June 12th, 2019
Emmy Award-Winning Composer/Producer/Jazz Pianist

It's been a while so I wanted to update you on some of my recent activities, from my 2nd Emmy Award win last month, my upcoming live solo jazz piano CD , two tribute concerts to the great Hamiet Bluiett next week in NYC, some recent Brooklyn College Big Band performances with members of Brooklyn Raga Massive , and more!

Needless to say, please don't hesitate to contact me for any of your producing , composing , arranging and performing needs, as I'm available and always on the lookout for new projects and potential collaborations !
I was excited last month to receive my 2nd Emmy Award as composer, for ” Outstanding Original Song in a Children's or Animated Program " for the PBS show " Peg + Cat " (along with lyricist Billy Aronson ), following my previous Emmy win a couple of years ago (as part of the composing team) for Outstanding Musical Direction and Composition ( among my 5 total Emmy nominations).

The song that won, “ A World Made By Friends ”, was particularly meaningful to me since it was the final song of the entire series. Fittingly, Billy’s (I think "virtuosic"!) lyrics take the viewer on a journey through seemingly the entire history of the show. You can view the song here.
This Sunday, June 16th at 10:30 pm as part of the annual Vision Festival taking place at Roulette in Brooklyn, I will be leading the “ D.D. Jackson Bluiett Tribute Band ” in memory of World Saxophone Quartet co-founder and baritone sax player Hamiet Bluiett , a great mentor and friend to so many of us, whom we sadly lost last year. It will be the closing performance of the multi-day festival. The band will also feature James Carter on bari sax, Darius Jones on alto sax, William Parker on bass, Ronnie Burrage on drums, and Juma Sultan on percussion - more info and tickets here.

The very next day, I will also be participating in another Bluiett Tribute concert organized by Ronnie Burrage, in a celebration taking place at St. Peter’s Church in NYC (619 Lexington Avenue) beginning at 7 pm , and also featuring many players associated with Bluiett over the years, from David Murray , Oliver Lake , and James Carter to Kahil El ' Zabar , Craig Harris , and many more.

Recorded live in Montclair, NJ at Seed Artists’ “Freedom of Sound: Rhythm” Festival last month (the day after the Emmy's and just hours after my flight touched down), look for my “surprise” new live solo piano CD to come out soon, " Live at Freedom of Sound ". I’ll make a few advance copies available for sale at my Vision Festival appearance this Sunday, June 16th for those attending (see above), and then look for a more formal release in the weeks ahead!
Brooklyn Global Jazz Big Band with Brooklyn Raga Massive
I also wanted to share some video I made of a very enjoyable experience I had conducting the Brooklyn College Global Jazz Big Band , where I’ve been helping this past year to direct their Global Jazz Masters degree [go here for more info on the degree, which is still accepting potential students for this Fall/19] as I continue to additionally teach Media Scoring at their excellent Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema . The concert featured special guests Arun Ramamurthy and his gifted Indian musician colleagues from Brooklyn Raga Massive, additional guests (including trombonist Frank Lacy) , plus arrangements by myself as well as students from my Global Jazz Masters arranging class .
And here I am conducting "Conception" (written by Arun , arranged by Global Jazz student and vibe player Julian Velasco, with my input).
Finally, the CD "Love's Languages" by jazz vocalist Joyce Griffen ( for which I produced, arranged, played piano and conducted) is out and available for purchase , or you can listen to it now on Apple Music, Spotify or YouTube. It's a veritable world tour through many different musical worlds, from Brazilian, to Turkish, to African and beyond, performed by Joyce in multiple languages, with myself on piano (joined by such musicians as soprano saxophonist Sam Newsome , drummer Gerry Gibbs , trombonist Craig Harris , and flutist Gabrielle Garo). Congratulations to Joyce and all the musicians!