The Gino Vannelli 2013 Master Class!! The Return of The Art Of Voice!!

For one week only in August, 2013 Gino will be teaching The Art of Voice class, in Portland Oregon.

Two classes daily.  The first Art of Voice class will start at 10:00 AM Pacific time and the second Art of Voice class will start at 2:30 pm Pacific time.

Five students per class.

Price $1250.00….. 5 classes per student.

If you would like to participate please contact us at !

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Somewhere Between Maryland and Montreal..

First, let me thank all who have attended the last string of concerts the band and I have given.  It has been both a surprise and thrill, something like a homecoming, being that in most cases I hadn’t shown my likes for almost twenty years—in the case of Annapolis, missing in action since 1977. Great to see you all sitting there with smiles on your faces. It makes a singer work a little harder for the money.

The Saving Grace of Jimbo Black is something I wrote during those couple of weeks on the road—think somewhere between Maryland and Montreal.  It will be posted shortly.

Some of you might be aware of the stage accident I experienced in Europe a little over a year ago, reeking havoc on my ears (eventually a whole lot more) These verses, soon to be in song form, refer to the incident, but more importantly, play on a universal theme. Jimbo Black, actual neighbor to my recording studio in Oregon, is a man misjudged and held in low esteem by others because of his appearance, mannerisms, and a banged –up old pickup tattooed with all kinds of ‘furious’ bumper slogans parked in plain sight. I would have to throw myself in with the lot who have a near-sighted view of Jimbo, though mine being more a sin of omission, not giving ol’ Jim any real consideration until coming to know him first hand. In this case, I come to know Jimbo by first seeking his professional advice regarding my ears.

There are messengers in our midst, disregarded for loud mouths, makeshift wears, loose dentures and backfiring beaters. If we give them half a chance to make themselves known to us we might come to see them in a completely different light. What’s more, we may profit from their wisdom or example.











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The Cotton Club, Tokyo

I’m not usually inclined to fawning or showering wet, slimy praises on musicians or audiences, but I will crack the mold here and earnestly say that the week in Tokyo was nothing short of incredible, exhilarating and personally moving. The eight back-to-back shows had me a bit concerned about our level of commitment to each and every performance, not to mention the heavy lifting on the chords. (Rein is getting Popeye arms) True—pacing, a little technique, cool heads, great food, and my daily double dose of apple cider vinegar and water helped, (still makes me wince) but in the end it was those shining faces and sparkling eyes that kept crying out ‘hit me…harder…do it again…and again’ that really shoveled coal into the steam engine. Some came to all eight shows. Hell, even doting wives or girlfriends artfully bucking for baubles and/or other perks don’t do that.     The band, despite jet lag, (17-hour time difference with west coast) played all out. The boys are true, blistered and scalded, road-worthy warriors, stuffed with sweet fury and clockwork precision—hot-blooded, smart and beastly—my preferred combinations in a musician. What a joy to have Rein, Greg, Damian, Jay and Patrick at my back. Interesting to watch the guys cock their heads, straining to hear a little better during certain passages, really listening to each other’s playing, and not just overly obsessed with their own solos and performance—the key to real synergy.    They say the sound at the Cotton Club was as good as it gets, and then some. That of course is my brother Ross’s doing (with a little help from new-comer Matt Greco at the monitor helm) Ross’s scope and production genius is so much part of this show.    My heart and gratitude go out to the self-christened crazy people who have smothered me with so many hand shakes, hugs and personal gifts, tipping the 50-pound weight limit on both my bags with their bits of love and kindness.    And now, a few days of hammering away at return-to-base jet lag, and catching a deep breath this Thanksgiving week before the action starts all over again.

Arigatou gozaimasu


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Announcing special VIP seating for January 2013 dates!

–Attention all Gino Vannelli fans! –

Take advantage of these special offers before its too late!

The following venues and dates have special VIP seating that have been reserved for the January 2013 dates!
Please note the start and end dates of all sales so you do not miss out on this opportunity!

