I just came back from a 2 week tour with the Miller Orchestra in Russia. We toured 11 cities in 13 days, including Moscow and St. Petersburg. What a country that is! People loved the music, and loved to hear us play. The last day in St. Petersburg we had a sold-out concert for 3500 people!! Every day people were asking for autographs and took pictures with us – it was a great atmosphere!
The trip itself was pretty rough. We travelled around 4000km all by nighttrain and busses, even into Siberia! Luckily they have what they call an ‘early spring’ this year, because the cold wasn’t too bad. But it was supposed to be -30/-40 degrees Celcius, and that would be really cold! The drumkits that I played went from pretty bad up till good. Most of them were too poppy, with pinstripe skins (which I HATE), but I had 2 great DW kits. And of course my own cymbals, which saved me from getting too depressed 🙂
Here are some pictures, so you can see a little bit what was going on:
Last week we were recording again with the Tim Langedijk Trio at Udo Pannekeet’s studio, when Arthur from Studiotuur came along with his hip camera. He made a 360° picture of our working environment, and a seperate one of the drumbooth. So check it out, and find me in the drumbooth!
Since three years every second monday of the month we play with the Konrad Koselleck Bigband in the Sugarfactory in Amsterdam. Every concert is with a couple of guests, from jazz and pop singers to classical singers, duduk-players, DJ’s, tap-dancers, musical-stars, caberetiers and other entertainers. It was about time that we would record an album with this band, with a selection of these guest on it. And so we did. Last week we went into the studio and recorded 13 tracks, all very different from each other. One of the guest was Deborah J. Carter, a great jazz singer from the States, and yesterday we did the Sugarfactory gig with her as well, as you can see on the pictures taken by Mark Zandveld. The album has to be mixed and mastered now, and in may this year we’re going to present it at the Bimhuis – Amsterdam. More info on that later..
In november alto-saxophonist Herb Geller (check your westcoast records from the 50’s/60’s) turned 80. He’s alive and kickin’ in Hamburg, and as a birthday present they gave him a concert of his own. He chose to do a combo-set and a bigband-set with the NDR-Bigband, and I was asked to play the drums on both of them! Unbelievable how this cat still plays his instrument, it really was incredible! The first set the great Ack van Rooyen and some other friends of Herb joined in, and the second set was arranged and conducted by Jorg Achim Keller. What a great experience to play with those musicians..
With this new website, I created a Flickr account, to put all my pictures on. As you can see in the menu it’s working quite well, and if you click the pics, you can see all of them on Flickr. On the old website the pictures weren’t up to date anymore, so I put a lot of new ones there. Check them out, here’s allready an impression: