Stanford Jazz Workshop 2014
This summer I celebrated my 30th year of involvement with the Stanford Jazz Workshop at Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA. I started as a student at the Workshop in 1984 and I’ve only missed two summers along the way – now I’m a senior faculty member. This year I taught ensembles, masterclasses, musicianship and more, and played a handful of fun concerts and sessions. Thanks to my fellow faculty, as well as the staff and students for the inspiration, the camaraderie and all the great music and conversation.
Longtime Workshop friend (and astounding pianist/composer) Taylor Eigsti and I co-led a concert at this year’s Stanford Jazz Festival. We played together and apart with a band of SJW friends old and new that included Ben Flocks, David Hart and Steven Lugerner in the frontline, Josh Thurston Milgrom, Steve Rossi and Tupac Mantilla in the rhythm section. We each selected a few songs that we’d learned at and/or associated with the Workshop in past years and added a few new and old original tunes of our own. The result was a diverse program of entertaining music for ensemble sizes from classic piano trio to 2 pianos plus percussion to full-blown septet blowout!
Saxophonist and composer Yosvany Terry Cabrera, who I first met at SJW his very fist summer in the USA was back at the Workshop and we got an opportunity to play some of our original music at a noon concert that featured one of my all-time favorite drummers Peter Erskine along with Dana Leong, Dayna Stephens and David Wong. What a band- we had a blast! In addition to his sweet tenor sax, Dayna busted out his EWI (electronic wind instrument) for some silky, syrupy synth lines while Dana whistled(!) in addition to playing his trombone. Good times were had by all!
Other notable highlights (there are way too many to list them all) included:
Student ensembles full of bright young musicians, many of whom I expect to see in NYC and on the scene in the years to come.
Memorable concerts by and hangs with: Fred Hersch, George Cables, Richard Sears, Jeb Patton Trio, Dena DeRose, Fly, Jack DeJohnette and a special appearance by Chick Corea.