So 2012 has started with quite a bang for New Tricks. We had five great gigs in the New York city area. I find this quite inspiring seeing that January is usually the slowest month for most bands and musicians. We have been working some mew music out on the band stand and we have a couple more tunes to come but we are close to almost an entire new albums worth of material. This months gigs culminated with two important gigs for the band at Smalls, and the New Brunswick Jazz Project. Both of these groups are outstanding examples of individuals taking on the cause of keeping the jazz community alive and vibrant.
Smalls is owned and operated by Spike Wilner and we are ecstatic that he continues to ask us to perform there and participate in the performing community there. Smalls has become the center of the NYC jazz scene, if you go there enough you will run in to just about everyone. It is also a place to meet, hang, jam, and party with our fellow musicians and music lovers. The live video stream and audio archive is also a fantastic way for the club to document what is happening there and let the musicians that are playing there be exposed to a wider audience than they may regularly play for. We will let you know when the audio archive from our performance on the 18th is up and we will try to get a little video from the gig as well.
The New Brunswick Jazz Project is something different but equally interesting. This organization is run by three music lovers Michael Tublin, Jimmy Jenihan, and Virginia deBarry. These three individuals live in the town of New Bruswick New Jersey that happens to also house the Rutgers Jazz program (which I happen to be an alumni of). They saw that although they had many great musicians living in the area there was really no place to perform locally. So instead of creating one place to have jazz, they set up a network of several venues that now have jazz every week. They host concerts, jam sessions, restaurant gigs, and now a jazz festival in the fall. They have almost single handily created a scene out of someplace that really did not have one at all before them. That is quite an impressive feet considering the economics jazz music. This is not these people jobs, they do this in their free time out of love for the music. If only all of our musicians loved this music that much. We very much look forward to performing for them again!
As another new year begins for they band and as we continue to grow I think about how New Tricks functions in our lives as band members. With out getting into too many details, one of our members has gone through some fairly traumatic personal strife in the recent and coming months. It has been very rewarding too see our gigs be a catharsis for him. However, it has made me think how the band is that for all of us. This is probably the only musical situation where all four of us can feel completely free to be exactly who we are as musicians. And while being four fairly distinct and strong musical personalities we create a sound that is quite singular. I can say fairly safely that the best all four of us sound as individuals is while we are playing in this band. This kind of freedom is cathartic and I think this may be why we have been able to keep the band continuing forward for 6 plus years.
We are trying hard to put together another tour this spring. It will not be our usual 3 week tour de force, but it will be a small 5 day or so one. There is nothing more I am looking forward to than getting back on the road with these 3 other musicians. We will keep you posted as things come together, so stay tuned.