Looking forward in 2011, and a little look back at 2010

The first week of 2011 is almost over and it’s gotten off to a good start! I’m looking forward to The Identity Crisis performance this Sunday, January 9th at DROM.  It’ll be good to start making some music again after not playing a gig for almost a month! The IC is also working on releasing a four song EP demo, and that’s coming out great.

I’m getting the ball rolling for my 9/11 10th Anniversary Memorial project, “The Pilgrimage Project,” and I’m applying for grants and residencies to get that completed.  More about that in the next couple of months as things develop.

Also, stay tuned for a new Travis Sullivan Quartet CD, my first small group album in over 10 years, to be released on Posi-Tone Records in April/May.  I’m very excited about this release, which will include 8 originals, a version of “Spring is Here,” and my arrangement of Tears for Fears “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.”

As for a little “2010 Year in Review,” I’d like to pay homage to one of my favorite John Cusack films (not 2012 or Serendipity) with a couple of personal top five lists:

The Top 5 Best Things (Musically Speaking) About 2010

1. The Bjorkestra Italy Tour: For the first time I was able to bring the full 18 piece band to Europe for a sold out performance in Milan, along with trumpeter Dave Douglas as a special guest.  It was very dreamlike!

2. The L.A. Quartet Tour: In September I had 3 shows in the Los Angeles area, with the assistance of my friend and vibraphonist Nick Mancini, and got to enjoy some California sunshine and fun music making.

3. The Blue Note Bjorkestra show: This performance last March included some of my favorite musicians: Rachel Z, Donny McCaslin, and Clarence Penn.  It was also fantastic to perform for the second time with The Bjorkestra at this legendary venue.

4.  The Posi-Tone Recording Session: See above! My quartet includes Mike Eckroth on piano, Marco Panascia on bass, and Brian Fishler on drums, and they all played their asses off on the session.

5.  The Rana Farhan Concert: In September performed at the Toronto Opera House with the Persian blues and jazz singer Rana Farhan for a sold out concert with screaming fans that loved my sax solos! Go figure…

The Five Most Crappiest Things about 2010 (once again, musically speaking)

1. I left my Selmer SA 80 Serie II Alto Saxophone in the back of a yellow cab in NYC, and to date have not yet got it back.  I did end up getting an endorsement deal through RS Berkeley though (an honorable mention for the list above!).

2.  Getting a flat tire on the Palisades Parkway on the way to a solo piano gig, and consequently missing the gig.  That sucked.

3.  Not reaching my fundraising goal of $4000 for the Travis Sullivan “Live at the Jazz Standard” on Kickstarter.  Sometimes you learn just as much from failures as success though.  I will rise again, I assure you!

4.  A leaky pipe above the stage at The Iridium resulted in both sets of a Bjorkestra show getting canceled only a couple of hours before the performance.  The open bar eased our pain though.

5.  I’m looking at a list of goals that wrote at the beginning of 2010, and am realizing I’ve only accomplished about 2 out of 20.  I guess I’ll have to save the Mt. Everest expedition for this year.  (this is, of course, to see if you’ve really read this far, if you have, then 50 points to Gryffindor for caring).

Thanks and here’s wishing you all a wonderful 2011!!!!!!!


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