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November-December 2019 Issue

Martin Wind Newsletter

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Recap I: Tour "Peter Weniger & Martin Wind Trio with Jonas Burgwinkel"
Recap II: Tour "Meyer/Wind Quartet featuring Alex Riel (d) and Billy Test (d)"
Recap III: Film date with Elliot Goldenthal
Recap IV: Four days in Italy
Recap V: Duo Tour with Philip Catherine in Belgium/Recording with Philip and Ack van Rooyen
November 22nd: Hofstra Bass Ensemble and Chamber Choir
Kennedy Center Honors 2019
Two December dates with Ann Hampton Callaway's "Tribute to Linda Ronstadt"
Last 2019 Gig in NYC: Carol Morgan Quartet feat. Joel Frahm and Matt Wilson on December 13

Recap I: Tour "Peter Weniger & Martin Wind Trio with Jonas Burgwinkel"

On Wednesday, October 16 I was heading to Germany for two shorter back-to-back tours with some old friends of mine. I almost did not make it to my first engagement at the "A Trane" club in Berlin: we took off from Newark Airport with a 7-hour delay! We were already approaching the runway when a maintenance light went up - we had to go back to the gate, and after the problem could not be fixed it was determined that we will need a different plane...once they found a new plane EVERYBODY needed to have a new boarding pass issued...when we finally had boarded the new plane we had to wait for more paperwork to be completed by the crew in the cockpit - at this point we were looking at at least five hours of waiting (and standing!) around. When the delay crept into its seventh hour several passengers decided to NOT stay on this flight - which meant that their suitcases had to be located and taken off the plane...which cost as an additional hour! We eventually did make it out to Berlin, but it was close: another four minutes of delay and the crew would have timed out!

Fun fact: since the new plane was smaller than the original one the airline had offered $5,000.00 plus hotel per person for folks that would agree to fly out the following day - that was significantly more than I was going to make on this 10-day trip!

I was supposed to arrive at around 8 am in the morning - plenty of time to get some hours of rest in; instead, I arrived at my friend Peter Weniger's house at 4:10 pm, 20 minutes before we were supposed to meet at the club!
That first evening was fantastic, especially when you consider that this trio of Peter, drummer Jonas Burgwinkel and I had never played together before. We were joined for a few tunes by the Italian guitarist Federico Casagrande, and it was wonderful to see so many familiar faces.

The next morning Peter and I drove over to the JIB, the Jazz Institute Berlin where Peter has been teaching for many years, and where I gave a bass masterclass, which was hosted by the wonderful Greg Cohen, the bass professor there for more than a decade. 

After the masterclass, I jumped in my rental car and visited my good friend from Jazzbaltica years, 
Rainer Haarmann, and his wife Sybille. They had relocated to Berlin from Schleswig-Holstein, and it was great to see them enjoy their new surroundings.

The evening we spent at Peter's place where his wife Isabelle fixed a wonderful meal for us; also present was my friend Claudio Puntin and his wife Gerdur Gunnarsdottir.
From left to right: Peter, Isabelle, Gerdur, Claudio, myself
The following day Peter and I drove up North for our next two concerts in Plön and Kiel; on our way there we were waiting to pick up Jonas at the train station Lübeck, an old trade port town known for its marzipan and this beautiful building, the "Holstentor":
At our concert in Kiel we were joined for a couple of tunes by Ulf Meyer, and Olff Appold provided some photo and video footage for a possible CD project to be recorded, soon. Here is a little teaser!
New Moon - Peter Weniger, Martin Wind, Jonas Burgwinkel
We completed our maiden voyage tour in Cologne, where Peter and I used to live for many years at a new club called "King George" - it's a fun, little place, and I hope that they'll be around for a long time!

It was really special playing with Peter again after all these years, and Jonas is an amazing orchestrator, coming up with great instrumentations, grooves and colors for each composition - I believe that I'll be reporting more about this new band, soon!

Recap II: Tour "Meyer/Wind Quartet featuring Alex Riel (d) and Billy Test (d)"

The way the two sections of this 10 - day trip connected reminded me of a relay team: at our last trio gig in Cologne the new pianist of the WDR Bigband, Billy Test came to hear us play at this new club in town; the next morning I picked him up at his Cologne apartment and drove back up to Hamburg with him for the first day of our quartet tour with Ulf Meyer and our Danish friend and drum legend, Alex Riel. We met at the local music conservatory for a short and efficient rehearsal in preparation for our first concert at the also relatively new venue "Halle 424" in Hamburg's trendy "Hafen City" the following day. The place features an unusual atmosphere, a beautiful grand piano and a great sound - here are some impressions:
On Wednesday, October 24 we played to a sold-out crowd at the "Altes Gymnasium Flensburg", where both Ulf and I had gone to school. During the first set, I talked about our friend Christoph Oeding and the impact that he had on my beginnings as a musician and dedicated the performance of my song "Rainy River" to his memory. His sister Steffi was in the audience and thanked me for this gesture afterward. She was not the only person in the room that got emotional - it had just been a few weeks since we had lost him way too early at the age of 60 years old.

