After almost a week at home, I think I’m finally out of my jet lag haze.  I’m still in an afterglow of memories of fun music, wonderful people, and perhaps a little too much food.  I realize that I can’t eat at all my local favorites in such a short period of time, but I try.  Here’s a quick roundup of my highlights from the trip:

Food Experiences

I have a new favorite breakfast place in South Pasadena: Mike & Anne’s.  It is still too cold for outdoor dining in Denmark, but it was just right in California.  We enjoyed garden omelettes with green salad under the shade of trees and umbrellas.  We also came back another day for lunch and it was equally as amazing.  The vibe is relaxed and it welcoming.  We’ll be back there again.

We also happened to luck out and be in town in time for the Taste of South Pasadena sponsored by the Rotary Club.  It was fun to walk around and sample various treats from the local restaurants.  One of the highlights was the Sow House Pork Belly Lollypops. I could have eaten a number of those. Gus’s BBQ is also one of my favs.

Morten and I made a quick trip up to Santa Barbara to chill out for a couple of days after our last concert. It is such a great place to relax. We made a visit to Babcock Winery in Lompoc.  The only country they export to is Denmark.  We found out about their wines last December, so it was fun to finally visit the place.  If you’re looking for an affordable white wine for your summer sipping, we recommend their 2014 Grenache Blanc.

We also tend to eat a lot of Mexican food when we’re visiting Santa Barbara: Carlitos, Tres Agaves, Rudy’s, the Sandbar, etc.

People and Places

I have so much to be thankful for!  I love playing music and touring, but I think my highlight of the whole thing ends up being all about the people I meet.  New places are exciting, but there is something special about coming back to long standing venues and the people that run them.  Jazz people are some of the most thoughtful, enthusiastic, and passion driven folks I know.

  • Dale and Sue Boatman (and their posse of peeps) have been running CalJas out in the Inland Empire for years.  I was one of the first artists they brought out over 10+ years ago.  It is so “hyggeligt” (super cozy) to be around them and catch up after so many years.
  • Sherry Williams in Temecula is a great singer who has been booking the Merc since I don’t know when.  She has the crowd cheering for you before you even play a single note.
  • Alan Goldman has been hosting my house concerts for over 6 years now.  He always makes things easy and cool.
  • I’m happy to add Toni Buffa to the house concert community.  She has the perfect party pad and a following that knows how to share snacks on a Sunday afternoon.
  • It was also fun to go back to the Rancho Mirage Library.  I hadn’t been there since 2011.  I had a wonderful random moment with a little girl who wandered in to hear our sound check before the show.  I invited her up to check out the bass.  The look on her face was precious!

In addition to those who assemble the events, I love catching up my “Korbies”.  There are some of you I haven’t seen in almost 20 years. There are others that I get to see every time I’m in town.  There are also others that I missed this time around.  (I hope to see you next time!)  I would love to write your names here, but I will inadvertently forget a name.  I don’t want to do that.  Know that I’m thankful for your presence in my life.  I enjoy hearing about your lives, what’s happening, and what excites you in the world.

Last, but certainly not least, I’m grateful for my musical partners in crime.  Playing music with long-standing friends is one of life’s great gifts.  It gives me perspective, challenges me to a new level, and is joyous beyond belief.  Thank you to Bruce Forman, Aaron Serfaty and Kait Dunton for the wonderful week of music and laughs.

Music

If you’ve actually made it down to this part of the blog, you deserve a prize.  This is one of my favorite takes of the week.  We were in Rancho Mirage.  The song is called Beyond the Moon.  I wrote the music for it in December, but I didn’t finalize the lyric until shortly before the tour.  Please do not operate any heavy machinery while listening to this song.  I don’t recommend it. 🙂