Jun 8, 2009

Germany Concerts, May 2009

I returned to Germany for my annual concerts in Pforzheim, as well as a concert and banjo workshop near Munich.

In the photo above, I had invited Rainer Daub, the Pforzheim concert organizer, to perform "Dueling Banjos".

After Pforzheim, Nida and I drove to Fuessen Germany, near Munich, to see King Ludwig's famous castle in one of the prettiest parts of Germany.

In the Munich area, I performed a concert which was organized by Hans Dengler, leader of the Munich Banjoband, some of whom are seen in the photo below, when I invited them to play during the concert.

Hans Dengler, seen in the picture with me and Nida, also arranged a banjo workshop for the following day.

Feb 4, 2009

The Jan. 3 - 10, 2009 JazzSea Caribbean Cruise

Tim Allan’s “Banjos Aweigh” On The 2009 JazzSea Cruise

It was very smooth cruising with the 2009 JazzSea Caribbean cruise aboard Holland America’s “M.S. Statendam”, from January 3 to 10. There was lots of music to hear and to play, plus great weather in various islands - all in 7 days of fun.

These annual January cruises allow musicians to play in an organized atmosphere as well as in informal jam sessions. There were 4 popular trad. jazz bands onboard, from the U.S. and Canada, as well as a “Jammers” band, led by Dick Williams, aimed at offering playing time to mostly horn players. The Banjos Aweigh band, which I conduct, is composed of banjo players along with horns, piano, drums, and washboards, all of whom are novices. It is amazing how quickly these band members catch on and produce listenable music, starting and finishing each song very cleanly. By the way, half of these band members had my “Banjos Aweigh Song Book” along with their music stands to help them get through each hour-long performance.

The “Banjos Aweigh Song Book” contains all the songs our band played onboard. You can purchase it on my website http://www.timallan.com/, in case you want to prepare for next year’s JazzSea cruise.

I also offered private lessons on various stringed instruments and brought along some new helpful banjo books and CDs that I had recently produced. My 2 different tenor banjo chord-diagrammed song books were popular with the tenor players, and my “Play Along-Practice Trax” book/CD combo, containing 22 banjo band songs, proved to be popular with all instruments.

If you are interested in being part of the JazzSea cruise next year, simply go online to http://www.jazzsea.com/.