Saturday, 3 April 2010


I flew into CDG in Paris fully intending to make my transfer in 1 smooth step but as usual the airport through me off balance. I met a friendly jazz singer Deborah Davis - on her way to Bierut - and drank too much wine with dinner but I made it to Barcelona without any problem and then arrived in Menorca completely under slept and groggy. Ah...what a nap i would take here. But first I drank the local gin w tapas and got a taste of the island. Tommy and Co arrived soon after i awoke and we ate more tapas and i came back to my room ready to get some serious sleep, wake early and take advantage of the facilities the hotel offered. And i did. I swam, took a sauna, and steamed myself into a stupor of sorts. By the time we were at sound check I felt I had been on holiday for a week.

We ate at a local restaurant on the upscale side and tried to get back before the processional for Good Friday began. I had seen the rehearsal and it was quite something. At the front are a large line of worshippers, hooded and robed, looking very much like a certain clan in the US. Especially because of the pointy hoods and crosses. Man they looked scary with only the eye sockets cut out of those creepy hoods. The Jesus came next, carried high on the shoulders of the 'pallbearers' (?) and a band played something we recognized from Sketches of Spain. Right then when the entire street was silent and somber as you can imagine the promoter suggested we walk along and then cut through the procession. I immediately refused to do this out of respect to the processional, their silent onlookers and because I was feeling the mood and I wanted to experience it from the same viewpoint as the locals. But I had to go, and that was that, so I scurried along with the mourners and tried not to appear as embarrassed as I felt. Awkward...

We played a nice concert (on Tommaso's Birthday!) for a receptive and friendly crowd of about 200. The band was sounding great in that old room. I'll let you know when the best bits are up on youtube.

All my musician friends should know Veuling Airlines is anti-musician. They restrict carry on for musical instruments to - get this - flute, clarinet, trumpet, violin and viola. It was hairy for a minute because this purser was going to refuse to let me bring my horn on board. Even though it was under the restricted measurements and smaller than most everyone's luggage. The captain finally revealed she was looking for excuses to keep me from bringing my horn because i wasn't polite. Come on, I'm Canadian! I can't not be polite. Thanks to Tommy for keeping his cool as I was getting rather put off with this woman and I felt she was seriously over stepping her authority. I was assertive but I don't think it made any sense so I was dismissive and just took my seat and stored my horn. Was that rude of me? Well they got the last word. As we began our decent, Kenny G blasted out from the speakers.

Hey I'm in Padua now and I must see the Giotto frescoes and tell my son about them. He's an active artist and loves a book about Giotto. And I want to see them for myself! I love visiting Tommy and his girlfriend Emi and we always have a great time. Today was no exception and Emi cooked some serious Pasta Fagioli for dinner. Tomorrow I've been invited to join them with his family for Easter lunch. Mangiamo!

Starting on Wednesday I'm teaching in Siena. It'll be nice to work with the students and hang with my boys Ben Allison and Ben Perowsky who are also on the faculty for InJam in April and May.

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