Julia and I wrote this original tune for the Monterey Jazz Festival Summer Camp and it was a big hit with the kids and the audience. It didn't have a name when we started camp, as it's a wordless vocal piece and we wanted to let the kids help choose the name. So...funny story...I was writing the daily camp schedule on the chalkboard in our rehearsal room and thought I'd be cute by writing "Noms" instead of "lunch"...you know..."nom, nom, nom..." And the kids thought it was cute, so yay me. Then, the second day's schedule was different, so I had to write it again, but THIS time I got even cuter and wrote "Nommage", which one of the kids pronounced like it was a French word..."no-MAHZH". And we all had a laugh and continued to try to find a name for this piece. THEN, one of the campers looked up "Nommage" in French and learned that it means..."Naming". So we all hit the floor laughing at the coincidence and proceeded to name the chart "Le Nomage (The Naming)". Take a listen and see if this wouldn't be an awesome opener or closer for your group this fall...
By the way...the drummer on this track is my Canadian bud Matthew Chalmers, and your drummer doesn't have to destroy the universe the way Matthew does for this tune to work. It's written as an afro-cuban groove, and there's drum notation to help your drummer figure out what to do. I just noticed that his playing makes this legitimate Level 2 chart sound like a Level 4...so don't be scared, director friends!
Coming very soon will be the first weekly (and possibly only semi-weekly, time permitting) episode of a podcast that I'll be hosting on the subject of vocal jazz. Julia Dollison will sometimes sit in as co-host, and segments will include News, Charts of the Week, Guest Conversations, Feature Topics (educational in nature) and Feedback (listener messages, mail and questions). The podcast will be available through this websiteas well as iTunes and most regular podcast aggrigator sites and apps.
Julia and I are excited to announce the plans for next year that we've been working on for a while. On July 1st, we'll be moving to Greeley, Colorado, where I'm extremely honored to be joining the adjunct jazz faculty at The University of Northern Colorado!
I'll be directing the flagship vocal jazz ensemble, Northern Colorado Voices ("NoCo") and Vocal Jazz Ensemble 1 as well as teaching a few courses within the music department (Music Business, Class Jazz Piano and Jazz Methods and Materials). Julia has accepted a position as applied jazz voice instructor at Metro State University of Denver, and will also be teaching private jazz voice lessons in Greeley. We're going to continue writing and recording like always and we'll gig when possible, including the still-tentatively-planned Ben Folds symphonic world tour this Spring.
Although leaving Sacramento isn't going to be easy and we'll really miss everyone here, we're excited about our new life ahead in Colorado. We'll be much closer to my folks in Kansas, with whom we're looking forward to spending more time. I'm hugely honored at the opportunity to be involved in one of the heaviest jazz studies programs in the country with its deep and rich history, and I'm humbled to work alongside the great musicians on that faculty.
We want to thank everyone here in our Sacramento community for their support, encouragement and friendship over the years. We hope you'll stay in touch and have us back in town to visit!
And, for those who need to send me something via snail mail, the new address is:
303 54th Ave.
Greeley, CO 80634