Saturday, November 28, 2009

December Shows

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

Now that Christmas is officially on the horizon, it's time to bust out the eggnog, the cognac, and READY...SET...CHRISTMAS GIGS!

If the holiday spirit has not descended upon you as of yet, these four selections (from the best "Classical" Christmas Album I can think of) may help. Leontyne's tone (sigh)...

"We Three Kings of Orient Are"

"O Tannenbaum"

"God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen"

"Vom Himmel hoch, da komm ich her" BWV 769

If you need more of a live fix, here's where to go:

*Saturday 12/5 2:00-5:00pm
The Finally Five Quintet @ South Coast Plaza (exact location TBD), free

*Saturday 12/12 6:30pm &
*Sunday 12/13 2:00pm
Long Beach Symphony Pops Orchestra @ the Terrace Theater in Long Beach,always a sell-out!

*Saturday 12/19 11:00am-2:00pm
The Finally Five Quintet @ South Coast Plaza (exact location TBD), free

*Sunday 12/20 7:00pm
Orange County Wind Symphony @ Servite Auditorium in Anaheim, $10-15

*Thursday 12/24 9:30pm & 11:00pm
Two Christmas Eve services
Choir, Brass, and Organ @ Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Irvine, free

*Friday 12/25 9:00am & 10:30am
Christmas Morning services

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Les Noces, HGM shout-out, Mnozil Brass

It's Saturday morning and I just flowered the grounds on a super brew (Peet's/Intelligentsia). I hope all of you have received your save the dates!! We have our wedding site up now - so check it out!

"Les Noces" - Igor Stravinsky

Next up, a HUGE shout-out to Hiss Golden Messenger, my brother Mike's (aka MC Taylor, aka Jai Lil Diamond) band. MC posted a bunch of stuff on Facebook yesterday (so I'm mostly just retweeting this info). If you don't have "Country Hai East Cotton," which I love so much, get it!!

Totally different subject here, but a friend sent me this video of Austria's Mnozil Brass, which is maybe the some of the best brass playing I've ever heard. They're also really funny in a dorky classical musician kind of way. I was mesmerized by these guys and cried laughing...

Friday, November 6, 2009

Heeeeeeerrrrrrre's Johnny!

Am I the only one that misses this song?

Maybe it's that song-ending-night-after-night-vulgar-high F from trumpeter Mark "Love Man" Pender in Conan's new "Max Weinberg and The Tonight Show Band" - but I used to love Doc Severinson. Papa Smith was a big fan, and my cassette copy of this same album was well worn.

My friend Erik just gave a me a collection of Doc records from the 70s - check this out:

May have to start playing this version of "Pictures" on auditions when it comes up.
And as a P.S. - the album cover - hello!


Dirty Projectors - do you know these guys?
Thanks to Ed Droste for posting this. Amazing.


Lastly, in OCD news, my continued obsession with the Grizzly Bear - Michael McDonald singing "While You Wait for the Others".

Have a nice weekend everyone!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Grizzly Bear Solana Beach Show

Have you ever seen a show so good that you left feeling slightly devastated? As in, how the f**K are these guys so good?! So much passion, such amazing harmony in the vocals, and every dude in the band is SO solid.

Grizzly Bear - "Ready, Able" from Veckatimest

The opening band, Beach House, was definitely interesting in their own right, maybe not quite as stunning as GB, but cool, moody music. Victoria Legrand, the lead singer, has a uniquely beautiful, husky kind of voice.

Beach House - "Heart of Chambers" from Devotion

Thursday, October 15, 2009

3 Reasons to LOVE PBS

1. Mendez & McNab
I turned on PBS last night and saw an amazing show called "Concierto Para Mendez" - a celebration of legendary trumpeter Rafael Mendez. If you don't know who that is, check out the video below, or find this program on TV.

Malcomb McNab, a legendary trumpeter in his own right, performs Rafael's solos in this "Concierto".

I believe it's being re-broadcast at various times this week, so check your local listings.

