Tuesday, March 07, 2006


I stopped by Silver Platters while I was out today, spending almost all of my “no questions asked” money for March on cds. I bought two by Sufjan StevensIllinois and Michigan – who was introduced to me by M&E last year, and in whose music I like to get lost. I also picked up Ayre, which I should have done months ago. Dawn is absolutely incredible on this project. Her beautiful voice is still there, but she is not afraid to put it aside for a moment and sing in a raw, ugly, painful, no-holds-barred manner. Inspiring.

My fourth purchase was Boperation, the second album (of four, currently) by Mr. Ray Vega, who I had the great pleasure of meeting on the La Pasion tour. That man can blow! I looked forward to his solos every night, listening on the monitor in my dressing room. He is also a fun, big-hearted, and all around lovely man, someone I would often seek out when I needed to laugh. I hope to see him perform live sometime soon, but until then, this (awesome) cd will have to do.

Ray was just one of many incredible musicians that was involved with La Pasion. The more I got to know people, the more amazed I was. These were my colleagues! What is it they say about the company you keep? Well, I was in good company…

• Vocalist Luciana Souza, three-time Grammy nominee and Brazilian jazz “royalty,” was an incredible colleague: generous with her knowledge, time, and private car; open to my questions about life and the business; and an impeccably stylish dresser. More thoughts to come on what I learned from her. Her Brazilian Duos cd is next on my list…

Dan Brantigan, trumpet, is a man of few words, so most of what I know about his extra-Pasion pursuits are from my own digging. A jazz quartet, a duo with a DJ, composition, animation, and I’m sure the list goes on. I think he’s still in Europe, maybe recording with the quartet? Doing something cool, for sure.

Michael Ward-Bergeman, accordian, seems to have several homes on the internet, an indication of his wide-reaching talents. Involved in several of Osvaldo’s “circuses,” including Ayre, he seems to know no boundaries as a musician. He has a great laugh, too.

Lennie Peterson’s talents reach well beyond the music world. He plays trombone in La Pasion and in several bands, ensembles, and projects around the country (world?). But I was most intrigued to learn that he wrote (drew? drote?) an internationally syndicated comic strip, “The Big Picture,” for years, retiring it in 2004. He’s still a bit of a celebrity in comic circles (and he’s good friends with Hilary Price!), but has now moved on to focus on his fine art and music. “You’re the man, Lennie.”

The three above-mentioned men are also quite handy with art supplies and motion sickness bags when stuck on trans-Atlantic flights:

See?! Surrounded by talent. I have to say I miss them all a bit. But we’ll be together again soon, I hope.

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