Hello all! Coming out of the Bat-Cave little by little – hope to be out in the world again soon!
One of the things that kept me going a little over the last few months was a creative project spurred by a grant from the Knight Foundation. It’s still a work in progress, and hopefully I’ll make the cut to get to the next stage and make the concept a reality!
Here’s a little video about it – it’s kinda ambiguous, reflecting where I was in the process when it was made, but might still be of interest.
I’m honored to be one of 18 artists from different disciplines that the Knight Foundation has funded to develop their creative ideas through their “New Works” program.
Thinking of all of us out here dealing with this crisis, feeling the anxiety, the bravery, the hope, the anger and disappointment, all of it. Grieving for everyone we’ve lost in our community, and for our art form, so fragile and endangered along with all the performing arts at this time. Missing playing music together with friends, colleagues and students.
In the midst of all this, I’m striving to keep the music alive and strong in my heart by woodshedding, sharing with my students, and listening. It’s been great to hear all of you out there contributing your sound on line – I’m enjoying you and learning from you every day! I’m trying to listen to myself better as well, in hopes of closing the gap between the sound in my mind and what comes out of the horn during this enforced hiatus from performing.
I’m thankful for any and all good news right now, and I was happy to hear that my efforts in the field in the past year have been recognized by The Jazz Journalists Association by tow nominations for their 2020 awards, in the categories of Trumpeter Of The Year and Arranger Of The Year. It’s great to be so recognized by this distinguished group; I’ve previously won JJA Trumpeter Of The Year and Album Of The Year (for Madera Latino) awards in 2017, and a Latin Jazz Album Of The Year award back in 2007 for Simpatico. Thank you, JJA!
I’m starting to venture back onto social media after a couple of weeks of self-isolation, dealing with this new reality that we all have to endure for the time being. Marissa and I are doing fine, no encounter with the “cabronavirus” but keeping ourselves under lockdown in the crib and hunkering down. I’ve lost some work, with undoubtedly much more to come, but I’m incredibly thankful that I’m able to do my teaching online from home and keep my “day gig” together.
I’m really grieving for the hit that we have taken as performing artists, and hope that we will be thought of as worthy of support during this catastrophe as in some sense “essential” personnel ourselves. This situation really shows how fragile our gig economy ecosystem is, and what conditions it depends on in an increasingly unstable world. I’m really touched by all the incredible music making that’s happening online, which to me is even more important than ever as not only marketing or social sharing, but now as potentially a primary outlet of expression for us. I will be directing some energy towards this myself ASAP!
Marissa and I are both putting all our thoughts, prayers and other spiritual energies into wishing healing and health for our relatives, friends and colleagues who are currently battling this sickness, as well as those whose battle is still to come. Unfortunately, we are settling in for the long haul here as a family, community, nation and globe. It’s not impossible to think that something positive may come out of this – I tell you what, it’s a hell of a wakeup call!
Be Safe, Be Smart, Walk Apart, Hearts And Souls Together, Wash Yo’ Hands!