Gino is playing at the Variety Playhouse on January 24, 2013 in Atlanta, GA


VIP Ticket / with Meet & Greet: $75.00 + service charge
From November 1, 2012 to November 9, 2012

Gino will also be playing at the Capitol Theatre on January 26, 2013 in Clearwater, Florida

VIP Ticket / with Meet & Greet: $75.00 + service charge
From November 5, 2012 to November 10 (noon), 2012

Gino will also be playing at The House Of Blues on January 27, 2013 in Orlando, Florida

VIP Ticket / with Meet & Greet: $75.00 + service charge
From November 2, 2012 to November 9, 2012

Once again, take advantage of these special offers to see Gino like you have never seen him before!
Hope to see all of you there!


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Niagara and an Earful

I felt pretty good, no . . . pretty damned good, about the band and my three performances last weekend in Niagara.        Odd thing about the on-stage ear accident that occurred last year, necessity being the mother of invention, for months I found myself forced to devise new methods to safeguard my ears from the sound of my own singing voice, let alone a slammin’ combo just inches behind me. The ears had become so utterly raw and painful (known medically as hyperacusis) since that fateful night in Holland ten months ago when a crewmember unwittingly unplugged a live microphone cable and set off a blast in my ear buds that just about knocked me to the floor. For about ten seconds I heard absolutely nothing, as if I had gone completely deaf. In a few moments my hearing returned, but something felt different; just how different I would soon find out in the days to come.

For a time I walked a dark road not knowing what the future held. 2012 seemed to be an all-time low in regards to health, both physical and psychological. There was no escaping the constant drones, squeals and boiling tea-kettle whistles in my brain. Sleep was no friend of mine. But as I walked, and kept on walking that inward road towards hope and healing, despite the nagging voice of doubt, somewhere in the deepest darkest woods, I met with the gracious light of Providence—that sweet inscrutable light of Wisdom that took the time and effort to comfort, school and point me in the right direction halfway along the path.

My first mission was to grope in the dark and feel my way to the right doctor. Dr. Anthony Esau, a man who once homeopathically cured himself of terminal cancer was my final stop after many. I can’t say enough about his empathy and scientific, albeit unconventional, methods.

My second mission was to practice with specially molded attenuating devices in my ears for months, only hearing myself through the confines of my skull, my ears remaining covered and totally out of the picture. It not only comforted and steadied me, but in time I slowly discovered hidden treasures that lay below the shell of a singer’s normalcy and every day life. With constant practice I discovered a different relationship between the chords and the vibrations in my skull—alternative vocal techniques that could have only been detected through those subtle vibrations in my cheekbones, forehead and temples, not relying at all upon standard methods of hearing. These discoveries have added up to an amazing education and have made singing even more effortless and fun than ever, especially now that the training wheels are coming off. The details are a bit too mechanical to describe herein, but I will do so in the coming master class series I plan to offer next spring.

There is no end to self-discovery. It’s as limitless as the inner eye is able to see.  Wisdom is out there—or in there, just dig, and dig deep, and go get it. Once again I have learned that the depth of inner space is no different than that of outer space. The stars in the night sky are no brighter and more plentiful than the stars within. Just how you reach them and penetrate the case-hardened skin of the accepted norm is the trick. The journey is a little bit different for every soul. There is no pat collective answer. We all have our own personal slants and particulars, but one fact remains applicable to all: never count Faith out.

I felt as though my chords had wings in Niagara. Less effort and more sound. It allowed me to not only better rise up to the occasion after so much time away from the stage, but just as importantly, take even greater pleasure in stepping into the spotlight—I mean, really being happy to be there. I guess I’m shamelessly gushing with gratitude. Can’t help it; I feel like a hand full of mush.  All I can say is that I am thrilled to be back on stage in earnest again after having given only a few concerts this year.

I feel like a wide-eyed kid tossing and turning on the night before Christmas, in this case, anticipating the next few concerts in Ottawa, Halifax and Tokyo this fall—some southern cities in the US and South America in spring.     To all those who attended in Niagara—to all those kind familiar faces, many of whom I know by first name: thank you, thank you so much.     And now . . . on to the next.

