Trumpet & Travel #3 - Monk'estra in Europe Part 3
In this edition of Trumpet & Travel I'm going to cover John Beasley & the Monk'estra's trip from Rotterdam to London and their subsequent performances at the famous Ronnie Scott's jazz club in Soho.
Sunday, July 9, 2017 - The band had an 8am lobby call so that we could take a short trip to the Rotterdam train station. Somehow, I magically paired up with drummer Peter Erskine. Now, I've been a fan of Peter's for about since his Weather Report years, so I'm trying really hard not to "geek out" and say something stupid. The cool thing about Peter is that he is very self aware and is very comfortable with who he is. So we ended up having a nice morning chatting about Weather Report and Jaco Pastorius. What more could you ask for?
We had a long morning of travel, from Rotterdam, to Brussels, then through the "chunnel" to London. We made our way through London's Victoria Train Station and to our hotel, The St. Giles. After getting settled into the St. Giles Hotel, it was about a 10 minute walk to Ronnie Scott's for set up and sound check. It's very cool to walk into Ronnie Scott's and see Peter Erskine setting up his drums. The club was sold out for both sets, Sunday and Monday and the band received rave reviews!
I had Monday off until the shows that night, so I took advantage of composer/arranger John Altman's offer to show me "the best of London." Wendell Kelly joined me as we went to BAFTA for fish & chips, walked to Trafalgar Square (where they were setting up for some event) and to the National Museum, all the time soaking up the sites, the feeling and architecture of London.
Our evening at Ronnie Scott's was great. The next day we parted ways. The rest of the band went home to the USA and I set off for the next part of my journey...Dublin, Ireland.
In the next edition of Trumpet & Travel I'm off to Dublin, Ireland to meet renowned painter, John Nolan. We've had an online friendship ever since I used one of his paintings for the cover of my 2006 CD, "Three," but before July, 2017, we had never met in person. Be sure to come back to read the charming adventures I had while John and his wife Miriam showed me around the beautiful city of Dublin, Ireland.