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December 20, 2015

 

2015 was filled with some incredible artists that i’m so grateful to have worked with. Sharon Corr toured in Brazil, Australia/ New Zealand where we opened for America, Girona Spain and finishing at the Isle of Wight in England. Sharon couldn’t be any sweeter or more talented. Upon returning from Sharon's tour I played a few shows with Oz Noy and the legendary Will Lee and Grammy winner, Christopher Cross. We played two Mondays in a row and in between I flew back to Sao Paulo Brazil with Sharon Corr for a few concerts. In Aug of 2015 I began rehearsing with Joe Jackson for a month to prepare for his latest tour. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life with Graham Mabe and Teddy Kumpel. We played music from his first new record in 12 years as well as the classics. He’s at the top of his game. The tour began in Seattle on Sept 29th 2016 and continued through Nov 4 in the U.S. for 6 weeks. I had 2 1/2 hours in between this tour, which ended in Minnesota and boarded a plane within hours to San Fransisco to begin a tour with both Suzanne Vega and Duncan Sheik on Nov 5 in Berkeley CA.  That tour took us through the U.S. until Nov. 22. Both artists i’ve loved working with, admired and been inspired by for the last 15 years.

 

In 2016 Joe's tour started up again with rehearsals in Dublin, Ireland and took us all through Europe for 7 weeks to sold out concert halls and incredibly enthusiastic fans. I returned home with only enough time to flip over my luggage and head straight back to the Airport and fly to St. Barth where I played for two weeks with The Bluebirds of Paradise with Ari Hest, Chrissi Poland and Will Lee. The music is so beautiful and it's one of the most stunning places to play. By now you're starting to get the hang of my travel plans...As soon as I returned from St. Barth I once again had enough time to change clothes in my suitcase and head to California to begin work with the legendary producer Patrick Leonard for a new project we've begun together and yes... when it was done .... you guessed it.... I got on a plane and flew to Japan with Christopher Cross. We played in Japan performing at Billboard Live. Two shows a night. 5 nights in a row. 2 nights in Osaka and 3 nights in Tokyo. I snuck away the second morning early and took a train to Kyoto to visit this beautiful city. It was amazing to be back in Japan and so incredible to play with Christopher again. April was a beautiful time of year to be there. 

 

Joe's tour picked up again in May and took us through the US and Canada for 5 weeks playing to so many great audiences. We performed in theaters as well as many festivals. The tour finished in New York City at the Apollo Theatre. 

 

Last year I completed a beautiful record with Judy Collins for her new duets record including Willie Nelson, Michael McDonald, Joan Baez, Steven Stills, Jackson Browne, Jimmy Buffet, Don McClean, Jeff Bridges, Ari Hest, Glen Hansard and Marc Cohen. I also recorded on Duncan Sheik's latest record, Legerdemain as well as the Bluebirds of Paraside. 

 

2017 -  St. Barth... where to begin. First of all, Will Lee ( legendary bass player, dear friend and supreme inspiration) was on bass and two of my favorite artists and people on the planet made this possible. Chrissi Poland and Ari Hest brought us to paradise once again with the help of music lover, Jean Marc to play his infamous Baz Bar. The coveted gig that every New Yorker wants. Staying on top of a hill in a home overlooking the Gustavia Harbor. You can imagine how tough it was. 2 weeks in absolute paradise. The began the same way every day. Fresh croissants from the corner baker, cappuccinos ( or if you're me, a bowl (not a cup) of coffee each day, swimming on as many at least 2 beaches a day and 3 hours of music with these incredible artists. There were friends who returned to the island just to see us and the locals who made us feel as though their family came home to visit. 

 

Ari Hest released a new record called Natural that Chrissi, Will and myself were a part of and as you would expect, it's beautiful. 

 

I'm now getting ready for Joe Jackson's new tour which begins with rehearsals in Florida with our opening night in Ft. Lauderdale on May 31st. There are no words to say how excited I am and what this means to me. I have begun deep preparation for the challenge of both the music we know and some new additions. These dates can be found by clicking the Tour tab followed by the month. This will take us through cities we haven't played on the previous US tours and end in Texas on June 25th. If you're reading this i'm telling you now, don't miss this show. Joe is one of the most brilliant, conceptual artists ever! Just ask his audience who has followed him his entire career. 

