2011 Year in Review

“2011 In Review”

We did it! 2012! Nothing has exploded yet!

I thought in the spirit of every other website on the internet, I would make a little year-in-review for myself, and also do a little “top-10” best CDs that I have heard this year. Maybe someone will be interested!

For me, 2011 was fantastic. The most obvious thing was the release of my album, BENDING AND BREAKING. I was overwhelmed by the end of the Kickstarter campaign which saw us reach our fundraising goal while IN the studio working on the album (not sure what the plan was for if we DIDNT meet the goal, but….oh well.) The guys sounded great and the album came out better than I could have hoped.

Other notable gigs of 2011 were (I played on all of these):

-Ben Thomas’ recreation of the Claudia Quintet’s “I, Claudia” record.

-Playing Cajon on Chris Ziemba’s Media Project on “Little Choro”

-Russell Scarbrough’s recital of his excellent original music for Big Band

-the Blackfriars’ Theatre’s run of the musical TOMMY

-Bending and BReaking opening for Mostly Other People Do The Killing

-Serving as drumset lecturer at the Central NY Day of Percussion

-GETTING MARRIED to the love of my life

-PLaying with Rick Braun (and my dad) at the Rochester Jazz Festival

-the emergence of Dave Chisholm’s new project “Calligraphy”

-Mike Cottone’s Rochester CD Release concert in Hammondsport, NY

-Dave Rivello Ensemble in Kilbourn Hall

-DIRECTING a PHOTO SHOOT for KKBB Apparel (what? yes.)

-Getting sent home from a gig for having a mohawk

-a 2-week mini-residency for Bending and Breaking at Javas Cafe

-Bending and Breaking’s CD release party @ The Bug Jar

-the formation of Wooden Cities led by Brendan Fitzgerald, performing John Zorn’s game piece “Cobra”

-my continued musical partnership with Brownman, including at Buffalos Music is Art festival

-judging the Rochester Guitar Center DRUM-OFF

-Colin Gordon and Dave Chisholm’s Eastman Recitals

-presenting TWICE at the NYSSMA Conference in Rochester

-Simon Fletcher’s American Songbook project

-a great gig with Buffalo’s up and comers Angelo DiLoreto and Alec Saffy

-I also played for the run or subbed on these musicals: Cinderella, TOMMY, 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (2 diff runs), Rocky Horror Show, Sunday In The Park With George, Wizard of Oz and Annie

I am fortunate to have so many playing opportunities in Rochester and I hope that they will continue into the future! (Top 10 list in next post!)

Thanks for being supporters of what I do and of music and artistic endeavors in general. Be in touch in 2012!

“Best of 2011”

Here are the albums that I especially loved that I discovered in 2011 (maybe they didnt all come out during 2011 but I think they did…) In descending order leading up to my FAVORITE of 2011!

15. Aaron Staebell-Bending and Breaking (of course!)

14. St Vincent-Strange Mercy

13. Efterklang-Under Giant Trees

12. Dave Douglas and So Percussion-Bad Mango

11. Robert Glasper-Double Booked (first half only!)

10. James Hirshfeld-Two Medicine

9. Bob Brookmeyer-Standards (RIP Bob.)

8. Ambrose Akinmusire-When the Heart Emerges Glistening

7. Tune-Yards-WhoKill

6. Bjork-Biophlia

5. Thomas Morgan-The Windmills of Your Mind (RIP Paul Motian.)

4. Gretchen Parlato-The Lost and Found

3. Vijay Iyer-Tirtha

2. the Claudia Quintet-What Is The Beautiful?

1. James Blake-James Blake

I would suggest getting all of these albums immediately. They are all whats right about music these days (I think!). Check it out.

I should also mention that I was proud to play on TWO albums that came out to rave reviews this year; My own record (Bending and Breaking) as well as Dave Chisholm’s newest (Calligraphy). I am excited for this year, as Ben Thomas should be releasing his album with me and Tony Malaby. Watch for that.

Cant wait to see what this year brings!!!

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