We returned home May 28th from a trip to Las Vegas. While in Las Vegas, I promoted my Qualchan opera at the music department at UNLV including a chat with successful film composer and conductor Viko Baley, who gave me several positive comments about this opera.
I hung out at my favorite jazz club in Las Vegas called The Dispensary Lounge on Tropicana Avenue on Wednesday nights where I chatted with longtime friend and great jazz piano player Uli Geisendorfer. I also made some new friends including Markus Burger, jazz pianist and instructor at Fullerton College, who offered to show my Qualchan Opera to his faculty colleagues. I chatted in Spanish with percussionist Pepe Ramirez from Puerto Rico who played with Carlos Santana. He complimented me on my Spanish. I also went to the Sand Dollar soul dive jam session on a Wednesday night with a keyboard player friend of mine named Big Al. I also sat in and sang songs in Spanish at a couple of Mexican Restaurants including Linda Michoacán in Henderson where my new friend José Luis Tapia was performing, and Frank and Fina’s Cocina on W. Flamingo in Las Vegas where Michelle, a friend from the church I go to in Las Vegas was performing in a duet. And, by the way, the food was very good. I also visited another church friend Johhn Jones who was performing at the Mazuma Lounge at the Mandalay Bay in a great quintet.
On the way home, we stayed overnight in Carson City where I went to the Bella Fiore Restaurant, enjoyed a nice Caesar salad and listened to a night of great standard jazz featuring Tom Stryker on Harmonica playing with his friend Jim.
A Stitch in Time Update – Since the May 4th workshop of this musical in New York City, I have rewritten the first song and added a new song. Now, my partner Claude Solnik is scheduling another public workshop in NYC. I am working on composing the final few songs for another musical we are writing together entitled Stealing Mona Lisa. We have also started writing a new play so stay tuned for further updates
I have recently begun attending jam sessions on Tuesday nights at Ridley’s Piano Bar in the 200 block of W. Riverside Avenue in Spokane, with mi amigo Orlando “Kiko” Sanchez, from Puerto Rico and recently Orlando, Florida where he retired from music production at Disney World. He played Latin percussion with Stevie Wonder in the 1990’s. The jam sessions start with a band playing for an hour, then single musicians get up and sing and play songs for a couple of hours and then a collaborative band made up of different musicians get up and play until closing time. It’s a lot of fun and the talent is amazing, unique and exciting.
Dedicated to Callie Jo Cleveland dec. May 1, 2018.
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Gary A. Edwards