Chris Smith wrote a nice article about me and my impending move to New York in Monday’s Winnipeg Free Press, you can read it here.
Here are some videos from the 2012 Winnipeg DrumTalk Festival, held at the CCFM in Winnipeg in November, and organized by Dave and Brenda Schneider from the Music Cellar. The first one features me, the second one features my good friend Steve Broadhurst (Doc Walker), and the third one is a behind the scenes look at the festival. Enjoy!
The spring issue of Drums Etc. was released today, and I had an article published called DIY: Self-Releasing an Album. Thanks to my friend Aaron Edgar for enlisting my help!
This article is a condensed version of a guest post I did for the jazz/literature blog A Horizontal Search earlier this year.
I’m happy to officially announce that I will be relocating New York, NY later this year, to obtain my masters degree from Manhattan School of Music. I’m very excited for this next chapter in my life, and it feels really good to have the full support of the Winnipeg music community, as has been made very clear in the past two weeks. On Saturday morning I was fortunate to speak with my good friend Ismaila Alfa on CBC Radio One. Andrea Ratuski wrote a great article based on this interview.
I’m back in Winnipeg after five fantastic weeks in NYC, Washington, DC, and Orlando, FL. I have a lot to share with you, and a few pieces of very exciting news coming soon, but in the meantime, I’d like to share the videos from the final performances of Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead at the Kennedy Center in DC. I will put up a more complete blog post about the workshop soon; it was incredible and I would recommend it without reservation to any young (under 25) jazz musician who is serious about this music.
Each video includes all three bands, and I encourage you to check out the full concert from each night. Something important to note is that each band is playing 100% original music. Here are the links:
Here is a link to a video of Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead performance #1 of 3 here at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. My group begins at the 20 minute mark, but I encourage you to check out all three groups, they’re all full of great young musicians! Click here for the video.
Alright! After two weeks (& change) in NYC, I am now in Washington, DC for Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead workshop at the Kennedy Center. We all got in yesterday and met each other at dinner, following which we watched a video of Betty Carter and the faculty members, including Jason Moran, Peven Everett, Marc Cary, Dwayne Burno, Craig Handy, Carmen Lundy, and Nate Smith, reflected on their experiences playing with and learning from her (here is a link to a video of a CBS special from 1996 about the program, featuring a 21-year-old Nate Smith).
Today our day consisted of five hours of playing standards together in various configurations, so the faculty could assess us and put us into ensembles, where we will be working our original music. Everyone here is a BMF! Of the attendees, there are two Canadians (myself and my roommate, guitarist Matt McDougall, who is from Cape Breton, currently living in Bloomington, Indiana), two Israelis (a saxophonist and a harmonicist), a vocalist from Serbia, a pianist from Georgia, and a drummer from Ireland (my friend Diego Ramirez, who attended the Banff workshop with me in May). The rest of the 24 attendees are from all corners of the USA. It’s a great group of musicians, and I hope I get to play with everyone while I’m here.
Here’s a re-cap of everything that Niall and I got up to in New York since my last update:
Last week, we both did auditions for Manhattan School of Music and Juilliard. It was a great experience, if a little daunting. At Juilliard, the audition panel consisted of Carl Allen, Ron Carter, Billy Drummond, Kenny Washington, Dr. Eddie Henderson, Kenny Barron, Steve Wilson, Joe Magnarelli, etc. I think all in all they went well, so now we wait!
- Prior to that, I got a lesson with Kenny Washington, which was great. He really helped to pinpoint some of my issues, which I am hard at work to fix.
- We had a few great sessions during the day, which is one of the benefits of having so many bad cats around. The first was with our friend, Sicilian bassist Marco Panscia, the next with Banff Centre alumnus and trumpeter Sam Neufeld (originally from Milwaukee, now attending the New School), and the third with pianist Mike King (from Chicago by way of Oberlin, OH), who lives in the building we were staying in in Harlem. After Niall went home on Saturday, I had a session with another Banff Centre alumnus, pianist Gadi Stern, who is from Jerusalem and recently graduated from the New School.
Tuesday, Feb 26th: NEXT Collective at (le) Poisson Rouge, featuring Christian Scott on trumpet, Logan Richardson on alto saxophone, Walter Smith III on tenor saxophone, Ben Williams on bass, Jamire Williams on drums, Gerald Clayton on piano, and Matthew Stevens on guitar, releasing their album Cover Art; followed by the Evolution Jam at the Zinc Bar, hosted by pianist Orrin Evans.
- Wednesday, Feb. 27th: Taylor Eigsti Trio at Smalls, featuring Justin Brown on drums and Ben Williams on bass.
Thursday, Feb. 28th: Aaron Kimmel Quartet at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola at Jazz at Lincoln Center, playing the music of Dexter Gordon, followed by a Jam Session hosted and moderated by Michael Mwenzo, a fantastic vocalist from Sierra Leone (this guy knows so much jazz history it’s scary, and can scat lines like nobody’s business).
- Friday, Mar. 1st: The Heath Brothers at the Villge Vanguard, featuring Jeb Patton on piano, David Wong on bass, and of course, Jimmy on tenor and Tootie on drums. After that we caught the Ravi Coltrane Quartet at the Jazz Standard, featuring Jason Palmer on trumpet, Christian McBride on bass, and Bill Stewart on drums.
Saturday, Mar. 2nd: Justin Brown at Tribeca Performing Arts Centre, featuring Matthew Stevens on guitar, Fabian Almazan on Fender Rhodes, and Evan Marien on bass.
- Tuesday, Mar. 5th: The Groover Quartet at Smoke, featuring Mike LeDonne on organ, Paul Bollenback on guitar, Eric Alexander on tenor saxophone, and Joe Farnsworth on drums. (They opened with Michael Jackson’s “The Way You Make Me Feel”… sounds familiar! Of course I gave Mr. LeDonne a copy of my CD!)
