Party Pack ICE @ Douglass Street 11/30 LIVE STREAMING!

Hey Friends,

It’s be a little while since my last post, and a lot of exciting stuff has happened in the meantime. I had the pleasure of joining the Elina Duni Quartet (an amazing Swiss band on ECM records) for a week-long US tour which ended in a hurricane. It was a great experience to perform with such a talented group of people, and get to know them personally. I hope to have the opportunity to play music with them again in the near future.

The Lubbock record is now completely mixed by Jake Leckie, and it sounds awesome. If you need any kind of recording work done in the Baltimore area (studio or live audio) this is your guy. The recording quality is top-notch, and the mixing he was able to do with very little time is perfect for the record. We’re hoping to get it mastered and do a few blowout release shows in Spring 2013. I’m very proud of this record.

Some other great shows were mixed in over the course of the past few months, and I have some upcoming that I’m really excited about. The most immediate is the debut performance by Party Pack ICE. This is an ensemble I’ve been trying to put together for the last year and I just recently completed the arrangements and started rehearsing the band. It is the normal trio of Party Pack (Dustin Carlson-guitar, AH-bass, & Nathan Ellman-Bell-drums) but with the addition of my two favorite tenor players Eric Trudel and Patrick Breiner. We’ll be playing Friday, November 30 at Douglass Street Music Collective as part of Aryeh Kobrinsky’s Nowt Nite. This is a great series that Aryeh curates monthly. The most exciting part of the series is that he live steams it, so you can watch from anywhere in the world! It will also be available via iTunes as a podcast in the next week or so. If you’d like to check it out live just tune into the link below at 8:00p on Friday, November 30. Party Pack ICE is first, so get there early and stay late.

Nowt Nite Streaming:

Some other upcoming shows that I’m very excited about:

Friday 12/7–I’ll be premiering my new trio with Anna Webber-sax and Nathan Ellman-Bell-drums. All new compositions that I’ve written over the past couple of months just for these two musicians. We’ll be playing at iBeam on Friday 12/7 at 9:30p.

Monday 12/10 & Tuesday 12/11–I’ll be part of a 96-hour improvisation put together by the Music Factory. It is an ambitious idea and I can’t wait to contribute (and see who I’ll be performing with at noon on a Monday!) You can check out what they’re doing at

Thursday 12/13–I’ll be participating in a large ensemble experiment put together by Josh Sinton at Douglass Street Music Collective. Details forthcoming about this performance, but I am very excited about it. I respect Josh so much as a musician that I’d trust anything he puts together!

Sunday 12/16–Out of Your Head Brooklyn has been going strong for almost a year, and the last one of the year will be my first one performing! I’ve had so many people interested in the series that I just didn’t schedule myself to play. As part of Josh Sinton’s curatorial run he insisted that I perform, and I’m excited to do so with a quintet of Ed Rosenberg & Nathaniel Morgan-reeds, Dave Miller-guitar, AH-bass, and Martin Urbach-drums. Thanks Josh, that’s an awesome band! OOYH is every 1st and 3rd Sunday at Freddy’s Bar and Backroom, 627 5th Ave, South Slope.

Wednesday 12/19–Danny Gouker‘s Signal Problems take on the Branded Saloon in Prospect Heights. This will be our last performance before we go into the studio in early January to record the band’s debut record.

Thursday 1/24–This is the BIG ONE! My Baltimore-based band Quartet Offensive will be reuniting after a bit of a (unintentional) hiatus to share a bill with JERSEYBAND! Don’t need to say much else about this one. It’s at the Ottobar and if you’re in Baltimore I can’t recommend it highly enough. Those guys.

Wednesday 1/30–Denial & Error will be putting it back together as part of Oscar Noriega’s  Palimpsestic Series at Barbes in Brooklyn. I was sad to have to miss the most recent gig with this band because of the ECM tour. Excited to be doing it again! The band is Kate Pittman-drums, compositions, Josh Reed-trumpet, Landon Knoblock-rhodes, and AH-bass. Kate Pittman writes great music, and I have a great time playing it with her. This set start at 8:00p at Barbes.

