Our most recent tour proved to be a wonderfully grounding experience. We spent three days in the beautiful rolling hills of western Pennsylvania, centered around Artie's hometown of Butler. We were fortunate enough to stay in a home built by Artie's father Art, located in a dense patch of forest and farmlands. Waking up each day to a 360º view of lush woods set the mood for peaceful days and inspired performances.
We spent our first evening working with the students at Slippery Rock University. During our masterclass, we played a few Black Diamond compositions, worked with student performers, and gave an interactive lecture on Charlie Parker and his transition from melodic to chromatic improvisational language. The students did extremely well, and we look forward to revisiting SRU on future trips.
The next evening we gave a performance at the Butler Little Theater. Normally used for dramatic productions, the 110-seat space adapted its stage acting energy in a way that inspired an intimate and fearless performance from the band. Playing for a full room of locals, it was powerful to witness the support of a community for a member long-since departed for a bigger city. Artie's presence and artistry galvanized an energy in the space that created an inclusive experience for all in attendance.
We will undoubtedly plan our future westward tours in order to return to this wonderful place. See you soon, Butler.