One of the best things about being a teacher is that you get to experience that incredible feeling that you feel when school lets out for the summer. I enjoyed it when I was a kid, and I have to say I enjoy it even more now, and that feeling keeps getting more and more awesome each successive year. Take that, corporate America.
My plans for the summer as I can remember them from about six weeks ago involved:
-transforming the office into Jesslyn’s new bedroom
-clearing out all the weeds from the backyard and actually having a decent place to hang out back there
-teaching jazz classes at a summer workshop
-making a recording with my trio
-getting an iPad and learning how to make cool music on Garage Band
So far, I have done exactly none of those things.
Even though it’s only July, I feel the summer slipping away. Things like car trouble, jury duty, and a sudden onslaught of last minute gigs have derailed my well-laid plans. But there are other things coming up which I find very exciting and help to make me less bummed about my lack of checks on the to-do list:
This Friday I will be at Blue Whale once again with my faithful trio. We were supposed to have recorded a ton at this point, and of course we have not done that. However, we did play last week at a private function and the band sounds better than ever. All three of us have been doing a lot of other projects and it’s been hard to schedule some rehearsal time, but one of the great things about having a band that’s been together for a number of years is that you can go for a while without playing together and then the next time you play it’s like you just played yesterday. So here’s to yesterday, or something. We will be doing some of our older material that we haven’t done in awhile just to keep it sharp for our constantly upcoming recording. Plus you haven’t heard us for many months either, so I’m sure it will be just as new and exciting for you as it will be for us.
Next week I will be doing my first ever gigs in Hawaii! My parents are from there, and my wife is as well, so I’ve been going back there regularly ever since I was a little kid, but this is the first time I have ever booked any professional gigs there. I will be doing a trio show with some great players, Abe Lagrimas on drums, who recently moved to Los Angeles from Hawaii, and Dean Taba on bass, who less recently moved back to Hawaii from Los Angeles. I got a chance to play with both of them at the Asian American Music festival (opening up for ukulele master Jake Shimabukuro), and it was a lot of fun and they are incredible players. I’ll also be doing a show with my friend, the extremely talented singer Sharmila Guha, who happens to be visiting Hawaii at the same time. I’m really looking forward to playing music for some of my friends and family who live in Hawaii. Aloha!
At the end of the month I will be playing in Korea and Singapore!!! This is the most recent development and the one that ultimately caused me to shelve some of those other plans for the time being. I’m going to be backing up an amazing singer/songwriter by the name of Priscilla Ahn, who is signed to Blue Note and has had a number one hit in Korea and has had her songs featured on movies and tv shows. I feel really blessed to be able to work with Priscilla. We’re rehearsing right now and I’m blown away by how good she is. But don’t take my word for it, check out this video:
So there’s my summer in a nutshell. As I’m going to be gone for most of July I hope you come out to see the Blue Whale show on Friday. And as for my original summer plans, well I still have the month of August to tackle some of those other things, so I’m not giving up hope that I can do something before summer ends and I have to go back to school…
…oh yeah. That part still sucks.