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IDINA MENZEL MINI TOUR

Just finished the Idina Menzel tour which was AWESOME !!!!!

We performed at the Festival Hall with the Adelaide Symphony; QPAC in Brisbane with the QSO; the Sydney Opera House with the SSO and in Melbourne at Hamer Hall with the Melbourne Symphony. 
Idina, for those that don't know was the star of Wicked and also featured in the TV series Glee. Also starred in Rent the musical and film. She was fantastic to work with and killed the audience!
Her musical director was one of my heroes : Rob Mounsey. He's an incredible pianist and orchestrator and producer...it was an honour to play with him. He's worked with a lot of my favourite artists such as Steely Dan, Donald Fagen, Michael Franks, Aretha Franklin, Diana Krall etc. etc. etc....On drums was Rich Mercurio - fantastic player and great guy. On bass was good friend and brilliant musician Leon Gaer who just nails everything he plays. Needless to say I thoroughly enjoyed the gig !
Back to teaching and producing for the next few weeks then two weeks of 'Rent' the musical at AIM (Australian Institute of Music)

Where does the time go ?

Well, as they say...time flies !!!!

After obtaining my Masters degree in Recording Arts from Macquarie Uni, I accepted a 'part time' teaching position at AIM (Australian Institute of Music). I say 'part time' because now I'm teaching FOUR days a week !!!!! ...3 at AIM and 1 at St. Pat's College, Strathfield. That was NEVER in the plan ! But having said that, it's all pretty good - I think I'm finally getting use to getting up early ! So, that, along with the studio and live work has made it a very busy year so far.
Speaking of live work, I had a great time touring with my Canadian friends Dave Battah and Bobby Bruce from December 2012 to April 2013. I look forward to catching up with them at the end of the year. 
In a couple of weeks time I'm touring with American star, Idina Menzel. June 21st Adelaide with the Adelaide Symphony; 26th & 27th at the Opera House with the SSO; 1st July QPAC with the QSO and Melbourne with the MSO. Should be fun ! On bass is my mate Leon Gaer and Piano & Drums are coming out from the States with Idina.
Well...gotta go. Hopefully will try and update a little more often !

The later part of 2010 was busy touring with Bobby Bruce from Canada, Dave Battah, also from Canada and in Ocober with Petula Clarke. I thoroughly enjoyed working with Petula again - her new songs were great and it was SOooo nice to play at such a sensible level on stage where the dynamics and colours of the music could breathe. December saw the return of the Blues Brothers and we started the tour in Cairns, then flew to WA to do Perth, Albany, Esperence and Geraldton. It was great to have my old mate and great bass player Paul Pooley in the band - we had a fantastic time. Then it was on to Sydney to do in town and some regional gigs. Since then I've spent most of February writing charts for the Marty Rhone / Sheena Crouch tour starting in March, and for Skii Harvey's new CD which I'll be producing throughout March and April in my new studio at Screen Australia, Lindfield....better get stuck into it right now !!!!

 

What Happened to 2009 ? Hello 2010 !

Sorry 'bout the lack of blogging during 2009, but ny web site decided to have a holiday for a year !

Anyhow, it's May 2010 already, and the site is back from holidays with a lovely tan and ready for blogging.

January was unusually busy touring with the wonderful Dave Battah. We all had a great time and are looking forward to touring with Dave again later this year. Anita and I took off to the USA for 3 weeks during February. As usual, we had a great time, but the tour manager is getting sacked for trying to fit too much into too little time ! We spent a few days in San Francisco; drove down to LA via the coast road (fantastic); caught up with Jim Varley and Emily & Robbie; drove down to Long Beach; went on a 3 day cruise to Mexico; trained it to San Diego; flew to Washington DC; trained to New York and then flew home....well almost ! I was home for 1 hour and had to go back to the airport to fly down to Melbourne to a gig with my jazz trio !!! Anyhow, from there it was back and forward between home and airports for 3 weeks gigging with the Robertson Brothers, the Blues Brothers Show (from USA/Canada) and the jazz trio....Crazy !!!! And while this was going on, I had to produce an album for Marty Rhone for his upcoming tour which starts this weekend in Adelaide (May 8th). So, 2010 has started with a bang and hasn't stopped ! Luckily, I love my work !!!!

Jakarta, Japan, Skii, Charity, Sedaka, Rocky and Priscilla

Well it's been a while since my last blog but here's what's been happening.

