Its that time of year to reflect on another years music making; and sitting here in the howling gales of Snowdonia, I’m aware of another brilliantly fortunate 12 months of artistic activity, not without its own challenges and losses.
Highlights were definitely traveling to the US in February to perform in an improvised project with Mat Maneri, Tanya Kalmanovitch and Peter Herbert, spending 4 days on an early music project in April at the stunning Teatro San Carlo in Naples, and having the opportunity to create and present two brand new original projects. Tails for Wales, featured my old friend Mark Lockheart, and toured in March 2014. Do not Gentle (with Iain Ballamy, Steve Watts and Martin France) formed part of the DT100 festival celebrating the centenary of Poet Dylan Thomas and was performed at Brecon Jazz and Bangor University. Internationally, I had some great gigs with Quercus and Maria Pia de Vito and played in Italy, Germany, Austria, Poland, Ireland, Portugal, Tunisia as well as the UK and USA. Also had some great fun playing accordion (bit of a break from the day job!) on Christine Tobin’s brilliant Leanoard Cohen project A Thousand Kisses Deep
In Wales, I continued to present music / projects at smaller venues (such as Blue Sky Cafe in Bangor and Dempseys in Cardiff as well as developing and furthering collaborations with musicians such as Huw V Williams, Maria Lamburn, Zoot Warren, Neil Yates, Ed Holden and visual artist Catrin Williams. I also had the chance to write a new large scale piece for Brass Band and Improvising soloists. On the other Hand was performed in July by the National Youth Brass Band of Wales with soloists Percy Purseglove and Gethin Liddington. Its also been a busy year at RWCMD where the jazz dept is going from strength to strength. As ever, I really enjoying working with the students there, and am proud of some of the results coming out, whether it is individual musicians or ensembles such as James Clark’s Lonely Hearts Rugby Clwb.
2015 looks like being a year of recordings – starting almost immediately with me helping to produce an album of original and interesting music by ex student Huw V Williams. Hon should be out later in the year – keep an eye out for it!
Some exciting other releases on the way too – Looking forward to be able to tell you all about them! Looking forward also to having a new record of my music out there this year as well. All news will be on the website, so keep a lookout….
Gigwise,Quercus will be out on the road again, more trips to Italy and beyond with Maria Pia de Vito, and more dates with Tales for Wales, Iain Ballamy and my new TRio Brasil featuring Dudley Phillips and Zoot Warren.
As ever, thanks to everyone who has played, attended, listened, comissioned and supported the music in 2014. I look forward to seeing you out there in 2015 – whether its Palermo, Peterborough or Colwyn Bay!