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NOBODY'S COOLER THAN SNOWCAT 

Arizona friends, join us for the AZ premiere of THE SNOWCAT, a special family show with matinée performances Saturday, December 6 at ASU Kerr Cultural Center Scottsdale and Saturday, December 13 at Chandler Center for the Arts.

“In this spellbinding performance,” raves Town & Country, “Dmitri Matheny and his band weave a magical, musical tale of a little girl searching for her missing white cat on a chilly afternoon. The SnowCat reveals the spirit of sharing and gratitude that makes the holiday season such a wonderful time of year.”

Created especially for children and family audiences, The SnowCat combines storytelling, singing, visual art and live music in a variety of styles, including jazz, blues, jump swing, funk, calypso, samba, tango and R&B. Don't miss it!

DID YOU KNOW? 

Dmitri Matheny's THE SNOWCAT is inspired by the ancient Asian parable of The Oxherder,
in which a herdboy's quest to find his missing ox is likened to an individual's journey through life. 

With origins in India, the parable became popular in medieval Japan and was 
depicted on 13th century handscrolls as the 'Ten Bulls' or 'Ten Oxherding Pictures.'

The scrolls traditionally divide the hero's journey into ten stages,
each accompanied by a circularly framed image and a simple verse.

Rendered in the graphic style of Japanese narrative illustration,
the story is as accessible and visually compelling
as a modern comic book.

As in the ancient parable, the hero of THE SNOWCAT
finds her companion and returns home to appreciate the beauty of nature,
play music and have fun with friends.

She maintains hope, optimism and determination in the face of adversity,
discovers the gentle power of sitting quietly, and embodies the spirit of sharing
and gratitude that makes the holidays such a magical time.

Join us for the Arizona premiere of 
Dmitri Matheny's THE SNOWCAT
A cool cat tale for the whole family

December 6 @ ASU Kerr Cultural Center Scottsdale
December 13 @ Chandler Center for the Arts

Holly Pyle vocals
Dmitri Matheny flugelhorn/storyteller
Andrew Gross saxophones
Nick Manson keyboard
T-Bone Sistrunk bass
Dom Moio drums  

“In this spellbinding performance, jazz flugelhornist and composer Dmitri Matheny and his band 
weave a magical, musical tale of a little girl searching for her missing white cat on a chilly afternoon. 
Based on a medieval Japanese parable, The SnowCat reveals the spirit of sharing and gratitude 
that makes the holiday season such a wonderful time of year.”
—Town & Country

Michigan Tour Diary — Day 13 

Dmitri Matheny Group JAZZ NOIR
Michigan Tour Diary — Day 13
April 23 Bloomfield Hills

Today we visited Cranbrook, a private, PK–12 college prep school
in tony Bloomfield Hills just outside Detroit.

The Cranbrook Schools comprise a co-ed elementary school,
separate middle schools for boys and girls,
and a co-ed high school with boarding facilities.

Directly adjacent are the Cranbrook Institute of Science,
Cranbrook Academy of Art and Cranbrook House and Gardens.

To call the sprawling campus 'impressive' is a bit of an understatement.

Imagine an ivy-covered mash-up of Exeter, Miss Porter's, Interlochen and Hogwarts.
Add 100 acres of gardens, fountains and outdoor sculptures 
and you're beginning to get the picture.

Thanks to a personal introduction from pianist Dave Henning
(Cranbrook's second most famous alum after Mitt Romney),
I was invited to present an improv workshop for the Cranbrook jazz ensemble.

The kids were engaged and enthusiastic. No surprise there.
Music director Sarkis Halajian, an inspiring and charismatic teacher,
has been making it happen at Cranbrook for nearly 40 years.

What a pleasure to meet Sarkis, work with his students,
and tour the Cranbrook campus afterward with Sassy.

Surprise cameo appearance by Janet Henning (Dave's mom!)
who sat-in on the workshop and took the center photo, above.

A beautiful day in Bloomfield Hills.

Michigan Tour Diary — Day 8 

Dmitri Matheny Group JAZZ NOIR
Michigan Tour Diary — Day 8
April 18 Interlochen

Today I returned to Interlochen Arts Academy for the first time in 30 years.

When I first came to Interlochen as a high school student in the mid-1980s, I loved it instantly.
It seemed to me a magical place populated by social misfits and eccentrics,
kids who, like me, were passionate about art and music.

Interlochen changed my life.
For the first time I was surrounded by creative people my own age.
Interlochen was where I learned the discipline required to build a life in the arts,
and where I learned how rewarding an artist’s life can be.

Jazz was still something of a novelty at the academy back then.
It's gratifying to see how much the school, and in particular the jazz program,
has grown since those days.

Heartfelt thanks to my friend Bill Sears, director of jazz studies,
for inviting me to come and spend the afternoon with his improv and combo classes.

Bill is a phenomenally gifted musician and educator.
His students are serious and dedicated.
Several of them already play like pros.

It was a giant joy for me to sit-in with them,
present a workshop, and share some of my experiences
as an IAA alumnus and working musician.

On a more personal note, coming back to Interlochen after all these years was soul-stirring.
To spend the night in the campus hotel, dine in the cafeteria with the students,
sit by the lake, stroll the grounds, see my old haunts,
and share it all with Sassy, filled my heart with joy.

IMPRESSIONABLE 



When I was young and asking the big questions, I learned most of what I still believe about loyalty, bravery and morality from the Silver Age superheroes in my comic book collection.

 

For real.

 

In later years I would travel internationally, study world religions, read classic works of philosophy and ethics, and even pay attention to my father's many lectures. I went to private school, public school, boarding school and the school of hard knocks. I'm an educated cat.

