Portbou - Bryce Dessner
Happy Spring and almost summer! It's bee a busy and wonderfully musical last few months.
One of the highlights had to be premiering Bryce Dessner's Quintet for High Strings at the 92 Y on May 10 with the incredible St. Lawrence Quartet. I look forward to recording the stunning work with he quartet sometime next season. It was a night to remember for sure with so many friends, family, students and mentors in the audience.
Before the May 10 concert my daughter Mitsuko Verdery, co-fonder of the Michiyaya Dance company decided to shoot a video with one of her core dancers Belinda Adam. The piece is Bryce's gorgeous solo guitar piece Portbou. I hope you enjoy this unusual video and the music itself. Portbou has quite a history and if you have a minute, google it and you will get more of a sense of the piece and our video.
I'm happy to say that the Canadian Publishing company Doberman-Yipan released my solo arrangement of Amazing Grace which can be heard on my CD Branches. The next work scheduled for publication is Tread Softly For You Tread on My Dreams.
In the last few weeks I have played at 3 different High Schools who all have wonderful guitar programs led by excellent and very giving guitar teachers. The first one was the Heritage High School in Brooklyn where classical guitarist James Miller leads the program, the next was Bayonne High School in New Jersey where the wonderful finger style player Vin Downes is the teacher and now I am residence at the Wagner High School where Jazz guitarist Joe Maniscalco is the teacher. Both at Bayonne and Wagner, I not only played but got to teach and work with the students in among other things group improvisations.
I will be playing and conducting Joe's students in a final concert on Wednesday June 6.
I must say with all of the world's troubles it has been a joy working with and playing for these students. They are lucky to have inspirational and devoted teachers. The students have all been a joy to play for and to interact with.It is once again a testimony to the importance of music in schools.
After Wagner I'm off to Simon Powis's fabulous class. Check the Where's Ben Page and if you are near come on by!!!
Until the next time!!
Peace, Love and guitars!!!