Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Paula Maya, Hilary Harris, Tom Marriott,and Jovino in NYC

Hello Music Lovers,

We have gigs from Paula Maya, Hilary Harris, Tom Marriott and I am going to salute Jovino, who is having his new CD release in New York City!

Paula Maya

We are proud of the Paula Maya Band, who made a very good impression at SXSW. Read all about it at

EARLY SHOW, FREE. Please come on down and help us work our way towards
theweekend in this cool venue in Fremont :)
@ Nectar Lounge, in Fremont.
412 N.36th St.
No cover charge!
We play at 8:30 pm
THE CRUCIALITES, eclectic reaggae band, plays after us.

Become our friends at

Pre order Paula Maya's new CD now by going to
Only pre-orders will be part of a special limited edition, numbered,
with a
special message for the core fans! We appreciate your support

Hilary Harris, Jazz Singer

March 31st (this Friday) Crowne Plaza Hotel (Regatta Grille)
Address: 1113 6th Ave in downtown Seattle. 206-464-1980
9:30 pm - midnight
With jazz and Latin pianist Nelda Swiggett and Tim Romain on bass.
It's a nice, casual hotel bar that makes you feel like you're on a
cruise ship :-)

Thomas Marriott, Jazz Trumpeter

March 31, 2006 with Tumbao (Latin Jazz)
Mojito Cafe, 10:30 (Western Ave & John St.)

April 2, 2006 with The Suffering @#$%-heads!
At the Sunset Lounge in Ballard, Ballard Ave, 9:30 pm
Feat. Mike Peterson (drums) Ron Weinstein (B-3) Greg Sinibaldi (tenor) Craig Flory (Clarinet) Jay Roulston (trumpet) & Thomas Marriott (trumpet)

April 6, 2006 with Randy Halbersdadt
Live at Seattle City Hall, 12:00pm

Thomas's Website

Jovino Santos Neto in NYC for realease of Roda Carioca CD!

SUNY Purchase College, Purchase, NY
7:30 PM
JSN as a special guest of Ray Vega and the Purchase Latin Jazz Orchestra. Visit for details

Makor, 35 West 67th Street, New York City
9:30 PM
CD release concert for Jovino's new CD, Roda Carioca. With Sergio Brandão (bass) and Paul van Wageningen (drums)

Jovino's Website

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Buck Owens, Y'all!! Plus Layla Angulo, Marina E, Marc Smason

Hi Everyone,

First a couple of gigs so my friends don't get pushed to the bottom, then a namaste for the legendary Buck Owens.

Layla Angulo Latin Jazz Band

Layla Angulo is patiently plugging away and succeeding at a task that yours truly is finding to be an uphill battle in Seattle - she's putting together a world class world jazz band starting out locally here in Seattle. Please support her and her husband (who is great Peruvian percussionist). They are trying to to a good thing, and if you haven't seen them - they KICK ASS.. I'll personally refund your $15 bucks if they are not the tight professional, innovative band I have seen myself many times. Layla writes blistering latin horn arrangements - Highly recommended.

Layla Angulo
2nd and Union
On Thursday, March 30th
at 7:30pm $15

Marina E.

And my friend Marina E, who is rising through the ranks of karaoke singers. I normally don't plug karaoke here, but apparently this gig features singers who have been winning karaoke contests around the Northwest. In other words, singers that actually know what they are doing. Marina has sung with my band on occasion and she has a very large range, can sing in any key, and in a wide variety of styles.

Marina E. appearing in the
"Northwest Premier Singers

Sunday, March 26
Dinner at 6pm
Show 7-9:30pm
at Spice Restaurant- 2301 5th Ave. Seattle
Located at 5th & Bell (under the monorail) across from Teatro Zinzanni.

Marc Smason and the Chicago Seven This just in!

