BLUES IN THE MOSCOW WHITE NIGHTS by organist Jon Hammond (USA) Powered by MSN TV aka WebTV
Tenor saxophonist IGOR BUTMAN & organist JON HAMMOND
Backstage at Le Club jazz club in Moscow with Igor and Jon beaming after first successful concerts in Russia together!
Note: See’s Candy *in box, is a major sponsor of jazz events & concerts in San Francisco Bay Area thanks to Charles N. Huggins and company.
Jazz Quad article: “Blues In The Moscow White Nights”
The story of my first concerts in Russia with Igor Butman (sax), Eduard Zizak (drums) by organist Jon Hammond (USA) for Jazz Quad
Coming to Russia to play in concert together with Igor Butman and Eduard Zizak recently, was one of the greatest experiences in my life/career! I was highly anticipating this journey for many reasons. First of all since my family originally came from Russia and Latvia many years ago, I had heard so many stories as a young child about the land and people I was about to visit. My grandparents were never able to return to Russia but when I arrived it felt like I was coming home.
From the beginning of my preparations I could see that this was not going to be any ordinary music tour! From obtaining visas it was apparent that the procedure was slightly different. I traveled with my girlfriend Jennifer on British Airways departing JFK to London and then from there we changed planes to Moscow. Upon arriving at Moscow SVO airport we quickly found ourselves among 20 persons who arrived with no baggage. There was nobody there to speak in English with from BA, so we had an interesting conversation and procedure with the official Lost and Found desk there and filled out the Baggage Irregularity Report papers. Leaving the customs area without our baggage we were very happy when we stepped out and saw a nice man holding a big Jon Hammond poster. We knew this was our man!
The night before my first concert at Le Club, we were guests to attend the concert of bassist Alex Rostotsky and his fine group. We had a very enjoyable time dining and listening to Alex’s music and got to meet him and his musicians later in the evening. We also had the pleasure of meeting Faina Antonova who is Igor’s manager and also managing Le Club. She is very nice and took great care in arranging every detail of our stay in Moscow. I knew right away that we were in care of special angels. After a wonderful dinner/show and cappucinos at Le Club, Faina personally drove us back to our hotel, the famous Rossiya by Red Square. I was very tired by this point so I slept like a rock.
The next day was the big Friday of our first show. Most of the day I stayed in the room practicing my instrument and looking out at Red Square. Jennifer and I wanted to get to the club early so that we could get a sound check and settle in. Faina picked us up and we stuffed my organ and all our equipment in her compact car and off we went to Le Club in the Taganka Theatre Building.
The next day we got a nice tour from our friends Eva Steiner and her nice husband Leo from the Austrian Embassy. We ended the afternoon by having lunch in the Rossiya and I got to have my first excellent bowl of Borscht!
Jon Hammond with South African Minister-Counsellor Mpendulo Kumalo
foto by Jennifer Frizzell
Igor Butman, Eduard Zizak, Jon Hammond
Igor, Eduard and Jon in concert at Le Club jazz club, Moscow June 22, 2003
foto courtesy of Igor Moskvichev
The Journey Home to USA from Moscow
After the 2nd successful night playing in trio with Igor and Eduard, we sadly said our goodbyes. But we are very excited about Igor coming to New York with his entire 18 piece bigband to perform in concert with Wynton Marsalis and Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra in September!
It was a wonderful experience from beginning to end. I am happy that we have professional recordings of the concerts with Igor, Eduard and our special guest musicians Vladimir Danilin and Alexei Kuznezov. We are talking about creating a live cd release from the concerts at Le Club.
*special thanks to Igor Butman and Faina Antonova and Le Club team Moscow.
Jon Hammond tries on a Russian hat at GUM
We went shopping in the famous GUM department store complex. Here I tried on a typical Russian fur hat. It is very warm in the summer! But good for winter I am sure.
Jon Hammond standing at the Le Club marquis
We were very happy to find Le Club by Metro on our first full day in Moscow, and there I am standing by the poster for my concerts there with Igor and Eduard!
JON HAMMOND Hot Links!
Moscow White Nights…view outside our hotel window
This stunning view of Red Square from our hotel room window gave me the inspiration for the title “Blues In The Moscow White Nights” (like Blues in the Night) we played the song live on the Le Club sessions!
Igor Butman & Gary Walker at WBGO
Very early on morning of Fri. March 5th, 2004 Igor and I met at Port Authority Bus Station and took the bus out to WBGO radio in Newark NJ. I was assigned to the task by Gary to bring Igor in time for a broadcast interview that morning. Gary was my initial connection to Igor so they are old buddies as you can see in this photo I shot outside of WBGO at 54 Park Place in Newark. I’ll be returning to Moscow to play with Igor again this coming July.
Jon Hammond and Igor Butman on Russian TV
Igor translates for Jon on Russian television as he speaks about how it is to be in Russia performing with Igor Butman. The power of the universal language of music has brought it all together, and Jon is explaining his wish to dedicate original composition “Soon I Will Be Free” to the peoples of Russia and the former USSR.
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Ed Zizak, Igor Butman, Jon Hammond, Marat Garipov, Vladimir Danilin, Local 802 Musicians Union, HammondCast, KYOU Radio