And then it was Monday, my last whole day in the Big Apple. I promised myself for years that I would to go see the Vanguard Orchestra play at the Vanguard on a Monday night, but first it was time for coffee with pianist Jeremy Manasia, and we had great fun talking about our conservatory days and all the stuff we’re doing at this moment. Really cool that he will come to Holland next spring with Ellister’s Smalls NYC project.

b2ap3 icon P1010340After loads of coffee it was time to go all the way up Rockefeller Center to make some nice pictures o NYC from above. The cool part of it is that you don’t have to wait for a long time, and that you’ll get the Empire State Building on your picture as well.

A nice deja vu followed, with Eva at Cornelia Street Cafe and then on to a set of Roberta Picket solo piano at smalls en the Ari Hoenig Quartet with Tivon Pennicott (sax), Gilad Hekselman (g), and Orlando LeFleming (b). Hoenig is such a creative monster of a drummer, but alas, the Vanguard was calling me.

The orchestra’s performance turned out to be the perfect final concert for my trip. What a band, what a groove, what incredible dynamics, what a sound... big wow!

After that, back to Smalls to hit the keys for the last time during this holiday!

The last day turned out to be a very sunny day, so I took my camera with me and went on the Staten Island Ferry. A final stroll through Little Italy again and then it was time to say goodbye to Mark and his cats and pianos, and to one of the world’s most inspiring places I think there is.

In France they say: “Partir, c’est mourir un peu.” And I found that’s absolutely true, but... I’ll be back soon! I’d hereby like to thank everybody who made this trip such a joy for me. - Bob