Archive for the 'Workshops' Category

Touring, recording, summer workshops and more.

Monday, May 7th, 2012

The tour with Landmarc in EU was very successful and we had a ball. The band sounded so great, what a line-up. To check out the vibe please go to Jazzgallery and click on the video page, there you see a great sample of our playing plus an interview hosted by written in music.

The second article on the quest for the best live mic for saxophone is out and can be read in Matthew’s recordinghacks, a great site if you would like to stay up to date with the latest in sound-production. This article features the condenser microphones and it includes samples which is pretty hip. Next is an article on ribbon microphones. Should be out in the end of June.

At the moment I am on the road with the sextet of Amina Figarova. It is a working band that sticks together, and you can hear it. The band is great live and the new release “Twelve” just came out and sounds amazing, also thanks to Systems Two Recording Studio in Brooklyn. I have done many recordings there, I love that place, they are the best. This is the first time I got to work with Max, the engineer and apprentice of Mike. He killed it, both with Max or Mike you can’t go wrong.

I will be back in Copenhagen for the festival in July, a yearly tradition, and I can’t wait to play with Nikolaj Hess, he always cooks up a great line-up and a lot of playing.

I am also involved in two summer workshops, the improv/composition intensive which I do together with Tim Horner (NYJW). It will be held around the corner of Times Square. And I am equally excited about Hudson Jazzworks, a great retreat in the Hudson Area where 10 extremely talented students come together to play and learn. This program is associated with the conservatory of Amsterdam, Copenhagen and the MSM in Manhattan. If you are interested in signing up now would be a good time.

I was contacted by Stephen Bett, a great poet from Canada. He wrote a fantastic poem inspired by my music and it will be published titled: Sound Off: a book of jazz. Here is the pod-cast of the poem.
Poem written by Stephen Bett, inspired by music of Marc Mommaas

I am very excited about this. I have had a few experiences in which there was a cross-over between different art-forms. I wrote an essay on Jazz for a publication named “brilliant corners’ and I recently did a gig in Mexico where they and video behind the band which was spectacular. I hope to get more opportunities in that direction.

Another first; I had a great concert in Arnhem and the booker came with the idea to hang up the Jazz collection of my father, a fantastic painter. It was amazing. We had the paintings on chairs on the side of the stage, and it was as if the whole Jazz history was present in the room. I had Elvin and Trane on top in the middle, couldn’t help myself. Plus, my father past away in 2007. To have his work in the room was fantastic.

And a small word about New Orleans. I just played there at the festival and still miss the food. Nothing short to spectacular. A great vibe and I think it is save to say that New Orleans is back on their feet and cookin’ with gas.

Summer workshops, Teaching and the Copenhagen Jazz Festival

Friday, June 24th, 2011

The blog was off line for a minute, but thanks to earthlinks tech support I am back. A lot of news for July and August.

The 5th annual Hudson Jazz Works (intensive four day program) which will be held in August is completely booked. We have students from all over the world, and we were able to offer some grants that we received from Ton Kooiman Ergonomics, The Bank of Green and Green Arts. This is very exciting, we have the highest level of students we have ever had plus we have a special guest, the great Vic Juris, whom you might know of my latest release Landmarc or from the Dave Liebman group. Included in the program will be a Concert and open Masterclass, if you would like to attend and hang out for a day in Hudson NY let me know, then I will give you directions. Its worth it, plus, there is an amazing coffee/espresso place on the main street, very important.

New York Jazz Workshop has also been working very hard on a summer summit series. It’s the third year and we offer four courses, a Improv.Comp course given by yours truly, a guitar course by Vic, a vocal course by Fay Victor and a Rhythm course by Tony Moreno. They are all amazing musicians, world reknown, and need little introduction. If you don’t know them, look them up. These courses are spread out over July and August and located in Midtown Manhattan and there are still spots available. Let me know if you are interested, I highly recommend any of these courses.

