Our short mini tour to Ohio was a huge success. On thursday the 19th we played at the Stone in NYC (video of this set will be posted soon). On friday we got an early start and drove to Cleveland and played at Nighttown. As mentioned in an earlier post Jerome Jennings was filling in on drums. Jerome brought all of the professionalism, personality, and swing that he always brings to the table, making him one of the most in demand drummers on the scene today. We had two fantastic sets. There were a number of friends and family members in attendance and even a former bar tender “Kim” from Cecil’s Jazz Club where we all met and began to form the band. Some audio from this gig will be posted soon.
After spending the morning in Cleveland Heights we drove to Columbus for the Jazz and Ribs Festival. We unloaded the car, at which point Kellen let us all know he had left his luggage in Cleveland. I then looked at his feet to see that he was wearing shorts, an under shirt, and sandals. Good thing I brought some extra clothes on this tour, thus creating Tellen (see pic below). An hour later we headed over to the venue. The festival is now being held in a new location, and the main stage where we played sits at the end of a long rectangular park, with tall and long condo buildings running the length of the park. The new placement of the stage created a great framing of the stage, and a wonderful natural reverb. The park had already started to fill up and at my guess we played for around 2,000 people. We had a great hour and a half set. The audience was really into the music and it was filled with familiar faces. We of course had lots of family there, but I also saw friends, former teachers, and mentors that I had not seen in years. Both Jerome and I went to Ohio State, and cut our teeth as young professionals in Columbus. It was very fulfilling to be able to come home and share this band’s music with all of these people that have meant so much to me. The night was topped off by catching Christian McBrides fantastic set and drinks in the hotel with Christian and Ramsey Lewis’ band. These are the the days that make all the work and effort into booking the band worth it! To play great music with my musical brothers, for a packed home town audience, and to end the evening enjoying the company of some of the worlds best musicians… nothing gets better than that.