Sunday, November 11, 2018

For all the musicians who have left us

Many, many musicians have left us over the last few years, both internationally and at a local level here in Trinidad.

Some were close, close friends. Some deaths were natural, some were suicides.

The hardest part about losing someone close to you is that you never have a chance to properly say goodbye, especially when it's sudden. But then again, saying 'last goodbyes' is not something anyone does well.

And I don't think anyone plans their 'last goodbye speech'.

Every death, whether of a musician friend or an artist I admire has left a void in my life. And I naively thought that these people were going to be in my life for a long, long time.

And I know that I have been putting a benefit concert on hold for a long time now, the one for my oldest friend who died suddenly two years ago. And honestly, I know that it must be done, but emotionally, I'm not at that point where I can give it my best.

When you spend so many years with someone playing music and they're not there anymore, even though you're not in a band, it just feels so strange to continue playing the music you made together. It just brings back too many bittersweet memories.

Everything comes rushing back, almost as if on memory overload.

But I know I have to do it sooner or later. I know that I will have to put aside the pain and play the music of my teenage years.

But in the meantime, I'm brushing up my chops, practicing as often as I can and enjoying music in my own space.

And for all those who have left this life, thank you so much for your music.

Safe travels to the next life - Andrew Moffat, George Elias, Justin Lee, Marc Thavenot, Layne Staley, Chris Cornell, Scott Weiland, Colonel Bruce Hampton, Greg Allman, Prince, David Bowie, Dimebag Darrell, Vinnie Paul, Good Downie.

May each and every one of you rest in peace.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Summer is over, back to teaching...

So the summer tour is over. I was away for six weeks playing a handful of shows with Kobo Town, as well as a few jams and recording sessions with Chlorine Dream and my old mates from BOUND. I even did an improv jam with my cousin Zach Kellum in a yoga studio (I was drenched in sweat when it was over).

It was a great time seeing the wilderness of Canada, the mid-west and Niagara Falls. And as always, it is a true joy to go across the Atlantic to Europe. France is an amazing country - the food, the people, the history and the architecture. Germany is one of the few countries that got the entire concept of design and functionality right.

There were memorable shows and shows that weren't special in any way, but that's how it goes really.  We always tried to do our best and play our hearts out. One show we had to wait for a torrential thunderstorm to pass us by. One show in France saw us take four different trains and spend over eight hours travelling, but the view was amazing in the end.

We had a few days off after the first gig in France and we stayed in Paris, we walked everywhere and ate like kings, I think I had probably a dessert with every meal (I love you Cafe Gourmand).

The day before we left for Berlin, we took a train to Montpellier, ate in the town square, took a street car to the beach and jumped in the Mediterranean Sea, the temperature was absolutely perfect, and we all thought out loud, 'Yes! this is the life!'

The hardest part of the tour was flying out that early morning on the 18th back to Toronto, a connecting flight from Berlin to Zurich, then to Toronto, then drive in traffic to Niagara Falls and play a gig that night. The time difference and jet lag caught up with me while I was on-stage and I could feel myself falling asleep, even though we got through the gig pretty okay we were all tired from flying.

But all in all, it was a great summer!

Here were a list of Kobo Town tour dates...

July 10th - Festival Park, (Toronto, ON)
July 21st - Ness Creek Folk Festival (Saskatoon, SK)
July 23rd - Improv Yoga Class with Zach Kellum (Toronto, ON)
July 28th & 29th - Calgary Folk Festival (Calgary, AB)
August 4th - Festival du Bout du Monde with Kobo Town (Crozon, France)
August 10th - No Logo Festival with Kobo Town (Fraisans, France)
August 11th - Festival Les Aeriennes with Kobo Town (Mende, France)
August 17th - House of World Cultures with Kobo Town (Berlin, Germany)
August 18th - Niagara Falls with Kobo Town (Niagara Falls, ON)

And now that summer is over, it is back to school. I'm preparing all the different classes to sing Christmas carols for the last day of school. What a job! What a life this turning out to be.

Music teacher during the year, touring musician during summer.

Thank you God for the miracle of music and being with me on this journey called life.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Summer tour 2018


My head has been so hot with teaching this past year and a bit that I have only just started back gigging again.

I'm doing an acoustic guitar duo thing with long-time school mate - John Hussain. We're calling it 'EH!' - Emmanuel & Hussain, get it? Cool huh?!

I also have a handful of shows with Kobo Town in July and August so that should be fun, as it always is.

Here's the list of dates…

Hope to see you guys there….