Sooo….JoE-LeSs ShOe just finished our first Southern California “mini-tour”. Over the course of five days, we played three gigs and gave a master class. All the gigs were great fun and well attended. We kicked off the tour Tuesday evening, 4/24/12 at “Break the Mold” concert series in Long Beach. This was the second time the ShOe has played “BTM” and it’s always nice to see our South Bay friends. A couple days later, on Thursday, we did our first master class (as a band) down at UC Irvine. I can say, with some confidence, that this was one of the best master classes I’ve ever had the pleasure of being involved in. Jamie and Matt are not only world class musicians, but expert educators of the highest order. All the UCI jazz students got up and played with us and we then gave them suggestions on how to improve their performance, sound, approach, etc. My good friend and collegue, burning piano player, Kei Akagi got up and played a blues with us at the end of the clinic to close it out. On Friday, we had a blast at JoE-LeSs ShOe’s “home away from home”, The Blue Whale. The Blue Whale has quickly become the epicenter of live, creative music on the west coast and it’s always an exciting experience playing there. We wrapped up the tour up on Saturday night with a special concert down at UC Irvine in Winifred Smith Hall. WS Hall is a beautiful performing arts center on the UCI campus with amazing acoustics. The concert was stellar…some of our best playing ever. Matt and Jamie sounded fantastic, as did Kei Akagi who joined us on a couple tunes during the concert. A great big thank you to Alex Sadnik, Joon Lee and Kei Akagi for making this tour possible and to everyone who came out to support JoE-LeSs ShOe on our very first tour!! Hope to see you on the next one!