Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats. - H.L. Mencken
In March, I produced two duets at the Bunker Studio in Brooklyn (performed by Vickie Natale & Thomas Bailey, and Gary Pickard & Evan Mazunik). Fingers crossed: The tunes were demos for consideration in a film soundtrack.
Returning to the Bunker on July 2 with Blackbirds & Bullets. We'll be recording and filming one of my compositions inspired by the sacred music of the Orishas.
It's been a while since I recorded as a drummer, but here I am laying it down behind Dell Wells, Bridget Barkan, and James Ilgenfritz. Filmed by Carlos Rentas, produced by Jorge Rivera.
I returned to the States in December after two months of research in Shimane Prefecture, Japan. A really fantastic and rewarding time! Thanks to the Asian Cultural Council, my host Jake Davies, and Tanijugo Kagura Shachu (pictured below).
Filmmaker Carlos Rentas just completed edits on two clips from the Kitsune Ensemble's "Amanogawa."
Just uploaded interviews and concert footage on the Blackbirds & Bullets website.
My friend and colleague Ashok Sinha was selected by the American Society of Media Photographers for their Best of 2012 list. Ashok's interview includes great info on our work in Sri Lanka with the Cartwheel Initiative.
I was recently selected for the Asian Cultural Council's Asian Art and Religion Fellowship Program, to conduct research in Japan. I'll be in rural Shimane Prefecture for most of October and November, investigating the music, dance, and stagecraft of Omoto Kagura, arguably the only remaining form of purely shamanic Shintoism.
One of my Afro-Cuban compositions was licensed for the use in the film Backwards. (Check the website for upcoming show dates in September, 2012!)
On Tuesday April 17, The Kitsune Ensemble filmed excerpts from Amanogawa featuring dancers Hitomi Nozawa and Benjamin Gaspard, and musicians John Savage, Miki Hirose, Arun Luthra, and Arei Sekiguchi. Stay tuned for the premiere!
On Sunday April 15, The Kitsune Ensemble gave two performances at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, as part of the centennial celebration of Japan's gift of cherry trees to America.
At 11:30am, we performed excerpts from Amanogawa and discussed aspects of the suite.
At 6:30pm, we performed the entire Amanogawa, with theatrical performances by Hitomi Nozawa and Benjamin Gaspard, and a sculptural installation designed by Liz Schreiber.
Blackbirds & Bullets performed on Wednesday, November 2 at White Rabbit. This was a happy hour send-off in anticipation of the cARTwheel Initiative's trip to Sri Lanka. All proceeds to fund our work with children who suffered through the recently concluded civil war.
On Saturday September 17, Blackbirds & Bullets performed a free outdoor concert in Queens. The event was sponspored by the Rego Park Green Alliance.
On Sunday September 18, I was in the studio to record and film with Dell Wells, James Ilgenfritz, and Bridget Barkan. Freestyle hip hop lives!
I performed on drums in Washington DC in a trio led by Matt Parker (tenor sax in Blackbirds & Bullets). On Thursday September 8 we were at the Red Door Loft (443 Eye St. NW). On Friday the 9th, at MIG Bar in Adams Morgan (2226 18th St. NW upstairs, 20009).
I performed on drums with rapper Dell Wells and bassist James Ilgenfritz on Tuesday July 26 during a benefit for the cARTwheel Initiative at Milux Cafe at 482 Broome Street (SoHo).
This is a phenomenal cause to help kids who survived the civil war in Sri Lanka. For more info:
Just finished mixing the new Kitsune Ensemble album, Amanogawa, at Park West Studios in Brooklyn. (A sample track can be found on the Kitsune Ensemble site.)
Blackbirds & Bullets performed Wednesday July 6 at The Stone in Manhattan, (Pedro Costa of Clean Feed Records curated as part of the 10-year Clean Feed Anniversary celebration). It was a great evening! Thanks to all the folks who dropped by.
Amazing trip to Alaska June 4 to 21, playing drums with Kevin Worrell's Beer Money. Needless to say, a summer tour of Alaska was a blast!