It is somewhat of a tradition that we have dinner at my mother's place before performing in Flensburg. The band was joined by my father and his wife Ortrud for a traditional German meal.
From left to right: myself, Ulf, my mother Uschi, my father Jürgen,
Alex Riel, Billy Test and Ortrud
 
After our Thursday concert at the public library in Neumünster Ulf and I settled at his nearby house for our traditional “licorice and beer hang”, something that I always look forward to for weeks!
 
Our last engagement of the tour was going to be a special one, for it was taking us to “Sylt”, the biggest of the Germany islands in the North Sea. Since we hadn’t had a chance to spend a lot of time together with my sister, Meike decided to join me for the weekend.

Sylt is known for its huge waves and frequently attracts international surfing events; the beach stretches for dozens of miles all along its Western coast. After our arrival via car train we checked into our hotel and went for a long walk:
In the evening our hosts, the owners of the "Teekantor Keitum", Wolfgang and Franziska Zaeske invited us to an amazing dinner with freshly caught fish - it was sensational!

The next day they transformed their store into a first-rate concert hall including a gorgeous Hamburg Steinway grand piano. My mother and her best friend came onto the island for the occasion, as did Ulf's wife Ivonne and his son Per Ole. The Teekontor also features an amazingly cozy tearoom and state of the art hotel suites - I would not mind spending a long weekend there sometime very soon! They really built a little, peaceful retreat from the noise and the hustle of our "modern" lives there...
On Monday, October 27 Billy and I had to take the first train back to the mainland and make it back to the Hamburg airport in time for him to make his 2 pm big band rehearsal and for me to fly back to the U.S.
Every concert with this group was special, and it felt so good to be playing with Ulf and Alex again; but the big revelation of this tour was my our friend Billy Test: he just played beautifully, with impeccable taste, always serving the music, supporting the other soloists and stepping up to the plate when it was his turn to shine.
On top of that he is funny, gentle and easygoing – what a find! Just like I promised more newsletter coverage of the “New Moon Trio” with Peter and Jonas I’m certain that Billy will have many repeat visits on this forum.

Recap III: Film date with Elliot Goldenthal

On Halloween, I drove into the city for a recording session for the new movie "The Glorias" to be released in early 2020. It turned out that the composer of the score was Elliot Goldenthal, one of the most successful Hollywood writers of the past two or three decades; he has written for blockbusters such as Frida, Batman Forever, Alien 3, Heat, Interview with the Vampire - the list goes on and on.

This session was especially enjoyable since the bass was featured heavily in several cues; Elliot came out to my booth several times to give me instructions such as "...make this sound a bit more like Mingus" or "...think Ornette with Charlie Haden" - not your usual film recording references at all!

Here is a photo with the maestro:

Recap IV: Four days in Italy

On Wednesday, November 6 I was off to Europe again, only a little more than a week after I had returned from Germany. This time I was flying to Rome, Italy for a concert with pianist Rita Marcotulli and Matt Wilson, as well as a recording with trombonist and arranger Massimo Morganti.

This time I made it across the Atlantic Ocean without a 7-hour delay, took the express train "Leonardo" from the airport into town and checked into my hotel. I hooked up with Matt for a soulful lunch, and in the afternoon we got picked up by our old friend Giancarlo DiNapoli, who had initially brought us together with Rita. 

We played a beautiful concert at the "Casa di Jazz" and had a wonderful hang afterward with Rita's publicist, Fiorenza Gherardi De Candei, accordionist Paulo Russo and some other new Italian friends. While we were still gathered we got the news that the trio had been hired for the Lugano Jazz Festival in March of 2020!
On November 8 and 9, Matt and I recorded new arrangements for big band and orchestra with the amazingly talented Massimo Morganti; in 2012 he had conducted the "Turn out the Stars" concerts with my quartet and the Orchestra Filarmonica Marchigiana.
 
We went to the “Forum Music Village” studio, where Ennio Morricone had recorded some of his most well-known soundtracks! This place was oozing of history…Matt seemed to be enjoying himself:
We really had a ball recording Massimo's imaginative charts on such diverse songs such as Alice in Wonderland, 
I've Got Rhythm, and Desifinado...our stay in Rome ended with "a romantic dinner with another guy", like Matt and I have experienced so many times on our travels over the past couple of decades.