Love you



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Letter to all of the master classes

Dear All,

I’ll try not to make this too sentimental.  Today ( Sunday)  I find myself mysteriously fidgety, having no notes to mull over, mp3’s to re-listen to, and names to try and remember. I suppose I am still in the instruction-collaboration-pawn my philosophy-blab till I’m turning blue-mode.  I must say, it has been a very meaningful and gratifying four weeks for me. I want to thank you all for coming to Portland and attending. The different minds, voices, skills, objectives, music styles, frustrations, and deeply held beliefs and wishes, have brought me even better understanding of worlds beyond my own. In other words, the education has gone both ways.   So much has been my enjoyment of not only the classes, but the chats at lunch time and the Friday get-togethers at Brickhaven, that I am almost positive I will not only decide to continue with the Art of Song and the Art of Voice, but to add the Art of Production, and the Art of Harmony to the curriculum in the future.   I hope you all will continue the quest for mastery of your natural-born gifts—for whatever reason—because to master an emergent (or forgotten) gift is to master yourself.

All my love and respect,



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The Cheshire’s Crook (Letters from the Road)

The following was taken from Gino Vannelli’s personal road diary.

Dear Tricia

At the book signing in Caserta, Italy (near Naples) a fan came up to me, entirely too close for comfort, especially in light of the fact that his breath reeked of an overflowing septic tank, and said, “Meeesterrrr Vannnnellliii, escooozza, batta iya mussss to tella  you datta I jooossa lav yew cheedeee, ” Bess n’ Behind.” Wonder if it was some Freudian slip. Young crowd tonight—some even in their late teens. Fell asleep trying to do the math in bed last night.  Love you
Sent from my iPod 

Dear B&T

My sense is that there were a lot of happy Norwegians last night in Larvik. Just about sold out, though I think too many post concert photos.  I can’t get the infernal smile off my face this morning…plastered on like a dried mud mask. Last night: big, big, I mean BIG, muscular men telling me how much they love me, after the show. If I were gay I would have had even a more spectacular night. A pretty Norski lady said ” I cannot believe you are 60”.  I whispered, “Me too.”The road is a crazy place where people say things they usually don’t say every day. I can tell a lot of folks are gonna have regrets in the morning, (including yours truly).    . . . .searching for words, knowing she had only a few moments to blurt out what she had been lugging around like a ball and chain for a long time, as she came up to the desk where I was signing books, a very nervous woman said, ” You know Gino, for many years, and even to this day, I dream of having your baby.”  I told her I was deeply touched, but she might have to clear the details with Tricia. Ciao amice -G -Sent from my iPod

Dear B&T

Liviv is beautiful—great food and warm people.After the concert a pretty young thing said she was sooooo in love with me.    Trembling a little, as we posed for the camera, she asked if would I consider having tea with her later. I said yes, on the condition I have a couple of prunes to chase the chai. (Don’t think she gets my blistering quick, disarming, self-effacing wit) -Sent from my iPod

Dear B&T

This is the view of the square where the Nobel Peace Prize winners give their speeches in Oslo. I am staying in the precise suite and at the moment on the balcony where winners give their acceptance speeches. (Nice touch by Stein the promoter).And guess what? My room truly smells of “peace”!! (the toilet is broken.)Right now I am only in my briefs—and damn! Nobody has as much as even glanced upward while I am taking this photo I am about to send you. Makes a man feel small, unappreciated and a little lonely. Off to sound check in a few. Mucho gusto G -Sent from my iPod

Dear Tricia

The hotel in Larvik is entirely over the top. My room juts out into the North Sea. Outside my windows is the sound of surf and sea gulls. (Helps dull the noise in my ears)The health club is a leap beyond co-ed. This morning the sauna was filled with happy old ladies and gents, baring it all, hangin’ loose, pendulous appendages bouncing high and low, swinging this way and that. A couple of accessories looked like shy little turtles hidden in their shells. I felt entirely overdressed, me in my bath towel. A sweet, very well-nourished lady decided she wanted to rise from the hot wooden benches and give it a good stretch. So she raised her palms high as she could, then headed due south for her toes. And by God! She did—with all four arms way past her knees. Kinda glad she was facing me. (I know, I know I’m bad). The fitness instructor asked me if I wished for his blood circulation treatment. “Why not,” I said, “I’m in Norway.” So he beat me with leafy branches till my hot and sweaty pink skin turned a deep shade of vermillion.Nothing like being whipped when you’re at a hot, live nudie show.Off to Naples in a bit. Love you
-Sent from my iPod

