I will be performing with Joel Adams’s Yestet this Friday, July 11 at Constellation, 3111 N. Western. Awesome band and great music by Joel. 9:30pm start.
John Wojciechowski – alto
Chris Madsen – tenor
Geof Bradfield – tenor
Marques Carroll – trumpet
Justin Copeland – trumpet
Tom Garling – trombone
Joel Adams – trombone
Mike Allemana – guitar
Stu Mindeman – piano
Clark Sommers – bass
Xavier Breaker – drums
Rob Dz – spoken word
Cherise Thomas – vocals
If you missed our hit last April at the Green Mill, come on out Sunday, June 29th at the Tonic Room, 2447 N. Halsted, to catch Bernard Purdie with George Freeman, Pete Benson, and me, 8pm start. There will also be a 5pm drum workshop with Bernard. Get tickets here.
This was one of the greatest weekends of my career. George killed it, Bernard grooved harder than I have ever experienced, and Pete was right there with him. Thanks to Dave Jemilo for helping us make this happen.
Howard Reich wrote a really nice article about George and I in the Chicago Tribune. Come one out to Constellation to hear us swing some holiday cheer at the Constellation holiday party, Friday Dec. 20th at 9:30pm. No cover!!!!
Greg Fishman has just released Volume 1 from his Hip Licks series for the guitar, and yours truly played the guitar part. It’s tabbed and has a slick forward, too. Pick one up for your favorite guitarist for the holidays. Email me (mike at the website) or go to Greg Fishman’s site. The book comes with four CDs and 168 great licks. Only $24.95 holiday sale price.
Today would have been Von Freeman’s 90th birthday. While taking a break from a Thomas Holt history course I reminisced about his 80h birthday celebrations in 2002 (yes, his 80th birthday was celebrated a year early–long story). We recorded a new CD, The Improvisor, we performed concerts all over the city, and we went to Berlin to play the Berlin Jazz Festival, curated that year by John Corbett. It was an exciting time. I kept saying to myself, “Man, I hope I am physically able to do all this when I am 80,” admiring how strong Von was at his age. When we went to Berlin Von not only walked from gate to gate for all the flights, he carried his horn, and only ate at the airport. While he was in Berlin (not even 24 hours) he didn’t touch any food. And he played so strong–check out Vonski Speaks for the proof.
Time flies, Von is gone, and I am here thinking about my mentor on his 90th. Hope you are swingin’ up a storm wherever you are, Vonski.