Posts Tagged ‘Resolution 15’

New Year, New Music

Thursday, January 7th, 2016

Greetings and Happy New Year!

I hope this message finds you all well and and at ease. Now that January is in full swing and my schedule has lightened, I will come back to updating this site and keeping you all abreast as to what is going on. As it is, I do have some rather happy news to tell you, so on with the info.

Earl Maneein-violinist and founder of the bands Resolution 15 & Seven)Suns– and I have been working on a new project together that we call, “Black Heart Sutra”, a group that exists well within the bounds of Metal, but is a place where Earl and I can explore our writing and improvisatory impulses, a medium for us to keep composing together. As of this week, we begun reworking one of the first songs that we wrote together under the new moniker titled, “The Transitioning”. I made a quick behind the scenes video of our session earlier this week documenting our new ideas for the song and making plenty of adolescent jokes.

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Videos From My Music Masterclass

Friday, September 19th, 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

 

A Slight Family Vacation TBT

Thursday, June 5th, 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

Wednesday, April 30th, 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

Join Me On Facebook

Friday, June 14th, 2013

Greetings,
I know it’s been a while, but as you can imagine, it’s been quite hectic post Secret Chiefs 3’s North America Tour and Stone Residency, but I’m writing to let everyone know that I’ve created a facebook artist page, for those of you into the whole social media thing. I’ll be posting daily on this page in order to better communicate with fans. Feel free to add me on there and as always, I hope that you are in good spirits.

Cheers,

Kenny

The 2013 Update: New SC3 Music, 50th Anniversary Concert, & a New Endorsement

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

Greetings,

So it’s been a while since I’ve last updated this site, let alone, wished everyone a happy new year! In a short amount of time quite a lot has taken place, so I will do my best to be as succinct as possible, though we all know that this could very well be quite long!

As of this writing, several great things have taken place. In order of them taking place, here goes:

1) While many of my fellow musicians were attending the NAMM show this year in Anaheim, I was in Los Angeles recording with Trey Spruance of Secret Chiefs 3 (Mr. Bungle, Faith No More), for the upcoming SC3 album. We recorded some new Holy Vehm material, inspired by L. R. Hubbard’s A History of Man. I also recorded some drums for other various SC3 tunes to fall in line with the other ‘satellite groups, ‘ as well as some older material which will now hopefully see the light of day. We still are planning another recording session for even more material, so I’ll keep you all posted on that and hopefully next time I will have the ability to videotape the session! As for Holy Vehm, I recorded roughly  90 minutes of material, including a 10min drum solo which may hopefully see the light of day! I think now the next goal for me would be to actually hang with John Merryman!

A History of Man

2) On January 15th, one of my metal bands, Resolution 15, released it’s newest album, Svaha! It’s been some time coming, especially after our successful kickstarter campaign, but our album has finally been full realized and is now available on iTunes, Bandcamp, and any where else really. I’m happy that some of my music made it on to the album and I think the guys did an awesome job of making those songs come to life (Mr. Dark, Overdriven Maxim mvt.2, and The Current, all songs that were written in 2008/2009!). As I’m writing this now, we have also signed on with PR firm Adrenaline to help spread the word about what Resolution 15 is up to. Though this album is done, we are not resting on our laurels! We are currently setting a new goal for ourselves of attempting to record no less than 3 albums this year! Personally, i have enough “metal” material to fill this out, but some of this music is reserved for my own solo project (which I will touch on later this year, lets just say its in planning and I have some serious players who will be making appearances on it), but we will be going with only the songs that are Violin appropriate, as well as some new compositions by Earl Maneein and some by our new bassist, Mike Bendy, and possibly some from our dear friend Joel Lambdin! Either way, expect to hear some “new” music soon, but in the meantime, grab a copy of Svaha online or at any of our upcoming shows!

