December has arrived already! We just got back from a whirlwind trip to the UK and Tel Aviv. It was fantastic, though, I do always love the feeling when the plane touches down and I’m home!
We had two drummers and two shows. Davide Di Renzo on a day off in London from touring with Cassandra Wilson and Larnell Lewis stopping in Tel Aviv on his way to Oslo to play with Laila Biali. We also had the amazing Mike Downes on bass and Adrean Furrugia on piano. Two very different shows illustrating what great musicians can do with some great songs. We had some fun, and made some great music.
I’m always humbled by London the pace, the people, the history. The Royal Albert Hall is crazy beautiful. Old Toronto friends now living in London showed up too! It was a real joy to see them.
The cultural centre in Tel Aviv where we played was alive with theatre, dance and music (and a really good restaurant!). We were hosted by Daphna Tsuman, a firecracker of a woman! The food in Tel Aviv is wonderful, so fresh and the olive oil is just incredible. We walked the streets of Jaffa, the old city, now full of artists working and living with lots of galleries and museums throughout. This the home of the Jaffa orange, and the air was perfumed with citrus (did I mention the food was so good?).
We were well taken care of by tour manager and friend Serge Kolpa. He has now lived through two terrorist attacks in his neighborhood. He lives with his wife and two children down the street from Charlie Hedbo and around the corner from the Bataclan. It has been a traumatic and horrible time for the people of Paris, and for all of us around the world watching in fear and sadness. We can only beat this by living life, feeling joy and not allowing terrorists to terrorize. They win when they divide us with hate and fear.
I hope you all feel joy and peace in this season of giving
and that you all reach out in your own way to spread some love and joy around.
I have a few dates coming up in Alberta and Ontario (more info here). I would love to see you! The Because of Billie record is still available with some of the proceeds of the CD and merch going to the Boys and Girls Clubs.
I love this holiday season. Am I alone in hoping for snow?
It will be our first Christmas in our new home and I can’t wait to get out all the tree trimmings and decorations to deck our halls!