Contact Blake



July, 2009

Hi Everybody,

Welcome to my newly updated website! A big shout-out to Christine for getting me set up with the site. Contact me if you like what you see and I'll give you her contact info.

On the site, you'll find my bio, a regularly updated calendar (and an archival calendar as well), photos, sound samples, and links to some of the people I play with. I'll be updating the site regularly, so please check back from time to time.

So, let me fill you in on what I've been up to lately.

The Lizard Lounge Poetry Jam is still going strong- we're in our 12th year of backing up the country's top spoken word artists at one of the Boston area's best live music venues. We're there every Sunday evening. We start with an unaccompanied poetry slam, followed by the featured poet backed by the band. After that, the band backs an open mic . This gig continues to be one of my personal favorites-musically, it's wide open and I'm blessed to play with two super talents in Jerome Deupree on drums and Jeff Robinson on horns.

Back in the '90's I joined MIT's resident Gamelan orchestra, Galak Tika. Originally recruited to play 5-string bass guitar on their then new piece, Tire Fire, written by the group's founder, Evan Ziporyn. I ended up staying far beyond the time Tire Fire was retired from our repertoire. Years later in November 2004, we resurrected the piece for a performance at Carnegie Hall, NYC. A tour of Bali in June 2005 was a fantastic success. Since then Tire Fire continues to be one of the group's most popular pieces, and it deserves that acclaim. In addition, several new pieces have been composed, pairing Gamelan Galak Tika with various combinations of western instruments, including bass. I have had the good fortune to continue guesting with the group on a semi regular schedule. Check out the Galak Tika section on my "photos" page!

In 2004 Evan Ziporyn collaborated with Robert Woodruff, then director of the American Repertory Theatre, on a staging of Oedipus. Evan wrote a great score for a quartet of musicians and a 9-piece chorus, and asked me to play double-bass on the project. Since then I have worked on several other shows at the ART and have done some traveling with them. We took Rinde Eckert's OrpheusX to Edinburgh, in '07, and then California and Hong Kong in '08. Working with Woodruff is amazing--he's a musician's dream director. The most recent show I was part of at the ART was a spring '08 production of Julius Caesar, for which I assembled and played in a jazz trio. There is also an ART section on the "photos" page...

Other projects I have been working on in the recent past include:

Tough Love Trio, a guitar based trio, which plays lesser-known jazz standards. The group is Mike Mele on guitar and Steve Chaggaris on drums, both wonderful musicians I consider myself lucky to play with.

Musaner, a nine piece band led by Ara Sarkissian, plays traditional Armenian and Eastern European folk songs and original compositions, arranged for a "jazz" ensemble. Really great music and again a very talented line-up.

John Kelly's "Paved Paradise- the Music of Joni Mitchell", a really cool show that I love to do. John is a fantastic singer/actor who becomes Joni for an hour and a half in a totally artistic and meaningful way. It's very pared down (vocals, guitar, dulcimer, keyboards, electric and acoustic basses, and a couple of tracks here and there) played by just three of us including the legendary Zecca Esquibel as keyboardist/MD. It's quite an intimate and moving piece.

Otherwise you can catch me playing freelance gigs all over the place including: the Bristol Lounge (Four Seasons, Boston), Bravo (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston), Les Zygomate (Boston), and the Beehive (S. End, Boston), etc. I sub in the Revolutionary Snake Ensemble, the Chandler Travis Philharmonic, and the Circadian Rhythm Kings-all great, fun bands to check out.

Please peruse the rest of my website and drop me a line with any questions or comments. You will also find a mailing list sign-up button on the "calendar" page and the "contact" page; or you can email me directly and I'll include you on the list, which gets sent out once or twice a month.