Wednesday, Mar. 6th: Renee Rosnes at the Village Vanguard, featuring Steve Nelson on vibes, Peter Washington on bass, and Lewis Nash on drums (one of my all-time favourite drummers). After that we hit the jam at the Tea Lounge in Brooklyn, which was really fun.
- Thursday, Mar. 7th: we took a night off and headed out to the Comedy Cellar. I’ve gone a few times without ever knowing anyone on the bill, and it is always amazing.
Friday, Mar. 8th: Walter Smith III at the Jazz Gallery, featuring Clarence Penn on drums, Matthew Stevens on guitar, Taylor Eigsti on piano, and Harish Raghavan on bass, with special guests Dave Douglas and Adam O’ Farrill on trumpet.
- Saturday, Mar. 9th: I hung out with my friend and fellow Winnipegger Luke Sellick at Dizzy’s, and caught a group of young musicians playing the music of Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, as part of a festival they were having at Jazz at Lincoln Center (the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band was playing Dizzy’s big band music in the Rose Room next door). I can’t remember the names of the guys in the band, except that the drummer’s name was Joe Saylor, but they were serious.
Sunday, Mar. 10th: I caught Renee Rosnes at the Vanguard one more time; Lewis put me on the list and I got to sit as close to him as I possibly could without being on stage. It was incredible. After that I jammed at Small’s, and got back to Harlem in time to get two hours of sleep before catching the bus to DC.
Thanks for reading! I’ll write all about the workshop as soon as I can.
I figured I’d keep everyone in the loop as to what Niall and I are up to in NYC. In four days we’ve already heard so much great music. We arrived on Friday, Feb. 22nd and after an epic day of travelling, made it out to the Jazz Standard to hear the Benny Green Trio, featuring Kenny Washington on drums, and a great bass player from Switzerland whose name escapes me right now filling in for Peter Washington. The trio was swingin’ as always and Benny is celebrating the release of his first self-produced album, featuring all original music, called “Magic Beans” (Sunnyside).
On Saturday, we took the train up SUNY Purchase to do our first of three auditions while we’re here, which went very well. On Friday night we heard the legendary Benny Golson at Ginny’s Supper Club in Harlem, featuring Carl Allen on drums, Mike LeDonne on piano, and fellow legend and NEA Jazz Master Ron Carter on bass. This was our first time hearing Benny and Ron live, and it was surreal. Benny is 84 and still playing his butt off. It was one of the best sets of music I’ve ever heard. From there we headed down to Smoke to hear David Berkman’s Quartet featuring Ugonna Okegwo on bass, Victor Lewis on drums, and our good friend and mentor Jimmy Greene on saxophone. I’ve see Victor Lewis live a few times, and this time like the others, I was totally awe-struck by his musicality. He has such an incredible sense of pacing and dynamics, and he always takes the music to the next level. Also, it was beautiful to see Jimmy. He sounded amazing as always, and I’m so glad to see that he is doing okay; this was the first time we had seen him since the tragedy in Newtown that affected his and so many other families. I think about them everyday and I wish them all the strength in the world to be able to continue with their lives (If you haven’t already done so, take the Sandy Hook Promise). David Berkman’s set was followed by pianist/vocalist Johnny O’Neal, perhaps best known for playing Art Tatum in the Ray Charle’s biopic “Ray.”
On Sunday we caught Canadian ex-pat saxophonist Grant Stewart at Fat Cat, followed by guitarist Peter Bernstein at the Village Vanguard, joined by bassist John Webber, and living legends Jimmy Cobb and Harold Mabern. The band was so swingin’. The highlight for me may have been Harold Mabern’s extended quote and re-harmonization of the melody to “Do It Again” by Steely Dan on his tune “Rakin’ and Scrapin’,” a funky boogaloo.
Yesterday we headed out to New Brunswick, NJ to check out Rutgers University’s jazz program, and we were graciously hosted by Ralph Bowen and Conrad Herwig, and got a chance to hang out with our friend from the Banff Centre, guitarist Jessica Ackerley (we’ve run into a few of our fellow 2012 Banff-ingtonians, and we will undoubtedly be hanging out with more of them). We also managed to meet up for dinner with Winnipegger Luke Sellick, who is currently studying at the Juilliard School. Following that we took part in a Monday night tradition, catching both sets of the Vanguard Orchestra, who were as flawless as they have been for the last 47 years, every Monday night. Most nights we’ve ended up at Smalls in the village for their late-night jam session; I foresee that happening several more nights.
Thanks for reading and I’ll keep you up-to-date in a few days!
It’s been a minute since I updated you all, but there’s a lot happening in my world. First and foremost, I’d like to announce that I’ve been selected to participate in Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead Residency program at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC from March 11-22, 2013. I’m very excited for this great opportunity. Prior to that, I’ll be in NYC for two weeks with my good friend Niall Bakkestad-Legare auditioning at grad schools, including Manhattan School of Music, SUNY Purchase, and The Juilliard School.
I’d also like to share with you some new (fairly informal) recordings I did recently with Karl Kohut and Niall. The recording was done at Mid-Ocean School of Media Arts in Winnipeg, MB, a great program that offers free recordings to professional musicians in exchange for their students getting the experience (and grades!). Here are four new original tunes from the session. Enjoy!
Keith Price’s Gaya/Goia, an album that I had the privilege of playing on, has been nominated for Julian Award for Excellence for Emerging Canadian Artists from Jazz Spectrum on CJSF 90.1 at Simon Fraser University. Voting closes tomorrow, so get your votes in right away! All you have to do is email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Keith Price.” To read all about the award and the nominees, click here. To check out some samples from Gaia/Goya, click here.