http://resolution15.bandcamp.com/album/svaha

3) Leading up to the session, I officially signed a contract for my very first cymbal endorsement! I’ve never had one of these, but I’m now honored to say officially and publicly that I am currently a proud endorser of Bosphorus Cymbals! I was approached by them at the behest of Ari Hoenig after his recommendation, as well as having discovered some of my videos and this website. Once they approached me with a proposal, I quickly said ‘Yes!’ I’ve been playing on their Gold Series crashes for some time now and I absolutely love them. If any of you have seen my facebook post I made sometime ago complaining about my cymbal graveyard, you know that I have gone through roughly 30 cymbals in the last 4 years of playing hard rock and metal. My bosphorus 19″ Full Crash has survived many double bills with the bands Hung and Resolution 15, with not even a scratch to speak of. I’ve recently placed my first order with Bosphorus, filling out my setup with a full drum set rig for pop/rock/metal. This setup got it’s first big show recently with the next item that I will bring up, but let me say for now that these cymbals sound Tremendous! Beautiful, articulate, expressive, very easy to control but also easy to pull volume out of without needing to bash. I will also get the chance to record with them this week as I will be in the studio with Imperial Triumphant recording a track for them. I couldn’t be happier with them right now, and I’m grateful to Emrah and all the guys at Bosphorus for making this dream a reality!

kenny1 kenny3 kenny8

3) Last on my list, I’m happy to say that my cymbals got a very nice public debut at the recent concert of Richie Ray y Bobby Cruz for their 50th Anniversary celebration! It was an amazing concert, full of special guests such as Alex de Castro, Ismael Miranda, Alfredo de la Fe, and Viki Vimari, plus many more. We performed in El Coliseo de Puerto Rico, which both Richie and Bobby inaugurated, for a very enthusiastic audience in a severely packed arena. This particular occasion was special for me, not only getting to be a part of something of this magnitude (for those of you who don’t know, Richie and Bobby have sold countless Gold records over the years, won several Grammy awards, and were members of the famed Fania All Stars, just list a couple of accolades), but also that for me this is a family affair. Some people may be aware, but not many, that Bobby Cruz is my grandfather, but also involved in the concert were my Mom, Cynthia Cruz Ortiz and my step-father, Victor “Papo” Ortiz, and my aunt, Tania Ortiz, all of whom performed in the orchestra (My mom and aunt being backup vocalists and my step-father as Musical Director). It also reminded me of when my late father, Ken Grohowski Sr., performed with Richie and Grandpa at their farewell concert in 1991 at Madison Square Garden. I felt dad with me this weekend, and it was really comforting to feel his presence there. It also was a great chance for me to reconnect with a lot of family and friends that I had not seen in ages, as well as work with some of Puerto Rico’s top Salsa musicians. The whole week and experience feels as though it went by in a blur, but it was still incredibly fun and it was a pleasure and honor to be apart of such a landmark event in both our family’s history as well as for Latin music and the Puerto Rican community!

2013-02-02 15.05.12 2013-02-02 15.05.04 2013-02-02 21.04.28 2013-02-02 22.30.02 2013-02-02 14.56.19 Sound check, drum set view 2013-02-01 16.25.01 2013-02-01 14.48.25 2013-02-01 13.59.13kenny5 2013-02-01 13.59.13 2013-02-01 14.48.25 2013-02-01 16.25.01

Well, I did my best to keep things short, but I hope this read was pleasurable! Please check in with my gigs list for the shows that I have coming up, many of which will be super fun, and as always, I hope that where ever you are, that all is well and that this messages finds you in good spirits! Please enjoy this video, taken during sound check for the Richie Ray Bobby Cruz 50th Anniversary Concert:

