Hello from New York City, where I am performing with the Paul Winter Consort at the 29th annual Winter Solstice Concerts in the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. The first performance occurred last night before a sold-out audience of over 3000. It was great to perform with fellow percussionists Jamey Haddad and Cafe. I first met Jamey in Australia in 1988 when we were both touring with the World Drum Festival directed by NEXUS member, John Wyre. In the concerts this year, Jamey is playing drum kit, frame drums, and assorted Brazilian percussion. This is the first time I have heard Cafe play; he is a great master of Brazilian percussion and his musicianship is totally inspiring. His conga time is awesome.
The 2008 Solstice Concerts continue to feature Paul Winter and his beautiful soprano saxophone sound, along with the fabulous musicians in the Consort – Paul McCandless (oboe and bass clarinet), Eugene Friesen (cello), Paul Sullivan (keyboards), Eliot Wadopian (Bass), and Tim Brumfield (cathedral organ). Also featured are Renato Braz (vocals and guitar), Alessandra Vilhena (vocals) and Tersa Thomason (vocals).
My association with Paul Winter extends back into the early 1970s, and I have performed with the Consort periodically many times since then, including several Solstice events in the years since I left the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra.
To my surprise, in the audience last night were a number of friends, including Michael Rosen, who is on a leave of absence from his teaching responsibilities at Oberlin.
There are three more performances remaining – one tonight (even with the snow storm that is happening as I write) and two on Saturday.