That Time I Performed with the Blues Brothers Band gang — Part 1

There's a first time for everything — may this be the first of many!

Dream team photo opp after the big gig with (left to right) "Blue Lou" Marini, Tom "Bones" Malone, and "Captain" Kirk Garrison — following a long week of rehearsals and workshops involving bands of all ages from around the region.


Fall 2018

First, I get the call


It's a little hard to believe my ears and eyes - but Hastings Schools Music Coordinator Rick Matticks is inviting me to Nebraska to participate in a blow-out Artists-In-Residence Extravaganza featuring none other than...


"Blue Lou" Marini & Tom "Bones" Malone

...of the ORIGINAL Blues Brothers Band!!!

Like IN THE MOVIE and everything!


Sadly, "Mr. Fabulous" is no longer with us to lend his trumpet — but bonus, we get to work with the lovely and talented "Captain" Kirk Garrison of Gary Senise's Lt. Dan Band instead. 😁



Early 2019

We've got the band... Now, "If I Had a Cat"?


As the grants are confirmed from the Nebraska Arts Council, the Spedidam, and a handful other sponsors — and my inbox is filling up with correspondence from these famous cats— it begins to dawn on me that this is ACTUALLY HAPPENING.


This is when it also dawns on me that if ever I wanted to write a horn arrangement for any of my original compositions and have it played by top notch talent — now's the time!


The obvious choice that fits with the Blues Brothers vibe is "If I Had a Cat" from my début album The French Connection — Vol 1 (2013).


The team is game, and I'm extra touched that "Bones" has also generously offered to coach me through a final edit of the piece when the time comes.


Yowza! Free advice from a career commercial arranger for such institutions as Saturday Night Live and David Letterman? Who can pass that up.


Have a listen to the original recording of "If I Had a Cat"



Arranging Music = My happy place

So, on top of making preparations for the big trip stateside which starts with a full week of Scat Cat Sessions with just me and the elementary kids, and culminates in a jazz festival with "The Band" and multiple Area Schools at Hastings College...


...I've now committed to preparing an original arrangement of my own original tune to play with the original Blues Brothers!?! Gulp!


No pressure. No sweat. #myhappyplace

Did you catch that?! Huh!? Huh!? #happymuch?!



The Devil is in the Details

As I write this, I realize that if y'all want all the dirty details of what was a life-changing event for me and for most of the students, educators, and audience members involved... It's actually a much longer story.


So, stay tuned for Part 2 in this god-knows-how-many-part series.


(And if you just can't stand to wait till next time to hear the final result of the new arrangement as performed by this dream team — try fishing around on my YouTube Channel and/or this Website — I know it's there somewhere 😉 )


More news later...