I joined up with my China Plates Manhattan Transfer for a week at the Jakarta Jazz Festival which was an absolute blast ! Not only did we perform but I got to hang with and see some of my musical heros such as : Steve Gadd, Harvey Mason, Pat Martino, Lee Ritenour, Jeff Lorber, Earth Wind & Fire, Babyface, James Ingram, Najee, The Crusaders with Joe Sample and heaps of others. I loved it ! Then we were off to Japan to do the 'Billboard Live' in Tokyo, Osaka and Fukuoka....always a treat !

After returning from  Jakarta and Japan, Anita and I went on a weeks holiday in Hawaii - and had a great time ! Then it was back to the studio to finish Charity Turners CD and continue on with Skii Harvey's CD - which has been going on for a year so far ! It'll be worth the wait.

Live wise I had an absolute ball working with my friend for 18 years Neil Sedaka - we did an Aussie tour in May with the Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Western Australian Symphony Orchestras. He brought great buds Jim Varley (drums) and Steve Carroll (FOH) and we had local pal and great bass player Leon Gaer join us.

In September I'm doing two weeks in Melbourne with "Rocky Horror" and then returning to Sydney for "Priscilla" at the Lyric theatre.

Hopefully Skii's CD will be out before I head off to Melbourne so stay tuned......

Return from MT tour / Le Grande Cirque

The European tour with Manhattan Transfer was awesome and very eventful. Firstly our beloved MD Yaron broke his ankle in Italy which laid him out for a few days. We picked up a pianist to fill in for the gigs in Finland -   Pesi did a great job.Yaron joined us again (on crutches) for the St Petersburgh and Moscow gigs. Speaking of Russia, I was totally knocked out by the place - the architecture is incredible, Red Square and the Winter Palace, the Hermitage and St. Bazils......all amazing. I'll add some photos shortly.

Next on the list is most of January at the Sydney Opera House playing "Le Grande Cirque". Should be fun with some cool music to play.

U.S.A. Holiday

Just returned from two weeks break in the states with Anita - we had a ball and bothe fell in love with New York.We had 3 days in L.A at the Beverly Hills Hilton., 2 days in Las Vegas at the Belagio, 2 more days in L.A. staying at our good friends Jim and Judy Varley's place in Agoura Hills, then over to New York for a week.There we caught up with the lovely Janis Seigel,Yaron and Dorrit Gershovsky and friends and the very hospitable Emily Bindiger.It was LOT's of fun !

South America and Priscilla

One can easily see by the dates of these blogs that I'm not a regular blogger ! Anyway, I think a year between blogs gives you something to talk about ! Well, after being firmly entrenched in the world of musical theatre for the past year, not a lot has happened on the touring front. Having said that however, last month I had another fantastic tour with my favourite group, Manhattan Transfer in South America. We performed in Buenos Aires, Rio and Sao Paulo. As usual, I had a great time and it was fun catching up with the Americans ! The audience in Buenos Aires was amazing, sounding more like a soccer grand final than a concert. We also had a young couple perform the Tango across the stage during the song 'Vibrate'....it truly was a fantastic moment. Anyhow, life goes on. We have only a few weeks left of 'Priscilla' and I must say I'm looking forward to playing something that doesn't smell of 'Disco' !!!!! At the moment I'm producing tracks for Nathan Foley, David Cooper and just finished an EP for a great young singer/songwriter, Georgia Purcell. So, all is good. I'm looking forward to my U.S. trip in October where we'll be visiting L.A., Vegas and NYC. So till then, bye for now.  

Nathan Foley Live CD

   Back from the Asian tour with Manhattan Transfer and it was, as usual ....great !!!  I had a fantastic time and the music was superb.

 For the next couple of weeks I'll be wearing my producer/engineer hat mixing Nathan Foley's live album recorded last week at Cantebury Hurlstone Park RSL. There's a lot of fixing up and post production to do as we had a problem with the piano slowly slipping out of tune during the set .... as well as certain other acoustic instruments 'slipping' out of tune. Anyhow, should be fun pulling it all together. Thanks to Mark Allchin for his help with the audio and Paul from Turramurra Music for helping me out with the Alesis HD24.

END OF TOUR DRAWS NEAR

Well, we're now in Cebu, Philipines and only Manila to go , then home. It's been a great tour - especially the 3 Blue Notes gigs. I really enjoyed the Tokyo Blue Note - it definitely had the best sound and the staff and food were exceptional ! (plus having Anita there was a big bonus !!!) The Transfer were great as usual, always keeping it fresh by adding new songs and 'Borat' quotes during the show........but why ? I'll be posting some photos on gallery 2 when I get back to Sydney....till then, stay cool !

 

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