so it's 2 am and I'm in London Gatwick Airport.....

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Phat Man Dee

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Aug 6, 2015, 10:12:30 PM8/6/15
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Somehow I guess I thought my arrival into England would include Mary Poppins and Doctor Who greeting me at the border with a blue box, a bumbershoot and some charming chimney sweep with a terrible cockney accent.... that's not what happened..... what happened was I had to wrestle 50 tourists at Termini train station for 2 seats on the bus to Rome's FCO airport, spend about 45 minutes wandering around the most confusing airport I have ever been in, though I did manage to locate the plane after 2 gate changes, all in a rush for the privelege of sitting at a coffee shop on the other side of the security gate all night in suburban London....But it's all ok though, cuz just before I left Rome, I carbo loaded at Mama Angela's with a burlesque dancer named Wonderful Ginger, and that's something I could have never predicted, after I sang for her on a bridge, she stuffed me full of pasta, panna cotta, tirimisu and bruschetta...... and then on the plane I sat next to a delightful choir master and conductor and we chatted for hours about music, art, debauchery, who was our favorite Doctor (Who) and the social merits of fist mastication whilst flying the friendly skies.... And, really, the last several weeks have been a kind of blur.... we documented everything, so it's all on tape, and we will edit it and get it into a movie form when we get home.... but really, we have been changing locations every 3 or 4 days and it's just long enough to make a couple friends, or re ceonnect with old ones, sing on some bridges, go to jam sessions, make plans for future ventures and I am deep down tired and exhausted through every bone and fiber....I think I am on my 27th wind right now..... I have been trying to post pictures and videos on my facebook page..... I have two now.... the one I have always had for my music which is http://www.facebook.com/PhatManDee and my new one, for this video documentary project which is http://www.facebook.com/TakeItToTheBridgeWithPhatManDee I hope you will "Like" it and "Share" it.

Some random recent memories.....
Squeezing into a basement with 111 new best friends for a marathon 4 hour long poetry reading extravaganza led by an Italian in a French basement in the Oberkampf in a club called "Le Chat Noir" with Pittsburgh born, Paris based jazz poet Moe Seager, and getting a standing ovation for my poem "Jim Crow is Alive and Well" with cries of "Viva La Resistance" and "Black Lives Matter" resonating through the stone walls....and somehow it not feeling rediculous.

Reconnecting with a Swedish bagpiper named Steffanos di Panoptico, whose music I fell in love with 15 years ago and singing with him on the Oberbaumbrucke in Berlin, Germany.....standing on the former border of East and West Germany, we sang "Herr Mannelig" a Sweidsh folk song about how one is not always open to seeing the beauty which lies within the one before you. Berlin also included a phenomenally delightful evening set up by a 7 foot high professional Blue Bunny named Scottie who I used to tour with in Bindlestiff Family Circus....

And the jazz clubs....such beautiful jazz clubs....in basements, in marble, in caves, in Prague, Hamburg, Berlin, Amsterdam, Venice, Belgium, Rome.....with truly beautiful players....from all over the world..... making music together in an international language of standards and community. Even though we didn't always speak the same language, we spoke music....and we connected in song.... this music which started in America, derived from the African American experience and fused with European instrumentation and international rythyms and traditions..... its resonating all over the world.....