Here's a link...

2. MTT & SFS

Also on PBS this week is "Keeping Score", featuring Michael Tilson Thomas & the San Francisco Symphony. MTT goes into great detail about certain works of music (Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique is this week) and it's by far one of my favorite shows. Check it out!

3. Dudamel & LA Phil
"I want more!" you say? - The inaugural concert of conductor Gustavo Dudamel with the LA Phil is on next week!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Fall Greetings

Hey everyone,

This time of year is insane, as always! I just finished some really exciting work with the Symphony in the Glen up in LA. Not only did I perform with Leonard Nimoy (as narrator) at the Griffith Observatory in LA (which was iiiinnnteresting), but at the Greek Theater, and in a recording at the Fox Studios. The recording will apparently be made available for purchase through the Griffith Observatory. Details to come...

In the midst of all of that I traveled out to Boulder to take an audition with the Boulder Philharmonic (I will not be moving to Boulder, although that place is pretty nice), and attended the wedding of Dan and Amanda, my nearest and dearest friends. So on top of starting classes at Fairmont and teaching private lessons, it's been a busy kickoff to fall '09.

I have a couple of performances coming up that may interest you musically:

La Mirada Symphony
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2009 8:00 P.M.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Symphony No. 40, G Minor, K550
Franz Schubert: Symphony No. 8, B Minor, Unfinished
Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony N0. 7, A Major, Op. 92

Long Beach Symphony Pops

Long Beach Symphony Pops
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 13TH, 2009 2:00 P.M.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

A beautiful day at the Mission

Yes it's about 95 degrees, but this place is beautiful! A great setup
for a concert...

Friday, August 28, 2009

If nothing else, come see Dr. Spock (Upcoming Performances in OC and LA)

Hey everyone,

Just thought I'd share some upcoming shows, in case you're interested.

The first is at the Mission San Juan Capistrano THIS SATURDAY (yes, as in tomorrow), with the Capistrano Valley Symphony.

26801 Ortega Hwy
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675

August 29, 2009 (Saturday)
Dreamy Mid Summer Night
Doors Open at 5:15pm
Silent Auction Opens at 5:15pm
Performance Starts at 7:00pm

For more info:


The next one is in October with the Symphony in the Glen. I've copied/pasted some details from their website:



Leonard Nimoy, narrating
The World Premiere of "Observations" by Arthur B. Rubinstein

A special gala event (ticket purchase required)

October 4, 2009 We hope you’ll join us for an extraordinary evening of Astronomy and Music under the stars and full moon on the lawn of Griffith Observatory.

Arthur B. Rubinstein has composed "Observations," a new symphonic work, especially for Griffith Observatory. The piece takes listeners on a flight through time and space, gazes at the heavens through the eyes of early mankind, drops in on Galileo as he makes his first shocking discoveries of the true nature of the moon and our Solar System, then reaches escape velocity to soar out into the cosmos to see the astounding wonders of our galaxy and beyond.

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Trumpet Lessons & Current Performances

Hi everyone,

Just a quick update on some upcoming performances in May and an updated link you can check for information on trumpet lessons.

My website is still in progress, but the basics are up at:

Click on the 1st link (info about lessons, and there you go!)

As for performances, here's what I have for now:

Saturday 5/9/09
Mahler's 5th Symphony with the San Bernardino Symphony

Saturday 5/16/09
Legends of American Film Music with the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra

Sunday 5/17/09
Claremont Winds Concert in Baldwin Park

Saturday 5/30/09
Mozart & Mahler's 5th Symphony (again, hey why not) with the Long Beach Symphony

Thursday, April 2, 2009

B Positive!

