Last Friday I was in Quito, the capital of the country of Ecuador. I met with the Cultural Affairs Director at the U.S. Embassy and we discussed plans for a tour with my South American-based group in 2013. We will bring Jazz to several of the outer regions that don't have access to many cultural events. The aim of the project is not only to bring top quality Jazz to these areas, but also for the group members to speak to the audience in both English and Spanish, in order to promote goodwill between the North American and South American communities that are living together on the continent. I'm really looking forward to it! I also got a chance to check out the weekly jam session at Cactus, where faculty and students from the Institute of Contemporary Music (Univ. of San Francisco, Berklee sister school) blew me away. My buddy Walt Szymanski, trumpeter extraordinaire, is a professor there and he will be playing with me on the tour.