Here I include news about my musical life and special events related to music (and sometimes regarding Kung Fu). I also will announce new tunes I just learned or am currently learning. I try to honor requests as much as possible so please contact me if you have a particular song request.
Music Update, 01/11/2021
I have not updated in a long time so it's finally time to update with some news. 2020 was quite the year and 2021 looks like it might be an interesting year as well. I got off social media with the exception of YouTube and Instagram so I hope to update more here on my website with the new time I created myself. I wanted to free myself from the bonds of social media and create more free time and prioritize what is really important to me.
On another note, I finally officially graduated college from the California Jazz Conservatory with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Jazz Studies with the focus on guitar performance (and a Brazilian Music Concentration as well). I'm so glad to have completed that part of my journey and reach this point of being a graduated man.
Gigs has been very interesting this year. I was playing at Cap's from the weekend after the 4th of July, 2020 up to the lockdown in December. Unfortunately we are still in lockdown in California so I will keep posted when I resume playing at Cap's again. Such great people there and I really enjoy the gig and can't wait to get back playing there again. Hopefully that'll happen soon but we'll just have to wait and see.
As for new tunes, I've decided to only publish videos of my own arrangements for 2021. I love the music and playing of Joe Pass and play several of my transcriptions I've done of his playing. I'll still do that but I thought that for this year it'd be great to focus on my own arrangements and exploring my own musical voice more. Stay in tune for all the neat tunes I arrange and will post throughout the year. I'm going to try to stick as much as possible to doing one video every other week with the minimum being once a month.
I've had some requests on making a Christmas album. Unfortunately with all the financial setbacks of 2020 and Covid I don't think I'll be able to make a Christmas album or any album this year. However, I'm starting to lay down the groundwork now to eventually make several albums. Stay tuned for that!
Lastly, I want to thank everyone for their support of my music and for those who have come and heard me play at Cap's. I do appreciate all those that have shown kindness to me and my musical pursuits. Best wishes and God bless you all in this new year!
Brazil Trip, 11/04/15 - 11/16/15
My trip to Brazil was awesome! I was there for 12 days and roughly 4 days each in São Paulo, Foz de Iguaçu and Rio de Janeiro. The huge Kung Fu tournament, Iguaçu Falls and the Corcovado mountain with the Christ Redemeer statue and the Sugarloaf Mountain with the gondola ride up and down were the big highlights of the trip. Another big highlight for me was going to the Garota de Ipanema restaurant which is where Jobim and Gilberto saw the girl walking down to Ipanema beach. That was a great experience. After the Christmas season, I'm looking forward to greatly increasing my Bossa Nova repertoire. It was quite inspiring seeing different historic areas of Bossa Nova by walking all across Copacabana beach to Ipanema beach and seeing that historic area. Two of the pictures on this page shows me with the statue of Antonio Carlos Jobim (Tom Jobim for short) at Ipanema beach and the other is me right in front of "The Girl from Ipanema" restaurant which is the exact location where the famous song was inspired.
Cool Story Concerning Danny Boy & Honoring Your Word
On Sunday, March 13th, I was playing at the Lone Tree Golf Course for their Sunday brunch, and something cool happened that day which makes a neat story. Two months prior (in January), I was playing at the Lone Tree Golf Course and a guy came up to me and asked me if I could play Danny Boy. I said that unfortunately I didn't know it but that there was a great solo guitar version from George Benson that I wanted to transcribe and learn. I told him that on the last Sunday before St. Patrick's Day I'll be back for that gig and have it learned for him. I followed through to my word two months later and played it (not knowing whether he'd be there or not). Sure enough, he was there and came up to me happy that I followed through and learned the song. He liked the arrangement, introduced himself and gave a nice tip. It turns out that he is the mayor of Antioch! That was wild and took me by surprise. You never know who you may be honoring when you follow through with your word. Great experience and the George Benson version is really cool. One thing I didn't know about the tune is that the melody of Danny Boy is also an African spiritual/hymn.