I can't say how happy I am about some things on the horizon - and how that impacts my daily outlook. Just around the bend is the ever-elusive spring break and Ali and I have plans equivalent of amazing comfort food. We'll be warming up by driving to Marin for some camping and hiking at Mt. Tam State Park, and to have a drink at Nature's friend with the ancient Miwoks. After getting thoroughly dirty and drunk (what says Marin county more than that!), we'll be staying in the city at a fancy pants hotel in Pacific Heights to grab a shower and stroll the Presidio. Also hoping to hit Suppenkuche, drink some great wine at Delfina (it was here I first drank the glory of Greenwood Ridge), eat a morning bun at Tartine, maybe hear the Symphony, and if Berkeley is in the cards on the way out of town, snag a Topdog real quick. Basically a greatest hits record for me. San Francisco still provides everything I want out of a city: easy access to natural beauty, food, drink, and music - all at the highest level.

Driving back down the coast we'll be stopping for a few nights in the Los Olivos/Santa Ynez area for some tasting and general merriment. On the list are: Foxen, Kalyra, Gainey, the Los Olivos Cafe, and possibly repeat visits to Babcock and Beckman. I salivate thinking of these days....

And now for a small segment I'll call "Wine Tonight":

I'm drinking a Parducci Sustainable Red which I can't complain about, but I had a bottle really hit me hard this week:

Chalone Vineyards Syrah

Deeeeeeeeeep flavor. Please enjoy this wine responsibly, as you may drink the whole damn bottle!

Before you go, some bomb-ass Fela...

Monday, March 30, 2009

April Showers

As March comes to a close, I finally have a slow week to reflect on the massive showering of great news happening right now. Mike and Abby's wonderful baby Elijah was born, Ali's 30th bday was a blast and our engagement is so exciting, little Liz turned 29, Ali survived her first trial-by-high-school-music-festival, and my 4th Recital was great fun. All fantastic successes that I'm so happy about. 

After going strong for the last weeks, it's great to finally stay up late listening to Miles, drink some whole foods bordeaux and regroup.

A few things coming up on the performance calendar:

Sunday 4/5/09
Choir Cantata by Lloyd Larsen at Good Shepherd Lutheran in Irvine

Saturday 5/9/09
Mahler's 5th Symphony with the San Bernardino Symphony

Sunday 5/17/09
Claremont Winds Concert in Baldwin Park

(((((before you go...Arvo Part)))))

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Trumpet Ensemble

The first rehearsal of the full boar trumpet ensemble was tonight. I foresee something fun with this group, perhaps a once a month reading session?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

A Funny Thing

Take your friends, take your grandma, take anyone who might have nothing to do this coming Thursday/Friday/Saturday evening (or matinee on Saturday):

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

I'm playing in the pit at Saddleback College...

Monday, February 23, 2009

A German Holiday

This past weekend had a cultural theme: Germany. Germany has always been of special interest to me, largely because of it's musical/historical significance. In college I tried to pursue German culture beyond what I knew (or was learning) of it musically, and was in heaven. I took a history course as well as a romantic literature course. The history professor was a beautiful old German man and we shared a love of Robert Schumann. My TA for the literature course was known as the creepy TA among friends and was creepy for 3 simple reasons: 

1) pale, lonely, black trench coat wearing graduate student 
2) office in the basement of the library (which rumor had it was sinking, thus making him even creepier day by day) 
3) he confessed to me once that the only music he could listen to was that of Scriabin.

I digress. 

German culture has been on my mind lately, largely due to the book I'm reading, "The Rest is Noise" by Alex Ross. Anyone with a passing interest in 20th century music should read this book as it's truly fascinating. Additionally, with Wagner's Ring Cycle being staged in LA and an exhibit at the LACMA about Berlin during the Cold War I feel like Germany has been calling my name non-German name. Alison and I therefore decided it was time to jumped in the Rhine.

The photo with all the street lamps above actually has nothing to with Germany (although does it not seem vaguely German?). It's an installation piece called "Urban Light" on Wilshire, right in front of the new Broad Contemporary Art Museum. It made me happy, unlike the literally gridlocked-all-day traffic 20 feet to the left of the photo. 

