orquestra gardel

GarDel at Spring Shakori '08; photo credit Jeff Fowler

I feel like my life has been on fast forward with no pause to breathe over these past three weeks.  Upon returning from the Kennedy Center residency and concerts, I dove into rehearsals for Orquesta GarDel and The Beast,  founded and performed with a dream project of mine, a live electronica quartet (great first show, guys! let’s do it again soon!), as well as helped Zenph Studios finish up our third album (Rachmaninoff), annnnnd filed the dreaded income taxes.

But it is all worth it because this weekend is the Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival of Music and Dance.  Every time I come to this festival as a performer, I am energized by the positive, appreciative vibe of the attendees, campers, and volunteers.  Being surrounded by woods with no internet is also invigorating, of course.  This festival marks some firsts for me:

1. Orquesta GarDel will be unveiling an original song (one of many to come) as well as a re-vamped stage show (Thursday 10:45pm Dance Tent)

2. Not only will The Beast be playing (Saturday 5:20pm Meadow Stage), but also giving two workshops about harnessing the power of creativity through understanding the story of African-American music, as well as hosting a jam session for teenagers.  I am really looking forward to seeing who shows up and contributes to these experiences.

3. This is the first Beast show to feature a live horn section (featuring my great friends, Andy Kleindienst and Tim Smith, both also in GarDel).  I wrote the charts late last night, we rehearsed today, it really gives a new element to the show.

4. Lauren (my fiancée, I will do a separate post about how awesome and wonderful and amazing she is and how we are totally pumped that we’ve got a wedding date on the calendar) and I are camping overnight.  So long taxes, hello vegan food, campfires, ponchos, and hula hoopers!

Day and weekend passes are still available at the Shakori website.  Come find me and say hello!