JOHN PROULX CHANGSHA, CHINA TOUR (Orange Island International Jazz Festival, June, 2103)




John Proulx: piano/vocals, Michael Glynn: bass, Cal Haines: drums, Lewis Winn: guitar, and featuring Bobby Shew: trumpet



John Proulx: piano/vocals, Chuck Berghofer: bass, Kendal Kay: drums  



APRIL, 2009


John Proulx: piano/vocals, Chuck Kistler: bass, Thomas Marriott: trumpet


ITALY TOUR BLOG (4/8-4/17, 2008)


Joe La Barbera, Darek Oles, and myself, headed off to Italy today for a 10-day tour.  We arrived in Milan at 8:05am on 4/9, tired, but excited to be here.  Francesco, our tour organizer (below), drove us 3 1/2 hours to Ferrara. This quaint town is full of little cafes and shops, and the hotel we stayed in was first rate (see pics below).

That night, we ate at a great little restaurant-I had the pumkin ravioli with meat sauce, and some fantastic red table wine-they sure know how to live here!


This morning, we headed off to Chiavalle, about a 2 1/2 hour drive from Ferrara, for our first gig. We checked into our hotel, rested up, and then headed off to our sound check.  This venue was amazing! (see pics below).  It's a small concert hall, but very ornate.  They had a beautiful Yamaha piano, and the sound engineers were very good.  We went for another fantastic meal nearby (I had the lamb), and then headed back to a paked house.  The concert went very well, and the people were very appreciative.


Today, we headed back to Ferrara for our second gig. The venue was a cool jazz club in a castle-like building (see pics below).  The crowd was small, but appreciative.  The best thing about the club was the bathroom. In order to flush the toilet, you had to press some piano keys (see pic below!).  


Today, we're headed to Chioggia for our third gig of the tour. Chioggia is a small port town south of Venice.  The venue we played at was a converted cathedral (see pics below).  We ate at a great restaurant and had an amazing assortment of fish. It was a rainy evening, but the turn out was pretty good, and the audience was very attentive (you could hear a pin drop!).  We're flying to Palermo tomorrow morning for our first gig in Sicily.


We flew into Palermo today for our first gig in Sicily.  Our tour coordinator, Toti, had us over for lunch at his place (food first, then music!) with his wife Claudia, her parents, and some friends.  The lunch was great, and the desserts were heavenly!(Casa tella, a Ricotta-filled pastry was my favorite).  After checking in to our hotel, we headed to our sound check at the venue, a very trendy techno club (see pics below).  We had another great meal there, an assortment of samon, sushi, and shrimp, and of course, winel!  It was a younger crowd, but they seemed to really enjoy the jazz.  We're headed off to Villa S. Giovanni tomorrow for our fifth gig of the tour.


The next day began the last leg of the tour, reminiscent of the movie "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles".  After a problem with the van to the next gig, we took our new tour bus (see pic below) to catch a last minute train and ferry to Palermo.  We just made the gig in the nick of time.  The payoff of the long day was the venue, a very cool and intimate jazz club, with an interesting decor (see pics below).  The crowd was very responsive and we even got some "Bravos!" from a little boy in the crowd.  Tomorrow, we take another train to Salerno for our 6th gig of the tour.



We took a train to Salerno this morning for our sixth gig of the tour.  We were just about to get on the train when we realized that the promoter still had the tickets...and he was already on the ferry back to Sicily!  We ended up getting some last minute tickets, and just made the train with minutes to spare (ahh, travel abroad!). Salerno was a beautiful coastal city, and a real high point of the tour.  We stayed in the Grand Hotel, a very nice hotel right across from the water.  Joe and I took a nice run along the coast and saw some great sights!  The venue, Club Modo, was a hip club across from the Stadium in Salerno (see pics below).  The sound guys were the best, and the crowd was really into it!  The meal that night was to die for-they are known for their Mozarella! We ate too much that night for sure!  Tomorrow morning, we take a 6-hour train ride to our final gig in Modena.


We arrived in Modena after a 5 1/2 hour train ride.  We were very happy to see our tour guide, Francesco, from the beginning part of the tour, waiting for us at the station.  He really takes care of business and has a great energy about him. We checked into a quaint hotel across from Modena University, and Joe and I took a long run around the campus (see pics below).  We had our sound check at the venue, an interesting space in a dome-like structure (see pics below), and then had yet another great meal at a restaurant nearby. The desert was amazing-a couple of cream-filled pastries covered in a chocolate moose sauce.  It was sad to end the show, knowing that it was our last performance in Italy, but also a good feeling to be heading home to our families whom we miss like crazy.

All in all, a fantastic tour!  Great music, out of this world food, adventure, and new friendships.  Hope to be back to Italy again soon,