I’ve only been in NY for around three weeks and it feels like I’ve hardly had a minute to pause and reflect on my time here. Each day and night has been filled with seeing or playing music, meeting all sorts of new people and making time for friends passing through the city. There is so much going on all the time that I’m learning to accept that I simply can’t be everywhere all the time.
One of my first tasks on arrival was to source a decent piano for my apartment in Brooklyn. I managed to find a friendly rental shop near Carnegie Hall on 7th Avenue and now have a brand new Young Chang upright nestled in the corner of my room. However, it seems I’ve barely had a chance to play it so far. In fact any precious moments I’ve had have been working on my part in Jason Yarde’s ‘Modo Hit Blow’ which we premiere as soloists with the LSO Brass and Percussion sections conducted by Francois Xavier Roth at the Barbican next week.
My housemate, Colin Stranahan (who made a stellar appearance with my trio at the Pizza Express in London last month) has been a great connection to the next wave of musicians coming out of NY. He plays a lot with an amazing young pianist I feel privileged to call my friend, Glen Zaleski. (If you’re not familiar with him you soon will be!) I went to a wonderful salon style concert at Glen’s apartment and got to meet a few musicians including the singer/composer Jocelyn Medina who, to my great delight, invited me to guest with her for a few new songs at her birthday gig at the Shapeshifter Lab in Brooklyn last friday.
I think the next steps for me will be to remain visible and vulnerable and allow the musicians and audiences here to become acquainted with what I’m about.
However, I never stop learning and the challenges of this new music scene constantly confronts me with the same question; What am I really capable of and what do I really have to give?
Saturday 13th April Barbican in London - Jason Yarde’s Modo Hit Blow world premiere performance featuring the McCormack & Yarde Duo with LSO Brass and Percussion ensemble conducted by Francois Xavier Roth