November has been a big month for me so here’s a quick summary:
My gig at The Ellington with Mint Jazz Band was a success. Around 75 people came to the gig despite stormy weather and many congratulated us on our performance. Our double bassist Malcolm Mah’s creative intros and endings really gave our renditions of familiar classics that little something extra. For instance, our version of “Autumn Leaves” now begins and ends with what sounds like a horror soundtrack. I told a few humorous tales during the show and overall the concert was everything I wanted it to be.
UWA’s School of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine where I work full-time has invited me to publish articles on their website each month. Sentinel chickens is the topic of my first article for that series. I will also be working on the School’s monthly bulletin. In addition, an article I wrote about the New Approaches to Teaching (NATT) team of which I am a part will be published in MeDeFacts later this year.
The Disappearing offered to publish another poem of mine (a sonnet). You can download their app for free on your iPad, iPhone, or other android device. They published a poem of mine about an endangered native snail earlier this year. I also organised for another local poet, Robert Wood, to take over the guest bookings for Perth Poetry Club next year.
Drum Perth continues to publish my CD and live gig reviews (just check out the Freelance Journalist section of this website). The Matchbox Twenty concert with special guests INXS at the new Perth Arena was definitely a concert to remember. This month I was also lucky to experience an excellent theatre production (GRADS production of David Henry Hwang’s “M. Butterfly”) and a formidable show by The Glen Miller Orchestra. Little y Theatre’s misguided production of David Mamet’s “Glen Glengarry Ross” which showed a lack of understanding of the play’s focus on masculinity, age, and class, was the only theatrical misstep of the month.
Believe it or not, I participated in a fashion show competition where I was given a theme (“spring racing”), $300, and an hour to shop! Thank you to everyone who voted for me. I did not win but I had a great time and got to keep the clothes.
Favourite Book this Month: William Maxwell’s novel “So Long, See You Tomorrow.” The memoir-style story of a man reflecting on his boyhood in Illinois after the death of his mother is both moving and memorable. The story focuses on the dissolution of two friendships and the murder of a local farmer.
Tomorrow night I will join Mint Jazz Band in performing at The Wild Fig in Scarborough. We have been booked to play there every Friday until the end of the year. We will be adding some new songs to our shows, particularly the requests we have received so far.
Who knows what I will have to share with you in the next update?!
The Ellington Jazz Club is the classiest and most sophisticated jazz venue in Perth. Since 2009 when the club was established it has been my dream to perform there. My girlfriend Maneera de Mel has made that dream come true. On Sunday 2 November 2012 I, along with my jazz band Mint Jazz Band, will be performing there! Tickets can be purchased here.
Rehearsals for the show at The Ellington as well as another gig with Mint (7-10pm on Friday 12 October at The Wild Fig Café, Scarborough) have started. The set list for those gigs will feature a selection of songs from the repertoires recently published on the Jazz Singer and Funk/Soul/Pop Singer pages of this website. I aim to upload some songs from earlier jazz performances when the chance arises.
Working as an Administrative Officer as part of the New Approaches to Teaching Team for The University of Western Australia’s School of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine has been challenging and exciting. I am currently writing an article about that for MeDeFacts which will be submitted in November this year. In addition, my interview with Damien Leith was recently published by Drum Media Perth who also gave me the opportunity to interview Dennis Mackrel, the musical director of The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra. The Freelance Journalist page of this website will feature these works after they are published.
In terms of the literary arts, I am currently undertaking an online course in Modern and Contemporary American Poetry with The University of Pennsylvania that is available for free through social entrepreneurship company Coursera. I am also looking forward to watching one of my favourite plays, Henrik Ibsen’s play “Ghosts” (1881), with Hanna Scott who studied it with me in Year 12 English Literature, as well as seeing Sarah Kane’s play “Crave” (1998) with my friend Marcus Platt who will be departing Perth for Melbourne soon. Those two friends of mine have been a key part of Jake’s Book Club since I started it last year.
Jake’s Book Club meets once a month to discuss, over drinks and nibbles, a modern classic that is no longer than 250 pages. If you know someone who would love to join our book club direct them to our Facebook page. These are the books of the month that we voted for then read so far:
January: Charles Webb’s The Graduate (1963)
February: Truman Capote’s Summer Crossing (1950)
March: Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890)
April: Elie Wiesel’s Night (1955)
May: Virginia Woolf’s To The Lighthouse (1927)
June: S. E. Hinton’s The Outsiders (1965)
July: Andre Gide’s The Immoralist (1902)
August: Tennessee Williams’ Cat On A Hot Tin Roof (1958)
September: David Malouf’s Remembering Babylon (1993)
October: John Hersey’s Hiroshima (1946)
November: Ernest Hemmingway’s The Old Man and the Sea (1952)
December: Paulo Coehlo’s The Alchemist (1988)
January: Thomas Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49 (1966)
February: Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet (1923)
March: Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis (1915)
April: Tim Winton’s In the Winter Dark (1988)
May: Milan Kundera’s Identity (1999)
June: Bret Easton Elis’s Less Than Zero (1985)
July: Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw (1898)
August: J. M. Coetzee’s Disgrace (1999)
September: Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange (1962)
I will finish this blog with a haiku I wrote and published earlier this year in the Creative Connections 2012 Anthology that uses spring as its theme:
gold seeds in moist earth
catch light with first leaves: children
clasp bright falling stars