 

I'll return from Joe's tour and begin preparing for Suzanne Vega's tour celebrating the 30th anniversary of 'Solitude Standing'. There will be dates in the States as well as England and Scotland. 

 

June 2017: Joe Jackson Tour complete ! Truly one of the greatest experiences of my life. Thanks to this amazing band and crew for making this the best tour yet. Of course i'm forever grateful to Joe for providing the best songs imaginable and for allowing us to be ourselves. He's a legend and a genius. Thanks to all the fans who cheered for us in every city and made us feel so welcome to be a part of Joe's amazing career. I'll always treasure that. 

 

July 3, 2017: Yesterday at Avatar Studios in Manhattan I lived a dream I've had since I was 3 years. The memory is as clear as if it happened yesterday. I told my dad I was going to be a drummer and work with Elton John. I was recording at Avatar Studios with producer, Nick Littlemore for an album with Chris tarry on bass, Nick Moroch on guitar, and Roy Hendrickson engineering. We finished the session and the producer had one more thing for me do. Record drums and percussion on an Elton John song for an animated movie starring Johnny Depp called 'Sherlock Gnomes'. The coolest thing about this was that is was an Elton John song I've never heard before and Elton's vocal was recorded in the 70's. It was like having a time machine to go back and record with classic Elton. As I played the track and listened to Elton's voice in the headphones. I was in a suspended state of reality. I thought of my dad for always encouraging me and taking me to all my lessons and concerts. My brother Guy for taking me to see Elton John in 1976 for the first time at Madison Square Garden. My brothers and sisters for always being so encouraging and my friends for always supporting me. I owe Nick Littlemore a tremendous thank you for making this happen and to Roy for putting this all together. I'm speechless !

 

I've begun an incredible project with Legendary producer, Patrick Leonard ( Madonna, Elton John, Jeff Beck, Roger Waters, Pink floyd, David Gilmour, Rod Steward). He produced Duncan Sheik's 4th album, 'Daylight' which my first recording with Duncan and Patrick. We performed at NYC's Joe's Pub in on Sept. 12th to a sold out crowd with myself and Bruce Gaitsch on Guitar. Patrick took a completely new musical approach to the music he had written for Madonna and shaped it into an art form using modular synthesis and revamped arrangements. We performed such as Live To Tell, La Isla Bonita, Like a Prayer, Dear Jesse, Oh Father and so many others. There will be more news to come. 

 

The Suzanne Vega 30th Anniversary tour was extraordinary playing big theaters in Scotland and England. We performed 2 albums back to back. Solitude Standing and 99.9F. The fan reaction was amazing and it looks as though this is only the beginning. There are more dates listed for the US and more European dates to be announced for next year. This was a short tour from Sept 17 - Oct 2nd but one of the best tours i've ever done. Suzanne was brilliant. Gerry Leonard did an incredible job recreating all of the musical elements that were a part of the original records and Mike Visceglia, who's on all those original recordings, was better than ever. 

 

Oct 3- 7th was the beginning of 5 nights at the Carlyle Hotel in NYC with Duncan Sheik, Jason Hart and special guest, Katheryn Gallagher. The shows were recorded and hopefully there will be a live record of some kind to follow. Duncan is one of the greatest song writers of our time and I feel so honored to have been working with him over these last 16 years. 

 

Oct 18th - I'll perform at the Play Station Theatre in Times Square New York for a benefit called Little Kids Rock with Will Lee as the illustrious MD with Elvis Costello, Bonnie Raitt, Bettye LaVette and Darlene Love  

 

Nov 9 - I begin a week long trip to the Czech Rep to record with the acclaimed Czech band, November 2nd and there will be other recordings while i'm there. 

 

Dec 13-16 More Suzanne Vega Tour Dates including Boston and two others to be confirmed. 

 

2019 Joe Jackson Tour. This show was the best Joe has put together, celebrating 40 years since his first release. He crafted the show in a masterful way jumping back and forth seamlessly between all four decades. His concept for how this would be done was such a beautiful challenge on many musical levels and with Joe you work at a depth that brings that concept to life for all the fans to enjoy. 6 months traveling the US and Canada twice and all of Europe twice with so many highlights from festivals to some of the most memorable theaters we've played so far. I really can't wait until the next one. 

 

 

 

Until then, stay inspired. As a friend said to me recently, "You only live once" to which I replied, "You only live each day once." It's not coming back to us. What are we going to do with it? I'll leave you with that... 

 

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