Really enjoyed playing with both of them! Thank you to the Panama staff for being so kind and caring of the musicians, they definitely took great care of us.
January 13, 2012 @ Yoshis, SF
Very entertaining energetic gig last night at Yoshis in SF! Some of the highlights from the night were having Yoshi (the owner of both SF and Oakland) dance to our music and having one of my childhood best friends come to the gig to hear us play. My side of the family and friends and my wife’s side of the family and friends were all their to support us and it meant the world to me and my wife to have them their listening and encouraging us all night. I think the crowd was really into the music, not only clapping at the end of every song, but showing love after each solo as well. The crowd was amazing! Was happy to have Erik Von Buchau sit in at the gig and play two sets with us. I think he added a tremendous amount to the group. As always, Ken Cook and Doug Miller, tore it up all night and really sounded great. Another highlight for me was getting to hear and play with my wife, Christine. She sang, “Black Coffee,” A Nightengale sang in Berkeley Square,” and “Besame Mucho.” She sounded really great and I was so proud of her getting up there, after not having sung in a long time, and making her debut, of all places, Yoshis. Great night of music and I really hope I can get a monthly gig here, as it is by far, my favorite place to play. Go 49ers, beat the Saints!!!
December 29, 2011 @ Yoshis, SF
What an amazing venue at Yoshis in SF. By far the best gig I have ever played. The audience was engaged and listening to every song, as well as showing support after solos and at the end of each song. The staff was very accommodating in tending to our food needs as well as making sure we were all doing well. The venue itself is very classy, clean and a place you’d want to play every chance you can get. It was overall an excellent experience playing at Yoshis and I can’t wait to come back and play on the 13th. Be sure to check us out from 6-9. The gig will feature Ken Cook on piano and Doug Miller on bass. Happy New Year!
December 23, 2011 @ Max’s Deli, Corte Madera
Fun night at a new venue; Max’s Deli. I really enjoyed the ambience and especially enjoyed playing with Jason Carr on bass and Niels Myrner on drums. I think we have a real connection musically, and I love being able to play with them. My students sat in second set, and I was very proud of everyone’s effort. Here is the list of kids who played: Maggie Smith, Isabel Lee and Tomi Rajninger played Watermelon Man, Jericho Rajninger played Cantaloupe Island, Gordon Evans played Yardbird Suite, Sean McGee played Milestones, Everett Magnusson played Blue Train and Delaney Benstead played Stolen Moments. What impresses me so much about these students is their courage and bravery to stand in front of a large crowd and play the music that they love. So proud to be their teacher! Come check out the trio at Yoshi’s in SF, next Thursday, going to be an amazing night of music.
December 10, 2011 @ Osteria Divino, Sausalito
Going into this gig, I had no idea that it would be my last one with Daniel Fusco. Little did I know, but Daniel has been planning on moving to Oregon, and that night would be our last together as a group. Daniel is such a positive spirit and someone who I really enjoyed spending time with playing together. I’m going to miss him very much, but I know he will be a huge success in Oregon. Can’t wait to hear the cd from the night of recording and music making.
December 9, 2011 @ Servino’s, Tiburon
High energy fun gig last night at Servino’s with Doug Miller and Erik Von Buchau. It was my first time playing with Erik and I really enjoyed his playing. He has a great connection with Doug and they made the tunes burn all night with their playing. Look forward to the next time I get a chance to play with both of them. Come check out the Daniel Fusco Quartet tonight (Dec. 10 @ 8:00) at Cafe Divino with myself on sax, Ken Cook on piano, Daniel Fusco on bass and Mark Bernfield on drums. Should be a very fun night of music!
December 3, 2011
Just got my tenor back from Lee’s Sax Work’s in the city, after a long overhaul. What a job Lee Kramka did on the horn, as well as his assistant Don. They really turned a horn that was quite beat up into a work of art. Very thankful to them for the job that they did and for the care that they put into it. Can’t wait to play it on my next gig!
November 4, 2011 @ Servino’s, Tiburon
What a night of music with Jason Carr and Bryan Bowman at Servino’s last night. There weren’t many people at the restaurant, but we had such a wonderful time playing with one another, that the lack of applause (on the last two sets) didn’t matter one bit. I feel very blessed as a musician to play with such excellent musicians who have great sets of ears and musicianship that is second to none. There’s nothing like a great night of music to lift your spirits in a world that is so filled with negativity and hate. Music is a beautiful thing! Can’t wait to listen to and post the recordings from last night.
September 24, 2011 @ Servino’s, Tiburon
Great gig last night with Marcia Miget on piano, sax, and flute, Jason Carr on bass and Bryan Bowman on drums. It was my first time playing with Bryan and I can really tell why he is such an in demand drummer in the bay area, great player! Jason was laying down funky bass lines and very creative solo ideas all night, and Marcia just really played her rear end off all night. What a treat it was to be reunited with my former private teacher and great friend Marcia on a gig where we could be very open and free. The second set where she played sax and flute was burning! She had the crowd glued to her every lick, loving every second of it. I’m very proud to have Marcia as a mentor and more importantly as a great friend. Can’t wait to play out again, wherever that may be!
August 13, 2011 @ Marin Rod and Gun Club, San Rafael
Unique venue for the Starduster Orchestra and Rat Pack Summit to play for the night. Right on the water next to San Quentin with beautiful ocean views. As usual, I really enjoyed playing with the Rat Pack members, who add so much to the show. The audience danced to our music for the rest of the night, and all in all it was a fun time!
July 1, 2011 @ Creekside Friday’s, Mill Valley
Fun gig in Mill Valley with the Starduster Orchestra right on the creek. Great audience; I was very happy to see family members their as well as friends. Look forward to the next time I play out in public with the group again.
