Hi everyone… HAPPY NEW YEAR 2014!!!
This years has started with lots of promising projects and plenty of great music.
A lot of people have contacted me through the years to convince me to leap into the world of On Line instruction, something I was not able to commit to due to my other activities. This summer I am finally opening this possibility thanks to Skype and Paypal!!!…. All those seriously interested, please send me a direct message (see contact page) and we’ll arrange the best time and rates.
A fresh arrival has brought lots of inspiration and amazing immediate returns…. my studio has now a brand new great sounding Yamaha C7!!!! . The studio is sounding great, it has the latest software & hardware upgrades, as well as the dedicated space for proper tracking and isolation of parts (great vocal/solo instrumental iso booth) as well as room for my new wonderful acoustic piano & cool Fender Rhodes. We inagurated the space with a project I produced for great Venezuelan Drummer Aaron Serfaty. It is Aaron’s first CD Project, and I finished right on time to celebrate his 50th Birthday… if you can imagine how hard it was, let me tell you that the whole project was produced as a “secret” and we surprised him with a belated B’Day party / Unveiling of the project!!!!.
I have been writing lots of new music for my new CD project which will be a great continuation chapter to “Sojourn” from the “story telling” perspective. In addition to this material, I have also been writing LOTS of vocal compositions for 2 special projects I’d try to complete this year. One, a colaboration with my lovely partner Catina De Luna, and a second one inviting some of my favorite singers from US and Brazil… ambitious??…. YES!!… but possible!!!. In this new adventure, I have included (for the very first time in my life!!!) the creative input of a wonderful lyricist, Ms. Martine Tabilio (whose credits involve colaborations with Jazz great Tierney Sutton).
2014 also brings a brand new musical adventure, FULL TIME FOOLS, a kick-butt Electric-Latin-Jazz-Fusion band with the amazing talents of Luis Conte (perc), Jimmy Branly (dr), Katisse buckingham (sax-fl) and Jimmy Haslip (elec bass). In this new project, which should start the recording phase pretty soon, I’ll be pitching in original compositions as well as diving again into the electric realm.
And…. what a better “perfectly on time” event than my recent endorsement with NORD and STUDIOLOGIC Keyboards!!!!… As I have metioned so many times, I’ve never been the “give me whatever free gear” kinda guy, and I only endorse products when they really inspire me…. needless to say, the NORD STAGE 2 is one of those pieces of gear that brings a smile to my face and I can’t wait to start making lots of joyful noise with it!!!. Another piece of gear that I am having lots of fun playing is the SLEDGE (by Studiologic), that’s the way a true synth should sound!! I am only missing a BLUE Synth in the middle in order to complete my on stage “Venezuelan Flag” perfect set-up (Nord always in its traditional Red, the Sledge comes in a striking Yellow…)
SOJOURN is being sold in every major Digital Download Site, has achieved amazingly possitive reviews (please, check the “Press” page) and, if you purchase from this Website (via PayPal) you will receive the PDFs Music Charts of all the compositions. Bare in mind that I will personally make sure you receive a fast delivery comparable to any other service. In addition to selling “Sojourn”, CD BABY is also a very rare title (great musicians recorded in Live Action) LIVE: RUIZ, COLANGELO, CLATWORTHY & PAXON.
This year has also brought the opportunity to do MORE of one of my favorite activities: TEACHING… It’s my third year in the Jazz Piano faculty team at USC (what a great team!!!!) and I also continue my duties as faculty at Shepherd University School Of Music, now with the new name: Cornel School of Contemporary Music at Shepherd Univesity. This institution has also awarded me (it truly was a big surprise!!!!) an Honorary Doctorate in Music and has relocated to an amazing new Campus in Glendale, CA, I am sure it will grow to become an amazing center of education. Also I have finally scheduled weekly spots (Wednesdays & Fridays) for all my private students at home, feel free to contact me if you are interested in developing your skills or simply considering a new point of view to enrich your “menu” of musical options. From intermediate levels to advance, I am open to share all I know!!!. My wife Catina is also great with beginers and intermediate sudents… believe me, not only are her musical skills amazing, but also she has that special talent of patiently breaking down the fundamental drills… I admire that greatly!!!!.
The long awaited live recording with great vocalist Rhiannon, Alex Acuña and Abraham Laboriel is OUT (DON’T MISS THIS AMAZING DOCUMENT!!!…). SPONTANEUS (the title of the recording), as you might know, is a colorful trip through TRULY uncharted musical territories, and it reflects HONEST- IN THE MOMENT -music making, … even the lyrics are made up in the spot…. in order to deliver the whole emotional experience, we decided to later publish a DVD in addition to the current CD…
Three years ago I realized a life time dream by becoming a Magician Member of the Academy of Magical Arts (mostly known for it’s Club House, the World Famous Magic Castle in Hollywood)… although passing that stressful audition (talk about being judged from all angles!!!) does not necesarily turn me into an instant super performer, it reassures my commitment and respect to this amazing art form. Now, on a not so busy night, you might see me performing close up card effects at the impromptu tables around the Castle, I am consolidating a sense of routine and flow in my presentation and, besides gaining confidence with each day and trying psicological subtleties with my audiences, I am having LOT’S OF FUN!!!!
More news later!!!…