It's been a great year so far. Back Home came out on March, 4th and it's been doing really well. Thanks a lot for your support.
On April the music from Back Home was performed by the Manhattan School of Music's Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra under the direction of Bobby Sanabria. The concert honored the music from DR and, specifically, honoring Tavito, Mario Rivera and Juan Colon. It was great hanging out with Bobby and the orchestra in NY.
Later in the month, Jeff Jarvis and USC's (Long Beach) Bob Cole Conservatory of Music Concert Jazz Orchestra performed a concert of my music.
Thanks Bobby and Jeff!
Over the summer my family and I went back home to the Dominican Republic. It was a family vacation trip but I had the chance to work, once again, with the National Conservatory of Music's Big Band, which is always a blast!!!
On this occasion I conducted a few of my pieces at the Santo Domingo Jazz Festival in Casa de Teatro. Great audience and a very fun show!
SG, Fernando Rodriguez & Javier Vargas en el soundcheck
I was honored with an invitation to perform my music with the band for a second time, on a pre-recorded show for CERTV, which is going to be on the air soon. It is a one-hour show with interviews and concert. Pretty fun!
Interviews/Talks: I was also interviewed for the TV show Cita Cultural with Yanela Hernadez Cedeño and Guillermo Ricart. Very cool interview that was organized by an old friend and producer of the show, Laura Guzman.
I also did an interview/talk about Back Home for the the radio show Musica Maestro with Alexis Mendez. Thanks Alexis for your huge support.
On August 15th, I was back in the country to perform with the Socrates Garcia Latin Jazz Orchestra on the Restauracion Jazz Festival, organized by Skip Productions and Ivan Fernandez. I was accompanied by a combination of professional musicians such as bassist Ramon Vasquez, Felix Garcia (el Abuelo), Rafaelito Diaz, Junior Sanchez, Francis, and students from the conservatory. This time around we also had Brad Goode and Ryan Middagh, members of the SGLJO in the US. It was great to have these guys in my country for a few days.
Brad also performed with his quartet (Dominican version) and with the great Cuban pianist Ernan Lopez-Nussa. The venue couldn't have been better, the first fortress in America, La Fortaleza Ozama (1502). Thanks to Ivan and his team, and also to Javielo for making it possible.
It's an honor and a privilege to share the stage with so many great musicians. It is also a humbling experience every time.
In action at the Restauracion International Jazz Festival
A view from the side
Brad Goode w/Samuel Atizol (p), Ramon Vasquez (b) and Otoniel Nicolas (d)
SG, Brad, Ryan on at the airport in DR on our way back
I also had the chance to visit with family and friends including a short visit to Juan Luis Guerra's home, which made my daughter very happy as he is one of her idols.
Garcias and JLG
In all, it's been a crazy year (hasn't stopped yet). Back Home is getting spins internationally in Australia, Colombia, Peru, US, and DR. I'm pretty happy with the reception the album has received, which makes me want to work harder on the next one.
Thanks to each one of the people that has helped me this year so far. Too many to mention but you know who you are.
For now, Blessings to all and see you soon!