June 24, 2011 @ Tiburon Downtown Music Series, Tiburon
What a pleasure to play with Noam Lemish again. I haven’t played with him for years, as he pursues his masters degree in composition from the University of Toronto. Man, did he sound great! Also, it was really great to be able to play with Jason Carr and Alex Aspinall again, it’s been way too long. I think the group played very well together and listened to each other very well also. Hopefully, I can get some more gigs this summer so that I can play with Noam again, before he goes back to Toronto for the year.
June 12, 2011 @ Strawberry Festival, Mill Valley
Nice hour of music poolside in the beautiful neighborhood of Strawberry with two phenomenal musicians: Ken Cook and Doug Miller. We called tunes we felt like playing and related very well to one another. I appreciate being able to make music with such talented musicians and even better guys.
June 5, 2011 @ George’s, San Rafael
Fun gig last night with Mike Wray. It was cool to see young kids playing instruments and having a good time. I was impressed by the newly remodeled club that I had never seen before. Would definitely be interested in playing a gig there with my group at some point.
May 13, 2011 @ Servino Ristorante, Tiburon
Another great night of music this time as a trio with Doug Miller on bass and Niels Myrner on drums. Lots of freedom and space to go wherever the music took us. I purposely chose some modal tunes to get a chance for the guys to go where they were feeling like the music wanted to take them. I really enjoy playing with guys like Doug and Niels, who musically are at the top of their game, great personalities, very humble, and listen and react very well. This tends to make for excellent gigs with lots of positive energy and beautiful music making. Really enjoy knowing these guys and communicating with them musically. My wife should be going into delivery in about one and a half to two weeks, so we’re gearing up for that, and very excited. Our first baby girl Gianna, is thrilled to be having a baby sister coming into our lives! She needs a play partner to get into trouble with besides our boxer Bella.
April 23, 2011 @ Servino Ristorante, Tiburon
What an excellent night of music at Servino’s last night. Ken Cook, Doug Miller and Niels Myrner brought so much musicianship to the night that the challenge of playing tougher tunes was not as hard. Such soulful playing on every song and I felt like we all fed off of one another and really said something with our playing. I can’t wait to put this group together again and continue to vibe with these three very talented players and even nicer guys.
April 2, 2011 @ Marines Memorial Theater, San Francisco
Definitely my favorite gig playing with the Starduster (well, a sextet of the group). It was really nice to be able to hear all the instruments blending and harmonizing with one another. There was a very relaxed mood set off by the leader Gordon (trombone) who made it a very easy and enjoyable gig to play. It was also refreshing to get a chance to improvise and hear others improvise on those fun older tunes.
March 31, 2011 @ The Tavern at Lark Creek, Larkspur
Fun night of music with Daniel Fusco on bass and Mark Bernfield on drums. I chose tunes from a brand new book called the Real Book Volume 4, which in my opinion is definitely one of the best jazz books out there. Just about every tune in the book of five hundred or so, is very fun to play. My students from Hall sat in during the second set and played: Tanner Jacobberger, 6th grade, tenor sax, “Straight Life,” Nolan Van Dine, 8th grade, trombone, “Georgia on my mind,” Jack Ransick, 6th grade, alto sax, “Cousin Mary,” Nathan Sterne, 6th grade, trombone, “Jive Samba,” Reese Osborn, 7th grade, tenor sax, “Doxy,” and Delaney Benstead, 7th grade, alto sax, “Songbird.” Great choices of tunes and as usual I was so impressed by the improvement that I continue to hear from every musician who came up to play. There is this confidence about their playing that is so evident and very refreshing to see. That fact that they take advantage of the chance to play with professional musicians as middle school students, shows their maturity and drive to become better musicians. I love to see that! Looking forward to playing with the Starduster Sextet tomorrow in the city.
March 23, 2011 @ Embassy Suites, San Rafael
Another fun night at the Cotillion Ball with the Starduster Orchestra. I recognized four or five students their that night and was impressed to see them all dressed up and dancing the night away. Looking forward to playing at the Tavern next week.
March 5, 2011 @ Cafe Divino, Sausalito
Great night of music with the Daniel Fusco Quartet featuring Erik Lindquist on guitar, Daniel on bass and Mark Bernfield on drums. Wonderful support all night from the audience; it was really nice to see Michael Lamacchia their, and as usual he was very enthusiastic and appreciative of the music. That dude is a class act!!! Overall, a very fun night to be a part of and I was very thankful to be able to play with the group again.
February 26, 2011 @ The Showroom NIghtclub, San Francisco
What a blast of a gig last night with Johnny Vegas and the High Rollers. We played opening night of this club off of Van Ness and had the audience dancing for three straight hours of energetic music. I really enjoyed playing with all the musicians in the group and especially dug playing with the horn section made up of Chris Barnes on trumpet and Chris Lege on trombone. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to play with this fun group again!
February 18, 2011 @ Servino Ristorante, Tiburon
Nice night of music yesterday with Erik Lindquist on guitar, Jason Carr on bass and Niels Myrner on drums. As usual, I called some challenging pieces that you don’t typically hear or play on gigs, but the guys did a great job. We had some nice moments where we were all locked in and really said something with our solos. It was also nice to see some of my families from school coming out to the gig to support the group. All in all, a nice night!