Dear Tricia

Love the Ukraine. Perhaps it’s just Lviv, but an outsider can’t help think how misguided his old impressions were. The Byzantine churches are in good tact: dark and scary but fascinating, larger than life blood-ridden crucifixes and spooky confessionals. The old city has this mysteriously vacuum-packed look to it, untouched by the bombs of the WWII. Considered buying an old beat-up Soviet war medal at a nearby flea market. Sundry acts of valor for sale—fifteen bucks. Sad when you think it through. Guess Nature doesn’t waste a crumb. . .     . . .Still find pleasure in singing that 7-minute treatise on getting old I composed eons ago.  (“Where Am I Going”) In the past few days I thought of changing “Will I be strong or barely keep alive, when I’m thirty-five”, to, “When I’m sixty-five”. But in the end, poetry won out over truth. Thus, I decided ‘thirty-five’ had an endearing, more hopeful quality to it, despite the complete absurdity. I thought, if I could sing the tune with eyes closed, deeply immersed in passion, and if the spotlights hit me just the right way, maybe nobody will notice the Cheshire’s crook at the end of its tail. All for now. Love you -Sent from my iPod

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Kiyoko the Demon Barber of Shinjuku

The following is from Gino Vannelli’s personal journal about events that transpired during his last visit to Japan.


My hands and feet felt like mysterious, prickly appendages after half a day of cruising at 37,000 feet. I admit to being an air-traveling agitator and somewhat of a space invader; in this case, using the 767 aisles (irrespective of class) as my own private jogging path, sometimes severely pissing off the flight attendants pushing their duty-free trollies, hogging the empty bridge ways between aisles, squeezing in a few yoga postures; using the head just to say a quick hello to whatever bloodless entity is staring back at me in the wavy mirror. Twelve hours of inhaling three hundred people’s filtered sighs, moans, wheezes, snores, sneezes, sniffles, gasps, hacks and other noxious gases can do funny things to one’s think box. By the third hour I immediately threw away my no-exceptions dietary regimen and turned into a human trash disposal, devouring whatever little shiny square packet was handed to me, no matter how violently my better judgment protested. A thing of nothing to put on a few, just sitting there, mindlessly grazing on odds and ends masking as food fortified with a litany of multi-syllabic chemicals.Despite the latest Brad Thor page turner, Ayn Rand’s “We the Living”, or Thich Nhat Hanh streaming from my IPod directly into my drums rendering me a slightly more educated soul than I was twelve hours prior to the trip, I became worse than a restless tot in a high chair by the final hours. I blew out a deep sigh of relief the moment our rubber hit the hot Japanese pavement. (90 degrees with over 90% humidity) Who cared if the pilot was having a bad day and our tail got a bit squirrely. I don’t think I would have even minded much if the plane spun once or twice—terra firma felt great.

Flying long runs for many years, more and more I have come to the conclusion, the human body just wasn’t cut out for this kind of stuff, leastways not mine. But Nature is benevolent to we wandering minstrels, supplying us with only a fuzzy memory of our travails after even the most grueling trip—come to think of it, not unlike most women when it comes time to recollecting the unpleasant particulars of childbirth, ready to have another the second labor is over. Yep, give us a few footlights and a stage and all is forgiven and forgotten.I may as well have been baring it all, when I was asked to strike the shades for customs and immigration. My peepers narrowed like Dirty Harry, the face below felt like it was jerry-rigged by a couple of clothespins clamped to my temples with a strip of scotch tape from chin to brow to keep the mouth from gaping too wide. I slurred and fumbled over a few simple boilerplate questions posed by the woman in uniform. I was hoping my work visa would speak for itself, because left up to my performance, I thought I was certain to be incarcerated for some old crime I had just inadvertently confessed to.Then came the uneasy: hold-your-horses and brace-yourself-for-the-worst moment, waiting for bags. I watched the belt go round and round piling up with suitcases, everyone’s belongings but mine it seemed. My uneasiness turned to squirminess that gradually progressed into quiet panic as I suddenly had visions of performing in the same clothes I was wearing for the upcoming six shows at the Cotton Club. But just as I was about to abandon all hope, like a shaft of light beaming through a patch of blue, the darkness lifted and my threads appeared.