Upcoming In September…

Hello Internet Friends!

A few shows in the NYC and Baltimore areas coming up in September. Excited to be playing creative original music written by some very talented people who are also close friends. Hope to see you out! Lots of these are conveniently located and many of them won’t cost you a dime! Here are some highlights:

Saturday 9/8–Signal Problems @ Sounds and Sounds, Launch Pad, 721 Franklin, Brooklyn NY, Danny Gouker-trumpet, compositions; Eric Trudel-sax; AH-bass; Nathan Ellman-Bell-drums, 8p,–Danny has some new music for this one, and as one of the longest standing bands I play it we’ve developed some unique Baltimore-house chemistry!

Tuesday 9/11–Out of Your Head Baltimore @ The Windup Space, 12 W North Ave, Baltimore MD, Peter Formanek-sax; Mike Cerri-trumpet; AH-bass; Jim Hannah-percussion, 9:30p, no cover,–Happy to be back at the home court playing in this great music series, kept alive by Matt Frazao and Jon Birkholz. ALWAYS my favorite place to play, anywhere.

Friday 9/14–Little Brothers @ 285 Midwood, 285 Midwood, Brooklyn NY, Nathaniel Morgan-alto sax; AH-bass; Devin Gray-drums, 8p, no cover–Really excited to be performing for the first time with trio, which as the name suggests is made up of three youngest brothers. We feel that this strongly influences our approach to almost everything, music included. The few times we’ve played instead of just hang out have been great, so check it out for FREE at Midwood. Nathaniel and Devin are both also playing in a new sextet of mine that I’m hoping to debut this Winter…looking forward to this! Improvisations and potentially some loose compositions as well.

Monday 9/17–Trio @ Kif, 219 Dekalb St, Brooklyn NY, Jacob Teichroew-sax; AH-bass; Nathan Ellman-Bell-drums, 8-10p, FREE–Standards, fun, free! Come have a drink and listen. I don’t get to play with Jacob often enough so this will be great.

Monday 9/24–Trio @ Kif, 219 Dekalb St, Brooklyn NY, Eric Trudel-sax; AH-bass; Nathan Ellman-Bell-drums, 8-10p, FREE–More standards, more fun, more free! This one features Eric’s trio who have been a group since 2007.

Saturday 9/29–Ruckus NYC @ Cooper Union, Cooper Square, NY NY, lineup TBA, 8p,–Still working out the details on this one, but be sure to check out the website for this very unique day-long conference taking place at Cooper Union. The conference ends with a massive concert which will feature one of my own groups TBA.

Sunday 9/30–Signal Problems @ Freddy’s Bar, 627 5th Ave, Brooklyn NY, Danny Gouker-trumpet, compositions; Eric Trudel-sax; AH-bass; Nathan Ellman-Bell-drums, 8p,–Another Signal Problems gig, but this time we’ll be playing the old hits which we’re planning to record at the end of the year. This is an AMAZING lineup with great friends Sweet Talk and VaVatican both playing. Don’t miss!

Thanks for checking in. Coming in October will be more Signal Problems and an awesome new band called Denial and Error led by drummer and composer Kate Pittman on a couple of dates.

Summer happenings, and bass solos, and future happenings, too…

Oh boy it’s been since April since I updated this guy. Lots of teaching in that time, and a good amount of playing with some great people and great friends. A couple of things to watch out for in the coming months:

1) Lubbock, a 10-piece ensemble that I co-lead with Dave Ballou, is finally mixing the album we recorded back in January. It was recorded in the studio, but all in one day, and minimal takes of everything. The band was on though, so I think there is some great music to be heard on this thing, and it’s one of those live-in-the-studio sort of deals. Some previews of that coming soon. The entire band is Cam Collins, Eric Trudel, Colin Renick, and John Dierker-reeds, Dave Ballou, Brent Madsen, and Jim McFalls-brass, and Chris Pumphrey, myself, and Nathan Ellman-Bell in the rhythm section.

