November was a fantastic month! Facebook Likes have grown, Twitter Followers are increasing (you should follow too!), and the shows were an absolute blast! First, Potts & Pans brought a quartet out to Cool Music Stop in Harvard, IL. I played vibes, with Matt and Christina on pan, and the show was a blast. The night was cold, but the heat was cranked and we brought some Caribbean jazz up to northern IL. I really love playing vibes with these guys, not only do pan and vibes sound beautiful together, but when you spend so much time with the same guys, it’s so much easier to communicate musically! The solos this night were killin’ (even though I maybe quoted the same Andy Narell lick over and over…..it became one of those jokes only the three of us up on stage were laughing about!)
Next up was #PASIC14! Matt and I spent a few days preparing over 100 pairs of mallets, and a few other odds and ends to take out to the show with The Steelpan Store. This year in Indianapolis was awesome. We sold a pan, lots of mallets, a few other things, and made a huge amount of connections. The pan presence at #PASIC14 was incredible. Kyle Dunleavy and Alan Coyle were both there with artists Sherwin Thwaits and Tracy Thorton. Matt and I got to spend time playing pan, talking pan (selling pan) and even enjoyed a fantastic meet and greet dinner arranged by Brandon Haskett with all the steelband directors in attendance. We also got to talk with one of my favorite vibists, Arthur Lipner – a loyal customer of The Steelpan Store! We were also thrilled to hear all the hype that was out there around the Great Lakes Steelpan Festival!
For those in town – Potts & Pans closed the month with Crystal Lake’s Festival of Lights parade. I was on lead pan for this one (using Potts & Pans 9B7-wd-rd mallets available here). Not only did Matt get some electricity in #TheLady, but we used that to light up both the inside of the bus, and the entire trailer (it was an awesomely excellent musical italian bistro on wheels!) We performed Destra’s State of Mind, and Matt’s arrangement of Jingle Bells (Soca Style :P) The crowd loved it, and we are looking to make this one an annual event. We even got some wonderful photos from J Nanez Photography!
I was able to bring some Jazz Vibes over to the Presbyterian Church of Palatine this past Sunday. I was invited to provide special music during their service, and a couple of standards fit the bill. The members of the church were all very receptive to the music, and many had great compliments afterwards – it looks like I’ll be back there soon! I have known the pastor, Teri, for sometime, and it was great getting to see her new church. We also sang together on a tune at the end of the service 😀 This was a wonderful environment for the vibraphone. A smaller place requiring no amplification, allowing the instrument to sing brightly throughout the hall. One hard of hearing member even commented “Your music was the only thing I could hear during service, and it was so beautiful it brought tears to my eyes.” Compliments like that are about as good as they get!
Next up – Toys for Tots Benefit Concert! If you’re in Crystal Lake, or anywhere near, you won’t want to miss this one. Simply bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate, and you get a wonderful concert. Featuring our community steelband, as well as the professional P&P crew, we have socas, calypsos, holiday favorites, flute trios, and some vibes features! See you December 7th, at 4:00!
That’s all for now,