February 16, 2011 @ The Tavern at Lark Creek Inn, Larkspur
Great gig last night with Alex Aspinall on drums and Piro Patton on bass. We played some newer tunes that they both did an excellent job of sight-reading and really saying something with their playing. I enjoyed the cozy environment of the Tavern and it felt very inviting and supportive of the music. Hopefully this gig will become a monthly event! Second set; my students and parents from Hall, packed the joint. This was definitely the biggest night of student “sit ins” that we’ve ever had, in comparison to Benissimo’s. The students who participated were: Tanner Jacobberger (6th grade, tenor), “Work Song,” Gordon Evans (6th grade, alto), “Summertime,” Sean McGee (5th grade, bass), “Watermelon Man,” Reese Osborn (7th grade, tenor), “On the sunny side of the street,” Delaney Benstead (7th grade, alto), “In walked bud,” Miles Johnson (7th grade, guitar), “Bemsha swing,” and Evan Miyawaki (8th grade, alto), “Lonnie’s Lament.”
February 11, 2011 @ Marines Memorial Theater, San Francisco
I was pleased to be able to play this gig again. Great audience dancing all night (literally) with lots of support for the music. All in all, an excellent night! Looking forward to playing at the Tavern this Wednesday.
February 4, 2011 @ Cafe Divino, Sausalito
Another meaningful night of music produced by leader Daniel Fusco, featuring Matthew Heulitt on guitar, Mark Bernfield on drums, Daniel on bass and myself on sax. Lots of funky, avant garde, jazz inspired sounds came out tonight and I really enjoyed being a part of it. Looking forward to the next opportunity we have together.
January 21, 2011 @ Cafe Divino, Sausalito
Excellent group put together by leader Daniel Fusco: myself on sax, Ken Cook on piano, Mark Bernfield on drums and Daniel Fusco on bass. Freedom was the idea of the night and the connection we all made with one another was quite special. I really appreciated Daniel’s message to us as a group; play what you feel and there are no boundaries, go where the music takes us! Those are the type of gigs and groups that I love being a part of. Can’t wait to play with this group again!
January 8, 2011 @ Jazz Appreciation Party, Novato
Fun night of music with the Carr brothers (Jason and Tim) and their family and friends. It’s the first Jazz Appreciation party that I have ever played, but to be able to share music with an audience who actually appreciates and understands what they are hearing, was very refreshing. If only some of the crowds that we play for on a regular basis could be half of appreciative of the music as this audience was, the energy amongst the musicians and crowd would be elevated. Looking forward to playing with the Daniel Fusco Quartet at Cafe Divino (Sausalito) in a few weeks.
December 17, 2010 @ Claremont Country Club, Oakland
Beautiful setting for a swingin big band. The audience was dancing and enjoying the music all night and they were having so much fun, they asked us to play another set. All in all, a very fun night (minus the horrible traffic getting there) of music and holiday spirit!
December 3, 2010 @ Servino’s, Tiburon
Terrific night of music! With such talented musicians as Michael Lamacchia (guitar), Piro Patton (bass) and Niels Myrner (drums), their definitely were some special magical moments. It was my first time playing with Mike and second time playing with Piro, and it was a real pleasure to hear their unique ideas on some challenging fun tunes. I think we all vibed very well together and payed homage to the musicians that inspire us to play. It’s very nice to play with musicians who listen and communicate well together. I especially appreciated the consistent support and kind comments that we all shared with one another. At times, some musicians now a days can get wrapped up in their own playing and not care to listen or compliment other members in the group, but I think it goes a long way for a musicians confidence to be supportive and kind. There are times when we as musicians can really beat ourselves up about our playing, so to hear that some things that you work really hard on are sounding hip, boosts the confidence in a positive yet humble way! I was also very impressed by the audience tonight. Most audiences never listen, nor clap or show any support for the music. Tonight the audience were a group of educated listeners who gave us positive vibes all night with their support for nice solos and cool tunes. I can’t wait to play with this group again!
November 17, 2010 @ Belvedere Cotillion, Embassy Suites, San Rafael
Fun gig with the Starduster Orchestra at the Embassy Suites. This was my second year performing and it was nice to see some of my middle school students out their dancing. Looking forward to the December gig at the Clairmont in Berkeley.
November 13, 2010 @ Standing Ovation 10, Breast Cancer Awareness Benefit, JCC, San Rafael
We really went out with a bang for this last show benefiting breast cancer research in Marin County. This was the 10th year that the show (my 4th or 5th) has performed and it has been a very fun experience and more importantly really vital in helping women who suffer from this awful experience. I enjoyed getting a chance to perform with my wife as well as other talented singers and members of the band: Jack Pribble on guitar, Carrick Montague and Chris Campinello on drums. All of our family was their to witness the event and I was very proud to perform for them. My parents also bid and won a trip to Kauai, so looks like we’re headed there next year, can’t wait!!!
October 14, 2010 @ Benissimo’s, Corte Madera
Great show last night with Jason Carr on bass, Alex Aspinall on drums and myself on piano. It was really nice to be able to play with these guys again, as they really raise the level of music to a very high level. Its a fun challenge for me, for someone whose not playing their main instrument (piano) on a gig, I have to bring my “A” game on every tune to try to maintain the level. On top of my own group, many of my students came ready to play last night. Miles Johnson (guitar) played, “Contemplation,” Nolan Van Dine (trombone) played, “Work Song,” John Strand (drums) played, “Cold Duck Time,” Andrew Sterne (sax) played, “Memories of Tomorrow,” and Delaney Benstead played, “Yardbird Suite.” The kids did a fantastic job and really showed their steady rapid improvement throughout the year. I am very proud of them! Last night I recorded all of the students performances, and will soon post them to the website.
September 30, 2010 @ Benissimo’s, Corte Madera
After coming home Wednesday night from the show at Yoshi’s, I was ready to pay homage to Coltrane at this gig. With songs like, “Ole,” and “After the Rain,” I tried my best to capture the magic that I felt the night before at Yoshi’s. Trevor Kinsel on bass and Trent Boeschen on drums did a great job and we had a fun time vibing with one another. Two of my students came to play as well: Miles Johnson (guitar) played, “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy,” and Delaney Benstead (alto sax) played, “Song for my father.” Both did a wonderful job and I think the next step for this sit in gig opportunity, is to record the kids playing and put it up on the website for all to hear.
