Starting in late 2014, I have been the arranger for Alex Gershman's neo-jazz project Sasha's Bloc. The band features many of the best instrumentalists in Los Angeles including Bob McChesney, Kye Palmer, Brandon Fields, Alex Budman, among many others.
Sasha's Bloc features an impressive array of singers, many of whom I have had the pleasure of arranging for including Jane Monheit and Alvin Chea (Take 6).
Be on the lookout for a brand new recording by Sasha's Bloc and Take 6, arranged by yours truly.
Starting in the Fall of 2015, I have joined the faculty at Long Beach City College. I am teaching the jazz trumpet students, both of which have made incredible progress this year. In addition, I taught a music appreciation class on the music of Latin America. In the Spring, I begin teaching a class on multi-cultural music and music hybridization in the United States.
For the Winter quarter, I joined the faculty at Cal Poly Pomona to teach instrumental arranging.
In April, 2015, I was hired by one of my favorite composers, John Clayton, to help him write arrangements for "It Don't Mean a Thing... A Celebration of Swing." The show was an all-star gala at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC. While the experience was a bit of a whirlwind, I ended up co-arranging 4 charts for the show. Highlights include an adaptation of a live Ellington version of Take the A-Train to feature Terance Blanchard, and a medley of Andrews Sisters songs performed by The Puppini Sisters.
The true highlight of the whole experience was experiencing Mr. Clayton's writing process first hand. I learned how he sketches his scores on 3 grand staffs, and I got to ask him why and how he writes for five trumpets.
I heard that the show was an overwhelming success.