Following "Art of Two Germanys - Cold War Cultures" we dined at Wurstkucke (LA's equivalent of Suppenkucke), hence the sausage picture. If you check out the menu online, you can see this place offers "exotic" sausage: alligator, buffalo, duck, snake, rabbit, etc.

Exotic sausages, fine beer, Belgian fries - what more could you want? Our answer to that, oddly, was drinking Sapporo and singing karoke at a hotel in Little Tokyo.

But back on the train to the Rhineland we got as Sunday, we went to see the Reader.  I love Kate Winslet so much, and I'm so glad she won the Oscar. Of all the actresses out there, truly deserving an Oscar, I was actually happy to see Penelope Cruz and Kate win. And what an amazing film - beautiful, heart breaking, and a good score. 

The synchronicity of reading Ross's book, the exhibit at LACMA (seriously, some of the images at that exhibit seemed to appear in the movie), the delicious sausage - and well, I don't know how karoke ties in, but thus ends our German Holiday.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Coming Soon to a Concert Hall Near YOU

Just wanted to let everyone know I'm playing with the Pacific Symphony next week for their upcoming "Classics" concert. The music is billed as "Hollywood's Golden Age", and includes three of the old masters (Bernard Hermann, Erich Korngold, Miklos Rozsa), as well as a world premiere by James Newton Howard (who has scored a very long list of films, but notably Pretty Woman, Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, Michael Clayton, and Defiance). His premiere piece is called "I Would Plant a Tree" and is scored for 8 trumpets, which is why I'll be there!


February 26th, 2009 at 8:00pm
February 27th, 2009 at 8:00pm
February 28th, 2009 at 8:00pm


Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall

Friday, January 30, 2009

The bird and the bee, new album

I've had track one from the new bird and the bee album on repeat for
the last two days...thank you inara.

Let's Be Frank / silverlake wine

Photo review of last night's hotdogging via fuzzy iPhone photos.

Establishing shot (Let's Be Frank cart on the left, silverlake wine on the right)




The Process...

The Grill...

Going deep....

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Let's be frank review to come...

For now I'll just include one photo. The silverlake wine/let's be
frank synergy was palpable tonight!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Magic still trumps noisey campers, but it should be said...

I should begin by saying I had a most magical weekend this past MLK holiday. Ali and I drove up Highway 1 to Big Sur and enjoyed the amazing weather (hot at times, very sunny and virtually cloudless). Pulling into Big Sur campground, we were immediately struck by how close the camp sites were to one another. I definitely felt like I needed to hush my voice and generally be respectful - mind you, I thought this within the first 5 minutes of being there. Which leads me to my the evening progressed, our neighbors progressed as well, in the area of being extremely loud and generally oblivious to what I thought was so obvious. In this beautiful of a setting (redwoods, camping outdoors, great weather, being so close to one another, and shit just being in big sur generally) is it really necessary to party so hard? This is not to say one can not enjoy oneself in the somewhat wilderness, but staying up until who knows what hour, BLASTING horrible music and having no consideration for people sleeping in a tent 10-20 feet from you (!), I don't get it. So long story short, the next morning we changed campgrounds, only to experience the exact same thing - almost worse. The noisey campers the second night were actually farther away from us, but they were easily twice as loud. Ugh...

Okay, just needed to get that off my chest.......

That probably sounded like we had a horrible time, but let me reassure you, sleeping hours aside it was indeed a magical weekend. The pictures should prove that. (I have all the pics up on my facebook profile.)

Ooooh, and before I forget, I know some have you been to Esalen - my god that place is beyond words. The massage, the hot springs, the views. One for the ages.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Herbert von Karajan

Big Sur - update via iPhone

This is part test, part blog - would that make it a tog? Or a best?
Doesn't matter, as I'm off to Big Sur this weekend for camping and
massage therapy! As for why this was part test -  this post arrived via iPhone, (which I appreciate, thank you since it is becoming more and more of a rarity for me to actually sit at my computer for any length of time.

Side note - Maurice Andre popped up on shuffle while writing. F-ing Brilliant. His genius simply does not diminish.