Happy New Year! Actually I am writing this on Dec 31, 2012 at 11:20 PM Hawaii time. The new year has already turned for many, for several hours.
It's been a fun and fruitful year, filled with up's and down's for Liane and I. Fortunately, health wise, we've both been well. Job wise, Liane is between jobs, or looking for the next opportunity, however you want to look at it.
Things have been absolutely great with the Royal Hawaiian Band, under the leadership of Clarke Bright. Clarke is a wonderful person, a strong and gracious leader and a solid musician.
To recap the year, I recorded a jazz album with the great Melveen Leed, and was fortunate to work with pianist Barry Miles who did the musical direction for the project. Barry is a fantastic player, and a beautiful arranger. He framed Melveen's vocal stylings perfectly.
Had a wonderful time playing double drums with the legendary Danny Gottlieb. This was with the always creative, Jeff Richman.
Liane and I took our third trip to Vegas, to see the SF Jazz Collective at a beautiful new venue called the Smith Center. The Collective sounded wonderful playing arrangements of Stevie Wonder tunes as well as their own great compositions. It was my first time seeing Eric Harland (beautiful touch and groove) and Stefon Harris ( awesome).
Had the fond pleasure of playing with the legendary Tom Scott, along with ukulele artist Brittni Paiva. Tom produced Brittni's latest CD, and came to Honolulu to her promote it. It was a blast working with Tom and Brittni.
As noted on my home page, I had a great time playing at the Hot Springs Jazz Festival in Arkansas. After the festival, I went to Nashville to visit the Pearl Drum Company... FUN!
I had the great pleasure of hearing Cuban drummer Dafnis Prieto, with Eddie Palmieri at the Manoa Music and Heritage Festival. Needles to say Dafnis was outstanding. I've been heavily studying his playing and music. Very inspiring stuff.
Finished the year with some fun music making with friend and great saxophonist, Andy Suzuki. DeShannon Higa, who is always looking to do creative projects, put together several fun gigs with his SubTonic Orchestra, a Groove Collective tribute, a fun big band night featuring Hawaii's legendary Jimmy Borges. All this capped off with me leading a night at Gordon Biersch playing some fun odd-time original music with my great friends and musicians, Dean Taba, Todd Yukumoto, Jim Howard and Gordon Biersch impresario, Robert Shinoda. My old friend and Santana bassist, Benny Rietveld was in town vacationing and stopped by and sat in. It was so much fun to play with Benny again.
That's about it for 2012...in fact the fireworks are going off as I write. (I write very slowly).
Looking forward to a great 2013.