Videos From My Music Masterclass

09.19.2014

Here’s a link to a series of webisodes I did for MyMusicMasterclass.com. Here, you will get a chance to see how I work on and develop groove ideas in a more Jazz/Fusion setting, as well as how I approach the various techniques and means for playing metal with such bands as Resolution 15, Hung, Alekhine’s Gun, Imperial Triumphant, and more! Check out the previews below and if you enjoy the snippets, then below each video is a link to where you can either stream or download the videos. I hope they are useful and helpful!

My Music Masterclass Video 1, Groove Building and Improvisation

My Music Masterclass Video 2, Technique and Approach to Blast Beats

 

In Between Tours

09.19.2014

Greetings,

Though it’s been a while, I hope this message has found you in a good headspace and thanks for coming back to the site, or for those visiting for the first time, should that be the case. Although being on tour is wonderful, engaging experience-most of the time-this last week being home has been truly cathartic. The EU/Siberia/Tel Aviv tour with Secret Chiefs 3 went rather well, despite several injuries plaguing the band. For anyone who has seen some of the videos from the recent tour, you can see Trey walking about in crutches. Well, the truth is that he broke his foot as soon as we landed in Siberia. Needless to say, it made touring slightly more difficult, but SC3 is ensemble of people who can get themselves out of or deal with difficult situations. All in all, the shows were wonderfully attended and we all had a great time making music together again across the pond.

In the meantime, Dapp Theory is getting ready to perform this coming Tuesday, Sept 23rd, at The Iridium Jazz Club in Times Square in conjunction with the release of our newest album, ‘Forward In All Directions‘. (Click the link for the album preview! woohoo media!) We will be playing two sets, of which the first set is already sold out, so in leu of this, Iridium will be waiving the first 30 admissions to the second set, first come first served naturally. If you’re in town you will not want to miss this show. We will also be joined by special guest Ben Monder . Afterwards, we will be going out for a couple of shows throughout the US, listed in my Itinerary, but we will be playing at The Blue Room in Kansas City, MO on sept 27th, The Velvet Note in Alpharetta, GA on Sept 28th, and Blue Whale in Los Angeles, CA on sept 30th. If you’re out in those areas it would be great to have you!

Soon after the Dapp Theory stint is concluded and a brief hang in LA happens, I will then head out to meet up with the guys in SC3 for the start of our North America Tour! We will start in Canada and work our way back into the US and going until Nov 8th. I am in the process of updating this site with the show details, so all show details will be available here, but for those burning to know, you can check out Windish Agency for a list of tour dates.

Thanks for checking in and hopefully I’ll have some more news for you all, especially concerning my solo album(s), as well as tracking for Victor Papo Ortiz’ upcoming solo album. I just got an update as to the personnel for the session and it’s going to be pretty nuts! More news on that soon, but till then, be well and blessings!

cheers,

kenny

 

A Slight Family Vacation TBT

06.05.2014

Greetings,

Since I’ve been away on vacation (incase you were wondering why there have been Zero updates or gigs listed, now you know) post-Secret Chiefs 3 tour in Sao Paulo, Brazil, I’ve had the chance to fly down to Florida to visit some family, mostly with my grand parents and many of my nephews. It’s been a surreal experience, but an incredibly fun and positive one. Hopefully next time, I will have more then a couple days to see family and have a vacation! But more importantly, I’m updating the site to let you all know that I’m still alive and kicking and that I will be back in the northeast performing again on June 7th with Blackened Death Metaler’s Imperial Triumphant at Backroom Studios in New Jersey (see the Itinerary for more info), followed by a few performances with Dapp Theory, the Ze Luis Quartet, and Resolution 15’s newly created chamber ensemble, Seven Suns.

In other news, we will soon be wrapping up tracking for the new Imperial Triumphant album, who have recently been signed to Italian record label Code666, having done the tracking at drummer Alex Cohen’s new studio (Drummer for Pyrrhon & Malignancy). It was the flagship recording for the studio, and is looking like many more tracks and albums will be made there as well, including drum tracking for my upcoming solo projects, so stay tuned for future updates on that business venture!

Lastly, in the spirit of The Throwback of Thursday, here’s a video from last year’s concert in Puerto Rico with my grandfather, Bobby Cruz, for the Richie Ray & Bobby Cruz 50th anniversary concert that took place at El Coliseo in San Juan, PR. It has been posted before, but this video, as well as that night, holds a special place in my heart. A truly family affair, and thinking of how life has turned out, not just personally but for my family as well, it was a wonderful celebration of life, music and achievement. I hope you enjoy this snippet and till next time, be well and see you soon!

