Very happy to announce Kevin Moehringer’s Slow Life New York City Record Release Show on Monday May 9th, at Rockwood Music Hall, stage 1 at 10pm.  Our special guest for the evening will be the talented vocalaist/pianist Akie Bermiss (Aabaraki, Screaming Headless Torsos).  Collectively we will celebrate our album release with some music from the album. In addition, we’ll play some new stuff, and pay tribute to some of our recent fallen musical icons.  The album is now available on CD/LP, as well as on iTunes, CDBaby, and BandCamp. Pick up your copy today, and check out the release show on Monday night.  It will be one for the books!  Flyer below
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Kevin with Gregorio Uribe Big Band

It has always been a dream of mine to perform in South America, and this week it was realized when I played with Gregorio Uribe Big Band at the Festival Vive La Musica: La Cumbia Unea Latinamerica in Medellin, Colombia on Monday. Gregorio is from Colombia originally, but this was the first time the band has traveled with him to Colombia to perform. The festival also featured some other great acts that shared the stage with us that day: Bareto (Peru), Compass (Mexico), Marksheider Kunst (Russia), Puerto Candelaria (Colombia), and the amazing FANFARE CIOCÂRLIA from Romania. All of them were incredible, and we had a wonderful time hanging out at the festival all day, meeting these amazing musicians from around the world and hearing about their experience.

Colombia is a breathtakingly beautiful  country, with rolling mountains, tropical plants and wildlife, and beautiful people. The energy in Medellin is one of acceptance of the rich arts and culture of Latin America. Never have I seen so much local support for the arts as I did in Medellin. Look out for Gregorio’s band returning to Colombia next month.

A few weeks ago my good friend Nancy asked me “What’s your favorite club to play in NYC?” I told her Nublu, without question. Their warm atmosphere and treatment of their musicians has been, for me, the best part about the late night music scene in New York. Then she told me it was for a new blog she is starting about the underground hot spots in New York called “The People/Places Project.” They just published my interview about Nublu. Very nice to be featured in this blog and in support of one of the best clubs in town, check it out! http://peopleplacesproject.com/nublu-east-village-nyc/

 

tumblr_ni4omk2tR21qggwnvo1_400Big News!  I’m very honored to have been included in the Humans Of New York Blog, one of my favorite blogs out there.  It features a couple of New Yorkers per day, and I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time to be interviewed and photographed by Brandon.  He is an incredibly sweet guy and asked very difficult questions with a sense of understanding and compassion.  I was quoted assaying,“I’m trying to find a way to be happy without being the best.”And then in a follow up post, “The downtime is tough. It can be stressful when you go two weeks without work, and there’s nothing ahead on the schedule, and you log onto Facebook and see all the stuff other peopl

e aredoing. And a lot of times it feels like I’m not building anything permanent. It’s relatively easy to get gigs when you’re thirty-something, but you don’t see too many old guys in other people’s bands. But being on stage is the happiest I ever feel. It feels great to have all those eyes on you and ears on you. There’s a jubilation to being up there and working together as a unit to vibrate the air and make people dance. I was pre-law during my first two years of college. I’m sure if I’d been a lawyer, I’d feel a lot more secure. But then I’d be battling an even heavier type of depression.”

It’s an incredible feeling to have my words and portraits reach so many people.  The feedback and overwhelming support and encouragement I’ve received, lots from friends, most from strangers, has been heartwarming to say the least.  Thank you!

Here is the link: http://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/107999975751/im-trying-to-find-a-way-to-be-happy-without

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I was very honored to be part of the horn section for the legendary dub reggae producer, Lee “Scratch” Perry, as part of the Red Bull Music Academy’s “NYC In Dub” at Le Poisson Rouge last week. I had first heard Lee’s name around when I first started getting into reggae music. Specifically, when I decided that I liked the older, classic Bob Marley recordings that were make in Jamaica before he blew up as an international star. Lee Perry was responsible for some of these recordings, and his unique stylings and production techniques lend a very special quality to these old recordings. If you know anything about Bob Marley, there’s a good chance you know how important Lee Perry’s influence was in the creation of that music.

Flash forward about 50 years: Lee is 77 years old. He is known for his creatively flamboyant outfits and his sometimes very strange on-stage persona. He’s had a string of recent performances as a front man with various different backing ensembles, like the one I was a part of. Last year, I saw him and friends Sinkane perform at Williamsburg Music Hall and I was BLOWN AWAY. I told a lot of people this, but I thought it was the best concert I saw all year. He was backed up by Troy Simms and Omar Little of Brooklyn’s Mobius Collective on alto sax and trumpet, respectively, a killer DJ who called himself Emch, the legendary reggae percussionist Larry McDonald, and a bass player. When I told Troy how much I enjoyed the show, he told me they had actually talked about including a trombone player in the section, and asked if I was available on May 30th to perform with them at LPR.

As I learned more about the gig, I found out that Emch is musically in charge of the set and has been working with Lee for a while. His stage name is Subatomic Sound System, and his music and production skills are very sharp and worth checking out. We actually held a rehearsal in his cozy Lower East Side apartment, and I could tell it was going to be a fantastic show to be a part of. Emch has to deal with a lot of stuff as Lee “Scratch” Perry’s musical director, and he handles it very gracefully and professionally. He’s a true professional and it was an honor to be part of his team.

