Sunday, May 1, 2016


OPEK is making a all-too-rare appearance at Pittonkatonk this coming Saturday.

What is Pittonkatonk? It's an all-day picnic/party/brass band festival held at the Vietnam Veteran's Pavilion at Schenley Park. It's a super-fun event, and a covered dish; bring something.

What is OPEK: if you're reading, do you not know? There's rather a long story as to the origins, but OPEK is my reduced-sized big band, inspired by Sun Ra. Our first gig was maybe all-Ra, but that quickly changed as I started arranging some Miles, Mingus, Monk, other obscurities, and even writing a few originals.

We had a fairly regular gig at the Club Café, not to mention the old Quiet Storm, but that has fallen to the wayside.

Our last gig was at the Frick Museum/Clayton House, playing a program of Strayhorn; prior to that, at the Washington County Wine and Jazz Festival in Canonsburg. Plus, OPEK was the core of the ensemble for the performances of my Concerto for Orkestra.

There hasn't been an unhinged OPEK show since Canonsburg last year. It's a similar situation at Pittonkatonk, we'll play what we choose for 40 minutes or so. I'll pack it in however I can.

Our usual opener, which you can expect on Saturday:

PS. I miss Chuck.