Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Karrin's RoadWords - July 2013

Hello and thank you for checking in.

I left off in May, when we had a beautiful night of music at the new jazz venue in NYC: "54 Below" This was the former "Studio 54" and is once again, a very happening place. I had a great band: Todd, Ed and Steve Cardenas. The “Jazz Tuesdays” at 54 Below are presented by WBGO and I had the great pleasure of doing an interview with Michael Bourne the day before. He's a joy and knows his stuff. Click the following link to listen to this interview: http://www.wbgo.org/blog/singer-karrin-allyson-with-michael-bourne

And you can check out a live performance of that same group in DC on video at this link: http://www.voanews.com/media/video/1694189.html?z=0&zp=1. Eric Felten and his crew did a wonderful job.

Spent some time in Pioneer Valley, and Sea Isle New Jersey. Paid a visit to our dear friend Vicki Watson in Cape May at her wonderful restaurant, the Merion Inn. She has live jazz 7 nights a week.

Went with Ann Hampton Callaway to hear our friend Sacha Boutros at NYC’s Kitano, with her wonderful band. We both sat in and had great fun.

Off to Aspen, CO for their jazz series at the Nell. Jeff Johnson and Rod Fleeman played great as usual and we had a lovely crowd.

Next, I went to New Orleans to record with my friend and wonderful singer Cindy Scott, for her new project. We recorded one of my originals which is very exciting for me! Check out Cindy's website here: http://cindyscott.us/.

And speaking of which, I'm in LA this summer working with Chris Caswell on our new originals and holiday material to be released sometime before the year is out. How fun! You can also check out another project I was a guest on here - it's a really fun and creative time!

In between I look forward to spending some time in Hawaii with my sister - a little Aloha Spirit should 'ease the bite of it'.

Keep cool and enjoy your summer, I hope to see you out there sometime very soon. Thank you for listening!!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Karrin's RoadWords - May 2013


I left off in February. It's been a very full year thus far. Our February/NYC masterclass was a big success. With about 15 students, we got through a lot of music. I was very proud of all of them. It's so gratifying for me to hear and see progress and love of music in my students. Shall we do another next year? (Answer is yes!) Thank you to Hiroko as always.

On to a week at the Blue Note where we double-billed with Raul Midon, a lovely, very talented singer, song writer and guitarist. It was a great and packed week. And, I have to say my band mates (Steve Nelson, Rod Fleeman, Ed Howard and Todd Strait) were beautiful!!

I got to see family in Minneapolis and had lots of fun always with them. Even helped (a little) my niece move into her first apartment. I got to see other Honolulu niece who was visiting, and of course my beautiful Mom and sisters.

Going to the southwest in the winter is always welcome, especially when it's such a great venue in Tempe - the Tempe Performing Arts Center! Thank you Woody, our host and the big band for making it such fun. We also visited the fabulous new music museum in Phoenix, "MIM" (Musical Instrument Museum).

Our friend from the Dakota, Lowell Pickett gave us the grand tour, and if you're ever in that area, go see it!! I also got to see my friend Mary Kay while there. One of the benefits of travel when you can, is seeing great friends along the way!

Back to the Northeast, we had a great concert in Brattleboro, VT at the Vermont Jazz Center. Thank you Eugene and the staff there for making it such a success. And to the band: Steve Cardinas, Todd Strait and George Kay - to a sold out crowd!

I then played at the Holyoke Community College with the Amherst Jazz Orchestra. I also worked with the students for a few days. Thank you to all for that great experience!

On to Omaha for a visit, with Ardi and to see the great sand hill crane migration in Nebraska. Wow, it was spectacular! Also got to see great friends Mary and Steve while there. I do not recommend however, having food poisoning while on an airplane - ugh. That's a not-so-good thing while on the road! (TMI?) I also did my taxes while there. Hey, at least I like my accountant! (It's a glamorous life! )

Got to hang with friends along the Hudson River (Croton - beautiful) with hosts Doc C and Vi and Alan, the Toto bros among others - great day!

Back to NYC, where I was asked to play St. Peter's Church Jazz Vesper's service. I loved it! My theme was SPRING! An added plus was that Gene Bertoncini was there and sat in. Also thank you to Ivan Sturm for playing with me.

Bill McG and I went on to Philadelphia for a WRTI performance. Bill and I played and talked. It was great fun, and for his alma mater (Temple University's) great radio station anniversary. WRTI has also been champion's of mine ever since my first CD, "I Didn't Know About You." A big thank you to "BP with the GM" (Bob Perkins with the Great Music)  You can listen to the program soon, we'll keep you posted.

Got to attend a very sweet children's afternoon program at Carnegie/Zankel Hall. So great to see kids excited about real music (everything from show tunes, music of India, China). Thanks to my friend Hillary for inviting us!

Next, LA to one of the most beautiful venues I have ever seen, let alone played: SOKA University. (They say Yo Yo Ma agrees with me on that one.  :) I look forward to going back there in Jan 2014 as a tribute the great Bennie Golson. Thank you to our host Jim!

Went to hear my colleague Chris Caswell playing with Paul Williams at the Carlyse in NYC. It was a real treat hearing all of his wonderful tunes - hits all.

Blues Alley in DC was a real pleasure. We got to be there for three nights with great crowds. Loved playing on their new grand piano. Thanks to the staff and audiences there!!

Back to my beloved Pioneer Valley and on to Worcester, MA at the lovely Tuckerman Hall. WICN Radio also has been a very long-time supporter of mine. A big thanks to them and the to staff (Brian!)  and audience at Tuckerman Hall. It was a very special night. The band: Bruce Barth, Ed Howard and Mark Walker were amazing!

