Boredom confines me. I seem to have a propensity to want to push the envelope, cross the next artistic frontier. All I can say is that I follow the next thing; inspiration, problem to solve, or inkling that there is a diamond in the rough to be polished.
This year on April 30th, International Jazz Day, I threw a dart and nailed my latest great dream. By a stroke of angelic miracle, I engaged improvisation genius, pianist Marc Cary, and virtuosic and versatile drummer, Diego Joaquin Ramirez, to expand my own artistic palate.
Throwing myself more and more into improvisation means not only playing with ways of music making but also broadening instrumentation. Marc and Diego were my Team, bringing synthesizers and sampling to the landscape. Marc played with jazz great Abbey Lincoln for 12 years, teaches Improvisation at both Juilliard and the Manhattan School of Music, and tours with the best. Diego attended Berklee College of Music, won the Herb Alpert Jazz Composition award, attended the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead program, plays with Marc Cary & the Harlem Sessions band, and hails from my beloved Ireland, yet now based in NY.
Together, we dove into music making in celebration of International Jazz Day at City Winery Atlanta. I played with two microphones, allowing for reverb and delay effects. Marc engaged acoustic piano, keyboard, and his synthesizer rig with a host of real samples — including the late jazz trumpeter, Roy Hargrove. Diego ripped on drums with infinite velocity and elegant solos.
We covered new ground, taking standards, classics, and original compositions to a new place. Jazz made fresh. Jazz moving forward. Challenging ourselves and delighting ourselves.
Celebrating this iconic art form we call jazz.
I’m blessed. Hope I get bored again soon.