Cheers,

Kenny

Post Secret Chiefs 3 Tour and December 2012

Monday, December 10th, 2012

Greetings All,

I’ve begun to write this from a coffee shop in midtown Manhattan, though I’m sure I won’t finish this writing here. By the sheer fact that I’m updating this site, you can safely surmise that I’ve returned from the Secret Chiefs 3 tour of Europe. That is, of course, if the title wasn’t enough of a give away for you. Myself and Toby Driver arrived Tuesday afternoon to a thankfully not-so-crowded JFK International Airport, only to take what would have been the most roundabout and costly way to either of our Brooklyn homes via a very frustrated cabbie. (He spent a good chunk of time in traffic riffing at some chick on the phone). But that’s the beauty of living in a major metropolitan city, and though breakfast in Paris’ red light district was no where near as gross as you’re thinking (more like a park slope brunch, but at a restaurant called Twinkie; I shit you not), there’s No place like home!

For all intents and purposes, the SC3 tour was a huge success and incredible amount of fun was had by all. It’s somewhat strange that it is all over now and everyone is back to their “regular routines” considering how intensely this band tours. Everyday there’s a new show, possibly in a different country, but never really a day off (with the exception of one day where the gig fell through), constant load in, setup, soundcheck, show, break down, load out, rinse & repeat. After a while, it becomes hypnotic; The lack of sleep coupled with the constant lifting and moving into fully rocked-out shows, then back to reality and manuel labor,  it soon becomes a physical and spiritual high. But after about 6 weeks, it’s nice to be able to come back to a place like New York and say, “Ah, back to normalcy!” I think for most people, calling NYC normal would be a rather strange leap in logic. Then again, I tend to favor strange leaps in logic.

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Resolutions, Assassins, Theories, & Secrets

Saturday, August 25th, 2012

Greetings,

In this moment I’m reminded of Louis CK when he said, “I really don’t know how to start shows…” I find the need to write to whomever will happen upon this writing, as well as to the loyal followers of my site, but I never know how to actually start the process of writing. I have always been much more of a reactionary person than a initiator, if you will. But then again, it would seem that I’ve already started, so here we go.

I’m currently in the process of preparing for several upcoming ventures, one of those being the upcoming Dapp Theory performance at the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival this Sunday, the 26th at 4PM in Tompkins Square Park. For me, this brings back memories of when I first joined Lonnie Plaxico’s group. It would also happen to be the first time Dapp Theory bassist Chris Tordini saw me perform, before we became good friends and band mates in several projects, including my old fusion group Hybrid. It’s been some years since I’ve performed at this festival, but considering how the years have gone and everything that has happened for me personally over the last several years, it truly feels like a homecoming. This is a good thing because the highschool I went to had ZERO sports teams, so no marching bands, no cheerleading squads, and certainly no homecomings. We played Mahler and Coltrane’s quartet music, so I think it was a much better trade off. In other news with Dapp Theory, we are making our final push with the Kickstarter campaign we started some time ago, raising funds in order to complete the album we’ve started working on. Having been an artist whom several times has had to record, release, and promote an album without management, label, investors, PR, or any industry consideration, I can tell you first hand that it is never easy when doing it alone, regardless of how long you’ve been in the “scene.” I do have to say that though I’m usually never happy with any of my recorded performances, I am happy with the musical repertoire on this album. It’s a much more eclectic mix of Jazz/World/MB than previous offerings, but still retains many of the concepts and elements that make Dapp Theory what it is. Then again, with 3 new players, one of which that plays the Armenian Duduk and another that plays Salsa and Death Metal, things can go to much different places. So, I would encourage any fan of Dapp Theory or any fan of mine or even the wayward cyber-traveler, If you feel lead, then feel free to donate a couple of bucks. Every dollar that goes into the campaign does really count for a lot. The album will then have the means to fly and considering the work myself and the rest of the band has put in over the last 6 years for this group, It would be lovely to finally have a physical offering for the world to hear.

