So…..a lot has been going on and I've been really busy with some pretty interesting projects.
I finally got around to editing and mixing the last of my Power Of A Paradiddle instructional videos so you can view Part 4 of this series now. I've started work on my next crop of exciting tuitional videos so watch this space!
Over the last year I've continued touring with Il Divo (as Musical Director as well as on drums). It's been an extensive series of shows covering Europe, the USA and Canada, Mexico, Japan, S.E. Asia, Russia and the Baltic Sates. It also meant I got the chance to work with some fantastic singers who came in as guest artists for gigs promoting the band's most recent album 'A Musical Affair'.
The first vocalist was the Grammy and Tony Award winning Heather Headley, an absolutely phenomenal artist who joined the band for a run of shows at the Marquis Theatre on Broadway in New York. She has previously stared in the musicals 'The Lion King' and 'The Bodyguard' among others.
Lea Salonga is another wonderful performer, a musical theatre veteran and winner of Tony, Olivier and Drama Desk awards. She's appeared in numerous productions on Broadway and in the West End including Miss Saigon, and Les Miserables. She joined the Il Divo guys for the bulk of the 2014 tour and gave stunning performances throughout.
Lastly, Mazz Murray joined the tour for limited run of gigs in autumn 2014. She's another accomplished artist who's musical theatre credits include We Will Rock You, Fame, Rent and Chicago.
Since the last update I got the opportunity to work with a wonderful pair of jazz saxophonists. First up was Grammy nominee Gerald Albright and most recently the fantastic Euge Groove. Both experiences were awesome and proved to be stiff challenges which really kept me on my toes.
Lastly, I recorded and produced an EP for a good friend and fine vocalist Cal-i Muirhead.
He’ll be releasing the project very soon…
Here's a selection of some of music I've been listening to:
Snarky Puppy - 'We Like It Here'
I got introduced to these guys a while ago by a drummer friend and have got further and further sucked in to their world as time has gone on. I quickly realised I was not alone in my new-found obsession. They're a great set of musicans playing mostly original jazz compositions that have influences from several other genres. Starting out with an underground following they've grown hugely in popularity culminating in winning a Grammy award in 2104. They record their albums completely live (with no overdubs), usually to small intimate audiences.
On 'We Like It Here', the final track 'Lingus' has one of the most ridiculously awesome keyboard solos I've ever heard.
If you haven't already, just check this out…
Sia - 1000 Forms Of Fear
This is an artist I only came across very recently (summer 2014) despite the fact this is her 6th solo album. She's got the combination of a great quirky yet soulful voice and the album is full of brilliantly produced and well written tracks, the biggest hit so far being 'Chandelier'. I'm sure I'll be playing this collection of songs for a while to come.
Lastly…my 5 year old daughter always dictates the music played in my car when I drive her to school (her mother tends to take control on other journeys as the repetition drives her nuts!!). As a result, during the limited periods I've spent at home since my last update, any one of the following 3 albums are guaranteed to be playing weekdays between 8.30 to 8.50am and then again from 3 to 3.45pm….she just refuses to get bored with these tracks!
Taylor Swift - '1989'
Ariana Grande - ‘My Everything’
Pharell Williams - 'GIRL'