~By Grace Kelly on February-15-2011 @ 4:44: PM
We are in Munich Germany!! After a 4 ½ hour drive this
morning my dad and I kind of zonked out. The bed here is super nice and
this hotel seems like a museum. A very fancy old world 5 star hotel.
It’s a really nice one with stores and ,
tons of restaurants, feels like I’m on a cruise ship!! I’m continuing to
read Quincy Jones book while traveling (did I tell you that?) so
Inspiring. I love this book, check it out if you haven’t. It’s his
autobiography, very informative but a great read, funny, heartwarming and well
written. Quincy’s one of my biggest heroes and I dream of working with
him one day.
I had a nice German traditional lunch w Doug today
downstairs. Went to a Thai restaurant with dad. Had a vegetable dish.
I’m afraid I can’t eat even more meat in these next few days. I’m "meated
out!” time for some veggies at home…there’s lots of meat on the menu here in Germany
and Austria. Last concert is tomorrow!! Heading home at 6 am on
Thurs. Almost there. Homestretch. Can’t wait!!
~By Grace Kelly on February-13-2011 @ 4:42: PM
Arrived in Wels from Linz yesterday. We had a day off.
Yesterday for lunch Phil, Doug, Dad and I went to a very authentic Austrian
restaurant called the Gosser Brau www.gosserbraeu.at
and had Weiner Schnitzel and beer. (see photo)
Then went back to the hotel and chilled. Today we played the
Soundtheater in Wels which is the same place we placed last October. It is nice
to got back to familiar places too. You know the people and it is more relaxed.
It was a brunch time gig because we had to head to Switzerland via Munich
Germany. We dropped Phil of in Munich at the hotel we will play our last
concert of the tour in a few days and then we headed to Switzerland to play a
gig with just the quintet. My dad did amazing with the driving. 2 ½ hours from
Wels to Munich then another 4 hours to Rheinfelden Switzerland which is where
we are now. Just got back to the hotel from a late dinner. We got into the only
place open just at closing but we convinced them we needed to eat and begged
for some food. It worked and we had a great meal of pizza and pastas.
Time to get some rest. Will do little sightseeing tomorrow and
play the concert tomorrow night at JazzClub Q4.
~By Grace Kelly on February-12-2011 @ 10:36: PM
Phil didn’t feel well last
night so the quintet ended up playing the gig. We only played for 50 min
but it went by so fast and was so great. I felt much better last night
because it was the first night where I slept really soundly through the night,
getting 7 hours of sleep. It really is true that getting goodnights sleep
will help everything. The crowd loved the music and a lot of the music
students who were there for the clinic also came to the concert. Real
music fans there. We drove 30 min today and are now in Wels
Austria. This hotel is super funky. The entire band remembers it very
well because we stayed here last year for our October tour. I remember
because after our gig we were all sitting at the bar at the hotel and someone
came to open up the bar just for us, drinks on them!! Our bartender ended
up being the coolest young cat, very funny guy. I hope we get to see him
again. Doug dad Phil and I just went to a great traditional Austrian
restaurant where we all got some serious schnitzel!! So yummy. Schnitzel,
cranberry sauce, and boiled potato. It was a huge piece so I got mine
wrapped up and it’s sitting on my counter. It’s looking rather lonely,
perhaps it’s time to take a bite? J talked to my mom on skype for an hour and
now I believe its time to do some schoolwork! I’m now realizing how soon
I’ll be home (5 days) and I feel like it’s going to be a shock to be
back. It feels like I went to my first classes ages ago and now its catch
uptime. I’ve been also been a little mystified. Seems I got bit by
some bugs in Berlin. I put a lot of vinegar and salt on yesterday and the bites
are doing better. I’m a little worried they’re bed bugs so I’m going to
be sure to empty wash and throw away things when I’m home. I don’t want
these guys following me around. Ah all the glamour of the road?!
~By Grace Kelly on February-10-2011 @ 10:35: PM
We are in the beautiful city of Vienna!! Last night we played at the legendary club, "porgy and Bess.” It was one of the most famous clubs here in Europe and I can see why. It seats about 350 and has a very cool look to it and the stage is beautiful. The room was packed and enthusiastic. It was certainly a pleasure to play there. Got to see my friend Harry who’s a great drummer and lives in Vienna. He actually plays in Doug’s trio and did a hit with me in Sweden last year. Great guy, fabulous drummer.
Today is our off day. I just got back from walking around for an hour with Evan. Earlier in the day went to a beautiful "Leopold” art museum and then went into the center of town. The buildings and architecture here are gorgeous. Everywhere you look there is a building so grand. The town is so clean and even though all these shops are new, the buildings themselves are built so incredibly with beautiful designs. Evan and I were headed back to the hotel to meet Jordan and Jason for some Indian food but the walk was a whole lot longer than we thought. We had a map but it cut off several streets before our destination. We had to walk into a bunch of cafés and ask random people if they knew where the "rat house hotel” was by the end of our walk. Luckily the name of the hotel "rat house hotel” was the street that is was on "rat house.” We managed to find it and just in the nick of time!! We were both starving. Jason and Jordan had already left by this point so Evan and I tried to find the Indian restaurant they were at. That was a journey as well but we managed to find one Indian restaurant near by. They weren’t there but we had a great meal. Food always seems to taste extra delicious when I’m hungry. Funny huh? 2/11/11
Drove a couple hours and now we are in Linz Austria. The van is packed to the max now! We are using up all six seats in the back, Phil in the front and dad driving. Our luggage is spaced everywhere we can find room for. Behind seats, under legs, wherever. We all managed to fit though, thank goodness. Turns out Jordan and Jason said they went to the same Indian restaurant last night. We must have missed them by a few minutes!! Getting ready to do a clinic for some saxophonists at the school university and then a show tonight.