As some of you may have noticed, if you’ve checked out my Itinerary, I will be doing a string of performances throughout Europe. Many of us tend to refer to this as a “Tour.” Well I am happy to make public that I will be performing with Trey Spruance’s Secret Chiefs 3 this year on their European Tour in the Fall. It’s something that came to fruition after the Abraxas Jazz In Marciac concert with Zorn’s Aleph Trio and Secret Chiefs 3. Ches Smith, drummer for SC3, Xiu Xiu, various Tim Berne projects, Mary Halvorson, Trevor Dunn, Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dogs and slew of other ridiculous music, as well as Timba Harris, Violinist for SC3 and Estradasphere, thought it would be good to have me fill in for Ches on this upcoming tour. When they both asked me what I thought about it I was honestly kind of stunned. Getting the chance to see SC3 live and share the stage was one thing, but to perform some of Trey’s music is something else entirely. Disco Volante was a go-to point musically for myself and high school friend and badass guitarist Edwin Itoh: His old band, Zeno, used to cover Mr Bungle tunes in various shit-hole venues throughout South Florida, such as the ill-located Chuchill’s in Miami, Fl. Mr Bungle was truly a gateway band that lead me to many other interests and places musically. In a lot of ways, my performing with Abraxas, Resolution 15, Hung, Hipster Assassins, and Nevereven, as well as many other projects, would never have taken place because I still would have been a 70’s Fusion/60’s Jazz/40’s mambo/Classical geek all this time. Suffice it to say, to have the chance to play with SC3 is beyond an honor; it’s more like living a childhood fantasy. I’ll continue to write about and hopefully post more as the weeks follow, but for now, it’s time to learn the depths of this mountain of beautifully visceral music. Here’s something that it may sound like-

Abraxas, Aleph Trio, & Secret Chiefs 3 Live:

Lastly,  here’s a clip from the last Hipster Assassins hit from 55 Bar this past Thursday, August 23rd. It’s not the complete song, but it still has a bit of vibe on it, I think. Also, you get to see me drink and play at the same time. (Yes, it was one of those kind of shows, but not in a bad way). We played in front of a very dedicated and energetic crowd that night, who stuck around for TWO 90min sets. I call those people ‘Champions.’ All in all, it was a great night of music, which leads me to my last bit of news.

As some of you may already know, Resolution 15 bassist Jim Robertson has left the group to pursue other interests and musical endeavors. As you can imagine, it was a huge blow for the band, but thankfully all is passed on good terms. We were saddened to see him leave, but as the man he is, he completed the tracking for our upcoming full length in half a day. About 25mins worth of music that requires scores and pages of sheet music done in the time it takes to setup drums and mic them. It was utterly ridiculous and it’s truly a Badass parting gift! Since then, we’ve held several auditions for the new bassist, and some pretty badass bassists to boot, but we’ve found the missing link. Mike Bendy, member of the Hipster Assassins and The Bendy Effect, has taken over the reigns as our new bassist. Out of everyone we tried out, he literally brought the kind of musicianship, aggression, and fire that we need to be who we are. I’ve been very happy having him on board and I’m looking forward to unleashing him and all of the new R15 music upon the public very soon. More news on that will follow soon…

I believe that is all for now, save for maybe that clip from the 55 Bar I promised earlier. As always, thank you for reading and see you soon…

 

Cheers,

Kenny

Abraxas in Marciac, Being Folked Up, & a Midsummer’s Recap

Monday, July 30th, 2012

Greetings,

Given that it’s been quite some time since the last update, I bring you an-all encompassing update as to what has been going on over in my new homestead known as Brooklyn!

