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Midsummer Recap

I’m finally able to catch my breath for a day so I thought I’d let everyone know a little of what I’ve been up to this summer!

June kicked off with the Great Bear Groove in Oswego, NY – an amazing contradance weekend right near Lake Ontario, where I had a great time sitting in with the Great Bear Trio and other awesome guests. Here’s a video from that:

A week later I went to the inaugural Miles of Music camp in New Hampshire. It was an incredible 6 days of explosively creative and kind people on a heavenly island with hardly any power, no phones, and no internet. The experience really changed my life and I can’t wait to go back next year.

Doesn't get much better than this

The following week I was back in New York and helped to produce the Undead Jazz Festival with Search & Restore. It was by far the largest event we’ve ever undertaken, with 120 artists in 13 venues over four days. There were more magical music moments than I can count. Some of my favorites were the Andrew D’Angelo Big Band, the Dave King Trucking Company, the night of round robin duets at the Bell House, and seeing one of my favorite bands – Jeremy Udden’s Plainville – with one of my favorite musicians – Ryan Scott – filling in for the night. In a skate park, at 2am. Mindblowing.

Directly after that I made a surprise trip to Ashokan Western & Swing Week, which was a blast and a chance to play a lot more clarinet than I normally would without being forced. Ashokan has really become a family to me and it was great to see some people I only get to spend time with once or twice a year.

From Ashokan I went to Ithaca to lay for a few days, eat good food and swim by waterfalls. After a slight recharge I went into the studio with the Andrew & Noah Band at Electric Wilburland outside Ithaca. It’s an incredible space – an old country church that’s been converted into a state of the art studio. We stayed in an apartment in the basement and did nothing but record, eat, and sleep for 5 days. It was tense at times but I’m extremely proud of the music that we made and can’t wait to share it with the world! The album is scheduled to be our in early 2012.

Finally, I got to come back to NYC for about 4 days which was spent doing nothing but playing and seeing shows, a couple 12 hour video editing shifts in preparation for Search & Restore’s website relaunch, and sleeping on friends couches and floors, before heading BACK upstate for the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival. I had the extreme honor of playing with Chas Justus’ Western Swing Kings. Chas is one of my favorite musicians in the world from Lafayette Louisiana’s Red Stick Ramblers (who I also got to sit in with two nights!!) and the Western Swing Band had an amazing cast of musicians from New York and Louisiana. Hope we get to get the band together again soon! I got to see some of my great friends I met at Miles of Music who came down from Montreal, and met some new friends that will surely have a lasting impact on my life!

One person I met at Grey Fox in particular led me into a serendipitous course of events that have since become my next adventure! But that deserves it’s own post, later this week.

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