 

But to this day, when the world tests my mettle or challenges my sense of right and wrong, it's not Spinoza but my inner Green Lantern who shows up for the fight.

 

I've always been impressionable in this way. 

 

For example, I'm pretty sure I have a goatee because of the way Spock looked in "Mirror, Mirror." I know I started wearing dashikis in high school because of a picture I saw of Elvin Jones in Downbeat. I sport a beret on stage because Dizzy did.

 

Today, while watching Highlander for the godzillionth time, I noticed something about Christopher Lambert's home. Like so many characters in films of the 1980s and '90s, The Highlander lived in a loft.

 

It now occurs to me that my interior design preferences and bone-deep love of warehouse loft spaces and mid-century modern furniture are not based on anywhere I've lived or anything I've seen or studied. They don't reflect some sophisticated notion about the aesthetic requirements of an artist's life. They aren't because I need space to rehearse and create.

 

Nope. I learned about loft living from the movies. Dig: 

 

William Sanderson in Blade Runner (1982). Jennifer Beals in Flashdance (83). Lambert in Highlander (86). Barbara Hershey in Hannah and Her Sisters (86). Mickey Rourke in 9-1/2 Weeks (86). Tom Hanks in Big (88). Billy Crystal in When Harry Met Sally (89). Rosanna Arquette in New York Stories (89). Nancy Travis in So I Married An Axe Murderer (93). James Caan in Bottle Rocket (96). Ethan Hawke in Great Expectations (98). Julianne Moore in The Big Lebowski (98). Adam Sandler in Big Daddy (99). Christian Bale in American Psycho (00). Owen Wilson in Zoolander (01). Olivier Martinez in Unfaithful (02).

 

I want their cribs!

 

Thanks, Hollywood.

 

(Sure hope this flugelhorn thing works out.)

FROM THE ARCHIVES 

On This Day

 

March 13, 1997

Dmitri Matheny Group

Voices & Images of California Art Launch

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

San Francisco, California


Design by Brad Rickman

 

March 13, 1999

Dmitri Matheny Group

In-Store Appearance

Borders Books & Music

Emeryville, California

 

March 13, 2008

Interview with Melanie Berzon

KCSM Jazz 91.1 FM

San Mateo, California

 

IN THE EMERALD CITY 

It's so satisfying to be back in the soulful city of Seattle, sitting in a cafe, enjoying a great cup of coffee, listening to the rain.

On the wall across from me is a Michael Dailey original, one of his spectacular landscape-inspired abstractions. I've always loved his work. These color field paintings are particularly arresting, like desert sunsets, yet somehow evocative of the Pacific Northwest. Similar to Mark Rothko, Georg Gudni and Hiroshi Sugimoto, Dailey was able to conjure atmospheric windows to a misty horizon, conveying a sense of longing for something just out of reach.


FRIDA & DIEGO 



“Frida had become the most important fact in my life.
And would continue to be, up to the moment she died.”
—Diego Rivera

"There have been two great accidents in my life.
One was the trolley, and the other was Diego.
Diego was by far the worst."
—Frida Kahlo

SECOND LOOK — Batman, the Animated Series 



This week is the 20th anniversary of Batman: The Animated Series, which aired on American television from September 1992 to '95.

If you've never seen the series, do yourself a solid and check out an episode or two from Netflix.

For fans, this incarnation of Batman achieved what the movies have not: it strikes the right balance between the fanciful, kid-friendly hero of the silver age comics and the brutal vigilante of Frank Miller's dark world.

For everyone else (even those who may have already reached their superhero saturation limit), the series has other virtues. You'll appreciate the vintage radio drama storytelling style, film noir visuals ("dark deco" art direction by Bruce Timm) and Shirley Walker's excellent orchestral score.

One of those rare moments when pop culture is worth a second look.

TECHNO-GRATITUDE 

Today I was able to re-connect with several clients and friends, learn Art Farmer's solo on "The Squirrel," check out Donny McCaslin's set @jazzbaltica, study a new twist on a favorite business practice, admire some beautiful photos, peruse the amazing reading list of @Art_Garfunkel, listen to a cool BBC interview with @Jimmy Cobb, read @JasonDCrane's latest poem, and watch a classic Star Trek episode -- all without leaving my solitary bunker in the lonesome desert. Thanks, Internet!

THE SONG OF WANDERING AENGUS ~William Butler Yeats 



I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;
And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.

When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire aflame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And some one called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.

Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.

THE SOUND OF SILENCE 

"And they write innumerable books;
being too vain and distracted for silence:
seeking every one after his own elevation,
and dodging his emptiness."
—T. S. Eliot

"Every now and then, when you're on stage,
you hear the best sound a player can hear.
It is the sound of a wonderful, deep silence
that means you've hit them where they live."
—Shelley Winters

"Music is the silence between the notes."
—Claude Debussy

"Now all my teachers are dead except silence."
—W. S. Merwin

"Silence is a source of great strength."
—Lao Tzu

"There is no such thing as an empty space or an empty time.
There is always something to see, something to hear.
In fact, try as we may to make a silence, we cannot."
—John Cage

"When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs.
When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence."
—Ansel Adams

TOMORROW NEVER KNOWS by John Lennon 



Turn off your mind relax and float down stream
It is not dying, it is not dying

Lay down all thoughts, surrender to the void,
It is shining, it is shining.

Yet you may see the meaning of within
It is being, it is being

Love is all and love is everyone
It is knowing, it is knowing

And ignorance and hate mourn the dead
It is believing, it is believing

But listen to the colour of your dreams
It is not leaving, it is not leaving

So play the game "Existence" to the end
Of the beginning, of the beginning