My friend trombonist Marc Smason (whom I swear is always gigging!) is making a live jazz recording with a group called the Chicago Seven.
History lesson: read up on the real Chicago Seven a group of protesters (including the Black Panthers leader Bobby Seale and rebel extraordinaire Abbie Hoffman, author of the famous underground revolutionary handbook called "Steal This Book") who were arrested at the 1968 Democratic Political convention. This is a big thing in Baby-Boomer history, y'all.

Anyway, here's the gig, featuring a lineup of seasoned jazz pros. Sure to be a high-quality performance.

Marc Smason with
The Chicago Seven

Wednesday March 29 8:30 pm
Highway 99 Blues Club
1414 Alaska Way 206 382-2171

live recording!

diva, joanne klein
marc smason - diva/tromb.
jay thomas – trumpet
oleg ruvinov – tuba
brian kent - reeds
bruce barnard – guitar
greg campbell – drums

Buck Owens 1930-2006

I was moved to see the obituary article in the Seattle Times today on Buck Owens. He died yesterday of natural causes at age 76. He had been battling cancer, but the immediate cause of his passing had not been determined when the article went to press. Read up on it here:

'Hee Haw' Co-Host Buck Owens, 76, Dies

Buck Owens became an American icon back in the 60s, and in addition to being a music star and TV star, apparently was a successful business man in his hometown of Bakersfield California.

I normally don't plug country music in this blog, but Buck Owens was an exceptional person, known around the world, who impacted many people's lives. My grandmother, for one, would never miss the Buckaroos when they were on television. And there were millions like her who loved this man and his music.

Some highlights from the article that show what kind of person Buck was:

His career was one of the most phenomenal in country music, with a string of more than 20 No. 1 records, most released from the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s.

''I think the reason he was so well known and respected by a younger
generation of country musicians was because he was an innovator and rebel,'' said Jim Shaw, who played keyboards in Owens' band, the Buckaroos. ''He did it out of the Nashville establishment. He had a raw edge.''

And he was the answer to this music trivia question: What country star had a hit record that was later done by the Beatles? ("Act Naturally, recorded with Ringo Starr in 1965).

Looking for some tips on his success?

He had moved to Bakersfield in 1951, hoping to find work in the thriving juke joints of what in the years before suburban sprawl was a truck-stop town on Highway 99, between Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay area.

''We played rhumbas and tangos and sambas, and we played Bob Wills music, lots of Bob Wills music,'' he said, referring to the bandleader who was the king of Western swing.

''And lots of rock 'n' roll,'' he added.
Hmmm...Highway 99 and lots of rock'n'roll... sound familiar, anyone??

Until next time!


Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Jovino in G-town, Red Hotz at Highway 99 Club

Hi everyone,

Back to the music scene:

My friend and music mentor Jovino Santos Neto and his trio are playing a new club in the Georgetown neighborhood.

Jovino Santos Neto Trio with Burt Boice (bass) and Jeff Busch (drums).
Saturday, March 18 at 8 PM at 6K4 Lounge@ the Christoff Gallery
6004 12th Ave South #17(In Georgetown) . 206.767.0280 21 and over, $5 cover

And the Red Hot Blues Sisters, who have adopted the shortened name Red Hotz (sounds like those candies we used eat when I was a kid, or were those called fireballs?) are playing the nice Highway 99 club in Seattle.

March 17th @ Highway 99/Seattle - with Lissa Ramaglia, Scotty Harris, Ricky Johnson, Teri Anne Wilson and Suze Sims . Highway 99 Club is located at 1414 Alaskan Way on Seattle's waterfront across the street from the Aquarium. The club is under the viaduct between Union and Pike streets just south of the Pike Street Hill Climb.