2) Eric Trudel Trio has been gaining some steam lately, having played a couple of gigs in the past couple weeks. Some accidentally, some intentional, but the important thing is that they happened and they were fun. Eric, Nathan and I have been playing trio together since 2007 in Baltimore, so the comfort level is high in that group and we have a good time. Good times with good dudes. I have a weekly gig at Kif in Ft. Greene every Monday night from 8-10p, and this week Eric and Nathan are both subbing, so it should be a fun time and worth checking out. Oh, and no cover! Here’s a clip of that trio playing the tune Daniella by Hurray for the Riff Raff. It features a bass solo first, and might be the only bass solo on this entire website. Enjoy!


Daniella–written by Hurray for the Riff Raff–performed by Eric Trudel-sax; AH-bass; Nathan Ellman-Bell-drums

3) Lots of fun stuff coming up in the performances section of this page. Danny Gouker’s Signal Problems have a bunch of shows coming up in the new few months in preparation of recording their debut album. That band consists of all of my roommates, and we have fun playing music together. Lastly Out of Your Head Brooklyn has gotten off to a wildly successful start, and I’m so excited by all the support it is getting. Our next show will be Sunday, August 5 at Freddy’s Bar and Backroom, and will feature Gerald Cleaver, Oscar Noriega, Andrew Bishop, Kenny Warren, JP Schlegelmilch, Ben Syversen, Greg Chudzik, Nathan Ellman-Bell, and Kate Pittman. Wooooo…hope to see you soon!

Out of Your Head Brooklyn starts February 19 at Freddy’s Bar!

Many of you reading this are already aware of the Out of Your Head Collective and the history behind it, so I won’t go into much detail. Guitarist Matt Frazao and myself founded this collective of improvising musicians in Baltimore in 2009 and there has been a weekly performance by OOYH pretty much every week for the past three years at The Windup Space in Station North. I’ve decided to start a chapter of the collective in Brooklyn and the first performance will be Sunday, February 19 at Freddy’s Bar in South Slope. I’ve made some of my best friends through OOYH in Baltimore, and I can never ever thank Russell de Ocampo enough for supporting this vision, so I’m very excited to be expanding to the north. For now we’ll be appearing every 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month at Freddy’s Bar (627 5th Ave, BK NY). In the tradition of OOYH there will never be a cover (but we will accept donations for the musicians) and it will always start at 9:30pm, two sets of completely improvised music by a band that has never played together before. Fun! More details at

Here’s the full schedule for OOYH BK through April 2012. For more info follow us at Hope to see you out!

Sunday 2/19:

Set One (9:30p): Nathaniel Morgan-alto; Josh Sinton-reeds; Jonathan Goldberger-guitar; Kate Pittman-drums

Set Two (11pm): Timo Vollbrecht-reeds; Rick Parker-trombone; Dustin Carlson-guitar; Landon Knoblock-keyboards; Devin Gray-drums

Sunday 3/4:

Set One (9:30p): Ed Rosenberg-tenor; Patrick Breiner-tenor; Flin van Hemmen-drums; +TBA

Set Two (11pm): Adam Schatz-tenor; Kirk Knuffke-cornet; Shannon Barnett-trombone; Patricia Franceschy-vibes; Will McEvoy-bass; Tim Kuhl-drums

Sunday 3/18:

Set One (9:30p): Pablo Moser-tenor; Joe Moffett-trumpet; Mariel Berger-accordian; David Grollman-snare drum

Set Two (11pm): Yoni Kretzmer-tenor; Brad Henkel-trumpet; Sebastian Noelle-guitar; Sebastian Ammann-keyboards; Haim Peskoff-drums

Sunday 4/1:

Set One (9:30p): Ben Syversen-trumpet; Mike Gamble-guitar; Carlo Costa-drums

Set Two (11pm): Caleb Curtis-alto; Jon Lindhorst-tenor; Josh Reed-trumpet; John Blevins-trumpet; Matt Plummer-trombone; Keisuke Matsuno-guitar; Nico Soffiato-guitar; Adam Miller-drums

