Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Headed home

Our last night in Europe, spent in Antibes. It seems that everyone is tired and really anticipates heading home. What a trip this has been. I feel very fortunate to have had all of these experiences.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The tour is winding down

So we have successfully made to our last city/hotel of the tour. It has been a great trip, with great musical moments playing with the band. We finished our performing at the Umbria jazz fest. What a great city! The last performance was a great one. Like many others, this was my last performance with the band. What a way to go out! I have learned a lot playing with this talented pool of people. After the last show, the band presented Neil with a bottle of champagne, a signed poster, and picture. It was a cool moment and also historical. Neil Slater's last time with the band. I also feel glad to have played in his band.

A big shout-out should be given to Craig Marshall! He has worked hard to ensure this trip would be successful. We are all grateful for the time he put in to make this trip happen. Thanks a million Craig!

So tomorrow we spend a day on the coast of France. Texas is right around the corner.....

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Umbria Jazz Festival

Our time spent in Perugia has been great. It seems like a majority of the people in the band have said over the last 2 weeks that each place is the best. Then we travel to the next place and say the same thing. It seems that a majority believe Perugia to take the cake. We have had the opportunity to perform on a great outdoor stage for the largest crowds we have seen. Our first night, we had an 11:30pm show. The stage is nestled in between some scenic historical buildings on a square. All you could see was people, completetly filling the sidewalks and streets. It was very inspiring performing for so many people. It brought a new level of energy to the band. Tonight is our last performance of the trip. We all look forward to being able to play one last time. I'm racing the clock with a laptop computer battery so have to cut this short. One last note, I can't get enough of Italy, a great country with so much to offer. Ciao.....

Thursday, July 17, 2008


There are many signs we have driven by that remind me of the oh so dry moments spent in a music history or theory class. We stayed in Arezzo, which can remind one of Guido, and his hand. Music theorists stay calm, it is nice place. Just another reminder of how so much history is splattered across these countries. It has been a refreshing experience standing eye to eye with so much of it.

Rome continued..

The street musicians in all the cities have brought pleasure. The accordion players in Rome were talented. I heard a saxophonist with a tone that resembled an Italian ambulance, wow! What he did have going for him was his endless supply of folk melodies.

Our guide for this last portion of the trip has so far led us to great places. He recommended a certain area of Rome to eat, away from more expensive, tourist restaurants. We were sent to an area referred to as Travesteria. Sure enough, myself and the couple of guys I was with stumbled upon a trattoria that was clearly a local's place hidden down a small cobblesone side street. One large Peroni and hearty serving of rigatoni and I was in heaven! Thank you Roma..

Where are the lions at???

I travel thousands of miles to Roma and visit the Coluseum on to realize I have been lied to all my life. Thanks to movies, drawings, and false stories, I was led to believe that men fought lions there. This is not true. What a disapointment!

Italy is hot, but not as hot as Texas..

On the road to an Italian tow that I didn't catch the name of. After being on the road this long it is easy to lose track of the days of the week and sometimes where you're at or going. What I do know is the espresso in Italy is killing! Even the truck stops on the side of the highways have coffee bars in them. I am getting spoiled in this regard. Coffee drinking will never be the smae for me.

On Tuesday we ahd a day off to spend in Rome. I spent a total of 12 hours wandering the ancient city, 10am to 10pm. From visiting all of these great places so far, I feel like I have been inspired in new ways. I look forward to finding ways to put this in my music. Back to Roma; on almost ever street corner you will find some kind of historically significan building, statue, or fountain.