And they have this bit of good news: The Red Hot Blues Sisters has been nominated by the Washington State Blues Society for Best Band of 2006, Teri Anne Wilson as Best Electric Blues Guitar 2006, and Scotty Harris as Best Blues Horn 2006. So go vote for them, alright already!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Back from Asia - part 2 - Philippines

Finally back from my trip –part 2 – the Philippines

I returned Wednesday from the Philippines. The time zones and flight work out such that I left Manila at 8am, traveled for 14 hours (including a transfer in Tokyo), and arrived at 7:30 am in Seattle. That’s right – a half hour earlier the same day that I left! And during those 14 travel hours, I experienced a complete cycle of day and night. So I traveled a whole day and arrived earlier than I left! Go figure, Einstein! Needless to say, my body-clock is completely turned around. I had been waking up around 6am everyday in the Philippines, but last night I slept 13 hours straight through (which I NEVER normally do) and woke up at noon.

Wow - the Philippines. There is so much there, and I did so many things, that I can only post up the smallest taste of my experience there. But I will try.

Here’s my friend Letty and her niece Gina at the place where I stayed in San Quintin, province Pangasinan, on the island of Luzon. To the right below are my dentist and her kids, including her new baby just over one year old. She gave me new teeth. The Philippines are a great place to have dental work done. It is at least 10 times less expensive for most treatments there. That means that even after you add in the plane ticket, you still can save hundreds of dollars on dental work by having it done there.

Here we are at a friend’s birthday party. I am trying to play their piano, which it turns out they haven’t tuned or serviced in about 40 years. I explained this to them, but they wanted me to play it anyway. Below right is my friend Gina’s son getting a haircut. The barber came to the house, plugged his shears into an outlet, and grabbed a chair on the patio, and voila! – haircut time! I got one too.

Here’s a typical Filipino outdoor kitchen, the kind they use all the time. Most Filipinos prefer to cook outdoors because they want to cook over a real fire. You may think this looks primitive, but when you taste the fish they cook this way, it all makes sense. In fact, one of the things we all miss the most when we leave the Philippines is the fish. It is so plentiful, so cheap, so fresh and so good that when you come back to the States and suddenly don’t have it, there’s a big gap in your life that used to be filled by fresh fish every day.

Below right I am chilling with some of the guys after the work day. They are all working on remodeling my friend’s house. We are enjoying some fresh snails and a couple of bottles of Filipino brandy, called Matador (cost is 60 pisos, equal to about 30 cents US). They drink it in shots with ice and water. I also enjoyed a beer called Red Horse that is sold in one-liter bottles there for 22 pisos – (about 10 cents US). Needless to say, you can get several people fairly well inebriated for one US dollar. This is what the guys do while the wives are cooking dinner.

That wraps it up for my trip. The next posts will be back to the music. And with the India experience, I have some very interesting music indeed to work with.



Back from Asia - part1 - South and North India

Finally back from Asia –Part 1 – South and North India

This post covers my trip to the beaches in Kerala, South India, and to the Punjab in North India. This was directly before I went to the Philippines.

From Kerala in South India: Kerala is, as noted in the previous post, a tropical area of South India on the west side. This means it faces the Arabian Sea. The latitude of Kerala is roughly equal to that of Florida in the USA, so the climate is similar to Florida. However, the flora and fauna are somewhat different. Although there are lots of coconut palms, there is not the saw palmetto you find all over south Florida. Kerala has also an extensive backwater system (or you might call it “inland waterways”) but Kerala does not have the kinds of mangrove trees that Flordia has. But there are dolphins as in Florida, and Kerala has crocodiles, not alligators, and a lot less of them than Florida’s alligators.

Kerala also has terrain completely unlike Florida: it has mountains. Really beautiful, rugged, by God mountains. In the mountains, there are numerous tea plantations, and many small villages.

Below is a home and boat in Kerala. The family that lives in the home most likely uses the boat to make money from tourists. And below right is a picture from a lake in the Periyar Wildlife Preserve near Thekkady, a town in the mountains of Kerala.

We did a lot of water and beach time in Kerala. Below is a sunset picture from a hotel I stayed in on the backwaters. And then is a picture of the fishermen on the ocean. You can see how the boat is different from the ones used for tourists shown above.