Sunday 4/15:

Set One (9:30p): Jonah Parzen-Johnson-reeds; Kenny Warren-trumpet; Ryan Mackstaller-guitar; Noah Garabedian-bass; Devin Drobka-drums

Set Two (11pm): Jake Henry-trumpet; Dave Miller-guitar; Xander Naylor-guitar; Matt Rosseau-drums

Free Sounds: Sinking Ship @ Freddy’s Bar 1.28.12

Sinking Ship is a band that I started with my great friend TJ Huff.  In a way it sort of started when we played together in a Faith No More cover band on Halloween 2002 with Nate Rappole (who played right before Sinking Ship this past show under his solo act of Gull…it ruled).  In a way it’s a completely new thing, and our attempt to revisit the energy we gave playing in punk bands in high school, but with some twists.  TJ wrote all of the current music. and the best way to describe it is mid-90’s pirate rock, chock full of improvisation, but could easily be the soundtrack to a playstation snowboarding game. We enlisted my frequent collaborators Eric Trudel (sax) and Nathan Ellman-Bell (drums) to round out the band.

The show at Freddy’s was great.  TJ was not feeling so well, at times seeming like he may vomit on me mid-set, and also his second-most-important pedal broke right before we played.  But playing with him and listening back I wouldn’t have had any idea that this guy was feeling bad…he played great, and did some funny things in the process.  Below is a chronological photo documentation of the set, and the unedited full set mp3 (after a shaky start we really get going!).  Awesome photos by Fiamma Piacentini (Huff).

Unedited Full Set MP3: Sinking Ship @ Freddy’s 1.28.12

Out of Your Head Complete Fall Schedule

Guitarist Matt Frazao and myself have a lot of musical projects together. We play together in and both write music for Quartet Offensive which is still playing these days and recording a live album at An Die Musik on August 25. In March 2009 we created this thing called Out of Your Head.  Many of you know what it is, so I won’t go into any detail but there is a lot more information at With the help of our great friend Russell de O’Campo (Windup Space owner) it has grown beyond out belief, involving over 50 creative musicians in Baltimore, and seeing steady crowds each week for our performances. Seeing these bands perform every Tuesday is my favorite part of the week and we couldn’t do it without the awesome musicians who are part of the collective.

We just finished the schedule for the rest of August, September, and October and it is a good one.  Lots of amazing bands in here.  The collective performs every Tuesday night at the Windup Space (12 W North Ave) in Baltimore from 9:30p to midnight.  And it is always free. Here’s the full schedule for Fall 2011 (OOYH Fall Schedule):

August 16–Ben Frock-trumpet; Susan Alcorn-pedal steel guitar; Jackie Pollauf-harp

August 23–Danny Gouker-trumpet; Janel Leppin-cello; Chris Pumphrey-rhodes; Will Redman-drums

August 30–Eric Trudel-reeds; Matt Rynes-reeds; Mike Cerri-trumpet; Savino Palumbo-piano; Patrick McAvinue-violin; Zack Branch-cello; Zach Swanson-bass

September 6–John Dierker-reeds; Matt Frazao-guitar; Jack Leckie-bass; Mike Ross-drums

September 13–Peter Formanek-sax; Anthony Pirog-guitar; Brian Brunsman-bass; Alan Munshower-drums

September 20–Colin Renick-reeds; Adam Hopkins-bass; Ethan Snyder-drums

September 27–Amanda Bloom-voice; Lauren Shusterich-voice; Erik Spangler-turntables, electronics

October 4–Dave Ballou-trumpet; Blake Cramer-vibraphone; Michael Ronstadt-cello; Mike Kuhl-drums

October 11–Anna Meadors-sax; Dan Wallace-sax; Dan Ryan-guitar; Jason Cohen-drums

October 18–Derrick Michaels-sax; Jon Lipscomb-guitar; Kevin Gift-keyboards; Mike Ross-drums

October 25–John Dierker-reeds; Andrew Delclos-bassoon; Liz Meredith-viola; Alex Weber-bass; Nathan Ellman-Bell-drums