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ECUADOR MAY 2014: QUITO and GUAYAQUIL

Ecuador is a very diverse country from Quito in the Andes to Guayaquil on the Pacific Ocean.  The UofL Jazz Faculty Ensemble:  Ansyn Banks – trumpet, Craig Wagner – guitar, Chris Fitzgerald – bass and Mike Hyman – drums – will be joining me for a ten day tour visiting both cities.  In addition to experiencing the culture, visiting old friend and making ones, the group will be performing and presenting workshops for students at the Universidad de Las Américas and Universidad Catolica Santiago de Guayauil.  We will also perform at El Pobre Diablo in Quito on Thursday May 22.  I have had the pleasure of playing at the club and it should be a great evening.  Look for photos and videos from our adventure.

UofL Jazz Faculty - EcuadorClub Pobre DiabloGuayaquil poster

The Western USA July 2013: The Grand Canyon and Zion National Park

The Grand Canyon and Zion National Park – nothing more to say but – WOW!  Hope to visit there again and other landmarks in our West.

The Grand Canyon

Zion National Park

Italy 2013: Taormina, Sicily and surrounding area, Firenze and Milano

October in Italy (and Sicily) playing music, working with students, seeing old friends, making new ones while visiting the sites….what a great way to spend a few days.  There are so many highlights and I hope that the photos I took reflect the many wonderful moments.

My first visit to Taormina and surrounding locations was amazing.  Sicily has it’s own ‘vibe’ that is immediately apparent – Mt. Etna to the seacoast, villages in the mountains to large cities – everyone is busy and enjoying life.  The food, wine and sense of history are amazing.  Everywhere one looks is a photo.   I even got to play three nights at a jazz club, sitting in with excellent Italian musicians – Giacomo Tantillo (trumpet) and Orazio Maugeri (alto sax) are world class ‘jazzers’.  Thanks to my friend Debbie Cline for introducing me to her ‘Italian’ family and friends.  Their spirit is immense.

Firenze (Florence to us from the States) is a glorious city.  The Duomo – Firenze Cathedral, The Uffizi and the breathtaking sculptures in and around the Loggia dei Lanzi, Ponte Vecchio and all of the historic sites throughout the city.   One could not ask for better weather – warm, dry and sunny – so walking around was a breeze.  Many thanks to Antonio Vanni, Direzione Edy Frollano and the folks at the Accademia Europea de Firenze for showing me such a great time introducing their school and city.  They have many reasons to be proud of both.  I hope we can work to bring our students together.

Visiting Milano is always fun and many thanks to my friend and excellent pianist/musician Davide Logiri.  It was great working with him and his students at Musictime, what an interesting/diverse group – from young students to business people stretching their musical skills, serious jazz musicians to retired military – all playing tunes and the blues, seeking advice.   There was a very special evening playing with Davide, bassist Gianluca Alberti and Alessio Pacifico (who had become a new father just the night before).  The concert was memorable.

The sites from the Duomo – Milano Cathedral, Sforza Castle, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II and the many stores, people and historic buildings were amazing.  Fortunately the sun came out after a gloomy first day.   That was all wonderful but the highlight was Davide’s gift – a visit to a world famous hat shop (since 1888) for my new cappello (hat).  What a thoughtful gift, certainly necessary in cold/wet weather.

…travel photos

 

MT Musictime poster