So teaching, these last two months have been a lot about teaching and it got me in a new learning cycle. I picked up a book named ‘Just play naturally’ by Vivian Mackie. She is a cellist who studied directly with Pablo Casals, one of my hero’s. This was recommended to me by a great  Alexander technique teacher, Beret Arcaya, whom I met through a student of mine who is going through some physical issues. Mackie made the correlation between the teachings of Casals and Alexander technique. An inspiring book, especially the first half (published by Duende Editions).

The second book I picked up is the famous study of counterpoint by Johann Joseph Fux’s ‘Gradus Ad Parnassum’ (published by Norton Publishing). It is blowing me away, what a fantastic work, heard about it through the years but never really gotten to it. No wonder Mozart, Back, Handle, Beethoven, Listz etc. studied out of this book. And I love the introduction, that alone is worth the whole book.

And…..I will be back at the Copenhagen Jazz Festival, in a week. I will be playing there 5 nights in a row with great pianist and friend Nikolaj Hess, man, can’t wait. Plus, there is an amazing coffee place on Jeagerbrogade, they won first price in a world competition and burn the beans on the spot. Very hip.

Well, on a general note, I am dedicated in my music to move deeper and closer to the essence of what needs to be played, an ongoing life long quest, but something I will have in front of every note and rest.

Andrew Hill project, NYJW student concert and the 55bar with Tony Moreno.

Friday, December 10th, 2010

We had a ball at the Stone, Landmarc sounded as great as ever and the new suite written when I was stuck in Copenhagen due to the volcano action is taking shape. I am highly anticipating a four page article written in Jazz NL about my music. I should have the copy in the mail soon, they named Landmarc the best release of 2010.

NYJW will have its student concert Sunday the 12th at Boom NYC (152 Spring str. starting 5:30pm). All the workshops will perform and the faculty will round of the night with some music. If you are interested in joining a workshop this would be the night to check out.

Whats new next week? A great performance on December 15 with the Andrew Hill project lead by Ron Horton and Tim Horner. Its an all-star formation plus fantastic arrangements, always great to play with this group. (Brooklyn Jazz Wide Open, 622 DeGraw St. betw. 3rd and 4th Ave, 10pm). And I again have the pleasure to perform with Tony Moreno at the 55bar on Dec.23, all his music.

January 2011 will be great, playing a duo concert at the Kitano, a Global Motion concert at the Corneliastreet Café, and with Amina figarova at the Zinc Bar, a true NYC month. In February back on the road in Europe.

George Weins’ New Port Jazz Festival, Workshops and Bob Bowen

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

The New Port Jazz Festival was amazing to say the least. What an experience to play on the main stage, watching the boats floating by in the background, feeling jazz history under your feet, flashbacks of all the great live recordings that came from this festival, Trane in ’61 just to name one. George Wein who founded the festival in 1954 is still going strong and very much in charge, fantastic.

The 4th annual Hudson Jazz Works was again a great success and may I say probably the best year so far. The level of students was high, they were very dedicated, worked hard and gave a great concert at the Hudson Opera House with guest Jim McNeely. Talking about Jim McNeely, I had the pleasure to play a duo piece with him at this concert. Most of you might know him as an incredible arranger but he also is an amazing pianist. People that have witnessed him perform at the Vanguard Orchestra know what I am talking about. When I asked him what he would like to play he said, give me a minute, and wrote out a complete tune, we performed it 15 minutes later. It was very special, also because he was the pianist of Stan Getz for a very long time. I felt Getz presence in the room through McNeely’s playing. A beautiful experience.

New York jazz Workshop is going strong. This year we had three successful summer workshops, the guitar workshop with Vic Juris, vocals with Fay Victor and an improv workshop with yours truly and Tim Horner. Tim Horner gave an one hour history lesson on swing feel, never heard it quit like that before and should be heard by every aspiring jazzmusician. The regular Tuesday night class is a lot of fun and two more classes are in the making, a blues workshop and a rhythm/mixed meter workshop, talking about constrasts. Very exciting.

