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!
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!
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!
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!
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: