On December 2nd, 2007, we held a special concert on our home turf to celebrate the life and music of Jaco on the 20th anniversary of his untimely death and his birth-date at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. We welcomed many special guests including Peter Erskine, Gerald Veasley, Randy Brecker, Bob Mintzer, Jimmy Haslip, Bobby Thomas, and many others. There were also some great video tributes and visual shows documenting Jaco's life.
September 2004 - We just finished up a couple of overseas tours with the Jaco Pastorius Big Band to support the Word of Mouth Revisited record. Our most recent trip was to Holland to play concerts as part of the North Sea Jazz festival in Den Hague. Our first night we played a concert dubbed "The Heat of the Hague" in downtown Den Hague in the "Plien", which I guess means the center or courtyard. The second evening was when we played at the North Sea Jazz festival venue. It was a great concert with an audience of about 8000 in the pavilion. Richard Bona was our guest bassist for that night, and he was a treat to play with and listen to. Had an opportunity to hear him with his own band which played just before John Scofield took the stage, then we closed the show for the night. All in all an incredible night of listening and playing.
It was then on to Brussels, Belgium where we played at the Brusella Jazz and Folk festival in a magnificent open air amphitheater. It was a wonderful atmosphere and the people were all so nice and appreciative of Jaco's music and our performance. We had a day to explore Brussels, and then it was back to Amsterdam for trip back home.
In March we spent a week in Tokyo, Japan at the Blue Note Jazz club. Japan is a wonderful place, and the people are all so nice and pleasant, and extremely efficient. We did six nights there, and every show had a full house or close to it, and the club is very large. We had three guest bassists with us there, Jimmy Haslip, Victor Wooten, and Gerald Veasley. Those guys just tore it up. By the end of the week we had some things going on that were really magical. I wish we could record the record now, but that is the way it always works. You record it and then go play it over and over, and that is where the tunes really develop themselves and mature. We had a great time there playing and sightseeing all over Tokyo. Kathy came on both tours and kept me going during the day with an agenda of sights to visit.
Also in March we played the Berks Jazz Festival in Philadelphia with Gerald Veasley. That was a great concert, and Gerald played his butt off. He is one of the main contributors to that festival being it is in his home town. He runs a three day "Jazz Boot Camp" for young musicians and brings in other notables to teach classes at the camp. A really great effort on his part to keep "real" music alive and thriving for the young people in that area.
January 2004 was the long awaited and anticipated NAMM show in California. The JPBB played for the Samson and Hartke corporations as part of the first Jazz Bassist of the Year award they were introducing at the show this year. Opening for the band was the Peter Erskine quartet, which was a joy to hear. Peter has always been one of my favorites, and the nicest person you could ever meet as well. We had a great time playing for the crowd, and Peter came up and sat in with the band on "Liberty City". When he came up to play, I handed him the sticks and told him to "have fun". He turned around and looked at me and said, "You know, that's what Jaco always used to say to me before we would go onstage!"
Will Lee (Late Night with David Letterman) also took some time out of his busy NAMM schedule to stop by and say hello and enjoy a hot cup of coffee.
December 2003 saw us in New York City where we did six nights at the Iridium jazz club. That was a great week, and the first time the band had played multiple nights in the same venue. On those dates we had Victor Wooten, Jimmy Haslip, and Gerald with us. We had visits from Will Lee, Randy Brecker, Dave Love (Heads Up Records), Jay Beckinstein (Spyro Gyra), and even a visit from Jack Pastorius, Jaco's father.