Cheers,
kenny

The May 2014 Brief Rainy Day Update

04.30.2014

Hey Folks,
I know some of you were planning on coming out tonight to the Richard Padron Trio show at Terraza 7, but it would appear that due to weather we are postponing tonight’s show to a later date, aka, CANCELLED. Our apologies for this, but we look forward to presenting this music to you on a clearer, safer night. We are looking to record this summer at Richard Padrón’s personal studio, so be on the look out for a new album coming out later this year and a new date for tonight’s cancellation!

Thanks for checking in and if you are in New Jersey tomorrow, I’ll be performing with Joe Deninzon’s Stratospheerius @ The Saint. We’ll be going on at 9pm tomorrow night in Ashbury Park, New Jersey and would love to see you there!
Stratospheerius

In the meanwhile, I’ll be getting ready to head down to Brazil with Secret Chiefs 3 for a few last-minute concerts:
SESC Ribeirão Preto
http://www.sescsp.org.br/programacao/33625_SECRET+CHIEFS+3+EUA#/content=saiba-mais

So, if you’re in Riberirao Preto, Sao Paulo, come through! This will be my first time ever in Brazil, and I can’t think of a better group of musicians to share the experience with! We will be announcing more Brazil shows/dates as those begin to materialize.

That is all for an update, back to finishing drum parts for the new resolution15 song that we are working on and hoping to have released by the end of this month, since I have the night off. But check in as I may have some more announcements concerning new Dapp Theory shows and a record release date (Oh Yes, after almost three years, the record is finally coming out!), the newIMPERIAL TRIUMPHANT, our flagship recording studio-debut from Alex Cohen’s new home recording studio, as well as tracking drums for some of my solo material. No pressure there. 
So as always, many thanks to all of you for checking in from time to time, Bosphorus Cymbals for the excellent plates, and stay tuned…

#ThingsToCome #TheAberration #TheAtavist #TechnologicalRequesite

cheers,
kenny

Secret Chiefs 3 This Week & Feeling Nostalgic

04.09.2014

Greetings,

The video below is from my first ever tour with Secret Chiefs 3, live in Paris, France on Dec 1st, 2012. Here’s a live video of the entire concert. The ending is priceless and my knees will never forget it! It’s not often that Trey Spruance throws cymbal stands on top of you…

When I came home from this tour, I was changed, emotionally and spiritually. Ifelt as though I entered a new phase in life, that the clouds lifted, and I once again felt refocused and reconnected to music. I also then recieved an email from Bosphorus Cymbals, asking me to join their ranks and I said “yes.” It’s been getting better and better ever since 
I post this because today, all the NYC members of #SC3 will be headed to the Bay Area for a special concert in Santa Cruz, performing some new material by violinist Timba Harris, as well as some classic repertoire, all with Chamber Orchestra accompaniment. We will also be recording some new music while we’re all together. I’m bring the Pearl Eliminators, so you can guess as to what kind of music will be recorded…
See you soon Cali!

John Zorn’s ‘Psycho Magia’ Out Today!

02.18.2014

It is Official:

Abraxas has completed it’s first ever tour of Europe and without a doubt I can safely say it was a great success! As a band, we grew together musically and were able to take the music into all sorts of new directions and explorations of the Book of Angels album, as well as performing some of the newer Psycho Magia material. All in all, the audiences were incredible and the venues were wonderfully accommodating… We simply could not have asked for a better first tour! In light of all this, I am happy to announce the official release of our newest work, John Zorn’s ‘Psycho Magia’, a piece inspired by the works of Giordano Bruno and Alejandro Jodorowski. It is a much different album than the BoA:19 album, but one that I’m sure will please any fan of John Zorn’s work or that of our band’s work. If you haven’t heard it yet, here’s a sample of the song ‘The Four Rivers,’ with a video by our very own Aram Bajakian!


If you haven’t picked up a copy, you can do so at either the Tzadik website, or check it out online at Amazon/iTunes/etc…

I hope this message finds you all well, and I look forward to seeing you all very soon! Look for Abraxas at this year’s Zorn Marathon in Adelaide, Australia, as well as at Town Hall on March 19th for the premier of John Zorn’s Book 3!

Cheers,

kenny

ESPN & Abraxas’ First Ever EU Tour!

02.04.2014

Greetings,

I know for many of you it is quite rare that I would post Twice in one week, but considering how busy it’s been and how fast everything has been moving, this was simply the only way to keep everyone informed (and to keep this site relevant!)


