Clearly, the Secret Society recruitment officers have been earning their stipends. We are pleased to announce newly inducted co-conspirators Aaron Irwin, Mark Small, Matt Shulman, Jacob Varmus, Ike Sturm, and Richie Barshay. While they are all making their first public appearances under Society auspices, most of them already have ties to our sinister cabal:
I first met Richie Barshay in 2001, at New England Conservatory -- he played drums for the NEC Jazz Composers Orchestra and on my graduate recital. He was seventeen years old at the time and already a phenomenal player. Evidently, Herbie Hancock thought so too, because not long after that, he snapped up Richie for his own group. We're snatching him back, at least for the weekend.
Matt Shulman played one of the early, embryonic sessions that eventually led to the formation of Secret Society. He's a busy dude, but his trumpet kung-fu is unstoppable, so I'm thrilled he's able to join us on these dates.
Jacob Varmus is one of the first people I met when I moved to New York, and I still remember a few phrases from the solo I heard him play at the Cleopatra's Needle jam that night. Jacob subbed in on the last round of Secret Society rehearsals, so he's already an honorary co-conspirator, but it's a pleasure to be able to officially add him to the rolls.
Ike Sturm has also rehearsed with us on occasion, and he was the bassist for the very first Pulse hit -- back when that group still included a bass player. His fan club includes Maria Schneider and John Hollenbeck, both of whom sing the praises of his latest recording.
Mark Small is another friend from the Boston days. He, too, was at those shadowy early sessions and has rehearsed with us many times since, so his induction into the Society long overdue. Also, I think he may have read Infinite Jest more times than I have.
Finally, Aaron Irwin is a guy who got to play on the premiere of Maria's Three Romances back when he was in grad school down in Miami. Now that he's returned to civilization, he plays with Mike Fahie's big band, has his own regular group with Matt Clohesy, and a record for Fresh Sound coming down the pike.
You are all invited to witness the weekend-long initiation rites, Aug 26th-27th.