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Spring News

Hello all,

Happy spring to ya!  Just thought I would send a note your way with some of the latest happenin’s here. Hope this finds you well.

I was honored to be commissioned to write a new short piece for the finale of a concert next week at the Berlin Konzerthaus, celebrating the centennial of Yehudi Menuhin, and featuring violinists Daniel Hope, Gilles Apap, Mark O’Connor, L Subramaniam, Roby Lakatos, and Didier Lockwood – all worldwide legends, and personal heroes.

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I tried to find a meeting-place for their respective styles – classical, American folk, jazz, Indian classical, Romani, etc – and the name of the new piece, “A Compass in the Tempest,” derives from one of Yehudi’s quotes:

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“The violin, through the serene clarity of its song, helps to keep our bearings in the storm, as a light in the night, a compass in the tempest, it shows us a way to a haven of sincerity and respect.”

To which I would say sincerely: “Right on, Yehudi, right on!”

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I should mention for you north-easterners that the Jeremy Kittel Trio will be comin’ atcha tonight thru Sunday! (Friday in New BedfordSaturday in PortlandSunday in Boston).  Hope to see you there!

In March, Aoife O’DonovanTeddy Abrams, and I convened in Louisville for our second performance of “Bull Frogs Croon,” our new co-composed 10-minute song cycle based on the poems of Peter Sears.

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Also in March, I was honored to be the featured performer at the American String Teacher’s Association’s national conference – (featured performers in previous years include Joshua Bell, Midori, Regina Carter, and the Turtle Island Quartet).  I brought my full band down to Tampa for the performance, and it was a special opportunity to give back a little to the the fantastic string education community in the US, which has been so supportive to me.

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On April 6 & 7 I sat in with Jon Batiste and Stay Human on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert!  I love the show, and it was pretty cool to be right in the mix of things. At one point during soundcheck, we were jamming on Gustav Holst’s “Jupiter;” one thing led to another, and I ended up leading the tune as one of our intros/commercial breaks. Fun stuff, and you can catch one of the episodes here.

Finally, the new album (with Nat, Josh, Simon and Quinn), having been fully recorded, is well into the assembling process. =-) We’re working towards a fall release, and we’ll keep you posted!

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That’s all for now; thanks, be well, and keep on the good foot!

~Jk