11.11.11 – A year of coincidences!

I have my own 11 phenomenon story.  Back in the 1990s when I was hanging, writing, recording and playing with my pals John Patitucci and Steve Taviglione, every time we’d look at the clock it was 11:11 whether it was morning or night, so I wrote a song called 11/11 which was on my first album, Cauldron, featuring Peter Erskine,
Bob Sheppard,
Darryl Munyungo Jackson,
Ricky Lawson,
Rickey Minor,
Dean Parks,
Bill Summers,

To listen, go to my player on the right.


25:25 – 25 Years of the Monk Institute and 25 years of Catalinas Jazz Bar

Here’s another freaky coincidence, I wrote in my last blog about my over excitement on my role as Music Director of the Monk Institute’s 25th Anniversary Gala Concert – that was before the show.  Here are some of the highlights:


Jaw-dropping performances

First off, congrats to 22-year old pianist Kris Bowers for winning this year’s piano competition.  Take your Monk Institute’s wings and soar as former Monksters proved on stage that night in various ensembles: Joshua Redman, Ambrose Akinmusire, Jane Monheit, Joey DeFrancesco, Gerald Clayton, Ted Rosenthal, Jacky Terrason, Bill Cunliff and Gretchen Parlato. Just to name a few.


Who’s Who

I didn’t want the night to finish because it was so satisfying to see the ensembles of musical icons that I put together just flowed and the performances were heart-stopping with Wayne Shorter, Joe Lovano, Kevin Eubanks, Kurt Elling, Thelonious Monk Jr, Kevin Eubanks, Jimmy Heath, Ellis Marsalis, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Diane Reeves, Ron Carter, John Patitucci, Terri Lynne Carrington, Terrence Blanchard, Chaka Khan, Christian McBride, Jennifer Hudson and Herbie Hancock, with the WOW moment reserved for our  one and only Aretha Franklin.

Monk you keep giving and giving.

Catalina Jazz Bar’s 25th birthday
So many of us grew in Catalina Popescu’s club.  I think I played in the first week she opened on Cahuenga  with a band called Theolonoius and many times with Freddie Hubbard and Patitucci.  So, it was an honor when Catalina asked me to music direct her celebration event.  We pulled together a stunning list of talent in LA who showed us how to have fun, including Alex Acuna, David Benoit, Brian Bromberg, Justo Almario, Otmario Ruiz, Bobby Rodriguez, Abe Laboriel, Marcus Miller, Ndugu Chancler, Peter Erskine, Patrice Rushen, George Kahn, Lainie Kazan, Mike Lange, Hubert Laws, Barbara Morrison, Lee Ritenour, Tierney Sutton, and The Yellow Jackets.


Read about the concert on LA Weekly: http://bit.ly/ooVStg and view the photos on YouTube: http://bit.ly/uAuTWj.  We’ll have a film soon.


Catalina P, to 25 more years!




 This Weekend



November 11.11 (Friday)   8 and 10pm                 Los Angeles

Bernie Dresel’s 50th Birthday & Buddy Rich Big Band Tribute

Trumpet: Wayne Bergeron, Larry Hall, Carl Saunders, Bob Summers

Trombone: Alan Kaplan, Andy Martin, Bill Reichenbach,

Sax: Brian Scanlon, Dan Higgins, Pete Christlieb, Gordon Goodwin, Sal Lozano

Piano: John Beasley

Bass: Rick Shaw

Birthday boy on drums –  Bernie Dresel



4349 Tujunga Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 91604 – 818.769.0905

$25 – http://www.vitellosjazz.com


November 12 (Saturday)     9:30pm                      Los Angeles

Saturday in LA – I’m MD and playing this cool concert to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the first Jazz at the Philharmonic concert with Jeff Clayton, Ernie Andrews, Marvin “Smitty” Smith, Bennie Maupin, Jacques Lesure, Edwin Livingston, Nolan Shaheed, Richard Grant, and many more….

Nate Holden Performing Arts Centerhttp://www.laco.org/venues/20/

4718 W. Washington Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90016-1516

323 964 9768

Be nostalgic: http://bit.ly/rZ6rxn

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