September 29, 2010 – Anthony Brown’s Asian American Jazz Orchestra @ Yoshis, San Francisco
I went to this performance to support my good friend Marcia Miget who was playing flute, alto sax and tenor sax in the band. What a show, I left, totally inspired and thirsting for more! The group was honoring the music of Coltrane, specifically “India and Africa.” Their was a varied mix of instruments: from soprano, alto, and tenor saxophones, flute, shakuhachi, sarod, tablas, congas, auxiliary percussion instruments, drum set, bass, piano, etc. there are a few that I can’t remember the names of. The blend of Indian, African and Jazz Music mixed so well together and the spirit of Coltrane was definitely their that night. One of my favorite tunes of the night was, “After the Rain,” arranged by Marcia. These musicians paid an exceptional honor to one of the most influential musicians that the world has ever seen. All of the musicians on stage were heavyweights on their specific instruments, and some of the musicians who stuck out for me were: Masaru Koga (soprano, tenor, shakuhachi), Marcia Miget (flute, alto and tenor), Kenneth Nash (percussion) and Steve Oda (sarod). I hope to see them again soon and I’ll definitely take a listen to this period of Coltrane’s genius, which I am not as familiar with.
September 12, 2010 @ Throckmorton Theater, Mill Valley
Fun gig with the Starduster Orchestra, featuring Noah Griffin and Sheila Glover on vocals. Hopefully we’ll get another chance to play again at this historical and hip theater.
September 10, 2010 @ Marin Creative Space, Mill Valley
The most out and free performance that I’ve ever been a part of. I feel very appreciative to have had the opportunity to play with the quality of musicians that Daniel Fusco put together. With Matthew Heulitt and Erik Lindquist on guitars, Tal Ariel on piano, Mark Bernfield on drums, Jose Rios on congas, Daniel Fusco on bass and myself on sax, it made for some very interesting and creative music making. Daniel gave us the freedom to play whatever we were feeling with very little guidance. It was a really cool feeling because we had the chance to not worry about volume, style of music, and any other restrictions that venues and their managers give us on gigs. It was a chance to be as free as a bird and to play what we felt at that moment. Michael Lamacchia was the M.C. for the night and always brings a very positive and supportive attitude whenever I see him. I can’t wait to play with him in the near future as well. Hopefully I’m lucky enough to have a chance to play with this group again and I’m very happy to have made some nice new friends that share my love and passion for music.
September 8, 2010 @ Jam Session
Jam session with pianist Ken Cook, bassist Jason Carr and drummer Niels Myrner at Ken’s house. Ken is the real deal! It was my first time playing with him, and man was I impressed by his playing. I had a lot of fun and was trying to keep up with his fresh ideas. Great time, looking forward to playing again and recording some of these sessions. Great musicianship and music making and I was very pleased to be a part of it. I’m also very excited about playing on Friday with Daniel Fusco’s Ensemble for the Marin Creative Space Gig at the Mill Valley Golf Course. The lineup of musicians he put together are recognizable Bay Area names, and I’m very excited to share ideas and communicate with them musically. Should be an awesome night!
September 3, 2010 @ Sausalito Art Festival, Sausalito
One of the coldest, windiest gigs I have ever played, but a very pretty setting with lots of support for the arts (visual and performing). Fun night with the Starduster Orchestra and singer Jonathan Poretz, playing lots of cool big band tunes. I was amazed by the attire of some of the people at this event, very artistic! I saw one guy wearing a black suit with a black tie and no shirt underneath his jacket, another woman with a paper made hat with paper colored flowers glued to the hat. Neat stuff! Hopefully we’ll get a chance to play their again next year.
Really looking forward to playing next Friday with the Daniel Fusco Ensemble at the Marin Creative Space Performance at the Mill Valley Golf Course. Very tight group he put together and should be a very open and fun night of music.
September, 2, 2010 @ Benissimo’s, Corte Madera
Another great night with the Carr brothers. I’m bummed, because Tim is going back down to SoCal, so we won’t be able to play for awhile, but I really enjoyed the two gigs that I got a chance to play with him. I’m in the process of putting together a large binder of all the tunes that I enjoy playing from all eight real books that I have, as well as Aebersold tunes that aren’t in the real books. Last night, we played all Aebersold tunes that we’ve never played before, and really had a fun time. It’s interesting to think that many of the Aebersold tunes written by the Masters, belong in the the real books more than some other tunes do. Anyhow, the music was challenging, engaging and a joy to play.
Two of my students came down to play last night: veteran Miles Johnson (guitar) played, “St. James Infirmary,” and Delaney Benstead played, “Fly me to the moon.” I really appreciated having them play, enjoyed their sound and was thankful to have their families their supporting their kids and our group. It’s very important to me that my students understand that their is other music out there besides what they hear on the radio and see on t.v. that is very high quality and worth their time, appreciation and support. My goal is for my kids to look outside the box of what we as a society are fed on a daily basis, and to see the beauty in the unknown. Jazz requires an open ear and an open mind! Once you get past the complexities and lack of understanding as an audience member, and just sit and appreciate the incredible writing of the masters and the creative playing and improvising of the players, you’ll begin to understand how hip this music and art-form really is. It’s very much one of a kind! I feel very blessed to be able to play this music as well as teach the gospel of Jazz, through all of my heroes.
Looking forward to playing with the Starduster Orchestra tonight at the Sausalito Arts Festival.
August 19, 2010 @ Benissimo’s, Corte Madera
Like I was saying a couple of weeks ago about my gig with the David Jeffrey Jazz Fourtet, last night was again one of those nights that reminds you how powerful music is and how amazing it is to be a part of. Brothers Jason and Tim Carr have a musical connection that most people wish they could have with one another. Jason’s bass lines fit perfectly with Tim’s very original way of drumming. I was telling Jason last night that his brother’s Tim’s sound is very melodic, original, polyrhythmic and that his sound is something that is really going places. The tightness of his rhythmic lines is so on that you don’t want him to stop while he is soloing over a tune. We all really had a great connection; on piano when I took the tunes out (avant garde sounding), they were right on and followed very well, while laying down perfect lines and feels for it. When we went funkier and more straight ahead, they were really locked in as well. All in all, it was my favorite night at Benissimo’s, and I’m so thankful to play with musicians of both Jason and Tim’s caliber. For being a college student at Cal Arts in SoCal, Tim Carr is really going places, and I hope he comes back home to the Bay Area when he graduates. I’m also hopeful that Jason stays here in the Bay, because it is such a pleasure to play with a bass player who can interchange from straight ahead, to out, to funk, to whatever the tune calls for. Jason does that at an extraordinarily high level. Phenomenal musicians!
Nolan Van Dine (trombone) also played last night on, “Revelation,” and “When the Saints go Marchin In.” He sounded great and is really feeling more comfortable playing in front of audiences. Looking forward to working with both jazz bands this year.
August 13, 2010 @ Downtown Tiburon Outdoor Music Series
I put a new group together for this gig as my main players all were busy, and I ended up really enjoying playing with some new friends. Ken Husbands on guitar and Eric Marshall on bass; as well as friend Trent Boeschen on drums, did a great job last night, especially considering that I usually call tunes that not many people have played before. Very thankful they were able to play the gig, and did such a great job! School starts for me next Monday, no more long relaxing summer days.
August 12, 2010 @ Balboa Cafe, Mill Valley
Fun gig with Jason Carr and Alex Aspinall. Looking forward to tomorrow’s gig in Tiburon.
August 7, 2010 @ Cafe DiVino, Sausalito
Very enjoyable night of music with the David Jeffrey Fourtet. With Casey Cameron on piano (absolutely tearin it up), David Jeffrey on bass (laying down solid lines) and Niels Myrner on drums (with his complex funky rhythms), it was definitely one of my favorite gigs in a long time. It was one of those nights that makes you realize how special music is in your life, and I’m thankful to play with that group, and hopefully we’ll play together again soon. Great venue, Cafe Divino! Looking forward to Balboa on Thursday and Servinos on Friday next week.
August 5, 2010, @ Benissimo’s, Corte Madera
Great night of music last night at Benissimo’s with Daniel Fusco and Mike Mackenzie. It was my second time playing with Mike, and I thoroughly enjoyed his playing. As usual, Daniel played with lots of emotion and creativity. Two special guest students came up to perform last night; Sean McGee, an incoming 5th grader who plays bass, decided to play, “All Blues,” “Norwegian Wood,” and a funky 12 bar rockin blues (by the way, he chose Ab, fun key!), while bone player Nolan Van Dine, fresh off a stint at Cazadero, played, “My Favorite Things,” and “Mr. PC.” Very enjoyable night, and I look forward to playing there again as well as playing with the David Jeffrey Fourtet this Saturday at a new venue for me, Cafe DiVino in Sausalito.
July 22, 2010 @ Benissimo’s, Corte Madera
Fun night of music with friends Daniel Fusco and Trent Boeschen. It has been awhile since I played with either of them, let alone all together, which made for a great night of music. We really appreciated the audiences support, which helped us feed off of their energy. Looking forward to playing their again as well as going to Tahoe this Monday for a well deserved vacation.
July 16, 2010 @ Servino’s, Tiburon
Special guest Garrett Michaelsen was in town for a couple of weeks and I was glad to be able to have him on this gig, as he is one of my favorite musicians to play with. Blake Richardson and Trent Boeschen both did a great job playing as well. It’s always fun to be able to play in a quartet and especially play in a group where I get the opportunity to play my horn and piano on a gig. It’s a very different experience when you are supporting someone on keys in comparison to leading the group on horn. I appreciate both types and enjoy the freedom of comping that the piano gives me. Looking forward to the next gig which will be at Benissimo’s on July 22nd. Hope to see you there.
July 15, 2010 @ Balboa Cafe, Mill Valley
Great night of music with Jason Carr and Niels Myrner. This was our second time playing here at Balboa, and I definitely enjoyed it more than the first. The audience was engaged and the group was clicking on all songs! I look forward to the next opportunity we have to play there and am thankful to be working for a professional and kind manager like Beth-Anne. Come check us out tomorrow night at Servino’s, Tiburon, from 9-12, with very special guest, trumpeter, Garrett Michaelsen.
July 9, 2010 @ Creekside Friday’s, Corte Madera
Fun, chilly night with the Starduster Orchestra and singer Jonathan Poretz. Lots of good music making and a neat atmosphere to play in where everyone is listening and enjoying the music, as well as showing their appreciation for what we do (which is very rare these days). I really enjoy playing with these guys, especially hearing some old stories as well as talking shop with the sax players. Looking forward to playing more gigs with them. Hope to see you next Thursday at the Balboa Cafe from 8:30-10:30!
June 25, 2010 @ Downtown Tiburon Music Series
Really fun night of music with my musical mentor Marcia Miget on piano and sax, Jason Carr on bass and Alex Aspinall on drums. The tunes we played that night really fit the atmosphere as we funked out all night and at times went far out, which was really neat. For playing for the first time together, and for the complexity of the tunes that I called, the group sounded really tight and had many inspiring moments which made for great musical moments. I really look forward to playing with this group again and am thankful to have a friend and mentor like Marcia in my life to look up to.
