Thank you, Merci Beaucoup, ありがとうございます。
Hope your new year so far is great. I am on a sort of vacation/ work trip at the moment, but making the most of it.
Spent the first part of the trip in Montréal playing a couple of shows at my favourite jazz club Diese Onze. One night with an octet featuring members of the big band and one night as the guest of Alex Bellegarde's famous Tuesday night jam sessions. Great crowd, great venue, great music, lots of fun. Then was a day in Toronto to see some old friends, eat some good food and tie up some loose ends. Now I'm on the West Coast seeing family, more close friends eating and eating sushi before going back to the Middle East.
I am happy to announce that our album New Beginnings is now officially on sale in both digital (Band Camp, iTunes, Amazon Music) and physical formats! It's a pretty cool feeling holding the physical copies in my hand after more than two years since I started to write the first score for the album.
And now I have some people I must thank:
My mum, dad and beautiful sister. Always there for my musical and life dreams from the beginning. Driving me every week to piano lessons (and saxophone lessons), attending recials, not opposing my decision to leave a business major for a music degree, putting up with me making noise at home and countless other things. None of this would have been possible without your guys' support.
My mentors Tami, Emry, Mr. Hembruff, Maestro Andrew Homzy and Dave Turner for enriching my musical knowledge when I needed it the most. Especially when I wasn't ready for that week's lesson or didn't have the assignment done as well as I should have. My training and skills truly are a result of your directing and knowledge.
My close buddies Alex, Jason, Eric, Yoni, Nagy, Dylan (and many others) for taking photos, coming to hang out at shows, listening to me complain and putting up with my general arranger/ composer eccentricities. Apologies in advance for the future "omg, Luke...." followed by facepalm moments.
My band for playing well, being easy to work with and being a part of the group to begin with. The album was done in just two studio days and with a group that had only had one and a half rehearsals. I can't think of any other place other than Montréal that is such a trove of talented musicians who also happen to be cool people. It was a blast to lay the wax with you all.
Monsieur Aubé, René Cadieux, Carl Talbot, Patrice, Keith, Jenkins and the rest of the technical crew at les Studios Piccolo and Le Lab Mastering. It was a breeze to record with you guys at your place. You guys took care of all the behind the scenes and made the final version of the album sound like a professional product.
My producer and close musical friend (and excellent pianist) Jad Salameh. It's not often you get to meet someone that takes such an interest in your music to the point as Jad does. Jad is a wizard at finding the little creases, blemishes and errors and finding ways to fix them. Working with Jad is like having a Bosch Power Sander, an encyclopedia of sandpaper and a chrome finishing machine. Thank you, Jad.
Of course, you. The audience/ listener Without you guys being interested or caring about the music New Beginnings probably would have never had a beginning. Making this album has been a journey for me to try to understand life and the world at large. In many ways it's been a long time coming but in just as many ways it has only began.
If you have felt joy, sorrow, love, longing, adventure or hope from listening to the tracks, I am most grateful for you opening your ears and hearts to let the music and its emotions speak to you. For you, the audience, listener, fan, Instagram follower and Facebook fan I extend an extra large Fat Kid thank you. If you have already bought the single or album there is a cherry on top- if you have yet to make an order of New Beginnings, the cherry is waiting for you. ;)
If you have read this all the way to this point, thank you for reading this post. There will be more written accompaniment for the album in the next bit. In the meantime, take care, have a great weekend, leave a comment and if you know someone who likes listening to fresh, funky, fat, groovy music tell them about Fat Kid Big Band's debut album New Beginnings.