On Sunday, November 10 Matt returned back home while I drove to the area around Ancona for a duo concert with pianist Luca Mannutza at the Moderer Winery. We had never played before, met at around 6 pm for a short rehearsal/talk through and played a 90-minute set starting at 7:15 pm or so - that's jazz for you!
Lunch with the DiNapolis

Recap V: Duo Tour with Philip Catherine in Belgium/Recording with Philip and Ack van Rooyen

Monday, November 11 was one of those travel days that seriously wore me out - absolutely nothing went right that day: Giancarlo picked me up from my bed & breakfast in Jesi at 6 am for what usually is a two-hour drive to the airport in Bologna. Due to a couple of accidents caused by heavy rain, it took us an extra hour, but I still made my flight to Brussels. Unfortunately, I had agreed to fly with Ryan Air - never again! Usually, their flights are cheap, which is really the only reason anybody would want to travel with them in the first place; since I had to bring a suitcase though, my ticket ended up being 220 Euros one way - and then they charged me an additional 25 Euros for my carry-on! And since they never get a position at a gate we had to walk to the plane in the rain in Bologna, and from the plane to the airport building in Belgium.

Once I was at the rental car counter at the Brussels airport I learned that I had landed at the wrong airport, namely in Charleroi and not in Zaventem. Once it was determined that my reservation could not be changed I had to take an express bus into town and a train from there to Zaventem airport - an inconvenience that cost me 3 hours!
Because of that delay, I ended up in rush hour traffic on my way to Rotterdam, where I was supposed to pick up an instrument for the week from my colleague Frans van Geest, a great bassist, and friend from my Cologne days.
After a quick hang with him and his wife, during which we talked a lot of bass, I got back into the rental car and arrived in The Hague, Holland at around 8 pm in the evening after 5 hours of driving, 2 hours of flying, 1 hour of travelling by bus and one by train...ouch! You sure feel your "Sitzfleisch" after that!

I spent the evening with my old buddy Hans Braber and his 7-year old son Casper in their cozy apartment. Hans and I used to play together a lot when we were both still living in Cologne, and we had done a couple of tours with pianist Don Friedman as well.

Here is a photo of Hans and Casper:
The following morning I picked up one of my favorite musicians and idols, flugelhornist Ack van Rooyen at his The Hague townhouse. I met Ack about 30 years ago as a member of the Bujazzo, the National Youth Jazz Orchestra of Germany. Ack was a big name back then already, being one of the leading soloists of the two most well-known large ensembles in Europe: Peter Herbolzheimer's Rhythm and Brass, as well as the European Jazz and Rock Ensemble, which also featured musicians such as Kenny Wheeler, Wolfgang Dauner and Albert Mangelsdorf.
I always absolutely loved Ack's beautiful sound and soulful, emotional playing and had thought about recording with him for several years; when it became clear that we'd have a day off during the duo tour with 
Philip Catherine, I jumped on the opportunity: Ack joined Philip and I for our first concert in Brussels, and on Wednesday, November 13 we drove to the "Motor Music Studio" in Mechelen and recorded several original compositions by Ack, Kenny Wheeler and myself, in addition to some standards.

Ack will be turning 90 years old on January 1st, 2020 and he absolutely played like an angel! 
Well, and Philip is Philip - he always plays so well! I can't wait to dig into the recorded material over the next several weeks.

I'm glad that I was able to talk my friend Olff Appold and his wife Inga into joining us for these couple of days in Brussels - they were so helpful in so many different ways, and I'm sure that Olff will cook up an amazing cover photo again, plus additional material for the booklet, video footage for advertisement etc. - what wonderful friends they are! After we were done recording we had so much fun hanging with Ack, who told us one funny musician story after another - good for all of us: he's collecting them all for an upcoming book!

Here is a photo of the session:
From left to right: Ack, Olff, Philip, me, and Inga
After a last breakfast together Olff and Inga headed back to Hamburg, while I first dropped Ack off at the train station and picked up Philip for four duo concerts in Belgium and Holland. All four concerts were sold out and so much fun – this duo is really strong, and it feels so organic playing with Philip. He is completely unpredictable and always swings so hard, and he uses his effect pedal with so much taste and musicality…I just absolutely love every minute of our time together.

In Zeist/Holland we were joined by pianist Bert van den Brink, who used to accompany Toots Thielemans and happened to be blind. He has played many of Philip's compositions over the years so that he was able to blend in effortlessly – it felt like we had been playing together for years!

