2015 in review-
This year, Bruce's thirtieth since being signed by RCA in 1985, has been one of the most collaborative and stylistically broad-ranging of all. It was fun, challenging and fulfilling. Here's a chronological rundown for anyone who cares.
January- The year began with one of the most promising collaborations yet, one with the great classical conductor and provocateur Michael Tilson Thomas. Bruce and Michael met at a Phil Lesh concert in the early 2000s, a special holiday concert called the "Philharmonia" where Bruce and Michael were both performing, and had an instant connection backstage before and after rehearsals and the show. Michael mentioned a possible collaboration which finally came into being, after years of discussion, in January 2015 with Bruce becoming part of MTT's New World Symphony New Works concert in Miami Beach, FL. Four new Bruce songs were scored for orchestra by Michael's friend Bruce Coughlin. The concerts were a solid success, and more expanded concerts are being planned for the future. Stay tuned.
February- Spike Lee's “Da Sweet Blood of Jesus" premiered around the country featuring Bruce's score. Guest musicians were Vernon Reid on guitar, JV Collier on bass, and a string quintet led by Andrew Roitstein.
March- Bruce played piano on Brandon Flowers' solo record. Brandon is the lead singer-songwriter for the Killers. In appreciation,Brandon brought flowers and a poker chip to Bruce at the Las Vegas solo concert in May (Brandon's hometown). The chip has not been used. Bruce began work on his next Spike project, the score for the classic video game NBA2K16.
April- The Spring solo concert tour started this month. Shows in Prescott,AZ, Santa Monica,CA, Folsom,CA, Berkeley,CA, San Diego,CA, Las Vegas,NV, Cedar Falls,IA, and Mason City, IA routed nicely for a quick post- tour drive to Eau Claire, WI to work with Justin Vernon (of the band Bon Iver). Justin and Bruce recorded a version of "Black Muddy River" for a Grateful Dead tribute record curated by the group The National.
May- The solo tour continued with concerts in Parker,CO, New Albany,OH and Cleveland,OH, with the latter filmed for an Ohio regional PBS-TV concert broadcast to be aired sometime next year.
Then the Noisemakers played a run starting in hometown Williamsburg, VA and continuing to Kalamazoo,MI, Summercamp Festival in Illinois, Cain's Ballroom in Tulsa, OK, Dallas,TX (a live broadcast on Yahoo.com), and Austin,TX.
"The Essential Bruce Hornsby" 2-CD set on RCA records was released in mid-May.
June- Two weeks of rehearsals commenced in Marin County in mid-June for the five epic Grateful Dead 50th-anniversary Fare Thee Well concerts, with Bruce on piano and vocals, on June 27-28 in Santa Clara,CA and July 3-4-5 in Chicago,IL. Playing for 350,000 of your closest friends over five nights would be a highlight of any year, and this was an amazing experience, for the band and hopefully for the audience.
July- The Noisemakers toured the Rocky Mountains and Pacific Northwest with dates in Denver, CO, Layton,UT, Alta,WY (the Grand Targhee Festival), Spokane,WA, Bellingham,WA (where the band played an old friends' wedding before the gig!), Seattle,WA and Portland,OR.
August- The eternally-evolving musical play "SCKBSTD" was the subject of a two week workshop at the Signature Theater in Arlington, VA. Intense work was done by writer-director Joe Calarco on the "book" (script), and Bruce and co-writer Chip DeMatteo wrote one new song. The post-workshop consensus was that a lot of progress was made, with more work needed. What's next? Only the gods of Broadway have the answer.
One more tour leg took the band to Lowell,MA, Scranton,PA (Peach Festival), Atlantic City,NJ, Richmond, VA, Florence,SC, Wilmington,NC, Asheville, NC, Jones Beach, NY, closing on Labor Day in Denver (the third show in four months there!).
September- The NBA2K16 video game was released, featuring a film by Spike Lee with a score by Bruce. Also, Bruce,JV, Gibb and Sonny played a session for Spike in New York for a song included in the new Spike film "Chi-raq", to be released in early December.
October-November-December- Two solo concerts in Concord and Lexington,MA, a duo date with Christian McBride, and a December 12 appearance at Warren Haynes' Christmas Jam in Asheville, NC will end the public tour year for Bruce. Along with writing and recording new songs for future projects, the final laying on of the hands to complete a new studio record happened in October and November. The record is slated for release in late spring 2016.
Thanks for being interested.