It's been a crazy couple of weeks. Right after our Galapagos hit, (see the Village Voice review), I flew down to Springfield, MO, where I'd been invited to be the first (for lack of a better word) "jazz-identified" composer to serve as guest composer for Missouri State Univeristy's annual MSU Composition Festival. It was a blast -- saxophonist Randy Hamm did a superb job preparing the MSU Jazz Studies Ensemble for the wholly unreasonable demands of my music. I also enjoyed my one-on-one sessions with MSU's composition majors, who each evidenced wildly different approaches to music-making.
After that, instead of returning to New York, I took a little detour to Austin for my first-ever trip to South by Southwest. Damn but that was fun -- especially with Amanda Marcotte and Marc Faletti as my stalwart concergoing companions. I also heard friends Olga Bell and Lis Rubard perfom (with Charilift and The Loom, respecitvely), and had the distinct pleasure of meeting Chicago pianist Josh Moshier and NextBop's Anthony Dean-Harris. Saw so much oustanding music -- highlights include the 17-piece(!) Brooklyn-based neo-disco band Escort (which happens to include Society co-conpsirator Ryan Keberle on trombone); the primal force of nature known as Beth Ditto, of Gossip; Edmonton-based keyboard-driven electro-dance band Shout Out Out Out Out; and Austin's own down-and-dirty funketeers Brownout -- first on their own, and (to close things out, at 1 AM on the final night of South By) in their alternate incarnation as Grupo Fantasma... backing GZA.
It turns out Texas is so much fun I can't stay away, so I'm heading striaght back down there this weekend -- and this time I'm bringing the band. Yeah, that's right: this Saturday, March 24, Secret Society is performing our first-ever US gig outside of the Northeast, headlining the 50th annual(!) Tarleton Jazz Festival in Stephenville, TX.
As I discovered, even most Texans have not heard of Stephenville, so here's a map -- it's about an hour and change southwest of Fort Worth. Tickets are just $10 and Secret Society doesn't get to play in this part of the country much... or, like, ever. So tell your Lone Star State friends to fill up their pickups and hit the road this weekend. (Was that sufficiently folksy? I've started saying "y'all" unironically, does that help?)
More info can be had here -- hope to see y'all soon!