The hour and a half to the Hilton in Shinjuku, a ritzy section of Tokyo, was educational and surprisingly enjoyable. Rene, from the Cotton Club, an intelligent man of an interesting background, Japanese-Jordanian, had much to say in the way of saving the planet in a rather jam-packed ninety minutes. Our rapid-fire conversation about America—namely, the actual America versus the regurgitated America as seen through the eyes of most of the world, fogged up the Toyota Crown windows pretty good. (It struck me that second or third–hand information (more like infotainment) is like passive smoking: lots of stink and fume without the real tobacco taste). Praise God for treadmills and dumbbells. When it’s noon in Portland and 4am, the next day, in Tokyo, the lower road is the only road to travel. Forget poetry and navel gazing—get those bones to rattle and the muscles to ache so the brain can step aside and let the inner clock reset a lot faster.  So, I see this hole-in-the-wall hair salon, not too far from the hotel, and say to myself, “What the hell . . . live dangerously . . .take a leap of faith . . . think out of the box . . .steel your heart . . .gird your loins . . .beard the lion . . .” and so forth. I am still astounded that I allowed a perfect stranger in a foreign country to futz with the follicles and give me what ended up being a drastic re-do.

Kyoko looked modish, a bit futuristic. She was young, delicate but slouched towards the dangerous, even devilish; something of a “Kill Bill’s” Gogo Yubari vibe about her—sans pigtails and schoolgirl tunic. Kyoko was an all out, hot-off-the-spit, urbane fashion radical, over-made and over-civilized, dressed in primary colors as perky as a Japanese anime. She handled that pair of cold steel blades like a ninja warrior, tossing it back and forth from hand to hand without as much as a downwards glance. She was one of those latest-wrinkle techno-coiffeurs, in all probabilities not empathetic to my retro curlicues and loops—the perfect prescription for trying something new, I reasoned, as I bravely sat myself down in her chair. I’ll never know what came over me, as I closed my eyes, and sat there for forty-five minutes, handing Kyoko total creative control. I broke the silence only now and then with some polite small talk, figuring some personal rapport might ease any frustration with my web of tangles and temper any temptation Kyoko might have had to just throw up her little hands and give me a buzz cut.  She kept courteously nodding and replying, “Hai. . .hai,” so I took that to mean we might have been carrying on a two-way conversation after all, despite my nagging suspicions.My dad claimed I was the most uncooperative customer who ever sat in his chair. He called me a Mexican jumping bean on several occasions. So I did my damnedest to sit perfectly still, act like big people, and try my utmost not get a scissor in the eye.

When Kyoko was done, she smiled, quite pleased with herself, and handed me a big round vanity mirror for my personal viewing pleasure. I couldn’t bear any sudden shock to my system, in light of still being another three days away from time-adjusted, so I said, “Oh, that’s okay Kyoko . . .domo arigato . . .just tell me how much, rubbing my thumb and index together.” By the look on Kyoko’s face, America’s world image took another serious hit when I leaped out of my hydraulic chair and walked out of that salon without even so much as taking a peak at what manner of skill and artistry had just been heaped upon me. “Bye . . .Bye!” she waved briskly, as if she was washing a stubborn gnat off a window shield, her plum lips smiling, while the eyes peeping through her false lashes looking a little hurt, on the verge of contempt.“Bye . . .Bye!” I waved slowly, certain that a sudden look of concern had come over my face, as I sensed a breeze on my neck for the first time in a couple of years. Perhaps it was buyer’s remorse, but I didn’t stand before a mirror and check out the upshot of my adventure into Kyoko’s establishment for hours; and when I dared, just prior to hitting the hay, I did so at first as if I was peering through half-parted fingers during the scary part of a horror film. “What the hell did I go and do?” I said to myself.

I must admit Kyoko’s brainchild had thrown me off some, while I prepared for the first set at the Cotton Club. (Though I was happy all six shows were filled to capacity after not having played Japan in ten years) It had been a while since I had worn my hair so short. I felt a little self-conscious and over-exposed, like something was showing that ought not to show, as I looked into the cosmetic mirror bordered with bright bulbs. The bean looked rather Spartan—a pared pineapple, came to mind. Actually, Kyoko’s handiwork was precise, executed to a T–much too much to a T, I feared—definitely a coif that would ease up . . . given a week or two. But no such grace time was in the offing. Then suddenly, just as I was about to enter the spotlight feeling like a shorn lamb, as if the Fates conspired to do me a solid, some kid with an out-of-control fro, whose job it was to chaperone me to the stage, looked closely at my new do and enthusiastically claimed he wanted the exact same thing done to his own black ball of twine. “Mm, I’ll go with that,” I thought to myself, my stage legs suddenly returning to me. I blurted out the name of Kyoko, the demon barber of Shinjuku, to the young man, as I dashed to the stage and went into “Crazy Life”.



