Happy New Year!
Wow, the last day of 2015 and what a year it was for jazz guitar! So many great friends, gigs, lessons and guitar hangs, I hardly know where to begin. I meant to put together a slide show (and still might get to that) but have to leave the house for a New Year’s Eve gig in a little bit and then drive out to Ohio to visit family in the morning (so the slide show will have to wait a bit). For now, I hope you’ll enjoy this New Year video (and guitarists may want to visit my lesson site to Learn my Auld Lang Syne Chord Solo with Soundslice).
The Year In Review
Back in January I attended the JazzConnect Conference here in NYC and sat in with Bill O’Connell & Steve Slagle at the after-party. Then we launched the new JazzGuitarLessons.com site (now gaining many new members). Meanwhile my trio with Harvie S and Joe Strasser (and occasional subs) continued it’s regular monthly gig at the Garage. In July I finally published my first eBook “Scale Studies for Jazz Guitar” (which had been languishing on my hard drive for 5 years) and in August I celebrated my 60th Birthday with gigs at the Bar Next Door in NYC and a hometown gig at Nighttown in Cleveland. Throughout the year I enjoyed playing duo gigs with Argentian guitarist Juampy Juarez, flutist Elise Wood, and bassists Harvie S, Rusty Holloway and Dave Kingsnorth. Played with Jack Walrath, Dave Schnitter, Mark Hagan and Jimmy Madison at the Old ’76 House, and played a number of gigs with vocalist Sandy Sasso at the 55 Bar and the Tides Hotel. In November I played at the Comins Guitars booth at the Great American Guitar Show (aka the Fall Philly Show) and then for a reception at Lattanze Guitars/Comins Guitars shop. Then I played at the Frank Sinatra Symposium at Hofstra University, first with Sinatra’s bassist Jerry Bruno (now 96 years old) and then for a sold out concert with the Hofstra Big Band (where I was asked to sub for the great Bucky Pizzarelli). I’ve also been playing a lot of gigs with Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks lately, which is something quite different for me as it’s 1920s style jazz and mostly banjo and rhythm guitar.
Sadly, The Rick Stone Trio’s last night at the Garage was 12/17 as that venue is closing permanently on January 3rd, another victim of outrageous New York City rent increases. But I’m considering other projects (including a new recording) and we’re looking into other venues (anybody interested in hiring a jazz trio, please drop me a line).
Great Jazz Guitar in NYC!
I did manage to make it out to hear a lot of great music in 2015; Pat Martino, Larry Coryell with Vic Juris, Peter Bernstein with Freddie Bryant, Adam Smale, Peter Mazza, Sheryl Bailey, Kenny Barron, Kendra Shank & John Stowell, Roni Ben-Hur, Kenny Werner, Steve Slagle & Dave Stryker, Freddie Bryant with Chiara Izzi, Chris Flory, Yotam Silberstein, Dan Adler, Larry Corban, Carol Leven & Nick Moran, Geoff Keezer, Tom Harrell, Spike Wilner, Russell Malone. Oh yeah, and back in October I went to see the Wes Montgomery Guitar Competition finalists Dan Wilson, Pasquale Grasso, Roland Balogh, Lucian Gray and Michael Vaeanu! As you can probably tell from this list, I demonstrate a very definite jazz guitar bias.
And I got out to some jam sessions as well (something I haven’t done much of in recent years); most notably the nice Wednesday night jam hosted by my former student; bassist Steven Ascolese at Hope & Anchor (right here in Brooklyn and an easy drive from my house) and also the Tuesday night jams hosted by Diego Voglino at Fifth Estate and the Wednesday night session hosted by Matthew Garrison at Shapeshifter Lab. And made it out to the jam at Mezzrow a couple times and the late night one at Small’s (which runs from 1:30-4:00am) Who says “jazz is dead?” It doesn’t even sleep!!!!
In closing, I’d like to wish you a very Happy, Healthy, Prosperous, Productive and most of all Musical New Year!
Thanks so much for your ongoing support. Hope to see you soon!