Jul 2005
What a Trip!!!
Man!! So I just got back a couple of days ago after doing a tour with George Duke and I have to say that it was definitely a surprise. We travelled just about every single day for 3 weeks which was VERY taxing on all of us. We started off the first week in the Canary Islands playing a show on a different island every day. Then we headed up towards Copenhagen with a night spent near Heathrow Airport. We were leaving our hotel when we got the news that the bombings had occurred inside London. We continued on to Copenhagen, and then went on to Den Haag (sp?) for the North Sea Jazz Festival. After that we went to Switzerland for a couple of days for the Montreux Jazz Festival. This was great because Montreux is right next to Lausanne where I lived for year. I got to see an old friend and my cousins and they all came to the show at the Casino. Then we flew back up to London and did a few days at the Jazz Cafe in Camden which is one or two stops from the bombings at Kings Cross. I really have to say that I was very proud of the people in the city. It was amazing to see how positive everyone was and you could really see that they weren't going to let these cowardly acts affect their way of life. The other thing in London was that I got to hang out with my sister who was traveling through. I spent my 29th Birthday working, but then Linette and I went and toured the Tower of London, and went up in the London Eye the day after. Finally we played a Jazz Festival outside of Munich, Germany. We went on right before Dianna Ross and then started our 20 hour trip home shortly thereafter.

So the big surprise of the trip was that our second keyboard player did something incredible unprofessional and backed out of a 3 week tour less than 24 hours before it started! My duties for this tour were to consist of organizing the technical aspects of the show as well as mixing monitors. However, I was lucky enough to also be able to play with George and the band for the entire tour! I only played about half the songs and had to work in my spare time to learn the charts (I wish I had been able to practice in advance), but it was definitely a highlight for me. I haven't played live in a while and I was lucky enough to play some of the biggest jazz festivals in the world with some incredible musicians. It was definitely fun and I'm very thankful to George and the band for letting me play. Its definitely something I won't forget.

I'll go ahead and post a collection of tour pics as soon as I download the last of them from my camera. Till then, here's a picture of us playing a festival in Las Palmas in the Canary Islands.
-Andrew
CIMG2079
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