July 2012 update

Hi there, I hope everyone is doing well. I have a lot of things to share so I’ll try to be brief.

* Maybe the biggest piece of news is that I have been awarded one of the 2012 Pew Arts Fellowships. Twelve of these are given to Philadelphia-area artists every year. You can read about the specifics of the awards, as well as learn about my fellow 2012 Fellows, here:


* Also, I will be debuting my new trio on August 9. I am excited to have Chris Tordini and Dan Weiss joining me on bass and drums. We will play some brand new music and some less new music which still hasn’t been played that often. We will be playing at the Greenwich House in New York City:


* I’m no less excited to share that I’m now selling some of my music online. For couple years I’ve been chipping away at a composing project consisting of a large number of short piano etudes, a project which is now roughly halfway to completion. If you’ve seen me play in duo with Ches Smith in the past year then you’ve heard us play several of those pieces. I’m presenting them in groups of 9 pieces per volume or “books”, and the first four books are available as .pdf downloads on the Screwgun Records website:


We will be recording many of these pieces later this year, btw.

* I have several other performances happening over the course of the next month:

July 7-14 I will be in Warsaw, Poland, with the School for Improvisational Music. I’ll be teaching and performing with Ralph Alessi, Mark Helias, and Jim Black

July 16 I’m playing at Sycamore with Peter Hess and Jeff Davis

July 17 I’m playing at Cornelia St Cafe in NYC with Michael Attias’ Renku + 2, along with Mat Maneri, John Hebert, and Satoshi Takeishi


July 21 I’m playing two sets at Shapeshifter Lab in Brooklyn. The first set is with Fourth Floor, my duo with Dan Weiss – we’ll play music from our soon-to-be-mixed record. The second set Dan and I will be part of a septet led my Tim Berne, along with Oscar Noriega, Ches Smith, Ryan Ferreira, and Michael Formanek.


to round out the month’s gigs: 3 performances with John Hollenbeck’s Claudia Quintet +1. We will play at Shapeshifter Lab on July 27 and 28, the second set each night, with Theo Bleckmann joining us. Then we will play the Newport Jazz Festival on August 5, with Theo AND Kurt Elling joining us.


* Finally, I played on several records this past spring, all of which I am excited about:

– I’m pleased to be the pianist in the new Dave Douglas Quintet. We recorded 2 albums worth of music over 2 days, and the first of these will be coming out before the end of the year. Other members of the group are Jon Irabagon, Linda Oh, and Rudy Royston, with vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Aoife O’Donovan joining us on several tunes.

– I’m also pleased to be part of Michael Attias’ Spun Tree, along with Ralph Alessi, Sean Conly, and Tom Rainey. That album is almost ready to go as well.

– I finished recording in May with Quinsin Nachoff’s Flux, with Dave Binney and Kenny Wolleson. I played a bunch of keyboards as well as piano on this, and it was some of the most challenging music I’ve ever played!

– Finally, I was one of many musicians to play on Dan Weiss’ record in May. This was an experience unlike any other I’ve had in many ways, partially because the music is amazing and also because I played more organ and glockenspiel than piano on it.

That about does it. Thanks very much for reading this, and please let me know if you’d like me to remove you from this list. best wishes, -m