This weekend: The Calvosa Sullivan Project returns!!!

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Kat Calvosa, vocals

I’m pleased to announce that the pop/jazz collaboration “The Calvosa Sullivan Project” will be performing after a hiatus of over an entire year.  Yes…I know you missed us! I co-lead this project with fellow Manhattan School of Music alumnus – vocalist Kat Calvosa, and our collaboration over the past two years has resulted in a set of gorgeous original pop/jazz tunes. Here’s one of them!


For this performance we’ve also enlisted our extraordinary musician friends Perry Smith on guitar, Sam Minaie on bass, and Brian Fishler on drums.  This performance is also a rare opportunity to hear me perform on piano! So hope you can make it!!!


Liberace, piano


Week 2 at IAR: Recording with the Calvosa Sullivan Project

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I’ve been co-writing songs with my good friend and former Manhattan School of Music classmate Kat Calvosa for the past 2 years.   This has been an incredibly educational experience for me as a composer, because before we started working together, I had never collaborated with another composer.  Also, she writes lyrics, I don’t (at least not comfortably)! The result is about 10 really cool songs that were written with 3 different approaches: writing music and lyrics together, me writing music to her lyrics, and her writing music to my music.

Last year we started performing these songs around NYC with a band, which we call the Calvosa Sullivan Project (or CSP).  We also recorded a demo back in December 2009, and I think I posted some of those tracks on this very blog (yay!). It’s been a while since we performed live though, so I jumped at the opportunity to bring this group into the studio to record a few more tracks.  It was, once again, a lot of fun to record, and everyone did a great job: Kat on vocals, me on piano and sax, Paul Orbell on guitar, Brian Ladd on electric bass, and Brian Fishler on drums.  An awesome band!

Here are a couple of rough mixes:

Let Me Pretend – Our newest tune…Kat wrote the lyrics first and I wrote the music for this one.

Left Alone – This one was created entirely from putting ideas together in real time, so it’s really got elements of both of our musical approaches in there.

Next week I bring The Casual Sextet into the studio! Looking forward to recording the challenging music I’ve written for this band.

Calvosa Sullivan Project demo is almost ready!

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Back in late November 2009 I went into the studio with Kat Calvosa to record a demo for our ongoing collaboration, aptly titled the Calvosa Sullivan Project.  It’s a particularly fun project for me because I play mostly piano in this band, as well as being an outlet for the pop side of my brain.  We’ve been performing off and on in NYC (and also a very memorable house party in NH) for a little over a year now, and Kat and I have decided to take it up a notch with this demo – hopefully we can break some new ground in terms of performance spaces (Rockwood Music Hall is at the top of our list!).  Here is a track from the demo, which includes Kat Calvosa, vocals; Travis Sullivan, piano; Paul Orbell, guitar; Yoshi Waki, bass; Brian Fishler, drums, mixed by Sam Minae and recorded at Astoria Soundworks Studio:

Candy Store

One of the things I like about this collaboration with Kat is how varied our approach is to writing this music.  For almost every song there is a slightly different process.  For “Candy Store,” Kat already had the basic structure and lyrics set when she showed it to me – I assisted with tweaking a few chords and contributed some harmonic ideas for the chorus. 

Coming soon – The Official CSP MySpace Page! You can visit us on Facebook for the time being though!

Travis’ solo piano recording debut: Winter in New Hampshire

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Exciting news! I’m pleased to announce that I can now post music on my blog.  I am, after all, a musician (in case you haven’t figured that out by now!).  My hope is that I’ll be able to share recordings of my work that might otherwise go unheard (that whole tree falling in the woods thing). 

So to kick everything off, here’s a recent addition to the vault – a true rarity – the first ever recording of me playing solo piano:

Winter in New Hampshire 

This was recorded back in November when I was in the studio recording the demo for the Calvosa-Sullivan Project.  We had some time at the end of the session, and Kat suggested that I take a few minutes to record this piece – an original composition of mine called “Winter in New Hampshire.” It’s a little bit of a cumbersome title by my standards, but I feel like this piece is evocative of a peaceful cold snowy day in my native “homeland.” 

Thanks for listening!

Earthquake Relief…

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Come out tonight and check out the Calvosa-Sullivan Project at Googie’s…’twill be a hootenanny.

My heart goes out to the victims of the earthquake yesterday in Haiti.  I can’t imagine what it must be like to experience such devastation and chaos.  It really puts things in perspective in own life  (I promise I won’t complain about anything for at least the rest of the day!).  If you want to donate money to relief efforts you can do it here: via the American Red Cross international relief fund.

Have a great day and everyone in the Northeaster U.S.: stay warm!