I’m always impressed by the number of jazz clubs and theaters in this relatively small country in towns like Sinkt-Niklaas, Oudenaarde, and Comines. I love taking walks, exploring the architecture of some of those old city centers. How about this building, the town hall of Oudenarde, which was built from 1526 to 1537:
It looks like I will be seeing Philip and Ack again, soon: Ack was invited to do a 90th birthday concert at the “Theaterhaus Jazztage” in Stuttgart, Germany in April of 2020, and he wants to present this trio…

November 22nd: Hofstra Bass Ensemble and Chamber Choir

I’ve been on the faculty at Hofstra University now for almost a decade and initiated a bass ensemble there about 7 years ago. Once a week, all of my private students get together, no matter if they are jazz majors, classical bassists or electric bass – playing music biz majors. Over the years I’ve written many arrangements and several original compositions for the ensemble, some of which are published on "What If Music" – check out http://martinwind.com/blog/.
Towards the end of each semester we demonstrate the fruits of our labor as part of Music 20 concerts, which are mendatory events for all music majors. This semester’s demonstration came up just a few days ago on
Friday, November 22nd at 3:05 pm at the Lowe Theater on the South Campus of Hofstra University. We performed an arrangement of one of my students, Jason Flores, of John Williams movie themes, as well as a new piece of mine entitled “Piece for Bass Ensemble No. 2: I’d rather eat”.
 
Here is a video of the world premier of my new piece:
Hofstra University Bass Ensemble "I'd Rather Eat"
Right on the heels of that my wife Maria and I went to hear our son Alexander perform with the Hofstra chamber choir under the direction of choral director Dr. Dave Fryling, a truly amazing educator and conductor.
 
Hearing this vocal group is what made Alexander want to study at Hofstra in the first place, and it’s wonderful to seem him thrive in this ensemble.  

Here you can hear him sing "For the flowers are great blessings" from Benjam Britten's "Rejoice the Lamb" at the Cathedral of the Incarnation in Garden City, New York:
Hofstra chamber choir under the direction of choral director Dr. Dave Fryling. Alexander Wind, soloist.

Kennedy Center Honors 2019

On Wednesday, December 4 I will be heading down to Washington, D.C. again for my fifth consecutive Kennedy Center Honors event. This year the honorees are singer Linda Ronstadt, actress Sally Field, conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, the soul/funk band Earth, Wind and Fire, as well as the television show Sesame Street!

I always enjoy my walks through the city, the museum visits and hangs at my friend Robert Wiedmaier's restaurant "Marcel's" across the street from our hotel. Most likely I will be attending a concert of the National Symphony Orchestra again, as well.

Two December dates with Ann Hampton Callaway's "Tribute to Linda Ronstadt"

Since the Kennedy Center will be honoring Linda Ronstadt this year, singer Ann Hampton Callaway was invited to present her tribute show on the Millenium Stage on Thursday, December 5 at 6 pm - a rare opportunity to see this band for free! The second date will be at the Kravis Performing Arts Center in West Palm Beach on Thursday, December 18 at 11 am & 2 pm.
Here are the details:

Ann Hampton Callaway "Tribute to Linda Ronstadt" featuring Ann Hampton Callaway (vocals), Billy Stretch (piano, vocals), Bob Mann (guitar, background vocals) and Tim Horner (drums)

Thursday, December 5, 6 -7 pm: Kennedy Center, Millenium Stage
https://www.kennedy-center.org/Video/Performance/71431

Wednesday, December 18, 11 am and 2 pm: Kravis Center Dreyfoos Hall, West Palm Beach
https://www.kravis.org/events/callaway/

Last 2019 Gig in NYC: Carol Morgan Quartet feat. Joel Frahm and Matt Wilson on December 13

Unless I get a last-minute offer, my last 2019 gig in town will be a hit with this killing quartet of trumpeter
Carol Morgan, that features saxophonist Joel Frahm and Matt Wilson. We did a couple of recordings with this group, but have not played together in a while, so it should be exciting.
 
Stop by before or after your Christmas shopping!
Friday, December 13, 6 – 8:30 pm: Fat Cat, 75 Christopher Street at 7th Ave, NYC
http://www.fatcatmusic.org/music4.html
 
_______________________

The last couple of months have been incredibly intense between traveling, teaching, and preparing for concerts and recordings. This time of the year is usually most musicians’ “crunch time”, and the length of this newsletter reflects that. I allowed myself to tie in a few last December activities and reconnect with you in January.
It’s been another exciting and productive year that I’m extremely thankful for!
 
Thanks also for your interest and support... and be well until 2020!
 
All the best,
 
Martin
Martin Wind - "Light Blue"
Available at martinwind.com/lightblue
Also available on Amazon.com  and  ITunes
Martin Wind Quartet "Turn Out the Stars"
Available on ITunes,Amazon.com
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