Coming in from the cold: Siberia with love

Thirteen cities in less than a month, playing Philharmonic halls (mostly sold out) from Siberia to Podolsk (a couple of hours outside Moscow) with some clubs in between . . .  I’m still recovering three weeks later! Actually I was sick when I arrived and seriously worried that I was going to have to cancel the entire tour but my voice came back during the first rehearsal! I gradually got better over the next few days and I did have a day or so between gigs to at least rest my voice – if not actually rest – Russia is HUGE and involves gigantic journeys on planes, trains and autombiles between cities. Thank the lawd for adrenalin during the actual tour itself.

And I had a lot of FUN with pianist Daniel Kramer (who brought me), Gregory Zaytsev and Anton Kuznetsov. And Russians are passionate audiences, which is utterly inspiring. People come up to you after the gigs and say things like “You made my soul explode!” I met so many amazing people and was given so many flowers and chocolates. In fact, the entire tour was kind of “pinch me!” – even though it’s not my first time playing some of those venues. The one in the main picture above was an early one (maybe even the first) and I pointed at it and said, “Oh, is that where we’re playing?” Kidding! But it was!

Being hugged and kissed and squished  by so many women after the gigs was . . . amazing! I also sold out of CDs. I only brought 100 because everyone warned me that no one sells CDs anymore but even though I rationed them, I was cleaned out by gig number three, with ten more gigs to go. (including Budapest). Sigh! But at least I still got to go out and meet people and sign tickets and . . . get my hugs! And flowers. And chocolates! I even survived being a vegetarian. Not easy in Russia – especially at some of those little cafes on the road. And I got to hang out and have lunch with one of my best friends in the entire world, Neil, who lives in Moscow and then he and his wife, the Audrey Hepburn-esque Eva,  brought a posse to Esse Jazz Club to hear us.

It was so wonderful to come back to Russia. Thank you so much for having me.  See you next time! (Or, as I kept saying by mistake instead of Dosvedanya) . . . Dostoyevsky!  Pictures and captions below.

Ya Lublyu Vas!

The only thing more amazing than playing in a gigantic venue, is getting a standing ovation in one! I totally get crowd-surfing. In the right outfit, of course.
Small planes. Probably my least favorite mode of travel – especially at 2am! Lord!
This is my favorite way to travel. Trains. I like the clickety clack. And lying down! Planes take just as long when you factor in all the faffing around.
Yes. My favorite tea! Actually, Russians really know tea!
The “boss” – piano maestro Daniel Kramer!
My orange balaclava was actually VITAL! Never mind it it’s too “matchy matchy”!
Things you can buy in RUssian roadside rest stops
Is it just me, or are bananas actually funny!
When you are driving along, you have to KEEP wiping the window or it gets covered in ice again completely.
Can you imagine waiting for the bus in this weather!
Team Kramer on our first night!
No warning! No makeup!
No this is not vodka . . . at least I don’t THINK it is!
I love this crazy dress!

Sound check. I took lots of pictures like this.
The most bizarre bedding of the trip. The honeymoon suite?
Bundled up after the concert and ready to face the elements!
People filtering in for the first night.
I think this was after our concert at Omsk Philharmonic
I signed the Wall of Fame at Podolsk Philharmonic. What a great audience that was!
Novosibirsk poster! Does Diana Krall still get excited by posters!
Never too late for a drummer to pick up bass playing tips!
Frost on the INSIDE of the train window!
Antosh took a bunch of pictures of me from the drum position.
The craziest stage on the tour!
Thank you, Novosibirsk ladies!
Novosibirsk Philharmonic
My friend Natalia came!


Lovely ladies at Everjazz Club in Ekaterinburg
My wonderful band at Everjazz Club.
The fabulous Cleveland Watkiss – who blew me away when he sat in on a gig of mine at Pizza Express! On the wall at Everjazz
Wonderful Al Foster! So nice to see a bit of home on the walls!

My brothers on the road, Grigory and Anton
Dressing room way too dark to do makeup. I had to go and put makeup on in the kitchen, where the staff didn’t seem to mind at all. Everjazz
My cool band and friends at Everjazz. Alexandr Bulatov Trio
In Moscow with Neil. One of my dearest friends in all the world!


THE POSTERS . . . some of them