June 24, 2010 @ Benissimo’s, Corte Madera
Fun gig with brothers Jason and Tim Carr on bass and drums. The audience was really digging our sounds and we thoroughly enjoyed playing for them. I haven’t really had a chance to play with Tim too often as he’s attending Cal Arts in LA, but what I really liked about his playing was his polyrhythmic feel and all around creative rhythmic ideas. I think we all enjoyed playing with one another and hope that we can do so again before he goes back to school.
June 19, 2010 @ Private Party, Novato
I had a really fun time playing for our family friend’s wedding reception. Great food, beautiful setting, great people all made for a very nice day. Look forward to connecting with them when they move back to the Bay Area.
June 17, 2010 @ Balboa Cafe, Mill Valley
Played Balboa last night for the first time, for a crowd all watching the NBA finals, but I enjoyed playing with Jason and Niels. Really looking forward to next friday with Marcia, Jason and Alex at Servino’s, should be a very fun night!
June 13, 2010 @ Strawberry Festival, Mill Valley
Fun gig at the Strawberry Festival at the Strawberry Rec Center, outdoors, poolside! Very hot day, but a really fun event we had a chance to play for. Jason Carr on bass and new friend Mike Mackenzie on drums, made for some good sounds. Looking forward to playing at a new venue for us, Balboa Cafe in Mill Valley. Come check us out from 8:30-10:30 next Thursday.
May 29, 2010 @ Servino’s, Tiburon
One of my favorite nights of music in Tiburon! The crowd was so into the music, most of them stayed for all 3 sets of our 3 hour gig. They clapped after each solo and song and we’re really helping us play our best with their energy and enthusiasm. We really fed off of one another! Max Perkoff was “killin it” all night on bone and piano, such a pleasure to play with a musician of his caliber and Jason Carr and Niels Myrner were very much locked in and playing fabulous all night. Niels had one solo on our third set where I just sat back and felt like I was an audience member attending a jazz show and witnessing something very special. For our first time playing together as a group, we brought the house down, all night! I can’t wait to assemble this group again, and continue the fun and music making we had from last night. Come check us out at our next gig on June 10 at Benissimo’s, in Corte Madera from 7-9.
May 20, 2010 @ Wildfox, Novato
Another fun night of music with the Ocean Combo, featuring Daniel Radhakrishna on trumpet, Jason Carr on bass, Trent Boeschen on drums and myself on piano. It was really fun backing up a trumpet player, as I’m usually the one leading the group on sax or piano. I liked Daniel’s tone, especially on flugelhorn, and solo ideas. We tried out some new tunes, including, “Waltz for Monk” (a beautiful waltz written by Donald Brown that I played at Sonoma State under the direction of Mel Graves), “Bemsha Swing” (Monk), a tune written by Daniel (I learned about the half diminished 11 chord, which I’d never seen before), and other fun ones that made for an energetic night of music. Really looking forward to the 29th and playing with Max Perkoff, Jason Carr and Niels Myrner at Servinos. Come check us out! It should be a very fun night of music with Max doubling on bone and piano and myself doubling on sax and piano.
May 13, 2010 @ Benissimo’s, Corte Madera
Great night of music with new bassist Blake Richardson and Alex Aspinall. I really enjoyed Blake’s solo ideas, which were very creative, with many new ideas that I haven’t heard before from a bassist. Great sense of time as well as bass lines. Alex took some very inspired solos and maintained great time and expressive feeling in his playing. One of my students, Miles Johnson played, “Cold Duck Time” and “When The Saints Go Marching In.” I’m so proud to have Miles come up every gig, and you can tell from his playing, he improves every time he comes out. Playing in front of an audience will help boost your confidence as a young musician and can only make you better. Looking forward to playing with Daniel Radhakrishna next Thursday, as well as Jason Carr and Trent Boeschen. Come check us out at the Wildfox in Novato, from 6-9.
May 7, 2010 @ California College of the Arts, San Francisco
Fun night of music with the Rob Evans Quartet featuring Rob Evans on sax, myself on piano, Greg McCall on bass and Michael Tornatore on drums. We played some fun tunes and vibed really well together as our playing styles and personalities fit very well together. Looking forward to the next gig I get a chance to play with them. Come check out the Jeff Derby Trio on May 13 at Benissimos with myself on sax, Blake Richardson on bass and Alex Aspinall on drums.
May 1, 2010 @ Sequoyah Country Club, Oakland
My favorite gig that I have played with the Starduster. The Rat Pack Summit Show was a blast and I really enjoyed watching Joey, Sammy, Dean and Frank do their thing. Joey was hilarious, Sammy could really belt and Dean and Frank really matched the personalities and voice techniques of the real guys. Watching them up on the stage, made playing behind them, that much more fun! The audience gave us a standing ovation and I could tell that they really enjoyed the show. Definitely looking forward to playing with them again as well as the Starduster.
April 29, 2010 @ Benissimo’s, Corte Madera
Really fun night of music last night with Jason Carr and Trent Boeschen. I tried calling new tunes from new real book volume 2 and thought we played them pretty well together. My students came up second set to play and we welcomed up; Miles Johnson playing, “Jive Samba,” Jack Ransick playing, “Mr. PC,” Reese Osborn playing, “Cold Duck Time,” and Jane Bhan playing, “My Romance,” and “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore.” All my student played very well and I was especially impressed with Jane’s clarinet playing. I had more than one person come up to me and say that, listening to her sound, you couldn’t tell she was a middle school student. Jane is an excellent classical player, and learning to really burn on jazz as well. Very thoughtful solos and great use of the melody in her improv.
