Yesterday I went to Davenport with the Odd Tones Brass Band to play a gig at the Redstone Room. It is located in a much larger facility know as the River Music Experience. Located on the Mississipi, and home to Bix Beiderbeck, this building is part museum, jazz club, restaurant, coffee shop, and showcase. It’s a beautiful room (Smoke free!!) with an entire wall of live video of the stage projected on the walls. We gave a workshop as part of Polyrhythms, and after a nice dinner break, played two sets. The performance and workshop were recorded, so I hope to have some audio and video up soon.
Before the gig, we took a walk on the Skybridge and, watched about a half dozen bald eagles fishing in the Mississippi. I guess during this time of year, the rivers are frozen to the North, so they migrate down our way. It was quite a sight. The gig went very well, and we met a man visiting from Perth Australia who played in a brass band back home. Jimmie, a local jazz fanatic and human encyclopedia, spoke with me and we were both trying to recall the tuba player who played with Jackie McLean and Miles Davis – I remembered. It was Ray Draper. I thought that in tribute to Martin Luther King Day, I would mention all of the amazing black American tuba players who have contributed so much to our field. In addition to Ray Draper, there is Howard Johnson, Bob Stewart, Jon Sass, Velvet Brown, JaTtik Clark, William Roper, Demondrae Thurmon, Ken Amos, and Julian Dixon. Check them out.