Bridges.... sometimes I got some musicians to join me on the bridges.... sometimes I didn't. In Malta I sang alone before the "Azure Window"..... a natrual land bridge with a window looking out on the sea and sky. In Rome I sang on Ponte Fabricius, built in 64 AD with an accordionist named Daniele Mutino, who I met in San Francisco when we both performed in "How to Survive the Apocalypse a Burning Opera" and then I sang on "Ponte della Musica" for a dancer I had just met the night before named "Wonderful Ginger". In Ghent I performed with Nik Phelps, a brilliant composer who scores animations and played on every Tom Waits album for over 10 years..... we played "Lush Life" on a bridge in Ghent and he made me a "Prarie Chicken" in his Western Swing band and we played at Gentse Feeste...For the rcord, Belgians LOVE to dance.... in Hamburg I played with a 65 year old saxophonist named Helmarr and a 19 year old drummer named Jan-Phillip on a bridge and we jammed it over "Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans"..... in Prague I sang on a 1000 year old bridge with 3 cellists with whom I only had in common one song, "Love Me Tender" by Elvis Presley......In Paris I interviewed Chrisopher Henderson, a drummer who played in Sun Ra's Arkestra then I jammed on some poetry on a bridge over Canal St Martin with Moe Seager..... In Austria I sang at the World Body Painting Festival with an 18 year old wind player who is just starting his studys at conservatory in Vienna, but who plays like he's 4 times that age.... his daddy is a super hot Jewish trucker from Georgia who runs Body Art America..... In Malta I sang on Sister Mable's Magic Terrace and witnessed my cousin marry into a beautiful family from Iran.

It's a weird, beautiful, artistic and musical world...... I am so grateful to be having this expereince..... it's rounding the bend....but not quite done. In 5 hours I will fly to Edinburgh, Scotland.....to sing at one of the world's biggest festivals....if you know anyone in Edinburgh or London, let them know Phat Man Dee is coming..... here are the deets for those shows, feel free to spread the news.....

August 8 - 16, 2015 I am singing in Chaz Royal's Best of Burlesque and vareirty cabaret show at the Spiegeltent Columbino! Show time is 11:30 pm, it is 16 pounds to attend, and patrons must be 16 years old or above. The show lasts an hour and I will be there with Tommy Amoeba and Smokin' McQueen as well as some of the best performers currently working in Burlesque from all over the world! Linkety link link link: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/best-of-burlesque

August 18, 2015 I make my London, England debut at Royal Vauxhall Tavern at a delightful event called "Bar Wotever" a "Royal Queer Variety Show" hosted by Virgin Xtravaganza and Mzz Kimberly!! Linkety link link link: https://www.facebook.com/events/1605299139743314

On Aug 19 I come home....

There is one thing I am very sad to miss, and if you could check it out, it would make me happy....and you too, cuz it's awesome.... my friends Ed Pinto and Mike Mangiafico are brilliant artists, working in glass and wood..... they have a major display of their work at Touchstone Center for Crafts and the opening is this Saturday August 8 at 5 pm - 7 pm. It will be up for some time, if you can't go to the opening, you shuold go check it while it's up. The work is incredible. There are 4 people in the world who know how to make glass casts of honeycomb. Only 2 of them can make 2 sided honeycomb. That's Eddie and Mike. I can't truly explain how beautiful their work is, if I were in town, I would definitely be singing at this opening. Check it: https://facebook.com/events/520183171469083

So, there we are....it's now 3 am and in 4 and a half hours I shall fly to to Scotland. I shall board a local bus and ride to town, for one of the biggest festivals in the world. Will anyone see me? Will anyone like my music? I think so.... will it lead to something bigger? Probably.....but even if it doesn't..... even if this goes no where past what I am experiencing RIGHT NOW..... so long as the video we make is seen and heard and enjoyed.... then we win....I feel like I won every present under the Channukah Bush and even though it seems from over here like my country is going off the damn rails.....For example, is Trump REALLY being considered seriously??? And what in the world is going on, when Sandra Bland and Samuel Dubose are the latest victims in a centuries old hunt of Black people by the authorities, and how many more innocents have to die before the world stands up and demands justice and release from the madness????? I am grateful for this opportunity but I must admit I am having a hard time looking for international jazz musicians, which is a form of music started by Black people and right now my own country seems to be having open hunting season on the very people who gave it to us...... but I digress..... or do I??? Music is born of heartache and struggle, but I beseech the world, I would like to write music born out of a sense of security..... not fear. I leave you with this..... tell someone who you care for that you love them. Our art, our music, our communinty is a blessing, and when we share it with one another we create a better world than the one we had yesterday. Tomorrow is not promised to us, and today is now.

Love, respect,
Mandee
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