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Gino Vannelli Master Class

The Art of Song & Art of Voice
After having given numerous master classes in Europe, Gino has come to the conclusion that it was time to do the same here in America—the only difference being, in an even more personalized and conducive atmosphere. Gino plans to set aside July 9th to August 9th 2012, in order to spend time passing on the tools of the trade he has learned and applied to his own career that has spanned the course of four decades.The idea is an intensive master class: to have no more than five students in each of the five, 3-hour classes, over the course of a workweek. This way, personal attention, can be devoted to each student, offering one on one conversation and guidance to each student. The classes will be held in the United States, at Gino’s personal recording studio in Oregon.  

Because of the recording equipment available, there will be recordings made of each student as part of the curriculum. The recordings will serve to document progress made by the students during the week. The students are free to take the recordings home to continue to learn from and study.  There will be two separate classes offered: one concerns the art of song, a comprehensive demonstration of techniques of songwriting, both musically and lyrically. The art of song will also entail harmony, chord substitution, rhythmic regard, thematic content, and some musicology, in terms of understanding the birth and evolution of song writing as we know it. In the same class, there will also be a good measure of focus on the composition of lyrics: what role, words, in regards to texture, rhyme, rhythm, scansion, story, theme, and singability, play in the crafting of contemporary song.The second class will be devoted to the art of voice: an extensive course in singing, complete with vocal strength building, phrasing, and practical methods and necessities regarding vocal expression. Note, these are two separate master classes. The Art of Song will be scheduled for mornings, between 10am and 1pm. The Art of Voice will be scheduled for afternoons, between 2:30 and 5:30pm. A student is free to apply for both classes if he or she chooses.In order that the class be comprised of serious and dedicated applicants, Gino will personally choose students for this 2012 course, after listening to a demo or any recording, (Mp3 or Mp4) submitted by the perspective student. Once Gino has selected the students, he will personally contact them via skype or telephone.The price of the master class is as follows:$1,250 for 5 classes given over the course of a workweek (each class 3 hours—15 hours total) Recordings are included.Gino’s management is available to help guide and inform students in regards to hotel and transportation for their stay in Oregon. Applications are being taken as of this week.

Contact: for more details

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In regards to the upcoming Dutch and Scandinavian concerts

Dear Dutch and Scandinavian fans, Gino will have to postpone his concerts with the Concertgebouw Jazz Orchestra, and the new Danish trio this January. A few weeks ago Gino had a stage accident that did serious harm to his ears. A crew member unwittingly unplugged a mic cable while Gino was testing his in-ear monitors. The blast was so loud that Gino lost his hearing for a moment. It returned after a few seconds. Gino went ahead and performed but in a few days the damage to his ears manifested. Not fun.      Gino has seen a slew of doctors. Thankfully there is no permanent damage; but in flying, doctors say, Gino risks further harm to his ears. It’s a risk not worth taking, especially with a ten-hour flight from Portland, Oregon to Amsterdam.    Gino sends all, his deepest apologies–he was hoping he would heal in time. At present, Gino is on a strict diet and a regimen of herbs and vitamins. Doctors have grounded Gino for the next 60 days.    Management and all involved are in the process of rescheduling the dates. We are aiming for late April, early May.  All the January dates have been postponed.  As soon as we have any updates we’ll let you know. Love to all from Gino

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Harry’s Shorts and the Day Bass Became a Voice

Let’s see: I imagine I had reached that critical juncture when one suddenly finds himself at odds with his better angels, terribly misjudged and undervalued by his totally uncool parents, a regular at detention hall, and a might too cheeky with entrenched moral authority for his own good, especially in light of parochial school—you know, a time when you’re basically at war with the cold, cruel world that just don’t seem to revolve around you anymore since the short curlicues sprung below and dark peach fuzz hit the chin and upper lip (in my case, encroaching upon the eyeballs.)