The gig was an extremely fun and rewarding experience, and it represents a benchmark “bucket list” performance for me. As an added treat, dub legend Adrian Sherwood performed onstage, which was the first time Adrian and Lee have performed together in the US. Above is a picture of Lee on stage as we were performing, and below is a picture of the horn section, the “dub select horns.” I look forward to the next time we get to make music together.

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I was fortunate enough to be a part of the Dig Deeper series on Saturday night, March 23rd.  This was one of the most fun gigs I’ve ever played, and I am grateful for the opportunity to play with such amazing musicians.  For those of you who are unfamiliar, Dig Deeper is a soul party in Brooklyn featuring live soul music by the original singers.  This edition featured legendary soul singer Renaldo Domino performing a set of his original music, including tunes like “Let Me Come Within,” (see video) and “Not Too Cool To Cry.” The fist set was a tribute to the legendary Marva Whitney, who was one of the female singers produced by the godfather of soul, James Brown, and backed by the JB’s.  She passed away last year, so in her memory, there were several local Brooklyn soul singers that paid tribute to her.  Among them were my friends Eli ‘Paperboy’ Reed and Meah Pace, who both sang wonderful renditions of Marva Whitney hits.

The band was pretty epic:  the horn section featured Freddy Deboe (Charles Bradley/Sharon Jones &TDK), Mike Kammers, Aaron Rockers, and myself.  The rhythm section featured Brian Wolfe (Davide Byrne/St. Vincent) on drums, Jeremy Kay on bass, Jesse Barnes on guitar, and J.B. Flatt on organ, guitar, and he also Music Directed the whole evening and did an amazing job doing so.  The called us the Brooklyn Rhythm Band, and there was sure a lot of rhythm going on!   The show was great, and the hang afterwards was one for the books.  I was delighted to hang and chat with local trombone super star Ryan Keberle after the gig, and then Mike Kammers and I celebrated until the wee hours.  Dig Deeper was definitely one for the books, and I hope to be involved in more of these!  

Last night I got to live out one of my childhood dreams, performing at the most famous jazz venue in New York, The Blue Note. For what it’s worth, it was a surreal and spiritual experience, and with it came a real sense of arrival. It is such a tiny venue, and it is so incredibly crowded all the time that the people working there are all super stressed out, and claustrophobia is bound to ensue no matter who you are and how much time you spend at the Blue Note. My girlfriend accidentally bumped into a cocktail waitress when she stood up, and despite having not spilled a drop of alcohol, the waitress turned around and snapped at her, “not cool!” Chill out, everyone that works at jazz clubs…

For those of you not familiar, Sinkane is a psychedelic African indie rock band, featuring Ahmed Gallab, formerly of the band Yeasayer, and Mikey Freedom Hart, of Exreyes, King Expressers, Skaters, lots of other stuff; they slay it every time. The Zongo Junction horns played with them at Brooklyn Bowl for their CD release party, so we kept the tradition alive at the Blue Note with Adam Schatz on tenor, myself, Aaron Rockers on trumpet, and Freddy Deboe (Charles Bradley, Sharon Jones) on Bari, and also psychedelic flute for their epic 7/8-meter tune “Lovesick.”

Sinkane was booked for the Blue Note’s “Late Night Groove Series” but before all that got started, was 2 sets with vocalist Diane Schurr, featuring Sinkane standing outside, guarding all of our gear, waiting patiently in the cold, like everyone else that came to see Sinkane, on the sidewalk on West 3rd Street, for Dianne to finish and everyone in the club to leave so we could load our gear into the venue. This is what I hate about these tiny NYC jazz clubs, the changeover between sets. You’d think they’d have a better system, especially when it’s 10 degrees outside. Anyway, we waited for Dianne to finish her stunning rendition of “Girl From Ipanema,” then after a really short line check, Sinkane was at it, opening with one of their hits from their album “Jeeper Creeper.” The horns played that song and the next 4 songs. Adam stayed for one extra song, then we were all free to hang out and listen to the rest of the show with our friends. The sound was actually surprisingly good despite a proper sound check, and it was cool to hear Ahmed and Mikey’s beautiful singing voices a little bit clearer. Good friends Ari F-C, and his lady Talia, unable to get on the guest list, went through what all tourists, and jazz aficionados alike, have to go through, paying a pricey cover, and being forced to order a pricey drink, from a not-so-friendly server.

The Blue Note is a zoo, the Empire State Building of jazz venues, but it was a thrill to get to play there with a great band comprised of friends and colleagues. I’m grateful for the experience and I look forward to the next time I get to play there.

Happy to announce that my trio KM Ballad Trio will have 2 upcoming shows in the month of February.  The first one is at Sycamore in Brooklyn, a lovely little whiskey bar/music space/flower shop that I really like, on the evening of Thursday, February 7th.  Joining me on the bill will be ma good fren MiWi La Lupa (Red Baraat, Knights On Earth, Beyondo, Thought)  performing a solo set of his own music.  I’m really excited to hear what he’s got in store for us, and I’m not sure if the world is ready for MiWi’s music.

The second show is at Rockwood Music Hall, Stage 1 at midnight on Thursday, February 28th, the last day of February.  This will be our third show in this room.  When I started conceiving the Ballad Trio, Rockwood Stage 1 was the room that I had in mind for this project.   It’s a beautiful, intimate space, and there’s no cover for the show.  Both shows will feature Aidan Carroll on bass and Nicholas Anderson on drums, with some special guests.

 

I’m happy to finally have a website;  it’s constantly under construction, so please feel free to help me make it better.  Thanks for visiting!