Later this week, Abraxas will be making it’s live debut here in NYC at John Zorn’s The Stone. Earlier this year John Zorn commissioned bassist Shanir Blumenkranz to record an album of selected pieces from Zorn’s  Book of Angels V. 19 repertoire, giving him free reign to record and produce the album as Shanir saw fit. The end result was something very primordial, tribal, and visceral. Featuring some amazing guitar work from Aram Bajakian (of Lou Reed) and cutting edge experimental guitarist Eyal Maoz. At times, taking from Classic Rock to Moroccan rhythms, Jewish mysticism and an atavistic approach to music, this is an album that I think any fan of music will enjoy. You’ll be able to grab a copy at our upcoming show at  The Stone this Friday, August 3rd or at Zorn’s website. This will be our prep show for the next one, a brief hit at the Jazz In Marciac festival, playing along with John Zorn’s Aleph Trio and Secret Chiefs 3! I’m super humbled and excited all at the same time to be sharing the stage with these insane musicians, as well as thrilled for this will be my first time in France and hopefully Without being detained at De Gaul International!

Here’s a sneak peak of what you can expect on the album:

This past July I had the opportunity to record with composer and long time colleague Daniel Bernard Roumain and North Carolina artist and activist Laurelyn Dossett for an upcoming album that we will be touring briefly later this year. The details on our live shows will follow as they come, but what I can say about the recording session was that it was an absolute joy to work with Laurelyn and many of her various musical partners and band mates. All incredible musicians as well as being incredibly chill and wonderful people to be around and talk with. Many a late night patio talk was had at the end of our 10-hour days in Asheville, NC, and could possibly be one of my personal high points of the summer. Recording at Echo Mountain Studios, is easily the next highlight of the summer thus far. If you ever have the chance to record an album, do yourself a favor and make it happen at this place. Incredible gear with incredible sounding rooms, super pro and courteous staff, and the in house musical gear is killer. There’s also a nice, crunchy coffee shop near by and the tech owns an instrument/amp repair shop down the road. It’s perfect.

In more recording news, I’ve had a chance to hear a bit of the upcoming Dapp Theory album we recorded this past April, and I think old school fans and newer Dapp fans alike will really enjoy this offering. Between and Andy’s compositions and musical direction coupled with Jimmy Haslip leadership and expertise in the producer’s chair, will make for a rather nice album from start to finish. We’ll be making some live appearances this summer, including a quick gig at Harlem’s Ginny’s as well as a set at this year’s Charlie Parker Jazz Festival. If you haven’t already, check out Andy’s music on the recently released documentary, The Captains, chronicling the personal lives and tribulations of All the Star Trek captains. It’s a must see for any Star Trek fan.

Resolution 15 is also just about finished with it’s newest album, the completion of Svaha. It has been a long time coming but I think our fans will be really pleased with the newer material and a fully realized album. We’ve already written enough new material to record the next two albums, so though we are eager to put that material out there, for you now you all can enjoy the entirety of this album. We should have physical copies fairly soon, along with a very special engagement that we will be letting the world know of in the upcoming months, so stay tuned either here or at Res15’s various media outlets.

As always, thank you for checking in with me and please stay tuned for more updates as they occur. I will have much to report in the upcoming months, as well as some project ideas I have in the works, both in videos and in released music. In the meantime, please enjoy this latest video from Hung’s show at Arena in Queens, NY and till next time, be well.

Kenny

The Update! April 23rd, 2012

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

Greetings,

I know it’s been quite a while since the last post but a lot has taken place since then, so hunker down and brace yourself, and I will do my best to not drag this on too long!

I’m sure as some of you can see, Resolution 15 was Successful in it’s kickstarter campaign! To those of you who supported this effort, you have my humblest thanks. I’ve been slated to start recording the drum tracks at the end of this month with Stacy O’Dell at Spin Studios. It will be my first time recording in Greenpoint, but I’m sure the end result will be quite epic.

In keeping with recording news, I have recently received a mastered copy of Shanir Blumenkranz’s upcoming album for his new group, ABRAXAS, featuring the music of John Zorn’s Book of Angels! It’s been a huge honor to be part of this project and I have to say, it was quite fun playing blast beats, bayons, funk, weird sounds, and all the added Moroccan vibes to this music. Look for the album to come out sometime later this year in leu of our upcoming performance at the Marciac Music Festival! (more…)