Had a fine time May 23 playing drums at Twins Jazz in Washington DC, performing with Diagram 4, a collective of composer/improvisers. We opened for Evan Mazunik's ZAHA. Great fun!
Kicked off April with another rave review of Dulces. Thanks to Grego Applegate Edwards at Gapplegate! Excerpt:
It's modern; it's not slick; it's not that out; it dwells in a timeless realm of earthiness. If Trane's album Dial Africa had a modern equivalent it would be this.
Thanks to everyone who turned out for the Dulces release party at Issue Project Room in Brooklyn, and especially to those who purchased the CD. All proceeds went to the American Red Cross's relief efforts in Japan.
You'll find a lovely review of Dulces by Elliott Simon in the March issue of New York City Jazz Record. Some excerpts:
Dulces is a strong mix of culturally diverse influences... These tunes respectfully retain their worldliness, a credit to Fox's robust aesthetic and the band's keen perception of his intent... Worldly in every sense, Dulces is a sweet but by no means sugary mix of Mid-Eastern, South Asian and African musical ingredients, thoroughly blended into a jazz base.
All About Jazz Italia just published a fine review of Dulces. Some translated excerpts:
The compositions feature strong melodies, around which the musicians create compelling storylines featuring tasty harmonies and captivating rhythmic modulations that appeal to the imagination. "Girl Cheese Sandwich" evokes Dizzy Gillespie's associations with Argentinian composer Lalo Schifrin. "Deva Dasi" is perfumed by the Balkans and Orient. "Tatsin" is the perfect soundtrack for a blaxploitation movie, and "E Ki E Sundaro Shobha" is a lullaby as sweet as spun sugar.
If you read French, here's another feature about Clean Feed by Francois-Rene Simon, including a nice acknowledgement of Dulces.
Dulces was named a top-10 jazz album for 2010 by DJ Francois Dunlop on CISM radio in Montreal!
"Deva Dasi" from the album Dulces was featured December 30 on the WNYC's New Sounds program, and on December 27, "Go Pocket Pickles!" was featured on Taran's Free Jazz Hour.
Check out this glowing article at Pop Matters about Clean Feed Records, the Portuguese label that has released two of my albums (Dulces and The Uncle Wiggly Suite).
My second CD for Clean Feed Records (Dulces performed by Blackbirds & Bullets) is now out!
The Kitsune Ensemble just recorded Amanogawa, my new suite, at Park West Studios. Final mixing will be early in 2011, but even the rough mix kills!
Amanogawa, my new suite for The Kitsune Ensemble, premiered Friday December 17, 2010 at 8pm at the New York Center for Art & Media Studies (44 West 28th Street, 7th Floor, NYC).
Amanogawa was made possible in part with public funds from the Manhattan Community Arts Fund, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and administered by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and by the Japan Foundation Arts and Culture Grant.
Theatrical design and direction for Amanogawa by Tomi Tsunoda, with theatrical performances by Bex Odorisio and James "Face" Yu. Gorgeous tenugui generously furnished by:
On September 26 2010, Shizumarikaetta Ie, the eighth movement of The Kaidan Suite, screened at the Willifest film festival in Brooklyn NY as part of the Shorts Program: Social Spotlight. Blackbirds & Bullets performed at Washington DC's Kennedy Center on January 27th, 2010, followed by a performance at Club Bossa in Adams Morgan opening for Frode Gjerstad, Nick Stephens, and Paal Nilssen-Love. You can see our Kennedy Center concert here.
Blackbirds & Bullets was in Brooklyn's Park West Studio in December 2009, recording our album Dulces for Clean Feed Records (my second release for the label).
"Asia Talk" has produced a splendid 22-minute profile on the Kitsune Ensemble, featuring composer/director Billy Fox, pianist Yayoi Ikawa, clarinetist Gary Pickard, bassist Yoshi Waki, and drummer Arei Sekiguchi.
We've wrapped up edits of the film of our "Kaidan Suite" collaboration with theater directors Tomi Tsunoda and Andrew Scoville. (Performance of The Kaidan Suite was made possible in part with public funds from the Manhattan Community Arts Fund, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and administered by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.) Clips and a trailer from this production are on our youtube channel.