No words can describe the state of my head right now. I didn't eat enough at the HarrisonFest yesterday, May 31st. It was our last gig of the month... and w hat a way to end the month playing for the Harrison Elks at the HarrisonFest! Sal Carubba joined us on guitar and did a fantastic job. The Elks wine and dine us (should say "tequila and dine us") and help us with our gear and we so appreciate their kindness and generosity. As you know, it was a horrible day, weather-wise (today is rather crappy, too... what else is new? I wonder if the weather is better in London or Seattle!) We were originally going to play outdoors like we did last year. I felt so bad for the town of Harrison. They really planned a great festival this year with two stages. Our friend John Taglieri performed on one of them... didn't get to see him, but heard he was fantastic! Anyway, the party at the Elks was a blast. They treat us so well and they invited us to also play next weekend at a party for them in Wildwood. We accepted, which makes us officially insane. Because we've got our CD release party June 6th and then the next morning, EARLY (7am), we are playing for the NY Road Runners Club mini marathon in Central Park and then we have to leave for Wildwood at 5pm to perform until midnight then drive home (it's a 2 hour drive.) June is busting out all over for blue number nine. I hope my voice holds up. But right now, all I can really think about is my Elks induced hangover. After the gig, we all came back to Concussion studios and sat around for about 4 hours jamming on acoustic guitar (Sal), bass (Jack) and congas & hand percussion (Camari, Sheila and I trading off). Marco wasn't with us because he had to jet to SOB's for his gig with the Brazilian band Katende. He got back to the house around 3:00 and he and Sheila sat up until 5:30 chatting about the MTA (Metropolitan Transit Authority) and GOD! Yes, we are officially insane alright!!
Rewind to the beginning of the month when I thought for sure I'd lose my mind (which obviously did happen by the end of the month.) It started off with a root canal.. nice, huh? Then, at my day job, it was insanely hectic. Meanwhile, we got offers for 4 gigs in 2 days (NJPAC, the NY mini Marathon, Music by the Fountain and the Harrison Elks party), one of which was a tentative offer based on the booking person seeing us live. This booking person could have potentially gotten us some great gigs, so in about 2 hours, somehow, Marco and I on May 7th got the usual 6 of us plus a 3 piece horn section to commit to May 14th and then I booked us a gig at the C Note thanks to Frank Wood!
So May 14th is the biggest day of the entire year at my day job. The late nights and hard work and Murphy's Law computer crashes had me so frazzled and freaked out, I can't believe I performed well at the C Note but people said I did, they said the band was good. To me, it was all bells and whistles, baby, one big blur. Thanks to everyone who came out to that gig, and again, apologies for the cover charge when I said there wasn't one! Anyway, we did indeed get two bookings as a result of this showcase (June 12th & July 1st... check our schedule, please. These are lunchtime gigs, so if you work in the area, come on out and hear some music at lunch!)
This was a month of scrambling. Marco worked the 14th, too, for my company as a photographer. He had basically no time to write out alto sax parts for Jenny Hill, who will be subbing for Ada at our CD release party. Plus, Minoru couldn't do our gig on May 31st or an upcoming gig on June 7th, so we had to get together 3 sets worth of music for Sal, a new guitar player and, what the hell, a new keyboard player, too (who later cancelled on us!) But he did it.... he wrote out all that music for all these people! Meanwhile, we got another gig offer for a benefit concert at the Stone Pony in September, but we had to turn it down. It was an INSANE month. Oh, yes, and we got our new CD's and all the while were and still are planning our CD release party June 6th and our mini tour of the Cleveland area the 2nd week in June. We got a great article written up about us in THE AQUARIAN by Al Muzer. I have to post it on the website... the published two photos. Now I'm in stress mode about the CD release party.
More chart making - we needed a sub on May 18th for Rob, our trombone player. This meant getting baritone sax charts together for Lauren... different key, different clef.
The Amsterdam Avenue festival (May 18th) was a blast! We couldn't have asked for better weather or a more recpetive crowd - it started out cloudy and chilly but the sun broke through. Emi sat in on keyboards and did a smoking job without ever having heard our music. Thanks to Stephen Arout for the photos. Howard Leibowitz and Joe Del Priore also took some pictures... I'm going to scan Joe's and hopefully will find some time (after this hangover) to put Howard's on the website, too. Thanks so much to Claire for manning our merchandise table (we sold more CD's at this gig than at any other ever.) And mucho thanks to Beth Davis for hooking us up with this great time once again. We didn't do it last year, and I really missed it.
We hope to see you all at our CD release party. We've been working really hard to make sure it will be a fun time for you! Also, BUFFALO - we're coming in August... check out our schedule. We're having a funky good time right now... except at this moment, my head could be in a better state!
peace & love,
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Letters from the past:April, 2003
August, 2000 (from Marco)