SEM Panel in Austin, Texas 

In December I am going to participate in a panel at the Society for Ethnomusicology
Conference in Austin, Texas. The name of the panel is -
Defining a New York Latin Sound and a Latin Improvisation Aesthetic.

I am one of the three presenters on the four person panel.  Each of the presenters will write a
paper pertaining to the topic and the fourth member will moderate the panel and comment on
the three papers and make further observations.

Dr. David Garcia (University of North Carolina at Chapel HIll) will be the panel moderator.  Dr.
Sue Miller (Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge), Dr. Ben Lapidus (John Jay College, CUNY), and
Dr. Rick Davies (SUNY Plattsburgh) are the three presenters.

Dr. Miller's paper is entitled Defining a New York Latin Sound and a Latin Improvisation
Her primary focus is on the New York charanga bands of the early sixties and their
role in establishing a New York style of improvisation.

Clave, Honor and Tradition: the Music of Sonny Bravo in New York City is the name of the paper
presented by Dr. Lapidus. The focus of the paper is the work of New York
pianist/composer/arranger Sonny Bravo and his philosophy of clave.

From Chappottín to Jimmy Bosch: The Aesthetic of Afro-Cuban Brass Improvisation by Dr. Davies
describes the development of brass improvisation in the Afro-Cuban mode both in Cuba and in

It should be an interesting and eye opening experience and I am excited to be part of this panel.

Sabbatical year 2014-15 

It has been a busy sabbatical year.  I've done a ton of traveling (with Karen at my side).  First of all last summer we went to the International Trombone Festival Conference in Rochester.  Got to see a lot of great players and I was lucky to have a very positive review of my CD Salsa Norteña in their journal.  Last January I put a band together in San Diego to perform my music at the Jazz Education Network (JEN) Conference in San Diego. 

We also spent a few days in Vegas where I got to hang out with my sister for a few days.  She happened to be there the same time as us and I got to see her for the first time in almost 5 years.  Following that I went to the NAMM Conference in Anaheim.  That was an incredible event with over 96,000 attendees.

In March we went to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and we both took Spanish immersion classes at the Solexico school.  It was very intense and we spent 4 hours a day, 5 days a week in the classes.  It really helped my Spanish and I wish I could keep taking classes.

Finally, we spent the first two weeks in June traveling to South Carolina and participating in The Savvy Musician in ACTION music entrepreneur workshop at the University of South Carolina.  It was one of the most intense things I've ever done.  I learned a lot that will come in useful when I do my music biz class at SUNY Plattsburgh this fall.

Summer 2012 

It has been a busy summer.  We released our new CD Salsa Norteña in June.  It has been getting significant airplay and even made as far as #58 on the Jazzweek chart, which is not bad considering it is mostly a salsa/Latin jazz CD and not mainstream jazz.  We will be doing a CD release party on July 26th in the FlynnSpace as part of the annual Latin jazz camp at the Flynn in Burlington, VT

Other things going on at the moment are a number of different gigs.  My group the Bearcat Ramblers will be performing trad jazz and New Orleans-style music on Juy 14th at the annual Mayor's Cup Regatta and Celebration in downtown Plattsburgh.  We will be opening for the World famous Gibson Brothers who are perennial favorites in the area.

New latest project the Latin jazz Thugtet is performing on July 18 at Olive Ridleys in Plattsburgh.

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