This is why I don't make New Year's resolutions. It's been, um, a little longer than I had hoped since my last blog post. So - rather than launch into some long diatribe on some contentious issue, I figured I'd give a quick recap of what's been going on in the world of Josh over these past few months.
JULY AND AUGUST
I had about three days to recover from the 2014 TD Toronto Jazz Festival before finding out that the house we were renting was to be sold. What followed was two months of, frankly, stress. Packing house with two small children is a challenge, to say the least. I didn't get out to see music. My life was all cardboard boxes and packing tape. Not the summer we had hoped for. (I know I left my tiny little violin somewhere…)
With the move only days past, I hopped on a plane to Luxembourg for the Luxembourg Jazz Meeting. Luxembourg, it turns out, is a fascinating city - 1000 years old, with history at every turn. It's a city of forts - every time it changed hands, the new group in charge fortified the city in some new way - and I enjoyed a couple of long walks. I also got to hear some good Luxembourgish music (yes that's the right word) and meet some colleague presenters from throughout Europe. It was only a three-night jaunt, but it was worth it. A nice way to break out of move-induced hibernation.
I finally got out to see some music at home, too. I made it (as a spectator, this time) to Russ Macklem's new jazz jam at the Linsmore Tavern, happily right around the corner from our new place. (Kudos to Russ for starting something new - it's happening again next week.) At The Rex I saw Dave Liebman with the Samuel Blais Trio. Then it was time for a show of my own at the end of the month in Ottawa. I don't have a lot of touring experience, and certainly not in the past few years…I had forgotten about shenanigans. And, with 17 musicians on the same bus, in the same hotel, there were shenanigans aplenty. (And some great music and a good deal of fun.)
I started out the month at the Jazz Bistro to hear Melissa Lauren in action, finally - I had never seen her live. She sounded great; Eric St-Laurent and Sly Juhas were solid; and I especially enjoyed Mark Cashion, whom I'm pretty sure I was seeing for the first time. This week I returned to the Bistro to see Intercambio, Allison Toffan's tap and flamenco collaboration. It was fantastic - my dance consumption has not been expansive, and I enjoyed seeing the two styles in action. The way in which the dancers kept - and played with - time was a treat. Tonight I'm off to The Rex for Ernesto Cervini's Turboprop (and, if flesh and spirit are wiling, Lula Lounge for the Heavyweights Brass Band show).
Slowly, but surely, I'm getting back to my preferred routine of seeing live music.
Meanwhile, programming is starting to heat up for the festival; Continuum has a big show coming up; and I'm working on a new project with my big band (with tap!). So you know, one or two things on the go.
I look forward to reconnecting with you in person and online soon. In the meantime, if there's something I MUST put on my calendar for the next month or two, let me know and I'll do my best to get there.