Eastern touring summer 2008

I reconnected with my roots as a street performer this year and also with many old friends. Tap dancing originated as a busking art form and saxophone just sounds great outdoors. I started my performing career on the streets of New Orleans during the Mardi Gras of 1979 and have been performing ever since. I have always loved travel, and my act has taken me to over 30 countries. in July, while on a trip to Baltimore to visit family, I spent a day with Scotty and Joan Houghton, aka Jesse and James, and we performed at Harbor Place as a trio plus two of their dogs! It is an old showbiz maxim to "never work with kids or animals", but since I already work with my kids sometimes- what the heck? The dogs were real crowd-pleasers and I enjoyed hitting percussion cues, like the cymbal crash every time the the frisbee hit the dog's mouth! In August I played at the Festival of Fools in Burlington, Vermont, a new festival lovingly curated by my old friend and colleague Mr. Woodhead. The audience responded well to my act and was very supportive of the busking concept. Burlington is a cool little city and it was fun to go back there after so many years. Next I played in Port Credit, Ontario, at their Buskerfest. The folks there treated us very well, including luxury accommodations and some very nice little spots to play. This town is just outside of Toronto, and the Toronto International Buskerfest was the biggie. The whole thing is organized by Epilepsy Toronto under the direction of the very capable Mackenzie Muldoon. The festival showcased acts from as far away as Australia and Japan and we also raised a heap of money for a good cause. A highlight was accompanying other acts in the group shows, where all the proceeds went to Epilepsy Toronto. There are a couple of reviews of my show at this festival on the press page of this site. In addition to my other skills, people seemed to be blown away by my MIDI tap rig- the Tappercussion Mark VII. Incidentally, I have one ready to go if anyone wants it. It is surprisingly affordable, and like I tell the youngsters- the field is wide open- you could write your own ticket with one of these things! I seriously am looking to share this instrument with the world and actively seek artists to help me carry on with this thing. The freedom of the busking life is not to be under-estimated. It is great to connect with people in a purely random manner via the open air and public spaces. While there can be severe limitations and even legal hassles in some communities, the potential for artistic growth and performance experience which can translate very well to the stage is significant. I want to thank every one who ever gave me a donation and encouraged me over the last 30 years!

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