On March 23, 2012, my cover band “Mojalai (aka The All Asian Killers Cover Band)” performed its first, and perhaps only, concert on the occasion of my 30th birthday. It was…a blast. Words won’t do it justice, so you’ll just have to watch the video to get a sense of the action.
Here are a couple of highlights from the evening: “Sweet Child of Mine”
and “Don’t Stop Believin,” featuring the amazing Mike Delouis on vocals.
A few years ago, a friend of mine turned me on to “gypsy jazz,” or “jazz manouche” as the Parisians say. Since then I’d become entranced by the intricate harmonies, driving rhythms, and virtuosic guitar solos.
So when planning my recent trip to Paris, I put gypsy jazz at the top of my agenda. With the help of some web research–most notably, this 2010 article from The Guardian–I was able to track down two gypsy jazz performances while I was there in April 2012.
Bouquet Du Nord
This is by no means a smoky, dark jazz club. By day, and six nights per week, it’s a casual café/brasserie; Friday nights, they clear a few chairs out of the way and host a house jazz band that’s joined by occasional guest musicians.
After reading about Longshan Temple on the Senseitions blog (a fantastic journal of East Asian adventures by my globetrotting teacher friends), I made sure to add Longshan Temple to my Taipei itinerary. Good thing I did: not only is it an impressive structure, the place was positively swarming with activity due to the Lunar New Year holiday.
Last year I reported enthusiastically on the public art & music project, then called “Play Me, I’m Yours.” This year, the project returned under a new name, “Pop Up Pianos,” and as you can imagine, I was thrilled to have them back.
Although I didn’t land any spots in documentaries on the subject as I did last year, I did manage to get a decent recording of myself playing on one of the pianos: