Goodbye to 2015

I honestly feel that having the opportunity to play (and teach) music for a living is a gift! As 2015 comes to a close, I look back on some very fun events that I was fortunate enough to be a part of over the last 12 months:

– recording John Pizzarelli’s “Midnight McCartney”
– the 2015 Jazz Cruise

– concert with Dame Shirley Bassey
– backing up Martin Short on the David Letterman show

– concerts with Barry Manilow, John Pizzarelli, Michael Feinstein, and Linda Eder

– various guest conducting and clinics
– big band concerts at the Berks Jazz Festival, featuring Chuck Loeb, Jeff Lorber, Eric Marienthal, etc…

– backing up Nathan Lane on the David Letterman show
– Gil Evans Project at Jazz Standard

– 2015 Tony Awards
– Tony Bennett/Lady Gaga concerts at Radio City Music Hall
– first live performance of my big band at Subculture in NYC

– Pete McGuinness Jazz Orchestra at the Blue Note
– John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble at Newport Jazz Festival

– Philadelphia Pops at Saratoga Performing Arts Center
– John Fedchock NY Big Band at the Blue Note

– Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra at Detroit Jazz Festival
– backing up Katy Perry at a Harper’s Bazaar event

– recorded music for “The Wiz” on CBS, and “Royal Pains” on USA

– annual Thanksgiving week at the Jazz Standard with Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra
-recorded new CBS news theme

– conducted NY all-state high school jazz ensemble at the Eastman School of Music
– “ONE” benefit at Carnegie Hall, featuring Bono, Edge, and Miley Cyrus

May the fun continue in 2016!

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Summer 2015 CD releases

A few CD’s have been (or will be) released this summer that I’m very proud to be a part of:

– Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra (“The Thompson Fields”)

– Bob Mintzer Big Band (“Get Up!”)

– James Taylor (“Before This World”)

– John Fedchock NY Big Band (“Like It Is”)

Coming soon: new CD’s from guitarist John Pizzarelli, composer Chris Zuar, and trombonist Ed Neumeister.

Happy listening!

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Jazz Cruise 2015 / Hip-Bone Music Interview

JAZZ CRUISE: The Jazz Cruise has rapidly become one of my favorite gigs. Great music, tropical islands, beautiful weather…what’s not to like? This year was once again filled with some of the biggest names in jazz. I was lucky enough to play with the big band (led by John Fedchock) in a trumpet section that featured Randy Brecker, Scott Wendholt, Claudio Roditi, and Mike Rodriguez. What a treat to hear those guys every night!

A few of the other amazing performances I was able to catch: Phil Woods Quintet, Joey DeFrancesco, Clayton Brothers Quintet, Benny Golson, Marcus Miller Band, Arturo Sandoval, Christian McBride, John Pizzarelli, etc… It really was a wonderful experience! (

HIP-BONE INTERVIEW: Along with being a long-time friend and colleague, trombonist Michael Davis has created one of the finest brass companies around, Hip-Bone Music ( In addition to method books, CD’s, and compositions/arrangements for brass, he also does a monthly interview with someone in the music business, called BONE2PICK. Past interviews have included Chris Botti, Lew Soloff, Wayne Bergeron, Andy Martin, Jerry Hey, etc… I had the good fortune to sit down and talk to Mike in one of these interviews recently. (

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