The last few months have been really rewarding, performing with my “Sun Pictures” group at Burlington Discover Jazz Festival and at the Firehouse 12 in New Haven, Connecticut.
Last month I also participated in the first all-female jazz camp run by NJPAC and directed by Geri Allen. It was on honor to teach alongside Carmen Lundy, Terri Lyne Carrington, Savannah Harris, Tia Fuller, Nicole Mitchell, James Burton, Romero Lubambo as well as Joan and Marcus Belgrave. We worked with young women from many different backgrounds and the final concert was a rewarding one.
A personal highlight for me was spending a lot of time with Geri and playing every evening after the camp at The Stone performance space. She has truly been one of my inspirations throughout my career.
Other recent highlights include playing for the first time in Greece with Kenny Barron, at Northsea Jazz Festival with Tineke Postma and Greg Osby’s “Sonic Halo.” This cd will be out later on in the year, also with Dan Weiss and Matt Mitchell.
I had a great time playing at the Blue Note with my Sun Pictures and also having a couple of friends sit in from Nairobi, Kenya – Nathan Okite (guitar and vocals) and Wakake Otieno (on djembe and vocals). We’ve been playing a bit while they’ve been visiting and it’s been a treat for me to learn their songs and a little about benga music.
This coming month I’ll be traveling with the Dave Douglas Quintet to Gent Jazz Festival, České Budějovice and playing at Birdland in NYC from August 19-23rd. We’ll also be recording a new CD shortly after.
In September I’ll be playing some dates with vibraphonist Stefon Harris and also I’m looking forward to being a part of the Sundance Documentary Composers Lab at Skywalker Ranch in California. At the end of September I’ll be playing at Harlem Stage as part of a tribute to Henry Threadgill.