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 POSTERS . . . some of them