A very quick turn around to NYC, where I was a part of the "Lyrics and Lyricist's salute to Jerome Kern" at the 92nd St Y, with a great cast (such talent!) and thank you to our host and presenter Deb Winer for such a success.

One more quick turn around to the great city of Chicago to play the Green Mill. What can I say about that place! Proprietor, Dave Jemilo sets the bar very high for presenting and keeping jazz alive there. The audiences were terrific. Thank you to my band: Rod Fleeman (no one plays like Rod! :),  Gerald Spaits, and Eric Montzka.  You all were great. Saw great friends while there too, and celebrated Bill McG's 10th Anniversary with his wonderful WFMT radio show, "Exploring Music." Congratulations Bill and all!!

Back to NYC this week where I hope you'll join us in a brand new venue for jazz:  54 Below, with another of the great radio stations in the country (WBGO) presenting! Thanks to Todd Barkan for inviting us and see you THERE!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Karrin's RoadWords - February 2013

Hello! I last wrote in November . . . so, here goes:

My good friends Karen and Spencer Ralston were very kind to help host us in magical Santa Fe, New Mexico where we played for the Georgia O'Keeffe celebration. I learned quite a bit about O'Keefe. What a fiercely independent artist and woman she was, on so many levels! It was very inspiring to me. If you get to Santa Fe, visit the splendid Georgia O'Keeffe museum! Rod, Todd and I worked with Albuquerque bassist Milo Jaramillo who did a great job, along with a wonderful audience. Also, many thanks to Lee & Susan Berk.

Next was in Salt Lake City where the wonderful Gordon Hanks has put on concerts for years. The Capitol Theatre is a beautiful new venue for this series and we had a great concert with a sold out crowd. Thank you Gordon and Connie for all you do for this music.

Then, the Dakota in Minneapolis, a long-time favorite of ours and a major reason is that I get to see my Mom and sister Elisa and her family (a great Thanksgiving together with Uncle Dave too) and many great friends along the way. Pianist and friend Laura Caviani played some beautiful piano with me, Larry Kohut and Eric Montzka.

It was a great pleasure to be on Minnesota Public Radio’s  "Kerry Miller Show"- she's a most gracious host and I had a wonderful time talking with her while at the piano. And as always, thank you to Lowell Pickett for his dedication to the music and we artists.

A profound loss for me and my family on December 18, was that my dear Dad, Victor Schoonover, passed away. I was able to be there with him and Ardi, and I will always treasure that time. We miss him, he was an original. My good friends Mary & Steve Thornburg and Dan Cerveny played a holiday program for him. My Dad never wanted me to have to miss a gig. We had a beautiful life celebration for him in January.

Just before Christmas we played in Kansas City at the Kauffman Center for Performing Arts with the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra led by the talented Kerry Strayer. What a thrill to play this new, state of the art venue in KC to a sold out crowd!

Then to the West Coast where we played two nights at Seattle’s Jazz Alley. Rod, Todd, Scott Steed and I had a great time with the crowd and the staff there as always.

We headed to a family wedding on the coast of New Jersey which was great fun. (Congrats Pricilla and John!) Then to see our great friend Vicki who runs the very sweet Merion Inn in Cape May. If you're ever in that area, it's really worth a visit: great food and lovely music, carrying on the tradition of our dearly-missed George Mesterhazy. I sat in with the wonderful pianist Dean Schneider that eve. And the B&B's in Cape May are wonderful!

My sister Tracy and I spent some beautiful time on the coast of Oregon before our group performaned in Portland at Jimmy Mak's. It’s great fun in that sweet club with Todd, Dan Balmer,  and Jeff Johnson. We then went on to Bend, OR for the Oxford Hotel Jazz Series - a beautiful place and venue!

We just returned from playing on The Jazz Cruise, which was spectacular. SO MANY great players on board! We got to hear many when we weren't working: Freddie Cole Quartet, Randy Brecker, Steve Wilson, Jimmy Greene, Joey DeFrancesco, Arturo Sandoval, Anat Cohen, Ken Peplowski, the Clayton Bros, Ann Hampton Callaway Quartet, Gary Burton Quartet, Kurt Eilling Quintet, Houston Person Quartet, Bill Cunliffe, Bill Mays, New York Voices, Emmet Cohen Trio, Eddie Palmieri with Brian Lynch, Phil Woods, Niki Haris, Cow Bop, John Fedchock and Roy Haynes! Also Gary Smuylan, Joe La Barbera, Jay Leonhart, David Finck, Sean Jones, Jeff Hamilton . . . so many greats!

Todd Barkan hosted several great film commentaries and I got to perform a tune with Phil Woods, Shelly Berg, Tom Kennedy and Ernie Adams. What a thril!! Also had a fun Q&A with the singers and host Bobby Jackson.

Aside from all that great music and camaradarie we also stopped at some beautiful islands: Nassau, St. Thomas where we stopped with Bill Cunnlife and Wanda at a wonderful local hang called “The Beer Garden,” great food and great folks. HIGHLY recommended! The bay in St Bart's is exquisite. I love the Half Moon Cay. It’s very low-key and peaceful. Todd and Naomi para-sailed! And last time I got to ride a horse . . . IN THE SEA!

The Lazaroff Family does a wonderful job of putting this amazing cruise-event together. It's a very special experience.

Our next performance is at the Blue Note in NYC. I have a great band with me: Rod, Todd, Ed and Steve Nelson on vibes. We are double billing with the very talented Raul Midon. Another exciting thing is, I'm being interviewed on BBC for a documentary on "Legendary Jazz Singers."  Look out for that in the Spring!

Meanwhile, we in the Northeast are digging out of the snow!

We look forward to seeing you out there somewhere and thank you for supporting the music!!