Over the summer, I had the pleasure of not only helping my friend Andy Mac record his new album, but also the band and I basically moved into the studio for a few days for the sessions (at Carriage House Studios, in Stamford). More often than not, as a freelancer I have my hand in several projects at once, and this was one of those few times that I was able to put everything else aside and simply focus on the music at hand. Besides being a great way to bond with your fellow musicians over the course of a project, making a record this way allowed us to dive into these songs and give them the very best that we had. Of course it helped to have a band of players who are not only first-rate musicians, but also kind and generous folks. I’m thrilled to be helping this record make its live debut this Saturday, March 23 at 7 PM at Rockwood Music Hall (Stage 2) along with Seth Ondracek (bass), Sean Dixon (drums), Adam Youngs (backing vocals) and Kelly Halloran (fiddle).
The following week on Sunday, March 30, I have the privilege of conducting one of the pieces for the annual HaZamir gala concert. HaZamir is a network of choral chapters for Jewish teens across the US and Israel; I conduct the Manhattan chapter in its weekly rehearsals. The season culminates in this concert every season, in a major NYC concert hall (in this case, David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center). What can I say about this program that hasn’t already been said? It’s a beautiful thing. These kids learn Jewishness in its many facets - they come from many different ethnic and religious backgrounds, and yet the thing that unites them is the music. On top of that, this organization commissions new and exciting works. My assignment is to conduct a new and thrilling setting of “Pitchu Li” (a text from Psalms - “Open for me the gates of righteousness”) by the acclaimed composer and cantor Gerald Cohen.
I haven’t yet re-entered the world of songwriting and solo gigs, but I will soon. I promise. I can’t stay away forever. When I have some dates for you, they’ll be posted here.