April 16, 2010 @ Enrico’s, San Francisco
Long night of music in the city for a good crowd of listeners. Niels and Jason played very well and were locked, but I felt that I had a bit of an off night. I really enjoyed being able to play piano on a gig, because I’m so used to playing keyboard. The venue is a fun one to play, and hopefully we will be back their playing again.
April 15, 2010 @ Benissimo’s, Corte Madera
After a long exhausting 7 hour drive from L.A. (Disneyland) back home to the Bay Area, it was time for yet another gig at Benissimo’s. I was really looking forward to this night as I was going to be playing with new bassist Piro Patton, and friend Alex Aspinall. We all had a great night of music and I really dug Piro’s solo ideas, locked in bass lines and Alex’s consistent time and sensitivity. Alex took some really happening solos that were filled with creativity and syncopated challenging rhythms. Overall, besides being very tired from the driving, I really enjoyed playing with the two of them and look forward to playing with them both very soon. Come check Jason Carr, Niels Myrner and myself out tomorrow night at Enrico’s in the city starting at 8:00!
April 8, 2010 @ Wildfox Restaurant, Novato
Nice night with friends and fellow San Rafael High graduates, Julian Garfolo on bass and Trent Boeschen on drums. I actually really enjoyed the ambience of this venue, outside in the patio with two fireplaces and heaters to keep everyone nice and warm on a cold night. Quite a challenge to play in tune with the cold weather, as well as breaking in new reeds on both horns, but we all managed and had some nice moments that night. Hopefully, we’ll be back there again to play some music and entertain the crowd!
April 3, 2010 @ Servino Ristorante, Tiburon
Fun night of music with friends Niels Myrner and Daniel Fusco. I thought the 3rd set we really got settled and locked in, which made for a great last set of the night. Looking forward to playing with new bassist Piro Patton and friend Alex Aspinall in a few weeks at Benissimo’s. Come check us out!
April 1, 2010 @ Benissimo’s, Corte Madera
Yet another fun night of playing jazz! It was a pleasure to play with Michael Arrow (teacher at neil cummins) who I haven’t played with since my days of playing steady at the Broken Drum in San Rafael. I enjoyed hearing him play after such a long absence of playing together. Jason Carr was also on this gig and as usual, sounds excellent. The audience was probably the biggest I have seen at Benissimo’s, and myself and the guys definitely appreciated the support and recognition that was given to us all night. I was also very pleased to invite up my kids to play the second set. Miles Johnson (“Midnight Waltz”), Jane Bhan (“Cold Duck Time”), Reese Osborne (“Straight Life”) and Jack Ransick (“Revelation”) all came up to play and showed quite a bit of poise for students of their age. I continue to be impressed and proud of their courage for getting up in front of an audience and doing their best. Looking forward to playing at Servino’s on Saturday with a nice group including Daniel Fusco and Niels Myrner. Should be an exciting night filled with energetic music!
March 24, 2010 @ Embassy Suites, San Rafael
Interesting gig tonight! One hundred 6th graders learning to eat in a formal setting and to dance all kinds of different styles while listening to a big band play jazz. Definitely enjoyed the night and was surprised and excited to see about fifteen of my own students their at the Cotillion. I was very proud of their effort and enjoyed playing for them. As usual, I had a great time playing with the Starduster Orchestra and thoroughly enjoyed playing with a new player named Joe Cohen (great horn player). Looking forward to the next time they call me for a gig!
March 18, 2010 @ Benissimo’s, Corte Madera
Probably my favorite night playing at Benissimo’s. I really enjoyed the sounds of Daniel Fusco on bass and Trent Boeschen on drums. It felt like we had a good connection all night. I tried to call tunes that either I’d only played a few times, or tunes that I’ve never played. We mixed it up with some of those, along with some more recognizable ones, which made for a fun night of playing. One of my students, Miles Johnson (guitar) came up and played “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy,” with the group. He played really excellent and it was definitely the best that I have ever heard him play. The guys in the group were very impressed that an 11 year old sixth grader could play that way. Way to go Miles! I was also honored to have my musical mentor and great friend Marcia Miget, and Carl Lewis in the audience listening and supporting us. I was hoping she brought her axe to blow, but she was there specifically to enjoy the food and listen to the group. Hopefully next time she comes, she’ll play on a few tunes; she is a truly amazing musician and wonderful friend! Looking forward to my next gig with the Starduster Orchestra at Embassy Suites in San Rafael!
March 6, 2010 @ Servino Ristorante, Tiburon
Last night was a blast! I really appreciate being able to play free at a venue where volume is not an issue and we have the freedom to play whatever we want. We called a mixture of standards and more contemporary tunes which we’re all fun to play. It was cool to go out on tunes that you typically aren’t able to, due to the size of the venue. I really enjoy playing with both Daniel Fusco and Alex Aspinall; two players who I consider great friends and colleagues. They both play with a lot of sensitivity, using their ears at all times, tons of soul, and possess a positive attitude that always rubs off on myself and the audience during gigs. Both guys are classy dudes who I’m happy to play any gig with. Daniel was trying out his brand new bass for the first time, and from what I heard, he made a great choice. It’s not always easy to find musicians that you vibe with musically and socially, but I can say that Alex and Daniel are two guys that I really enjoy being around. Hope to see you out at the next gig at Benissimo’s on the 18th!
