March 2016 included performing modern jazz to a crowd expecting Glenn Miller (akin to the scene of Bob's Country Bunker in The Blues Brothers), an insightful and sobering two and a half weeks of jury service, a little Persian gold dust, the 25th local gang show and performances with Adelphi laptop and jazz sextet at Manchester Art Gallery.
During April I was working with Worcester Amateur Operatic Society on a fantastic production entitled 'Children of Eden'. It was certainly a healthy challenge for my reading and a great opportunity to work with a wonderful orchestral team of musicians.
May included a cross section of gigs including performances with saxophonist James Hunt, a cameo on Gardener's World with JC Jazz, as well as working extensively (as I have throughout the whole of this year) with the Kim Cypher Quartet.
In June, Kim recorded her debut album which I played on which I look forward to hearing later this year. It included a fantastic line up of some of the best jazz musicians in the South West and UK. I've also worked as a sideman on several other recordings this year which should be out soon.
This Summer so far has seen a enormous variety of it's ups and downs and everything else in between. The untimely and cruel loss of my closest companion, Brodie on 6th July continues to haunt me but they were four and a half years of unconditional mutual love that will never be forgotten. This loss followed the more timely but equally sad loss of my Nan on 2nd June. Needless to say, the household now has a new little 10 week old "gremlin" to contend with who I'm sure will bring us much joy.
During the Summer however performance highlights included some excellent Birmingham gigs with the ATP quintet at the Jam House followed by a run of dates in July at Birmingham and Solihull International Jazz Festival. Everything from the sandpits of Solihull soul to a Mailbox jazz fusion bonanza with the ATP quartet, Victorian pubs and confusing one way systems. August however also provided a brief rest bite by way of a lovely trip to the Cornish coast for a few days, something I hope to repeat.
Moving forward this year, I will be focusing on the completion of my PhD at the University of Salford alongside my live gigging schedule which included a series of album promo gigs with Kim alongside two dates in the North. On 8th October, I'm delighted to be returning to the Marsden Jazz Festival and on 8th December I will be performing at the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester with the Adelphi Laptop Jazz Sextet once again.