Posts Tagged ‘NAMM’

2015: Beginnings Continued

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

Greetings Everyone!

I hope all of you have been doing well in this new year, despite some of the craziness that has been taking place in the world. While I am here waiting for some videos that I just shot to upload for editing, I figured now would be a good time to Finally update this page! I’ve added a couple of dates for upcoming shows.

So far, this year has been a bit strange but still rather kind. The NAMM Show was a blast. Seeing old friends, making new ones, checking out some really nice instruments and gear, and it was both nerve-wracking and exhilarating to perform with Felix and the guys in Social Experiment at the 2015 Bass Bash, opening for Victor Wooten. Serious nerves but also tons of fun ensued. For your enjoyment, here are some vids from the gig:

A great way to start the year for sure, but I’m also happy to announce that Imperial Triumphant will be releasing a new album this year, quite soon in fact, via Code666 and Aural Music entitled ‘Abyssal Gods’. You can hear a stream of one of the songs I tracked for the album, “Dead Heaven”  at DecibelMagazine.com

Also to be released soon, the first of the new John Zornwho has taken over The Village Vanguard, so get there and check out those shows!– records that myself, guitarist Matt Hollenberg of the band Cleric, and John Medeski have been working on since December of 2014 entitled ‘Simulacrum‘, will be released this March through Tzadik! It makes me incredibly excited and proud that these records will start to make their way into the world. A lot of hard work went into the creation of this particular album, but it was done so with joy and excitement. We did all the tracking in a couple of days and every minute of that time was spent creating and exploring and having a blast! I’m not sure when the second record is slated to be released, but I assure that both of the records will be something you’ll love to listen to. Rarely do I say that I’m actually proud of my playing on anything I’ve done, but between the latest Dapp Theory Album, ‘Forward In All Directions‘, ‘Abyssal Gods’, and now ‘Simulacrum’, I can safely say that this is a good start ;). There will also be some added merch for Simulacrum, so stay tuned for that announcement as well.

Well, it looks like the videos are all uploaded, so it is now time for me to work on those, so hopefully they will be ready by tonight or tomorrow! I think and hope you guys enjoy it ;). Till next time, stay warm if you’re in the northern hemisphere and I will hopefully have a bit more to write about soon. Actually, there will be more to write about very soon, but until the news is broken I shall remain silent.

Have a great weekend and see you very soon!

Cheers,

Kenny

 

The New Year

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

Greetings and happy new year to all of you!

I hope everyone has been enjoying their acclimation into the year of Back to the Future Part II, where on my birthday Marty and Doc Brown will discover self-lacing shoes, self-drying clothes, hover boards and hover cars, as well as a crazy resurgence of futuristic 80’s fashion. So far, one of those things has come to pass…

Anyhow, It’s been a while since i’ve written, but there’s a quite a bit to talk about now, so I’ll just keep it as brief as i possibly can. (You all know that I can’t keep anything brief).

As though of you who follow my personal account of FB know, i’ve recently undergone surgery to remove two problematic wisdom teeth. Despite the fact that my teeth evidently hook at the roots, making it rather difficult to extract them, I am recovering well with not too much pain, just a dull throb and wooziness from the medication. I’ve been taking this time off to prepare for next week’s recording session as we head back into EastSide Sound with Marc Urselli at the helm, to work on the follow up to John Zorn’s upcoming release, ‘Simulacra’, an Organ Rock trio featuring Matt Hollenberg of Cleric, John Medeski and myself. For this next installment, we will be joined by Marc Ribot and Trevor Dunn. This record will pick up where Simulacra left off, and take it into an even crazier direction. I’m getting carpal tunnel just thinking about it! As that develops I will upload pics and what not, but in the meantime, look for Simulacra to be released in February through Tzadik Label.

Around the same time, the new IMPERIAL TRIUMPHANT full length will be available through Code666! This album features both myself and Alex Cohen of Pyrrhon and MALIGNANCY, my first time recording on a Black Metal record. We had a ton of fun making it and also destroying the sound all at once and believe me when i say that this record in parts makes me uncomfortable. Seriously uncomfortable.

Coming up this month as well, Dapp Theory will be participating in this years CMA and APAP conferences, performing the music off of our newest release, Forward In All Directions, available now through Whirlwind Recordings Ltd. Though initially recorded in 2011 with Jimmy Haslip at Tedesco Studios by the man himself, Tom Tedesco, it was released this last September and oddly enough, has been met with great approval over in the UK. If you haven’t grabbed a copy you should. If your a fan of my work, or a curious newcomer, this is easily one of the records that I am more proud of. I rarely say this, but in this case it is true. Dapp Theory was one of favorite bands while at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music and once I found out that Andy Milne taught there, I immediately signed up to audition. Growing up as a child primarily addicted to Prog-Rock, Fusion, Latin Jazz, and then later on the rest of the wide umbrella of Jazz, I found Dapp Theory to be something that spoke to me instantaneously. Andy has been a dear friend and mentor ever since.

Lastly, I’m happy to announce that I will be performing with Felix Pastorius at this year’s Bass Bash taken place during the 2015 NAMM Show over. I’m already nervous but totally thrilled. We will play trio with saxophonist and long time cohort, Christopher Joseph Ward.

Thank you for taking the time to read all this and I will see you all very soon! I’ll have a few more show announcements for this month and a few other musical endeavors as well, but for now, be well and thanks for checking in!

Cheers,

Kenny

Winter Jazz Fest, APAP, & NAMM

Saturday, January 11th, 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

Thursday, December 5th, 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

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!

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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!

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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