Monday, March 25, 2013

Last Leg of the Tour and an Unforgettable Finale!!

   I am sitting on a train feeling completely fulfilled and exhausted from my touring experience. The people in Italy have been so very kind and appreciative of me and my music. I can barely begin to tell you how touched and grateful I am. I feel renewed and inspired within. I hope these experiences stay with me always, and I can draw upon them when I need it the most. I proved to myself that I am a lot stronger then I think I am, and that I have a lot more room to grow as a person and an artist.

My second gig on the Italian leg of the tour was in Milano, at Nidaba Theater. The place was in an area that made me say “We are not in Switzerland anymore Toto.”

 The atmosphere inside of the club pleasantly surprised me. Very well known for acoustic, blues and country music; there were previous concert posters of John Popper, one of my favorites among many other well-knowns. The lovely Raffaella Migliaccio sat in on drums with me which was a real treat :)

Max Nidaba, club owner and Raffaella Migliaccio

The Duomo in Milano
Paul and I drove to Verona the next day, and enjoyed a little sight seeing with Paul's mom Eda, who is very acquainted with this beautiful city!

The Adige river in the old city of Verona

Then it was time to get ready for the show at Il Giardino (The Garden), a wonderful club in Lugagnano; a neighborhood near Verona. We enjoyed a family style home made meal with Jiamprimo, the owner and his family and friends! Yummy putanesca :0)

We stayed around for some time after the show for an informal sing along led by the talented opening act "Abike Project", who surprised us with their cool renditions of Nirvana songs.
Paul treated me to a stay at Gabbia d'Oro Hotel, a beautiful and famous place. The first thing I did was take a nice long, hot bath :0)

We drove onto Bassano di Grappa the next day (home of the infamous digestivo Grappa) and a beautiful town. The location of the venue "Auditorium Vivaldi" was in Cassola, right outside of Bassano. We pulled in and were greeted by "the band" and crew with open arms. Drummer Andrea Ruta and bassist Lorenzo (Lolo) Burghignoli set right to work with me rehearsing our set. Boy was I glad it clicked with these guys! They drove all the way from Rome to do this show with me!

Here we are in the dressing room right before the show!

Nothing could have prepared me for the evening that was in store. The Rainbow Trinity Choir started the night with their beautiful voices and then we came out and the curtain opened again for a set of my songs with my new band. The theater was quiet and intent as I sang song after song until the dancers came out for my song "Cobblestones". Two beautiful young dancers had choreographed a dance to my song, and it was such a wonder to sing as they flew and leaped across the stage! 

 At the finale, the choir joined me for "Imagine" by John Lennon. I felt so emotional being a part of this amazing presentation. I felt honored and humbled by the outpouring of love and support I felt from everyone! All of the separate parts came together for the first time to create something beautiful! Music truly is a universal language. 

What a wonderful way to end this tour! I can't wait to get the video and audio up so I can share it with everyone!

Below are more pics of an assembly at an English school the next morning in Bassano di Grappa

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The final two Swiss dates and onward to Italy!

My gig in Blonay, CH was followed by a quick trip to Montreaux, home of the world famous Montreau Jazz Festival, and the last show that Freddie Mercury ever played. Viviane, my lovely host took a shot with me and his statue overlooking the lake. The gardens are beautiful here year-round. It is a micro climate with palms and early spring blooms. It was cold on this day but still lovely indeed!

My next stop was the lovely town of Gersau, I performed in the Old Town Hall. The building is currently being used as a historic museum, and performance space. The setting was cozy and intimate, and my host Roger Burgler was super nice and great at getting good sound. He has a wonderful space and the place was packed with a very enthusiastic crowd!  

Roger at his super little club " Kulterwerk"

Sunset in Gersau

My hotel "Tubli" a very old and traditional place. I ate some great food there before the show. Crispy chicken with some decadent butter-cream sauce and Apfel Kuchen in home made vanilla sauce. yum!

The next morning I was excited to drive back to Zurich and pick up Paul at the airport. We drove straight to Fribourg, took a brief nap and made our way to "Cafe Cintra". This place was in French speaking Switzerland again.   My guitar's pick up system stopped working mysteriously at soundcheck, but I was fortunate to have roger Salem's freind Hakim lend me his for the show.Thank Goodness! We had to get up at 4am the next morning to catch a flight to Bologna, Italy. We were both exhausted and just made the flight in time!

The next show was that very same day. An Irish festival in honor of St. Patty's Day. I had no idea that Italians were so fond of Ireland!. The venue was enormous with 1000+ people there. A boxing match at the opposite end of the huge space! As soon as it was over, I started my set. It was a great response to the music, and I did an Italian TV interview at the end of the show.

That's the stage, way down at the other end of the event center! Very rowdy and a real contrast to Switzerland gigs!

The day after, we took a train to Verona, and I luckily found a repair shop for a little surgery on the guitar. The Musical Box in Verona. Roberto Fontanot, and Pietro worked on it for almost two hours and did not even charge me! I could not believe it! My heart was warmed by their kindness and hospitality!

Today we are in Milan. Last night I actually had a night off! I slept in today, and am getting ready to rehearse with a drummer by the name of Raffaella, before the gig at "Nidaba Theater" tonight.
Thanks for reading and I look forward to sharing with you the final days of my tour here in Italy!

xoxox Katrin

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Solo Leg of the EU Tour

We enjoyed our time in Ticino very much! Below are pics of Roger, Brittan and I. Vineyards and lambs and a pic from the concert at Teatro di Banco. I have a whole bunch more to tell on!

