New Year’s Eve 2017 was great fun — playing superb swing and jump music for the Austin Swing Syndicate with Dan Walton’s Jump Cats (Kris Vargas, trumpet; Alex Coke, Ponder East and Lauryn Gould, reeds; Jamey Cummins, guitar; Ryan Gould, bass; plus Dan and myself).  Austin swing dancers turned out en masse, filling the main ballroom at the Texas Federation of Women’s Clubs historic mansion.  After we finished, the good spirits were still evident as the band had a photo taken:


Jump Cats - New Year's Eve 2017

I returned to Searcy just in time for several days of Arctic-like weather.  Whoever wrote all those songs about the “Sunny South” where there is never any “ice or snow” never visited Central Arkansas in January!

In just a few days I will be back in New Orleans, for a series of gigs with my pals Kris Tokarski and Andy Schumm.  Here is a sample of the type of music we will be playing (courtesy of Michael Steinman/Jazz Lives):


We will also play a weekend at one of the greatest jazz clubs in the U.S. —  the Jazz Corner, in Hilton Head, SC.

After a quick trip home, I will return to New Orleans to record with the On The Levee Jazz Band.  In addition to the recording session, OTL will also play a concert at the Old U.S. Mint (Jan. 26) and the band will perform Jan. 27 at the Bombay Club.

I am also working on another session to be recorded this summer.  More details will be posted in the coming months.

Here’s wishing all of you a happy and prosperous New Year, and I look forward to seeing many of you at my performances across the U.S.

— Hal

Meanwhile, Mittens is catching up on some recent CDs…

Speaker Cat

…while Alex enjoys a nap on Mittens’ temporarily-unoccupied bed:


Sacked Out Alex