2018 was great year full of new and interesting musical experiences. As I do every year, I want to take a few moments to reflect and playfully hint towards what is coming up!
The first quarter of the year was full of logistical progress. Mark Nelson helped mix/edit the recordings from the CariJazz! show, and I began developing the online content for the group. The EPK page for CariJazz! can be seen HERE. Pitching festivals and developing performing opportunities for a 8-player ensemble has been fun! The group is looking forward to performing for you in 2019, dates will be posted as soon as they are confirmed!
CariJazz and Paa Kow Band got some airplay on two podcasts this year. I was interviewed by Queen Silvy in March for her show in Texas and by Bruce Hillard in Oregon in December. Both shows were a blast to do. I really appreciate having the opportunities to speak about what the steelpan is capable of and where it came from. Both hosts asked great questions that definitely provided new perspective and information to their great audiences. The Queen Silvy Show page can be seen HERE, the interview can be heard on my media page. Bruce’s Better Each Day Show can be seen HERE.
The Mike Schwebke Trio/Quartet was booked several times this year while I finished compiling the final details for guest recital at NIU. All of the jazz shows were a blast and the parties that hired us were fantastic! I already did a detailed write-up on the New Music Recital which can be seen in my blog. I don’t mind taking the opportunity to say THANK YOU again to everyone who attended, supported and contributed. It was a wonderful experience. Aaron Gage has posted both of his pieces on his YouTube channel. Check out “Kilonova” HERE, and “Delirium” HERE.
The Jazz Trials Jam Session had its second anniversary in July! The Law Office Pub has been an amazing musical home for the Jazz Trials, the Celebrity Bar Tender program has surpassed $10,000 raised for local charities. In 2018 we supported the Special Olympics, Dare2Tri, Animal Shelters and more. The first Jazz Trials of 2019 is January 31st, I’ll see you there!
The final notable musical event for the year was yet another Pan ROCKS! Project. Tracy Thornton put together an incredible 30-piece steelband to tribute Rush. Mike Portnoy played kit on the session along with Philip Bynoe on bass and Peter Thorn on guitar. They were a super solid rhythm section that complimented the pans well. The steelband was a great combination of players of different backgrounds. It was great to reunite with my Canadian and West Coast pan friends for this session. The EP for Pan Rocks Rush will come out this year, in the meantime you can check out he Pan Rocks website HERE.
Extramusical notes from 2018: My beautiful better-half Taylor agreed to marry me! I absolutely cannot wait to marry her, she’s the love of my life and the best partner I could ever imagine in this life. Her dedication and passion for her career are inspiring, and she continues to make me strive to be the best I can be.
2019 is looking like it should be a busy year: festivals, more commissioning projects, Jazz Trials and more musical experiences. I’ve started meeting people all over the music scene in New Mexico including the amazing Mbira player Chris Berry and jazz trumpeter Delbert Anderson. I look forward to making music with them!
Thanks for checking in and reading my annual “longest post of the year.” Check back regularly for updates and behind-the-scenes details.