Bjorkestra News: Milan, Blue Note, & a little rant

Exciting news.  The Bjorkestra has been invited to perform in Milan, Italy by Aperitivo in Concerto . This concert series has included performances by artists like Sonny Rollins, Joe Lovano, and Gil Evans, and I’m elated that The Bjorkestra will be part of this pedigree! The details are still being worked out, but it looks like they want the full-on 18 piece band.  They also want a special guest to perform with the band, and more about that soon! If it happens, it will be in late November/early December.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed. 

Since we’re on the subject of the Bjorkestra, I should also mention that the 7 piece Bjorkestra (aka “The Bjorket”) is going to be performing at the world-famous Blue Note in NYC on March 1st.  This septet version had its debut in October at BAM Cafe, which included George Garzone on tenor, Rachel Z on piano, and Clarence Penn on drums.  The Blue Note show will have Donny McCaslin on tenor sax,  Rachel and Clarence, and Bjorkestra regulars Becca Stevens on vocals, Ian Cook on laptop, Yoshi Waki on bass, and yours truly on alto.  I don’t know how I did it the first time around, but somehow I managed to hold up pretty good against Garzone’s saxophonic fury….actually I’m so influenced by him that we made some amazing music playing together! I don’t know how it’s going to be this time around playing with Donny though.  He’s such an extraordinary virtuoso on the tenor.  I’m already trying to hit the practice room on a regular basis (cue a montage of me practicing day in and day out with “Gonna Fly Now” as the soundtrack) so I can at least represent to some extent.  Music’s not about any sort of competition, but to perform with someone that you regard as a master of their instrument is a great motivator to transcend your own boundaries!

I think I need to write a new arrangment for the band as well.  I did an arrangement of “Come to Me” for the BAM show and it worked out really nicely.  Maybe something from “Volta”? I had this idea for “Declare Independence,” maybe that one. I don’t know though, I still love the older Bjork material way more than the music on Medulla and Volta.  There’s still some amazing songs on those albums to be sure, but in terms of depth and innovation, I don’t think they don’t hold a candle to Debut, Post, Homogenic, or Vespertine (especially this last one!). 

Wow.  I’m becoming an opinionated blogger.  When did that happen?


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