Wednesday, March 29, 2006

FL and USAir

For about 20 years I have heard about how Frank Kowalsky was a great man and a great teacher. I finally witnessed that first-hand (both counts) last week. I watched something incredible take place during the last 10 minutes of a Freshman's lesson. Watching someone like Doc K. teach makes me realize that I have sososo much to learn.

So dig this: I get to Tallahassee around Midnight. I'm on a pea-shooter plane out of Charlotte with the entire FSU baseball team, bringing all of their bats and balls along with them. I guess the plane was overweight and they decided to take my gear off the plane. No one knows this, not at the airport, nor at the company. (I guess US Airways has a computer system that's just for show). I get no sleep because I'm worried about having to do my "Plan B" show without the gear. At about 7AM I'm up calling the baggage services, the computerized voice from which is telling me that they have yet to locate my bags. I call every 15 minutes or so, and finally just start hitting "0" to try to get a human being. So at about 1:30 in the afternoon I finally get a person who tells me that the luggage is, in fact, at the Tallahassee airport. So, no problem. But let me tell you, US Airways' ranking as the worst baggage handler (10 per 1000 bags) is warranted. Just think: every USAir flight you take there will be at least one person with missing bags. Not a good record.

But all that notwithstanding, I had a great time in FL -- the weather was something like 86 degrees -- the concert went well, and I have to give a big thanks to Catherine Han for being so great shlepping me around (and to the airport 3 times). Hope I can repeat the trip sometime again...

More on Lubbock, TX soon...


Sunday, March 12, 2006

The Last 3 Dates

Man, this is what I love about touring: spreading the good word of "You-Don't-Have-To-Make-Your-Whole-Living-In-Music-To-Be-A-Musician". That, and the fact that though "classical" music may be on the wane, live music is alive and flourishing. You just have to find your audience. That's been my mantra over the past few years, and even moreso this year. I have to say thanks to the folks in TN, MI and DE. First off TN: The concert went great, and I really enjoyed playing out there. But then, watching American Idol back at the dorm commons with everyone took the cake. I was glad to see those twins gone though -- attitude too much for me...

Michigan was great too - got to see (and stay with) my good friend Bill Ryan (look for the new bass clarinet piece coming from Bill!). Played a fun show there (great sound system), did a STACK of classes and masterclasses, got snowed in, finally made it back to Chicago, etc., etc.

Delaware was a first for me -- I sold out of CDs. (That's never happened before.) Jenny Barker, a terrific composer, brought me out, and I had a chance to work with a couple of her students. I was blown away. Seriously.

On all of these I played two new tunes that went over well (read: I enjoyed playing them -- who knows if they were well liked, I just liked playing them). Drift and Hum.

Back to doing my taxes ... :) More soon.