GOP FIRST-EVER EAST COAST CAMPAIGN A SUCCESS!
Complete pictures here. Great On Paper started rehearsing at the Sun residence in NJ on Tuesday the 11th, hit The Jazz Gallery (NYC) on the 13th, then continued on to Wally's Café Jazz Club (Boston), Bohemian Caverns (DC), Tumulty's Pub (New Brunswick, NJ), and Twins Jazz (DC, again, but as the headliner).
It was a lot of driving, but we got fine mileage in my folks' good, old 2005 Honda Odyssey.
[Pictured: esteemed bassist Simón, assuming the intergig position]
It was our way of celebrating 10 years of this minivan, and we had a smooth ride up and down the East Coast until the very last 50 miles of the tour:
At about 3 a.m. on Thursday the 20th, as we were pulling off the New Jersey Turnpike on the way home from the last gig of the run, we noticed a loud rumbling from the back of the car. We pulled over to the shoulder and were tasked with figuring out the spare wheel storage in the Honda, which is a little trickier than in other cars I've been in.
Of course, the millennial response was to document this moment in a video on Instagram, in which you can see our initial trepidation and ultimate triumph (beware: adult language).
Aside from performing at a few venues, we had the pleasure of teaching an hour-long clinic at my high school alma mater about the functioning of and interaction within a typical jazz quartet.
[FYI: There were eventually more people in the audience than pictured]
Two short videos from the set-up: "Not Quite My Tempo," and "Swing."
All in all, the campaign was an affirmation that sharing the music with people in the same room is really what it's about. We also ended up about breaking even, miraculously, and got to try out some new music as we continue to expand the band's book.
And some of you might be wondering about the GOP album in the works; I've been in touch with a head of a small jazz label and it looks like we're in the preliminary stages of getting it ready for an early spring 2016 release.
So, yes, it's going to happen one way or another, and you folks who backed us up before there was even really anything to back up—we'll be sending some music your way likely this winter!
In the meantime, I'm off to Beijing for six weeks to immerse myself in some self-directed Mandarin study and try to make the hang a bit on the jazz scene there [as you read this, I'll already be on the plane or even off of it]. I may also make a trip to Shanghai at some point as well. I haven't confirmed that I'll be able to use my regular email address, but feel free to reach out to me at the following temporary email: thekevinsun [at] hotmail [dot] com. I'll also be using WeChat on the regular over there, which appears to be the dominant messaging application in China, so same deal: I'm at "thekevinsun."
Looking ahead, GOP will likely be back in NYC at some point late fall/early winter for another gig, perhaps also in Boston, and I'm planning on moving to NYC some time after returning from China and decompressing a bit in New Jersey.
Things are pretty loose and open at the moment; I've been told from some elders that this uncertainty is something to savor, rather than try to iron out as soon as possible, so I'm trying to enjoy the ride as I continue in a state of perpetually-figuring-it-out. Thanks again for all your continued support, and I'll see you on the other side.