Happy 95th birthday Pa!

Our father Mel Levine would have turned 95 today. Remembering him with this syllabus from an adult ed class he taught in 1953 on “The Elements of Jazz.” He led students through the recorded history of the music to that time (post-Bop, pre-Miles?), and included an “oversimplified” history of jazz at the end with this lovely ending

I think Mel would kleib naches from the audience we have found for his photos of Billie Holiday, and I like to think he would be very proud of my own playing and composing work. I certainly think of him all the time when I’m at the piano.

Yehi zichro baruch. May his memory be a (swinging) blessing.

Three Wammie nominations for “Making Up For Lost Time”!

I’m thrilled to announce that my debut album Making Up For Lost Time was nominated for three Washington Area Music (Wammie) awards, including Best Jazz Album and Best Jazz Song for the original songs “Alternative Facts” and “Let’s Wander.”

The awards will be announced on March 30 and 31, 2019 at a music conference and awards concert presented by The MusicianShip, a non-profit music education organization sponsoring the awards program.

DC jazz in Bangkok!

Travelling to Bangkok this weekend with the DC Jazz Collective for a week of shows ending with a performance at the Thailand International Jazz Conference on Jan. 26. Follow us on the trip at @DCJazzCollective and #DCJazzCollective on Instagram and Twitter

The Collective was assembled by Will Stephens, founder of the DC Jazz Jam, for an exchange program with the Mahidol University College of Music in Bangkok. Four jazz faculty from Mahidol will join us in DC at the end of April for a series of performances and jams. The exchange is supported by a grant from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities

Our schedule for the week:

  • Jan. 22: With Cynthia Utterbach at Bamboo Bar: the Collective backs vocalist Cynthia Utterbach at the elegant Bamboo Bar in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Bangkok.
  • Jan. 23: Jam session at Jazz Happens: The band takes the house band spot in this weekly jam session in a top Bangkok jazz club.
  • Jan. 24: Gig at Check Inn 99: our own show at this popular Bangkok club
  • Jan. 26: Performance at the Thailand International Jazz Conference (TIJC)
  • Jan. 27: Clinic at TIJC: talking about the jazz scene in Washington, DC

The Collective (L to R): Lionel Lyles, saxes; Evan Samuels, guitar; Will Stephens, drums; Oren Levine, piano; Percy White, bass

December gigs

Here’s my list of gigs for December, featuring an exciting DC Jazz Jam with the great Fred Foss on alto sax, and performances with Barbara Papendorp (12/26) and Aaron Myers (12/28).

I’m also celebrating the release of Making Up For Lost Time at a house concert on the 13th. Please let me know if you’re interested in that, so I can send along the details. 

In addition to all that, I’ll be going into the studio with the Lucky So & Sos to record a couple of tracks for a future release. Stay tuned for more info about that project!

Happy holidays and Happy New Year!

Available now! “Making Up For Lost Time”

At long last, my album of original songs “Making Up For Lost Time” is complete and ready for production, scheduled for release on November 7. The album features 11 compositions (9 with lyrics) and features 10 of the DC area’s top jazz performers.

I’m thrilled with how the music came out. I’m also thrilled with this super cover photo, shot by the brilliant DC photographer Darwyn M. Dave.

I hope you enjoy the finished product, coming soon to CD Baby (digital and CD) and your favorite digital music services.

cover 2

 

Updates to the original: As Water Covers The Sea

It was Original Songs week on Jam Of The Week (week 244!), which gave me an opportunity to revisit “As Water Covers The Sea,” an instrumental piece I wrote a couple of years ago. While practicing the tune for the recording, I found a few bits that didn’t sound right to me, so I revised the melody and chords a bit to improve (IMO) the overall harmonic and melodic flow. I’m much happier with the revised version. Hope you enjoy it.

The album project is underway!

Just completed recording 11 tracks for an upcoming album of original tunes, which I hope to release later this year. I had the privilege of recording at the superb American University studios with Mike Harvey and his crew of talented graduate students, who made it easy for us to capture the work of 11 musicians in a variety of configurations.

I’m deeply grateful to the DC and Baltimore area artists who contributed their talents and ideas to this project:

  • Aaron Myers
  • Andrew Frankhouse
  • Barbara Papendorp
  • Ele Rubenstein
  • Herb Scott
  • Lionel Lyles
  • Mark Saltman
  • Paul Jung
  • Percy White
  • Tony Gudell

I’m looking forward to hearing the final product and sharing it with you.

Thanks to Tony for the photos!