Posts Tagged ‘Secret Chiefs 3’

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

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

How Does That Song Go? It’s Been a…

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

Greetings,

It has been quite a while since I’ve updated this site, but I assure you it has been for a good reason! Mainly, it’s been due to the recent business I’ve been enjoying both in NYC and abroad. Since my last frighteningly-distant message to you all, I’ve been all over NYC with a myriad of groups, one of which just performed at the Zorn @60 Masada Marathon that took place at NYU’s Skirball Center with Abraxas, as well as our excursion to Roccella, Italy for the Roccella Jazz Festival! But all in all, things have been very inspirational recently in regards to music.

As time has the uncanny ability to travel ahead within the moment of thought, it occurs to me that the Secret Chiefs 3/Goblin tour is almost upon us and I’ve mentioned almost nothing about it, save for on my social media sites (Facebook /Twitter), but not here. So here’s to me announcing my growing excitement to the upcoming adventure that I’m sure the Goblin/Secret Chiefs 3 tour will bring!

I look forward to seeing new and old faces at these upcoming shows, to learning and growing, and to rocking out on stage for you all!

As always, I hope all is well with you and see you very soon

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

Secret Chiefs 3 & MyMusicMasterclass.com

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

Greetings,

I will try to be brief since we are in the midst of the Secret Chiefs 3 North American, but recently I was asked to film a instrunctional video for the website MyMusicMasterclass.com, which as of today has gone Public! I’ve never done one of these before, but I have to say it was quite fun, even with Ari Hoenig watching me as I was taping! All in all, I think the video came out pretty well despite the fact that my macbook died and couldn’t be used to play all the music samples that myself and Stacy O’Dell created. The video is available for both download & purchase for anyone interested in hearing my approach to creating somewhat complex grooves and my practice routines for playing blast beats. It’s definitely worth a gander!

As some of you may know, the Secret Chiefs 3 tour has begun, with our second show taking place tonight in Seattle, WA, at The Crocodile. Last night’s show at The Sunset was incredibly fun and nerve-wracking all at the same time, but technical issues and brain-farts aside, I think it was a fun show and a lot of fun was had by all. I think it helped to get some of the cobwebs kicked and nerves dealt with.

Well, I would write more, but soundcheck is upon us! But for now, please check out my videos and I hope that you enjoy them and find them useful! Here are links for those of you interested:

Developing “Smeared” Grooves

Blast Beat Warm-Up’s & Exercises

Moooarrr Secret Chiefs 3 Live!

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

Greetings,

Recently, Cluster Films has released a interview with Trey Spruance (Secret Chiefs 3/Mr. Bungle) from this past Secret Chiefs 3 Tour in Europe. The video was taken at our last concert in Paris at FGO Barbara and features some really nice HD shots of the band. The audio, I think, came out rather nicely, but go ahead and see for yourself.

[Beyond The Sound #3] – Secret Chiefs 3 from Cluster Films on Vimeo.

© Cluster Films 2013.
Beyond The Sound #3 avec Secret Chiefs 3.

Interview de Trey Spruance.
Morceaux live : “Combat for the Angel” / “The 4 (Great Ishraqi Sun)” / “Danse Macabre” / “The 3”.

Réalisation : Hugo Lafitte
Montage : Rémy Ogez
Image : Hugo Lafitte / Léo Brachet / Rémy Ogez
Son : Guyom Pavesi
Interview : Xavier Bernard
Production : Cluster Films
Remerciements : Trey Spruance & Secret Chiefs 3 / Madame Macario / Centre Musical Fleury Goutte d’Or / Klein ‘Shark’ Capelle / Anaïs Duvivier / Pelecanus.net.

Thanks for watching and I look forward to seeing you at any of my upcoming shows in NYC or abroad!

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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