Jazz in the night!

Jazz Trials V at the Law Office Pub is NEXT WEEK!  November 17th, starting at 7pm.  I hope to see you all there! Update on the December 2nd at Culture Stock: 7-9pm!Michael Barton on Bass, Mark Nelson on Keys, Frank Check on Drums and myself on Steelpan!  Thanks and see you at these gigs!

Pastiche, Fall and Jazz!

I was a great honor and pleasure to tour with Pastiche Steel Ensemble in the moth of October this year!  We played highschools, universities and headlining shows in West Virginia, Ohio, Georgia and Florida.  All of the members of Pastiche have huge amounts of talent and are such wonderful people.  Hanging out and wandering around our various locations was as fun as performing with these guys!  Check out their website (linked above), to see what they are all about.  Pastiche represents the next generation of steelpan players from all over the world. The JAZZ TRIALS at the Law Office Pub and Music Hall[…]

Thank you!

I want to send out a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who came out to support the first ever Jazz Trials at the Law Office Pub! Audience members are just as important as jammers, so thanks to EVERYONE! Special shout out to the amazing guys in the house band: Jonny Gifford, Eric Smith and Mark Nelson!  They are are KILLER rhythm section. The jammers tonight we’re all pros and local legends! ANYONE who plays jazz is welcome to play. Thanks to this weeks jammers: Vern Spevak, Dave Katz, Bob Rutkas, Jimmy Robbins, Ryan Smith, Kent Nicholson and our surprise guest[…]

Jazz Jam in Yorkville!

This Thursday is marks the very first public jazz jam in Yorkville for a very long time!  THE JAZZ TRIALS @ The Law Office! 7-10pm at the Law Office Pub on the corner of Rt.47 and Van Emmon Road.   ALL AGES Jazz Jam will be hosted by myself on steelpan, Mark Nelson on piano, Jonny Gifford on drumset and Eric Smith on bass.  Professionals and beginners are welcome to bring their horn (or guitar, or bass, or fingers for the piano) to play some jazz!   RSVP to the facebook event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1729748477294227/ EVERYONE welcome to attend in audience or on stage! […]

Cooper Groovin!

I recently had the chance to check out the new (made in Illinois, made in USA!) product Cooper Grooves Drumsticks.  Carlo Cooper has put together a really cool product, and he has done a great job of gaining market exposure in the very competitive drumstick and mallet category. I’ve spoken to Carlo a few times about how he came up with the stick and why, his explanations are interesting!  I won’t bother paraphrasing when you can see his website here: http://www.coopergroove.com/ He sent me a pair of 7A’s and 5B’s to try out, and here are my thoughts. The packaging is[…]

New Music on the East Coast!

I like to update my blog from the luxury vinyl seats of an airport while watching people travel to and from just about EVERYWHERE! This last week was a great one that provided some new experiences and new audiences. I’ve managed to fly with my tenor pan on a bunch of occasions into a handful of airports. Every airport (and every staff member) treats the instrument a little differently and sometimes I don’t feel very happy about it. But that’s the name of the game I guess. This week I premiered Kyle Krause’s new work for double seconds and clarinet…[…]

2015 in Review

2016 is only hours away and I find myself with a chance to reflect on the past year. 2015 was simply a crazy year.  I clocked 34,000 miles of air travel!  I returned from last year’s Euro-Trip with Taylor after January 1st, went to Trinidad for most of February and then travelled for recreation and a bunch of gigs in Colorado, New Mexico, Missouri and Texas.  It’s almost strange that my first big gigs for 2016 will be in the Midwest, and that my first flight is for my buddy Nick’s wedding Las Vegas! Some of the gigs I flew[…]

Salsa keeps you warm in fall!

Welcome to fall in Illinois!  The warm weather left us very suddenly, but that’s ok.  I’m very proud to be apart of a new salsa/timba/latin jazz band called Bambolito.  We just had our first gig at a fundraising even at Northern Illinois University and I think we are looking forward to a busy and fun future as an ensemble!  Lead by pianist Marcus Mitchel, the music will show his great range of respect for the music of NYC, Havana, and the Caribbean. It’s a fun group that is filled with some amazing musicians.  Keep your eye out for news on[…]


2 Dates to remember.       World Music Wednesdays at Old Town School of Folk.  September 10th!       Underground Wonder Bar.  September 11th! I hope to see you all there! — mike

New West Fest and Virtual Steelband!

I find myself back in Colorado for another gig with Paa Kow and his incredible band.  I’m glad to be here playing some percussion and steelpan for the New West Fest in Ft. Collins!  New West is an awesome festival that covers the gammut of musical variety.  They have everything from Indie, Folk, Hip-Hop, Rock, Funk, World Music to Country and Western!  Past headliners have included Earth, Wind & Fire, Steve Miller Band, and many other major touring acts.  It should be a really fun time.  We hit Sunday, check it out if you are around! The Virtual Steelband video is ready! […]