Before the Show: Alexis Cole

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This weekend of shows reminded me of how quickly time flies. I hadn’t realized that I first started playing for Alexis Cole two years ago. It barely feels like one year, but that goes to show how much fun it’s been working with Alexis. Aside from her amazing talent, she always brings a new show and continues to grow as a performer and entertainer, which naturally pushes me further.

The preparation for these shows gave me plenty to review and gave me a chance to hash out some of the brush work I have been dealing with lately (I have a playlist on Spotify where I add songs to keep my ears fresh on brush sounds and approaches). One of the great things about jazz standards is the many versions that have been recorded over the years. From tempo/key changes, to vocal vs. instrumental versions, to time signature variations; the multitude of musicians who have brought this music to life in their own way opened up the possibilities for us to explore even more.

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Another gem gained in preparation was being introduced to artists for the first time. The expansion of our musical palette is essential to continued growth as musicians and our network benefits from these discoveries as well. Our first night at the Arts Garage (Delray Beach, FL) featured a rising star by the name of Brandon Goldberg. Thirteen years old! He played like he meant it and definitely brought his own spark to the bandstand. He’s wasted no time making his mark on the music scene. As he frequents some of the most historic jazz venues of the New York jazz scene, his debut album, “Let’s Play”, continues to propel him into what will be a long career to come. I look forward to working with him more in the future!

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We wrapped up the weekend at Orlando’s very own Blue Bamboo Center for the Arts. This venue has easily become one of my favorites to frequent. With the night’s featured guest, Michelle Mailhot, the audience joined us for a beautiful night of love and friendship, capped off with plenty of laughs from Cole’s vibrant personality. Subscribe to my YouTube channel to catch drum cam footage from both shows.