Photo courtesy of Roger Salem
Born yesterday! Still had the umbilical cord and really, really cute!

I have had a some very good wine here! Vineyards are everywhere. small and large

 It certainly was good practice driving a standard in the crazy stop and go traffic in the big city of Zurich. I don’t think the other drivers appreciated it. I accidentally drove on the train tracks and then jumped off when I realized I wasn’t on the street. Then I drove up a one way. The street signs look WAY different here!!! We found our hotel finally, which was really comfortable. There was a “farmy” stinkiness in the lobby unlike the cow pasture smell, which is prevalent here, and I don’t really mind. We deducted it was the smell of fondue from the restaurant, and the cheeses were making it that way. Cheese is no joke in Switzerland. The tap water is so tasty and clean where ever you go!

It was Brittan’s last day here, so we hit the ground running for some last minute shopping. It was fun to have a little down time/girl time. We managed to find some great bargains in some shops, and Britt got a cool pair of boots. I performed just steps away from our hotel in a tapas bar “Corazon”.
It was a busy bar, but people still made their way over to say “thank you” and buy a few cd’s. The managers were very nice as all have been this entire trip! I really like Zurich. It was my second time there. Very beautiful.

I dropped Brittan off at the airport, switched cars to an automatic and made my way to Chur, a nice little town. I drove on the sidewalk to get to the hotel. That felt wrong but the hotel said I could do it to unload. I felt like I had a huge sign stuck to my head that said “clueless tourist”. Luckily the venue was also within walking distance. “Kulterwerk” was a nice show. I was thankful for a warm welcome on my first evening alone on the tour.
view from my hotel skylight in Chur

From Chur I drove about 4 hours to Interlaken, a high elevation and the snow was falling down and the freezing winds were blowing. What a change from the early Spring I was feeling! I wish I could have enjoyed the scenery here more, but it was overcast. From what I can see of the lakes from the highway, they are a beautiful aqua blue. “Kunsthaus” is the place I performed at and it had a cool arts vibe. They were readying the upstairs space for a big modern installation. I had a small audience thank goodness, and I even got an interview and pics taken for a local paper. Sandro the manager took me to a nice dinner beforehand as well.
Kunsthaus and what looks like a giant bunny in progress

Interlaken. It was very cold. I bet it's spectacular in the summer!

I must admit I’m a bit lonely at the moment, typing and eating soup in the hotel restaurant. I’m growing in a lot of ways as a person and performer. Some of the harder stuff is making me see more clearly how much I care about my art, and how much heart I put into what I do. I feel blessed. I also feel a little crazy. Touring this far away feels just as much exhilarating as it is exhausting. I am going to Blonay next, a French speaking region.....

As soon as I got through some tunnels that burrow through the mountains, it was sunny and snowing. I was greeted by my hosts Patrick and Vivienne who brought me right into their home and plopped me into their hot tub. I knew I brought my bathing suit for a reason!! Unfortunately, my camera went "plop" into the hot tub as well. I hope she dries out. I managed to get pics off of the card but the screen is still blank. I guess i'll be taking pics with my phone until Paul meets me in two days. Boy will I be glad to see him! I am so tired i can't even tell you, but it has been worth it and I'm grateful for the experience!
Ahhh, Happy Kat

I was so glad the show here in Blonay went over well. People here are especially nice, ad it was good to see children at the show with their parents. I can't wait to go to sleep, and then wake up to the gorgeous views!

good night, bon soir


Sunday, March 10, 2013

More on the tour!!!

   I am so glad I have some reliable internet service and can post on my blog! A lot has happened with shows and more since my last post. After two days in France, the next stop was Zug, CH at Podium 41, right on the lake with the mountains in the distance. It was a quiet Tuesday night but people were very receptive to my music and I sold some cd's and made a good impression. Ute the owner said she'd have me back in the busier Summer time. Brittan and I enjoyed a little walk in Zug the next day and took some nice pics below..... then more about the tour, read on!

Baby Chinese Reindeer

I wish I could dive off of this dock in warmer weather!

There was an amazing exotic bird aviary with all kinds of colorful bird. Here is a handsome snowy owl.

Then off to Frick on the back roads. There is so much driving and go go go on this tour we have not had much time to stop and do anything except for a few pics, it's been a rush to get up and hit the road. Frick's Monti is a theater and restaurant in a small, farm-like town. It was a thrill to play for such an attentive audience, and a little unnerving! Brittan took some pics of me on stage. There were about 50 people there, and it was a really warm welcome and I got an encore. I tend to get big stage fright right before i start playing and then something kicks in and i'm able to pull it togther when I start singing. The thing is, I forget that almost every time!

The next day, we drove 5 hours to Tesserete, which is an Italian region in Switzerland. It's soooo beautiful there. Very Italian. I almost forgot we were still in Switzerland. I perfomed at Irish Pub Alpino the first night, and Teatro di Banco, a lovely little theater right down the winding mountain road where we were staying with Roger, my booking agent the next. It was a magickal night and all caught on camera and recording by Roger and his friend Jean! I look forward to sharing it when it comes out. An inspiring place to be in the mountains!
A walk in an old old village

catching a glimpse of a courtyard

Why can't MY rosemary get this big???

Gorgoeus sunset right out the window of the Teatro di Banco

View from Roger's kitchen window

I am now in Pratteln, and it's an industrial area. Not pretty. I am very tired! I have to get up some energy for my show tonight. Off to Zurich tomorrow and then Brittan flies home and then I'm on my own...Till soon.   xoxoxo Katrin