OK, so what have a I been up these days? Take a peek, up close and personal. Its good, cant complain. Even though I would like to rant sometimes, I know I cannot. Things could be far worse. I have been through a lot to get where I am, so I feel proud and strong. Been kind of busy - sorry if I did not return your call. In June alone I count 27 gigs and over 10 rehearsals. Can you believe I still have trouble paying the bills? Well I do, haha, but no complaining, I love my job - its just that gigs seem to pay half what they used to and cost of living is higher than Charlie Sheen.

Here is a small selection of recent experiences and upcoming highlights:

SOLO FLIGHT: Working on steadily becoming a regular solo act at the Novel Cafe in Pasadena, next show is on July 29th. A true music cafe vibe where I can really be Mitchell Long the genre jumping guitarist singer percussionist who also writes his own songs. Please support this great venue.

GREATNESS: I did a session the recently with a fantastically talented Mexican "popera" (pop and opera) singer and a great engineer. I showed up, found the singers key and quickly arranged Perfidia for two guitars with a killer modulation, I tweeked the harmony a lot and this suave cat "Henrique" just sang it with so much voice I don't even know how to explain it! Shout out to my buddy Grecco Buratto for the recommendation. Music is an amazing job when all the planets align.

LO AND BEHOLD! I'm playing straight ahead jazz again on a regular basis here in LA. Like Jimmy Smith said: "jazz was, is and always will be, all the other bullshit is here today and gone tomorrow" Jazz is a kind of equalizer, you have to be lyrical, virtuosic and listen and react to spontaneous group improvisation over complex and rich harmonic progressions and rhythmic complexity. And when its played right, it doesn't matter if you like punk, classical or whatever, you will love it. I love it.

MUST SEE: Vitello's August 20th with Rique Pantoja, Ernie Watts, Abraham Laboriel and Alex Acuña. This will be a rare and sure to be an epic performance with some of the greatest musicians in the LA jazz scene. Have you listened to Ernie Watts lately? This guy is as heavy as anyone ever was on a saxophone. I'm just sayin'

BLESSED: My group "Cafe Atlantico" was featured for the third year in a row on July 21st at Descanso Gardens summer concerts in the park series. This year Enzo Todesco is out on tour and so we are blessed with the ready and able Aaron Serfaty, steadily becoming another one of my favorite cats in LA who is a true friend and massive talent. I go directly from Descanso Gardens to Skirball Perfoming Arts Cenetr to perform with the one and only Maria de Barros.

IN CONCERT AND TICO TIME: I just did a concert for the Jazz Society at SOHO in Santa Barbara which featured Brazilian Jazz, some of my original music and arrangements and a few of Rique Pantoja's tunes featuring Rique Pantoja on Piano, the amazing Jeff Elliot on keyboards and trumpet, Aaron Ray on drums and Randy Tico on bass! Speaking of Randy, I went to the Troubador and heard his set with Jeff Bridges. It was no novelty-actors-act, it was the real deal; deep music, lyrics, tone and performance. Quincy Jones introduced them and I had a great conversation trading ideas, anecdotes and experience with Jeff Bridges after the show. Randy Tico is a inspiration and becoming one of my favorite colleagues.

NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT: Freelance working continues with with powerhouse singer Sandra Booker, percussion legend Ritchie Garcia, LA's own Samba Society, always high performance Katia Moraes and or Sambaguru, the lyrical Robert Kyle, siren Carol Bach Y Rita and some really serious side-men. I am rehearsing with pianist Todd Hunter for an upcoming recording with Dave Robaire and Aaron Serfaty.

MAGIC HAPPENS: Every Thursday is magical and Casa Del Mar. With Jessica Vautor guiding the sonic ship we take inspired musical license and visit some truly blessed Brazilian, Jazz, French, Martinique and Cape Verdean musical magic in a really nice venue. Rhythm section include musical greats; Robert Perkins, Nick Rosen, Jimmy Branly, John Belzaguy, Michael Shapiro, Ian Martin, Leo Costa, Randy Tico, Joel Whitley, Matt Spencer, Rene Camacho and others. This is a must see residency gig.

THE LESSON: Giving back. I am giving more private lessons and also teaching the World Music Vocal Ensemble Workshop at LA Music Academy - 10 female singer/students and a rhythm section. It is very satisfying to be able to share what I have worked to hard to musically collect over the years with young and up and coming musicians.

LIFE STYLING: I went surfing and the waves were serious! It was 4 to 5' and point-breaking-right off the jagged and scary rocks at Leo Cabrillo. Nobody really knows me these days as a surfer and I can say my muscles definitely don't recognize me as surfer, but I got in the line-up and caught a few big set waves and stayed in the 63 degree water for a two hour session. Sometimes you just got to go for it. I am going for it and not giving up!

See you at the gig or maybe at the beach!


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