The summer teaching is over, but just to let you know, in December I will be doing a masterclass/presentation with Tony Moreno on rhythm followed by one set of music of Landmarc. John Zorn kindly offered me a spot on the 6th of December at the Stone. Please stop by if you are in the neighborhood. And on that note, if you are in NYC show your support to the Stone, a great location kept alive by volunteers and a lot of love for the music, and musically not afraid to let go of any boundaries.

Three recordings that I am on are out or about to come out. The long anticipated recording by my great friend Doug Beavers, trombone player and arranger, who recorded a nine piece band. The recording was done a couple of years ago, glad to see that its out. He will be having a CD release concert at Yoshi’s in Oakland, Sept. 17. Amina Figarova’s record ‘Sketches’ is out and hits high in the jazz charts (didn’t even know that excisted) in the US. I will be touring with her in February, March and April 2011. And, Armen Donelians ‘the Poet” will be released soon. This recording is very special with a stellar group, Mike Moreno. Tyshawn Sorey, and Dean Johnson. Armen revived a tune of mine that I forgot about. It was a great honor to have it performed with these great musicians.

We lost a great spirit in the NYC jazz scene. Bob Bowen had a bicycle

accident, the damage was to severe and he passed away August 30th. I had the pleasure to work with him in the beginning of the 90’s, he was a great human being, always very positive and excited to get deep into the music and a great bass player always in for an adventure. He will be missed, my sincere condolence to his family.

Touring and Teaching

Monday, March 1st, 2010


This month I will be touring the US with the band of Amina Figarova, a sextet based in the Netherlands. I have been playing with them for the last three years whenever they are in the US which has been a great experience. It is quit amazing how Bart (a great flutist and organizer) pulls it all together, a testament to the power of persistence. The front line is flute – trumpet – tenor sax, a great sound and both Bart and Ernie (trumpet) are really making it work, great blend, all music written by Amina. I will also be recording with them in the end of March and believe it or not, the CD release will be in April at the Bimhuis in Amsterdam. Now, that is fast! I will be there to in April, coming from Copenhagen where I have a mini tour with Nikolaj Hess and Jens Skou Olsen. The first gig of the Amina tour will be on March 4th in Cleveland, Nighttown, one of my most favorite Jazz-clubs in the US. All new music, no rehearsal, going to be great.

It also needs mentioned that we will have four day hit in Chicago, at the Showcase. Now, when does that ever happen? That is a true luxury, man, the band is going to be killen’ by the time we get to the studio. Anybody knows a place to practice in Chicago?


On a teaching note, on March 22nd I will start of with an Improve series for beginners (7pm) and advanced (9pm).  Focus will be improve, composition and rhythm. If you are interested or you have a student that might benefit from this program please contact me. It is part of a series organized by New York Jazz Workshop.

Hudson Jazzworks – summer workshop 2010

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010


In 2007 Armen Donelian and I started the Hudson Jazzworks program which this year became a 501(3) non profit organization. It has been a great experience working together with Armen Donelian. Besides him being a great musician he is also a fantastic educator. It is not for nothing that he has been part of the New School faculty since the start of the program and you might know him from his ear training books published by Advanced music. I has been great to work with Armen and as a matter of fact I met him as a student at the Manhattan School of Music in 2000 where he presented a Chick Corea class.

 

This year is going to be the 4th annual workshop and there are as every year 10 positions available. Last year the special guest was Dave Liebman, ‘my man’ and also my former teacher, this year it will be Jim McNeely whom now that I think of it I also met as a student, at the Lake Placid Music Seminar in 1997.

 

We worked hard at our brand new website which was a labor of love.  If you are a student interested in the workshop, please go to the site and check it out. We are also looking for donations to support the program and set up a scholarship fund. And as always, suggestions are always welcome, I take any feedback I can get.

 

If you are a teacher and have talented students that might benefit from our program we would appreciate you pointing them in our direction. If you are a student and interested in our program visit:  www.hudsonjazzworks.org