There you were, full of hope and promise, destined to be Dave Clark, when in a twinkling, there goes the charming baby face, vanished into the cosmos, doomed to the black and white pages of the family photo album. Oh the heartbreak, as every once-doting aunt is suddenly loath to pinch your cheek, and inclined to keep a healthy distance from this newly spawned creature with a unibrow and a voice that keeps dithering between soprano and baritone midstream.

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Flippin’ Kayak

The day was not going to wait for anyone. I felt I was missing out on a summer show already in full swing.  Bird echoes carried from longer distances than usual through the open bedroom window.“Sky must be crystal clear,“ I thought to myself, as the room slowly came into focus.Every moment spent in bed suddenly seemed a colossal waste of summer, almost criminal, seeing as the Northwest had thumbed its nose to ‘climate change’ for much of the year, making latecomers of the sun and warmer breezes.It was 6:30 am, and over Hood strawberries, fresh Oregon blueberries and Greek style yogurt, I decided it was time for Tricia and I to pump up the kayak again, pack a little sustenance and head to the Sandy in the next hour or so.

As soon as Tricia entered the kitchen, still rubbing the sleep from her eyes, I sprung the plan on her. What a sport my woman is—only a pause, a half yawn, a raised brow followed by a scarcely audible “m’kay”.Sandy River seemed a little faster, a little colder, and a much deeper shade of jade green than when we had last kayaked upon it a year before. Because of a couple of violent winter storms, a good many old growth trees were downed here and there, lying half exposed in the river like dinosaur fossils.

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Red UFO’s in Edmonton and Cold Thrones in Brampton

Edmonton International—heaps of fresh white flakes had just fallen, spanning as far as the eye could see out the narrow turbo-prop window. “Minus 30 Celsius,” was the word floating around the cabin, as we slithered and skimmed over the icy tarmac for a moment. Our pilot had to pull a few video game maneuvers out of his trick bag to straighten our nose out.

“Okay,” I thought to myself, dude must be pretty slick at Halo or Warcraft III, or whatever the latest is.Flash forward to a bright spot in the top right-hand corner of my eyes and a bright red unidentified flying object hurling through space headed my way. “The Chinese flag?” I mused.

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Stephen Hawking, Chicken Salad and Trickle-Up Rot

Chicago, O’Hare: I found myself having to investigate my packaged chicken salad a little too closely for comfort. Finding my own little private piece of real estate, sitting cross-legged in the only dark corner I could find amid the blue-toothed hoards carrying on with themselves, I had noticed a little rust around the edges of my romaine lettuce after a few blind-eyed ravenous bites. Part of me wanted to put my trust in the whole healthy-food-on-the-go-scheme and not tunnel any deeper than the top layer. But then again, I remembered, the tendency is towards decay, according to Stephen Hawking. Thus, either my chicken salad was a heap of rotting leaves by din of human neglect, or ineptitude, or, in accordance with the laws of Nature, the salad itself was well on its way to parting company with space-time continuum all by itself. Either way something was rotting in Chicago.

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Thoughts on a Wrecking Ball

I noticed a wrecking ball being taken to the Philadelphia Spectrum on cable news the other day. For a moment I started turning the pages of my life back in time to 1979, and the day I was booted out of the country—hours before our concert at the Spectrum.  Pittsburg had been hit with snow pretty good. Yet, as was most always the case, the show went on that Saturday night.

The next morning I was having breakfast with brother Joe, both of us ravished. I was murdering my vegetable omelet, my nose entirely too close to my plate, as I lifted my eyes and noticed two rather stout, expressionless gentleman dressed in dark trench coats, marching our way.  Somehow I had a strange feeling these boys weren’t autograph hunting.  “Mr. Vannelli?” one man asked. The other followed with, “Mr.. . .Gino Vannelli?”        “Mmm—mmm?” I answered cautiously, with my mouth full.       “Is this your brother, Joseph Vannelli?“         I waited for Joe to speak for himself but suddenly found myself to be his reticent advocate. “Yes”, I managed to enunciate, swallowing a rather big sliver of my omelet at the same time.“You’re both in the country illegally, sir. We’ll have to ask you both to come with us.”

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