Well, slowing down seemed like a good idea at the time. Hasn't quite worked out that way. Spent a week in Ohio in February, departing just ahead of the floods and tornados but in the middle of the snow. March was divided between a massive remodeling project at the house and flying up to Winnipeg to do several concerts and a clinic there. The month of April is spent entirely on the road, with performances in cities including Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Salt Lake City, Reno, Santa Cruz (Kuumbwa), Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Carmel, Seattle, and finishing up in second home town Portland.
One day of rest, then it is onto an airplane for Los Angeles, where Bud has been invited to appear as guest soloist with the New American Philharmonic Orchestra (led by Jack Elliott). The event is a celebration of the new Henry Mancini Institute, which debuts this summer with a four week program of workshops and concerts. Bud will appear there in August, performing a piece by and in tribute to Manny Albam. Other guest artists include Dave Grusin, Bob Mintzer, John Clayton, and Ray Brown.
In May Bud heads to San Francisco, where he will rehearse and premier a new suite for alto and symphony orchestra composed for him by Allyn Ferguson. The concert will take place at that bastion of all-maledom, the Bohemian Grove. This of course means that no women will be present to hear Bud's first shot at this wonderful piece, since women aren't allowed on the hallowed premises.
Bud's record on the Video Arts label came out to much hoopla in Japan at the end of March. Given a top rating by the prestigious Swing Journal magazine, the CD -- titled "By Request: Bud Shank Meets The Rhythm Section" - has received heavy attention in the Japanese jazz media. Look for European and American release of the CD, featuring Bud, Cyrus Chestnut, George Mraz, and Lewis Nash, later in 1997.
In June Bud spends a week in Redondo Beach for Ken Poston's latest event, called "The Kenton Era". He will headline a concert at The Lighthouse, do a couple of panels, and appear as guest soloist at a pair of concerts.
The Selmer balanced action just came back from the "sax doctor" in spectacular shape and other than the endless search for that perfect reed, is playing like a dream. More to come after we get through the first six months !! (HeronGray@aol.com)