Though the Superbowl came and went, I actually got to be a part of this year’s big game in a indirect manner. I recently had the opportunity to once again to work with long-time colleague Daniel Roumain (also known as “DBR”), on a series of tv spots for the ESPN network. We recorded and taped several different commercials at several different New York City landmarks, all while performing Daniel’s arrangements of the ‘ESPN theme song,’ ‘The NFL theme,’ & Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil’s ‘On Broadway’. (Benson may have performed the song, but it was this writing duo that penned the hit song). Here’s one of the spots where you can see the full band that recorded (Including saxophonist Sharel Cassity, Resolution 15 violinist Earl Maneein, bassist Jim Robertson, and crossover flute duo Flutronix):



Also going on, Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz’s Book of Angels, Volume 19: Abraxas will be going on its first ever European Tour! It’s something that we’ve been looking forward to since the inception of this band, and for the first time we will get to share our enigmatic art with our EU audience. We will also be performing selections from our upcoming full length from Tzadik, ‘Psycho Magia’. The music was all composed and arranged by John Zorn himself, who also produced the session as well (one of the most nerve-wracking moments I’ve ever lived through in which perhaps one day I’ll write the tale of…) at Bill Laswell’s Orange Music Studios over in New Jersey. A brief synopsis of our album from the label itself:


Psychomagia is the new album by the fabulous quartet of Abraxas, the acclaimed tribal Rock arrangements for the Book of Angels series. Here they perform a complex new suite of music written expressly for them by Downtown alchemist John Zorn. Drawing inspiration from the magical writings of Giordano Bruno and Alejandro Jodorowski and others, Zorn has written a bold collection of compositions that challenge the musicians to the breaking point. With a program ranging from some of the most intense ritualistic sounds you are likely to hear to tender minimalistic odes, this is a surprising new volume in Zorn’s mystic series that matches the inten- sity and power of Moon- child, PainKiller and Naked City. Recorded at Orange Music and mixed by Bill Laswell. Essential.


For dates on our upcoming tour, feel free to check out my Itinerary or take a visit to the Abraxas Facebook page and as always, I hope that this message finds you all well and in great spirits. For those of you in Europe, I look forward to seeing and hearing from you and to my friends back home, I’ll see you all again in late February!


Cheers,


Kenny

Live With Felix Pastorius & The Social Experiment

02.03.2014

Greetings, 

As the title would suggest, I’ve recently been video taped by photographer Max R Sequeira at a recent gig at Zinc Bar with Felix and the gang, (Chris Ward on Sax and William Tatge on Keys). Almost the entire set was captured (with the exception of one full tune and most of ‘Jazz Crimes,’ but still having about 100min of footage is pretty sweet, no? One caveat: I accidentally set the camera too low when placing it, so you rarely see my face in the video, just a lot of handwork, which is probably more beneficially anyhow.

The show took place on Jan 27th, 2014 and shown in the video are my Bosphorus Turk Series Special Dry Ride (modeled after my Zildjian 21″ Special Dry Ride, but with a more pronounced bell), 14″ Turk hats and my 20″ Special3 Ride (by the hi hat). Also using my Noble & Cooley snare with 24-strand brass Custom Pro set from Puresound, (Evans G1 on top, Hazy Resonant on the bottom.) That’s it for the gear count, now on to the video!

Winter Jazz Fest, APAP, & NAMM

01.11.2014

Greetings,

It is my hope that all of you have rung in the new year with a blast! For me, it has been somewhat of a shaky start personally, but Musically speaking, I could not be happier. It is in this, and with gladness and espresso, that I bring you this update, albeit somewhat late, as to the goings-on these days in the life of the (real) Kenny G. As one could gather from the title, I will be involved in this weekend’s NYC Winter Jazz Festival, the 10th one, to be exact. Abraxas will be performing tonight at NYC’s Subculture, going on at 1:30am with a pretty killer lineup! Everyone is currently prepping the music and going through the parts to ensure that we do our best tonight. I’m drinking espresso, to ensure that I have sufficient chutzpah for tonight.

Along with this, Dapp Theory, thought not making an appearance this year at NYCWJF, will be quite busy performing on Sunday at this year’s APAP conference. These shows happen to be open to the public, so if you would like to stop by the Hilton Hotel (by Carnergie Hall), Harlem Suite on the 4th floor, you can catch us playing a bunch of new material from our upcoming album! Yes, it’s almost done and will be coming out shortly. Couldn’t be happier as this is my first record with the band that I’ve been admiring since 2004. Address and times are listed in my Itinerary for your perusal. ;)

In the last little bit of news, I’m happy to announce that I will be attending this year’s NAMM show in Anaheim, CA! This the first time I’ve ever been to this event, and I excited to see what goes on in what I would call, “The Candyland of Music Gear (and other such nerdy things).” Many friends and colleagues will also be in attendance, and there’s a good chance that you can catch me hanging out at the Bosphorus booth checking out Ari Hoenig’s new ‘Lyric’ series. If you happen to be in attendance, feel free to hit me up and we can hang for a bit! There’s a slight chance that myself and a few other close friends will do a few impromptu performances, so stay tuned for that as well!

