On Saturday September 12th 2009, KCRW hosted the SUMMER NIGHTS event at the Orange County Performing Arts Center (OCPAC) in Costa Mesa. KCRW's Music Director JASON BENTLEY and I deejayed, and my MUSAICS project performed our 2nd live performance since our debut at the Getty Museum in 2008 (opening for the almighty Budos Band!). Needless to say that Getty performance was a biggie for us - but this past Saturday will be just as deep a future memory for me.

About 3,000 folks came out, under the late summer sky, to do nothing more than get together, dance, and enjoy good music in support of KCRW. I've received so much warm feedback about KCRW and it's impact on people's days, but it was something else to feeeel it - this communal, immediate exchange of energy and appreciation spiraling into a vortex and building up until the last song was mixed.

I started the evening off at 9pm, and there were already a few hundreds folks hanging out for, what I thought would be a laid back evening of tunes while folks stand around "being there". Like a picnic, standing up. Instead it didn't take 10 minutes to realize that they were there to get INTO the music. My 45 minute set went all over, from Reggae beats to Latin remixes, slowly building in intensity toward an uptempo push. Forget any slander you hear about the OC being devoid of culture - plenty come out, plenty get it, and plenty get down.

MUCH LOVE to ALL who came out to make this such a special night. OCPAC; thanks sincerely for having us in your beautiful space. Thanks to all KCRW DJs who played my remixes and/or live Musaics recordings on your show to help promote the night. JASON BENTLEY; big thanks for bringing me in on this event when you have a full stable of amazing cats at the station to choose from. You're ability to highlight each person's talents in different ways, is the cornerstone of your catapulting success. RACHEL REYNOLDS, ARIANA MORGENSTERN and especially LIZ McDONALD; you made a big thing happen here, be proud. Be very proud.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST, trailer-loads of gratitude for MUSAICS; all the players that take time (for most it was either the night before leaving for tour, or the first night back!) to help me manifest these simplistic sonic visions of mine into elaborate, breathing arrangements that satiates my longing to connect like a new best friend that can finish my sentences for me. I want to take the time to personally thank each of yall:

TODD SIMON - Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Todd is my rock in this undertaking. The friend that puts his foot down and says "now's the time. You're ready, and this needs to happen". Thanks for your support, for writing out the charts and transcribing the Moondog tune. For everything. Todd is "the" go-to guy for horns and arranging. You've heard Todd on Madlib's Sound Directions, Quantic (most albums), Nickodemus, Antibalas, Greyboy, J.Boogie's Dubtronic Science, Lily Allen, Medeski Martin & Wood and so much more.

Miguel has been playing music since he was 4, literally. He also may be the most authenticly accountable guy you'll meet. His ability to listen to everyone, all the time, is uncanny. He is one who can lend spiritual depth and funk, energetic flourish and calming release, in the same musical phrase. I have much to learn from this cat. Miguel has lended his sound to Mia Doi Todd, Damon Aaron, Build An Ark, Dwight Trible, and composed the amazing full symphony tribute to J-Dilla.

DAVID RALICKE - Baritone Sax, Trombone
Dave is a nut. Best laugh you'll ever hear. Amazing player from Dengue Fever, Culver City Dub Collective and a bunch more outrageous outfits. (Throws the best Venice bungalow parties to boot.) 

TRACY WANNOMAE - Alto Sax, Bass Clarinet
Sweetheart and heavyweight player supreme. Tracy's been a vital addition to recordings by Quantic Soul Orchestra, The Lions, Sam Sparro, Ziggy Marley and more.

ALAN LIGHTNER - Steel Drums, Percussion
On kit drums, pan drums and all percussion, Alan is the real thing. He's able to jump from subtle to intense in a moment. Alan has played with Mos Def, Barrinton Levy, Roy Ayers, Lenny Williams, De La Soul...

ITAI SHAPIRA - Bass, Mbira
Itai came on in this latest show, when my man ETHAN PHILLIPS is away. Itai is a solid guitarist and all-around musician, who jumped in on Bass and learned the parts in a second. Itai is one half of BabyStone, The Elevaters, and is working with folks like Raul Midon, Aloe Blacc and others.

DAN UBICK - Guitar
Dan "Connie Price" Ubick comes through every time. A funk aficionado through and through, Dan leads his band Connie Price & The Keystones, as well as The Lions and Madlib's Sound Directions. He and a few of these cats are also the back-up band for Big Daddy Kane, Nas, De La Soul and more.
QUINCY McCRARY - Rhodes, Moog
Q is a bad bad man! Like Itai, he jumped in last minute because Dan Hastie was on tour. Quincy was a fave when I first saw him in legendary LA band Burning Star. He took the gig, and gave it his all, even though he was leaving 10 hours later for a 30-show tour with Mayer Hawthorne.

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