One place we stayed at was Sagara Beach Resort, which is a kind of touristy beach, drawing people from Europe and the occasional American as well. There are two sides to the beach, separated by a rock outcrop, and one side tends to be frequented by local people (which is where my driver and I went swimming) and the other by a mix of locals and tourists. When I say touristy, I do not mean like Europe and America. There is no Sheraton or Holiday Inn here. There are a lot of Tibetan shops, small Mom and Pop general stores and handicraft stores, and the two sure signs of tourist business: internet cafes and money changers. There are also many places to receive Ayurvedic massage and other treatments. The ancient system of medicine called Ayurveda has become popular, and Kerala has become a popular place for people seeking Ayurvedic treatments. The beach is small by world class beach standards. Nevertheless, people from Europe, especially vacationing students and young people who like to travel in Asia, flock to this place. In other words, this beach attracts travelers who don't do the ritzy tourist circuit, but want to travel more cheaply and get a more authentic exposure to local culture.

Here is a shot of Sagara Beach. This is the “local” side, in the late afternoon. A fishing boat has just come in and people are gathering around to see the catch. There’s still a couple of people swimming too. And there’s a lady carrying in part of the daily catch. I shot her picture later that day on the tourist side beach.

And I guess no beach is complete without the local coke head (haha - see pic below left). And then here’s a local-side fun in the sun pic. I don’t know if you can see it in the reduction, but if you can, you’ll see that the Indian people all swim fully clothed. The ladies wear their saris right into the ocean, and the men remove only their shoes before entering the water. Most Indians do not know how to swim, so they just wander in and play in the water. Clothes will be washed later. It is a sign of the modesty of the culture. Usually, unmarried men will swim in a group with other men, and single women mostly only come with a school group, and a whole class of schoolgirls will go into the ocean with their whole school uniforms on. The only time you see a mixed group of men and women is in a family group. The Indians do not have a beach singles scene where a young man will spend time walking the beach with his date. Only the Europeans do that.

I also was treated to a type of South Indian Classical dance called Karthakali. Part of the show is the costumes, and the performers actually don their costumes and apply their makeup with the audience watching. Then the dance, which consists of highly stylized movements of body, eyes, and finger poses (called mudras) takes place. The body movement and mudras actually contain an alphabet (the performers explained this to us before the dance), and each dance tells a story from Indian mythology, usually a story from the Bhagavad Gita, the Upanishads, or the Ramayana, which are all sacred scriptures in India. It was a pretty amazing thing to see. The performers must practice with their guru several hours a day for at least six years before they are allowed to do a public performance. They are accompanied by live musicians and singers who sing the songs of the mythological text that go with the dance.

Now, I also went to the Punjab in the North of India, and to a place called the Golden temple, which is the most sacred temple of the Sikh religion of North India. Here is a pic of me with the Golden Temple. The Temple is entirely surrounded by water, and there’s a walkway for the pilgrims to enter the ”Harmandir” which is the interior of the temple. You can see the reflection on the water in the afternoon time shot. Here also is a night time picture which tries, but alas, cannot capture the beauty of the temple at night.

The sacred scripture of the Sikh religion called Guru Granth Sahib (or Guru in the Book) is composed entirely of songs. Therefore, a scripture reading is always (I mean ALWAYS) a music event. Musicians are held in high esteem in Sikh society because they are the carriers of the sacred songs. At the Golden Temple, the sacred book is carried to the temple across the water at 5am every day, and returned to its resting place at 11pm every night. In between, there is continuous singing of the songs, accompanied by tabla, dholak drums, and harmonium. That’s right – 20 hours a day, seven days a week of continuous, non-stop music.

Here I am with my friend Gopal Singh, who is a Sikh priest/musician and currently lives in Seattle. And here is Gopal Singh’s son, Manoman Singh, who is a professor of Music at Patiala University in the Punjab. Music and celebration are central aspects of the Punjabi culture, and the Punjabi popular music, called Bhangra, has spread throughout India, and, because of the Bollywood movie industry (which uses a lot of Bhangra in their movie songs), also around the world.

Next I will post up some pictures from the Philippines.