Every second and fourth Monday of the month, Peter and the Master Keys performs at the Wayland in the East Village of New York. On these nights I perform with a quartet rather than the sextet and have different guests with me all the time. Sometimes I'm featuring a great guitarist and other times one of my favorite organists. It's also an opportunity to workshop new songs like some of the Ray Charles songs I've been working on. Tonight, I'll be playing with some old friends: Erik Blicker- an amazing guitarist as well as engineer and entrepreneur; Nicholas Myers- a fantastic jazz and blues tenor sax man; and Alex Raderman- one of New York's most in-demand drummers.
Yesterday we played at a veritable Gatsby-era mansion in Long Island. The Coe Hall mansion is essentially a castle built by a gilded-age industrialist, which now is home to arts and concert series. We were thrilled to learn that all 150 seats had sold out! And what a great audience we had; all enthusiastic listeners and with a great sense of humor to boot (they laughed at all my jokes).
The band played an inspired set for the crowd and we were rewarded by a very gratifying standing ovation! Afterwards, we were pleased to meet many of the folks who came up to speak with us. Hopefully, we'll be playing here and other places like it again soon.
Working in New York City as a professional bassist and bandleader is a study in contrasts; one night I'm playing blues at a restaurant, another I'm playing New Orleans jazz at a seedy bar, and then I find myself playing in the Upper East Side of Manhattan playing for a select group of UN ambassadors and dignitaries!
It was an honor to play for the Pakistani ambassador to the U.N., Dr. Lodhi, last night. She was extremely gracious and engaging the whole night as she hosted us in Pakistan's beautiful townhouse. I wasn't sure what to expect; would we just be playing background music? But Dr. Lodhi and her guests were surprisingly attentive listeners and, as the night wore on, they turned out to be terrific dancers as well. It's not a night I'll forget soon!
A week ago, Peter & the Master Keys had the pleasure of playing for Sotheby's Luxury Night, sponsored by Maserati. We played for royalty that night . . . that is, for beautiful sixteenth-century oil paintings of royalty, situated right next to us.
Also next to us was the free-flowing champagne bar, which the band enjoyed - in moderation, of course.
All in all, it was a classy night for a classy band in one of the art world's foremost institutions. We've just been re-hired for Sotheby's holiday party next week, and we can't wait!
This Thursday, December 1st, I'm very excited to be performing with a good friend of mine - Harlem's very own blues prodigy, King Solomon Hicks! We'll be playing from 9:00-11:00pm at Luca's Jazz Corner, Cavatappo Bar & Grill on the Upper East Side in Manhattan.
Solomon is a young master of the blues in the style of B.B. King and other greats. So come by - you'll be in for a treat!
Sometimes you know that a wedding reception is going to be a lot of fun from the moment you walk in the door with your upright bass and band in tow. Last night was one of those nights. As soon as we got there, we were welcomed warmly by the father of the bride, who was setting up the PA for us, and immediately we were invited to sample the locally catered barbecue, which was delicious.
We began by playing a jazz standard as people entered the reception hall, thinking that we would save the dance music for later - but the guests had a different idea. They started the dance party right then and there. Maybe the extended cocktail hour had something to do with it. Nonetheless, we got off to a great start, and the night took off from there.