So, here are some items that made my 2013 highlight reel:
- Two new brothers joined No Island, Jay Esplana on bass and Max Ley on drums. Their influence has redefined the sound of the band in the most exciting ways possible.
- Los Furios released a new single "Bad Waters"
- In April, No Island recorded, filmed, and released a snazzy little two-song mini-EP featuring our new sound.
- I found the perfect alto sax for me, a Yamaha Custon-Z in silver. Such a joy to play.
- In May, I traveled to Mexico for the first time in my life to play a tour with Los Furios. I was immediately enamored by the experience, especially the culture and the people I encountered there.
- After recording (but not yet releasing) their swan song EP, The Ivy League Brawlers played their final show ever in June before amicably disbanding. I learned a lot from playing with that band, and I'm glad we got to go out with a band.
- July and August featured what is without a doubt my most ambitious undertaking to date: a 40-date (38 after cancellations), 7-week tour across Canada, all the way to Halifax and back again. Entirely booked by myself and band mate Andy Rice, the tour tested all five members in many ways. The endeavour was unarguably a success and a transformative process for the band.
- I finally acquired a bass clarinet. With any luck, it will start finding its way into more of my work soon.
- And last but very far from least, something of an entirely personal nature: 2013 is the year I met Maureen, the amazing lady in my life. I couldn't be happier.
So far, 2014 has been very good. Can't wait to see what the rest of it brings!