Posts Tagged ‘Europe’

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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Secret Chiefs 3: October 25th Thru December 2nd

Saturday, October 20th, 2012

Greetings,

 

As most of you have already seen from both my previous posts and itinerary, the time has come to begin the tour with Secret Chiefs 3. It easily goes without saying, but I’m incredibly excited!

In light of this, I will do my absolute best to keep this site updated, but in reality, the condition of my laptop makes it very precarious for me to bring it on the road, so I’ll be doing all future tour-related posts via my mobile phone. As you can imagine, this could drastically affect my overall output. I will, however, do my best to keep the Twitter and Facebook accounts active (where pilfering WIFI is a reality… Is it really pilfering anymore? Wifi connections abound…). Hopefully, some really nice pics and video will come of all of this.

Please stay tuned and many thanks for your support! Now, off to Europe!

 

*** SECRET CHIEFS 3 ***
Winter 2012 : new LINEUP : new SET !

Full new songs never played LIVE from
*FORMS, Traditionalists, UR and Ishraqiyun*

Trey Spruance ::: Guitar, Electric saz.
Timba Harris ::: Violin, Viola, Guitar, Trumpet.
Matt Lebofsky ::: Keyboards, Samples, Guitar.
Toby Driver ::: Bass.
Kenny Grohowski ::: Drums, Percussions.
Olivia Oyama ::: Sound.

Cheers,

 

Kenny

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