2012 Year in Review

2012 In Review”

Another year has come and gone. We all sat and waited in our panic rooms a couple weeks ago expecting the world to end (we all did that, right?) yet we are still here. I started last year’s “Year In Review” by saying that we are still here. I guess thats a good way to look at it. We are still here. If nothing else, we have that.


For me, this past year was more than just being here. I have been very fortunate to have many great experiences, both musical and non-musical. The coming year is going to be even better (I hope) but here are some memorable moments from 2012:


–January 15: Being interviewed as a guest on Jason Crane’s “The Jazz Session”. Sarah and I went to New York and Jason asked me some of the most insightful, provocative questions about me and my music that anyone could have asked. You can hear the interview here, and if you havent, you might enjoy hearing some insight about my processes and tunes.


–January 27: A performance of John Zorn’s COBRA with Brendan Fitzgerald and “Wooden Cities” at Hallwalls in Buffalo, NY. Check it out:


–March 28: Sarah and I closed on our first house in Brighton, NY! Very exciting, and a super cool house where the walls were orange, blue, green and there is a walk-in purple bathtub! I hope you can all come over sometime.


–April 21: I played drums with my dad’s Southtowns Youth Orchestra as a member of the rhythm section for Rick Braun with Strings. Rick is a great guy, and this was a fun concert!


–April 27-29: Spent the weekend in Harrisburg, PA with George Clements for our fifth year of his percussion concert. We did a day of master classes, presentations, open rehearsals and finally performed two concerts. MY pieces “5 Years” and “Glass” were given their world premiers and it was a rousing success. A major announcement related to this event/group will be coming soon….stay tuned… Check out part of the performance:


–May: Conducted the orchestra for the JCC’s production of Jason Robert Brown’s “Parade”. This was a fantastic show, many said it was the best they had seen in the area in a long time. My orchestra was excellent to work with and it was great to make my conducting debut on such a beautiful work. Everyone involved was awesome, and this will continue to be one of the most proud moments of my career for a long time.


–May 25: Though I played a lot less this year with him, I had some great moments with my good friend Brownman. On May 25, we played an awesome night at Nietchzes in Buffalo with a group that was new to me: Gruvasylum. It was like the Electryc Trio but with rappers, and it was a lot of fun. I hope this happens more.


–June 6: Bending and Breaking was a lot quieter this year, but on June 6, we played a live concert on WGMC here in Rochester. Its always good to play with my band, and I plan on doing it more often in 2013. Check it out:


–July 6: I played on Mike Kaupa’s recital in Kilbourn Hall, and was a part of a re-creation of Miles Davis Quintet’s performance of “My Funny Valentine” from the live 1964 concert. It was great sharing the stage with Mike, Bill Dobbins, Doug Stone and Jeff Campbell. This is on YouTube as well:


–July: I played drums for the JCC’s production of “Spring Awakening”. Director Danny Hoskins did a beautiful job, and the score was a blast to play.


–July 18: My band that plays folk songs, “Under Open Sky”, played as artists-in-residence at the Hochstein Summer Jazz Camp. We got a group of 20 high school kids to play a free jazz folk song!


–August: I was honored to be a teacher at the Hochstein School of Rock, led by my good friend Ivan Trevino. I coached bands of high school kids and we had a final concert at Spot Coffee. It was an awesome week and I plan on being a part of it again this year!


–August 5: My good friend George Clements presented his Masters Recital in Hatch Hall at Eastman. I played on a few of the pieces, and George sounded great. Heres a video:


–MidAugust: I spent the week with George in Harrisburg, teaching some marching band camp. We wrote some really cool music for those guys to play. Ahead of the curve, George…


–September: I started a new job, teaching at Odyssey Academy in Greece. I started my teaching career at this school, except that the entire school is housed in a new building. I like the people I work with a whole lot.


–September 7: We put on a great show at the Montage with Bending and Breaking, Quintopus and Dave Rivello Ensemble. Thanks to all who made it out!


–September: I was once again a judge for the Guitar Center Drum Off. It was spectacular.


–September 19: I was a featured soloist on drumset with the Eastman Wind Ensemble under the baton of Mark Scatterday. We premiered a piece by Jen Bellor that was apparently inspired by me! It was an honor to be a soloist on the stage of Eastman Theatre. Thanks to Jen and Dr Scatterday for making it happen.


–September 21: I was a participant in the Rochester Fringe Festival. First, I played with B+B and some other ensembles on a performance that combined dance with music. Heres a clip:


–That same day, I played drums and music directed for a late-night performance of “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” featuring Sammi Cohen and Carl Del Bueno. It was a lot of fun!


–September 26: I made my debut in New York City with Dave Chisholm’s “Calligraphy”. We played as a part of FONT, the Festival of New Trumpet Music. It was a huge honor to be a part of this event. We were introduced by the great Jeremy Pelt, and one of my heroes Dave Douglas was in the house! Thanks to DChisholm for making this happen. Heres a link!


–As the year finishes, I would be remiss if I didnt mention that I again played or subbed for 10 different musicals this year. I love musicals. I think that number could somehow be higher in 2013.


–The rest of the year was a bit more chill, which allowed me to gear up for my next projects! I plan on unveiling a new band in the next couple of months, and it will be very different from bending and breaking, while still being awesome. I also hope to play more with B+B, as well as Under Open Sky. As I said, there should be another big announcement coming regarding a performing group of me and some of my friends, but I cant say much more than that yet. I am also writing more, and that stuff should be coming out pretty soon too. Many cool things on the horizon!


–If you read this far, you are incredible. You are one of my biggest fans, for sure. I can just say that I hope we are still here in another year, doing the same thing but with even sweeter things up above! Be in touch and be happy!

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