As 2015 wraps up, I'm looking back in gratitude, folks.
I had the opportunity to lead a band in Cleveland for the first time, and was blessed that musicians as fine as Gene Epstein (upright bass), Bob McGuire (banjo + guitar), Bill Fuller (drums), George Foley (piano), Jim Davis (cornet), and Bryan Thomas (bass) thought it worthwhile to spend their considerable talents and musical wisdom appearing on a bandstand with Eric Seddon's Hot Club, at one time or another, throughout the year.
I'm similarly grateful for the talents and enthusiasm of all the guys in Hot Djang---Brad Smedley (guitar), Reed Simon (jazz violin), Kevin T Richards (guitar), and Bryan Thomas (bass). I think those who come to our gigs will tell you, it's always special when we dig into that gypsy jazz and inspire each other on the spot.
|Hot Djang! : Kevin Richards, Brad Smedley, Eric Seddon, Reed Simon, Bryan Thomas (photo: Kim Yanoshik)|
Without venues, and all the hard work that goes into them, bands like ours wouldn't have a place to play. I'm grateful for all the Nightclub and Restaurant owners and managers--and all the people who have played a major role in giving the Hot Club a chance to entertain and share our music, including, but not limited to:
All the folks at The Wine Spot on Lee Road in Cleveland Heights, with special thanks to principal clarinet emeritus of the Cleveland Orchestra, Franklin Cohen, and Cheryl Carter for helping my band have a great debut last March through the ChamberFest Cleveland Uncorked Series...
|The Hot Club's Debut at the Wine Spot in March 2015|
As anyone who has lead a band knows, oftentimes the hardest gig to get is the second gig--we were fortunate that Michael Adams stepped in and offered us a job at his Rockefeller's Restaurant.
Then Colleen Miller invited us to the Music Box Supper Club--one of the most exciting venues for live music in Cleveland. The retro-jazz club flair of the Supper Club, decking our band out with the skyline of Cleveland for a backdrop, and top notch sound guy Mat Whipple, made for some great gigs in the
I'm grateful that Pete and Bonnie Kaczor hired us for their party this summer, and that we had the chance to play a great venue like Milo and Linda Valenti's restaurant in Beachwood.
|Eric Seddon's Hot Club, live at Valenti's|
It was a great honor for us to get the stage at what is already hallowed ground in the jazz world this past fall: BLU Jazz + in Akron, thanks to the invitation of Mike Wyatt II and Tony Troppe.
And my thanks goes out to everyone at the British American Club, who gave us a venue to play a unique tribute to the great Acker Bilk, and who met our playing with such intelligence and enthusiasm...
A huge thank you to all of our fans who travel to these venues to hear us: your enthusiasm; the way you shout for solos, the joy on your faces when we come off the bandstand, is so inspiring.
Most importantly, I am deeply grateful for my wife, Elisa, and our kids, who understand my need to live this music, who are willing to walk this road of the jazz life, and who love it and celebrate it with me.
Finally, I'm grateful God gave me lungs and an ability to sing through that miraculous piece of African Blackwood that some geniuses in Paris shaped into a horn we call a clarinet. May my song always be one of gratitude and praise.
God Bless you all--thanks for a wonderful 2015. Let's hit it again in 2016!
|Eric Seddon (photo: Kim Yanoshik)|