~By Grace Kelly on February-08-2011 @ 10:33: PM
Had a great gig last
night at Domicile. Great to see Axel again. Hung out with him. He
gave the guys some rare wine to take home. He really takes such good care
of us. The room was packed again and the audience was great. This
hotel is beautiful and even more wonderful because I have a huge suite!
Can you believe that?? I was so excited when I entered the room I could
jump around in it. There’s a big couch, and lots of space and even a fruit
basket for me. Go figure. Today I taught a lesson to a saxophonist
who came to last nights gig. We did some long tones, talked about
improvisation. He plays lead alto at his school’s big band and has his
own combo. Great fun to talk to another alto player and exchange
ideas. We went out for dinner at night and ended up in this funky little
café. It was basically private dining for dad, Doug and me. Our
waiter was one of the funniest characters. We had a little game of
charades since no one could communicate fluently. Our waiter was trying
to describe the word for onions and pretended to cut with a knife and then
cry. It was super funny. He was also dancing and singing the whole
night to what seemed like bad karaoke music. I wish I got some video
footage of him. He managed to tell us he’s originally from Italy and I can’t
tell you happy this guy seemed to be to be alive and to be at working at the
café. He brought a lot of entertainment and laughs to me… now that’s
~By Grace Kelly on February-07-2011 @ 10:26: PM
At the airport in Berlin. Getting on a flight to Stuttgart. Our next stop is Pforzheim Germany where we’re playing atone of my favorite clubs, "Domicile.” We were there our last tour, just last October. Last time we got to hang there for a day and went back to the club to drink some beers and have some snacks with the club owner Axle. He’s such a great guy, looking forward to seeing him gain. He made us our personal bread w really fresh German bread, olive oil and cheese while we all hung out, listened to records and relaxed. He said to us last time that he has a rule that he doesn’t bring artists back for at least 2 years. He’s making a special exception this time that he’s never made and wanted to bring us back after just a few months He was so excited we would be back in Germany I’m very thankful that we’ll be back at his beautiful club!
Yesterday’s travels: We took a plane to Berlin. Woke up at 3 am and started traveling. Got in to Berlin in the late morning. Had a good lunch, relaxed a bit and then went to sound check. We were playing at the club "A Trane.” The club is small but very cool. We had an enthusiastic crowd. Here is a video of some of the performance.
I got to see my wonderful friend Rainer Haarmann who is in charge of putting together the "Jazz Baltica festival” in Northern Germany for the last 21 years. He took a train yesterday morning to see us last night and we all got to have dinner across the street at a wonderful Italian restaurant. Rainer is one of the sweetest people and a huge jazz fan. His festival is one of the most special ones I’ve been to. The performances are set up in these barns and there’s a giant castle where the musicians stay. The line up is always incredible and the jam sessions literally go all night. Even more incredible than that, the people stay up all night at the jams, then go their tents outside and sleep for a few hours until the morning where there’s more music. History is always at the making at that festival. I was there a couple years ago where the theme was "saxophone summit.” I was playing with Lee Konitz. So many cats were there. Joe Lovano, Ornette Coleman, Donny McCaslin, David Binney, Greg Osby, Scott Robinson and on and on. It was at this festival that I got to play with the great late Hank Jones. We played "round midnight” together and I will never forget it. Hanks solo piano set was my favorite of the festival. What a treat. I also got to meet Rainer’s daughter who is a pianist and singer studying at school in Germany. She was so lovely.
Today I’ve been starting to feel a little bit of the effect of traveling everyday and playing every night. My feet are yelling at me a bit from high heels at night and sporadic sleep. One things for sure, nothings constant about touring…but I love that. I love that every night is different and that we play and share music with different people. Different languages, food, culture, it’s all very exciting. I’ve been learning to cope with traveling and how to take care of myself. I’ve been studying the Alexander technique for the last year and a half so doing some of that and deep breathing is always important. I’ve just started getting into yoga and can already notice that it’s a very helpful thing. I’ll be sure to get on that train and learn more about it. Still I can’t help but feel a little homesick. What can I say except skype is an amazing invention!
Okay, until later have a wonderful day!!
~By Grace Kelly on February-05-2011 @ 10:18: PM
We just arrived in
Madrid. We had a three-hour car ride and I fell asleep from beginning to
end. The city is beautiful. I love looking at all the architecture,
so much detail. So special. Playing tonight at the club. I’ll let
you know how it goes!