March 4, 2010 @ Benissimo’s, Corte Madera
We got a bit of a late start with the gig (a couple was still eating in our performance area when we arrived), but got right into playing and vibing with one another. It looks like I will be switching off playing piano and sax for each gig which will help to keep building my keyboard chops quite a bit. Jason Carr and Trent Boeschen were calling some fun tunes and I tried to keep them on their toes with calling random tunes that most people never play from, in the book we were using. Three of my students came up to play; Nolan Van Dine played, “Peter Gunn Theme”, Reese Osborne played, “Doxy” and Evan Miyawaki played, “Dizzy Atmosphere” and “Lucky Southern”. I’m always impressed and proud of my students for having the bravery to play in front of strangers on a gig. This experience will definitely help them in the future when they will have to play in front of larger audiences. I tell all my kids, anytime you have the chance to play with professional musicians and receive positive exposure, you need to take advantage of that, because most kids your age don’t have that opportunity, and it takes them longer to feel comfortable playing in front of audiences, teachers and their peers. Saturday night I will be playing with Daniel Fusco and Alex Aspinall over at Servino’s in Tiburon, and I’m really looking forward to playing them! Should be a really fun night of high level musicianship and energy. Come check us out from 7:30-10:30.
February 18, 2010 @ Benissimo’s, Corte Madera
Fun night of playing with Daniel Fusco and Trent Boeschen. I really enjoyed playing with Daniel again after the first time we played together at Servino’s a couple months ago. Love his playing, energy and attitude. Despite having the worst reed issues I’ve ever had on a gig, there were some happening moments that were the highlight of the night. I really appreciated both guys understanding of my equipment issues and their ability to hold it down, while I struggled through the night. Looking forward to going to Tahoe this weekend. Come check us out at our next gig at Benissimo’s, Corte Madera on March 4th and Servino’s, Tiburon on March 6th.
February 13, 2010 @ Marines Memorial Theater, San Francisco
Beautiful building that honors the soldiers and families of soldiers who have fought in battle and lost their lives defending our country. I enjoyed playing with the Starduster Orchestra and appreciated seeing everyone up dancing and having a nice time, listening to Big Band Swing.
February 5, 2010 @ Enrico’s, San Francisco
Our second night of playing at Enrico’s for a very nice crowd all night. I chose very challenging pieces on this night, and I really appreciate the high musicianship of Jason Carr and Niels Myrner. I think we all had an enjoyable time, and by the response of the crowd, I’m hopeful that they enjoyed what they heard. Look forward to playing their again!
February 4, 2010 @ Benissimo’s, Corte Madera
Another nice night at Benissimo’s featuring an all San Rafael High Band, myself on sax, Julian Garfolo on bass and Trent Boeschen on drums. Nice night of playing, during the second set it was my pleasure to invite Miles Johnson, Jack Ransick, Reese Osborne, Nolan Van Dine and John Cullen up to play. The four of them all participate in the Intermediate Jazz Band at Hall, and showed lots of courage coming up playing in front of a large crowd. I’m very proud of them!
January 21, 2010 @Benissimo’s, Corte Madera
Fun night with Trent Boeschen on drums and new bassist Bob Steele. At a venue that calls for playing very quietly, I think we played some good tunes and had some good moments that night. Two of my students; Evan Miyawaki (sax) and Nolan Van Dine (bone), sat in on the gig and did an excellent job playing the tunes they chose. It looks like this is going to end up being a once or twice a month gig, so anyone who would like to come out to play, listen, enjoy a meal, etc. are all welcome! Hope to see you at one or both of the next upcoming gigs, February 4th at Benissimo’s, Corte Madera and February 5th at Enrico’s, San Francisco.
January 16, 2010 @Enrico’s, San Francisco
One of the best audiences we have ever played for! One of my favorite venues I have played! The vibe was really happening, really felt like a jazz club. The energy was so high on this gig, it was refreshing to play on such a fun night of music, as well as play for such a great audience. It rained all night, but inside Enrico’s the place was on fire. As my first gig playing here at Enrico’s, I tried to come up with a fun exciting set list that would really keep the energy high and audience happy. I think we definitely accomplished that last night! Jason Carr and Niels Myrner were playing their tails off and we fed off of one another to the tune of high level playing all night. I’m hopeful that we can play at Enrico’s again, because we all had a very fun time. Next gig up is February 13th from 8-10 at the Marines Memorial Theater in San Francisco with the Starduster Orchestra. Hope you can make it out!
January 9, 2010, Servino Ristorante, Tiburon
Another good night of music with two good friends and musicians, Giovanni Benedetti and Trent Boeschen. I especially dug Gio’s solos in which he bowed as well as Trent’s ever sensitive ear and reaction to what he hears. The trio sound without chords definitely lends space to going out on tunes that you might not otherwise. We had some nice moments in the gig where the energy was very high and communication was happening. Very excited about the gig next week at Enrico’s in San Francisco. This will be our first time playing their and we’re hopeful to make a good impression in order to play their regularly. Come check us out!
December 19, 2009 @ Servino Ristorante, Tiburon
Really fun night of music with a great group, consisting of Garrett Michaelsen on trumpet and piano, Daniel Fusco on bass, Niels Myrner on drums as well as myself playing sax and piano. The energy and spirit was really high and the group fed off each other as well as the support of the audience. Very thankful to have family and friends at the gig supporting our music and really listening and appreciating what they’re hearing. It’s not always the case that the audience listens to the music, claps at the end of solos and songs, as well as really be in tune with what they’re hearing; it was a very pleasant surprise! I’m always thrilled to get a chance to play with Garrett (who currently resides in Indiana working towards a masters and doctorate), who is a very gifted and humble musician who I admire listening to and performing with. This gig was my first playing with Daniel, and I must say I really enjoyed his playing as well as his positive spirit and will definitely be playing with him again soon. As usual, Niels provided great time on the set, as well as very sensitive and soulful playing, which I really appreciate about him. Overall, the night was a great success and I continue to love being part of the jazz community and doing my best to contribute to an art form I have so much love and respect for. Come check out the Jeff Derby Trio (myself on sax, Geo Benedetti on bass and Niels Myrner on drums) on January 9th, 2010 at Servino’s, Tiburon, starting at 7:30!