That’s all I can write for now, but I hope to see you all either this weekend, very soon, or in the upcoming Abraxas EU tour! Till then, be well and peace to you all. May 2014 be Our year!

cheers,

keny

Post-Secret Chiefs 3, Pre-Psycho Magia

12.05.2013

Greetings,

Seemingly, I’ve begun a new habit of updating this site once every blue moon, but I do believe it is now time for said moon to shine. Quite a bit has taken place for me personally since last I wrote a column in the News section of this site, but I assure you, it has all been quite pleasant and uplifting, gratifying really, to say the least. After the conclusion of what I would consider to have been an incredibly successful and utterly exhilarating tour with Secret Chiefs 3, and also realizing that my drum tracks actually made it on to Book of Souls Folio A, for which I had No idea I would get to be a part of, I returned to New York feeling recharged and reinvigorated, honored and overjoyed and ready to come home and focus back on my music, both for my solo projects and with all the new upcoming Resolution 15 music that is now rising to the surface (after a very tumultuous year for the band). What was also in the works is something that has now nearly come to fruition and I’m very happy to begin to announce Some details about what has transpired, post SC3 tour.

About 5 months ago, myself and the guys in Masada, Book of Angels, Volume 19: Abraxas (or “BoA:19” or “Abraxas,” for short), were chosen to be part of a new project. John Zorn had approached Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz, leader and guide of Abraxas, to record a brand new album of music that John had written in memorium for philosopher Giordano Bruno, entitled “Metem Psycho Magia.” He specifically wanted the line up of Abraxas to record this brand new set of non-Masada/Book of Angels music, and instead of it being a songbook, was more of a realized composition. The difference this time being that we would be rehearsing, performing, and recording along side our illustrious composer, as opposed to creating the arrangements and everything ourselves and getting the ‘OK’ from the composer. For all of us, the process began as soon as we received the written scores as homework immediately ensued for all four of us. Trying as best to figure out How to approach the music, what ideas we had work or didn’t work, what we felt needed to happen, How to “interpret” each piece became a new challenge, especially considering our individual touring schedules. All this effort and time lead up to a series of long and focused rehearsals, followed several shows that took place at The Stone in Alphabet City. We started with one night full of our ‘BoA:19′ material, followed 2 nights for the premier of “Metem PychoMagia.”

The performances were Rough at best. The band, as a whole and individually, were struggling to find the voice of each piece, as well as the overall spirit of what PyschoMagia” meant. Needless to say, we went into Laswell’s studio feeling pretty defeated, but somehow, John was able to pull the fire and ‘magic’ out of all of us and to be honest, I think the end result will blow what we did with BoA:19 out of the box! The entire album went from Lackluster to Psychotic, all thanks in part to the artistry of everyone involved, as well as the dedication and leadership of Zorn. This being my first ever in the studio with John, I have to say it was a dream come true. I remember listening to recordings of Naked City and Cobra as a kid and being frightened, as well as intrigued, by what I was hearing: Most people simply didn’t make music like this in Miami and I considered Dolphy and Shostakovich to be the extent of what I thought of as “peculiar.” (This was also around the first time I discovered Mr. Bungle, whom I heard first). But to share the studio with a hero was an earth shattering experience and it’s one that I’ll Never forget. Thankfully, there is auditory proof of what we did and the result of all of our hard work and collaboration. For the first time in a long time, I am proud of music that I got to be a part of, and more so, my performance of said music. (AKA, I actually for once Like what I played!)

In the upcoming weeks, I will be able to report some exciting news about this as the details continue to be sussed out, but let’s just say that it will entail a brand new album to be released sometime early next year, a performance at the upcoming Winter Jazz Festival, as well as a tour of the EU in early 2014!

Though this year is drawing close to an end, I have to say that I’m beyond excited as to what 2014 bring musically (not so much environmentally) and I look forward to the day when I will be able to share a slew of exciting new music for all of you! As always, thank you for taking the time to read this diatribe and till next time, be well and see you soon.

 

Cheers,

Kenny