A year of Beyonce, traveling the world, saxophone, and food

All I can say is, Crystal Torres called it. In December of 2012 I met her in her hotel room before my very first rehearsal with Beyonce and the rest of the band. We were catching up and she looked at me and said, “Adison, this is going to be a really good year for you. I’m excited for you”. She called it. This year has been UNBELIEVABLE! For all I knew, I’d still be at Juilliard right now finishing my master’s degree.. But instead.. I’ve traveled the world many times over playing the saxophone with the biggest pop star in the world.. Beyonce and the Mrs Carter Show..

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I brought in the New Year with her last year at the Wynn in Las Vegas, then we played the Super Bowl..

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I’ve traveled to so many places, that I’ve never even dreamt of going to..

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I met with friends old and new around the world, from Australia to Warsaw, Poland..

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I’ve played for 50k people or more for 110 nights..

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I’ve become part of a whole entire new family..

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I started Adi’s Jazz Kitchen!

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And filmed my cooking show with some of my favorite people/ musicians..

Oh and also! I am able to start my discography with this one..

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Thank you to everyone who has supported and pushed me through one of the craziest years of my life. I am so grateful for your love.

I am so thankful and blessed. SO blessed.

I look forward to even more in 2014! I wish you and yours a happy and healthy New Year!

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The Classics: Chicken Vegetable Soup and Walking Pneumonia

I am lucky to travel the world on tour with Beyonce. However, every single time I come home I manage to get sick. It’s no surprise seeing as how many time zones and parts of the world we go through in such little time. This time it’s walking pneumonia, which is just a fabulous stroll in the park.. not. The ONLY cool thing about it, is it makes me sound like a walking zombie..which is OK in my book since I’ve been addicted to “Plants vs Zombies” (it’s a game) thanks to my Rie Chan, Rie Tsuji.

Anywho, I’m making a classic Chicken Vegetable Soup today loaded with garlic and fresh veggies and herbs to combat the zombie germs inside me..

  • 4 large carrots roughly chopped into chunks (same size)
  • 2 stalks celery roughly chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic crushed and peeled
  • 1 medium yellow onion quartered
  • 3 lbs skinless chicken bone in (thighs and drumsticks)
  • handful fresh thyme
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper

This is so easy to make (Thank God, since lifting a wooden spoon feels like a workout at this point). Combine all ingredients in a large pot with the exception of salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Fill with cold water until it reaches just above the ingredients. Bring to a low simmer. Cook until chicken falls off the bone. Remove chicken, remove all the bones. Add chicken back in. Season with salt, pepper. Serve. This takes about an hour.

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Let’s not forget to add a little hot sauce if you feel like an extra kick. Mine is super hot and made with cachaca from Belo Horizonte, Brazil..
 

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Life on the road with the Mrs Carter Crew and Beyonce

Just like any other leg to this tour there have been ups and downs.. Mostly ups!  I love being on the road in the US just because of the simple fact that it’s not TOO far away from home, and I still get to use my phone and have internet :D. Plus, this leg is shorter than the others, which is nice since the holiday season is here and we all just want to be home with our families. Meanwhile, I have my lovely tour family and here’s some of the adventures we’ve had so far this leg…

We had a blast in San Jose at Christmas in the Park..

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getting in the Christmas spirit with my favorite movie..

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We go to rehearsals and rock out…

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Kind of like Larry (Les Twins) and Derek did today on the bus in Kentucky..

We catch lots of trains, planes, boats, and buses..

There’s ups! like seeing my suite mate from Interlochen (high school) in Houston, Emily for lunch!

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Then there’s more ups like getting picked up in cool dude cars on occasion..

photo-76The best part about this leg so far was the COOKING PARTY that we had at Jennita’s! Here’s a sneak peek (full episode to appear soon)!

I made apricot glazed turkey meatballs, and they were a hit! I love sweet and savory. yum yum yum!

Lots of the crew cooked too including Katty, and her “Not Paula Deen’s Banana Pudding”

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photo-78Crissy even gave LT a peanut butter facial! She’s very convincing. 😉

Then there’s the times where we are killing time backstage (everynight) so we watch Ancient Aliens.. Dun Dun Dun!!!

photo-85and Rie always falls asleep.. she’s dreaming of aliens..

photo-86Then there’s the Mrs Carter Show..

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It’s a good job.

Land of the Kiwis

I am happy to announce that Mr. Bear and  I now have a new traveling buddy (thanks to my sister Katty and her hubby Keyon)… Meet Mr. Kiwi! Yahoooo! Straight from the first stop on the Mrs Carter Show Tour with Beyonce.. Auckland, New Zealand!

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And since this is Adi’s Jazz Kitchen and it’s about food and music, I had to get a picture of LT in the background eating the very delicious chicken teriyaki from catering. Speaking of catering, I have to say New Zealand takes the best catering award of the tour so far. The food has been absolutely delicious here. Everywhere I’ve gone the food was on point. What I loved most about it, is it is simply made and all of the ingredients were able to stand out on their own and really come through in the dish.

Our very first day here Rie, Jennita, and I went out to a great restaurant that we found on the “where chefs eat app”, called Coco’s.

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Coco’s is a really hip spot with a Brooklyn-ish charm that serves rustic italian food. We ended up ordering a few different entrees and antipasti and sharing family style (of course, that’s the best way to taste everything!)

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Bruschetta with mashed broadbeans, pea, mint, and faggotini (ricotta stuffed mozzarella). Bruschetta is such a great vehicle to try out new flavor combinations,. You can go the traditional route of tomatoes, a lovely olive oil, basil, etc.. or you could.. do I even dare say try making dessert bruschetta (you know, you gotta expand your nutella horizons) or even maybe try a savory sweet combination like brie cheese and semisweet chocolate chips? Any takers?

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Grilled cod over panzanella with smoked paprika aioli. I’m a total seafood junkie, especially when we’re somewhere with the clearest and prettiest blue green water I’ve ever seen. Yum. By the way, New Zealand is home to the largest mussels I’ve ever come across.. they almost scared me.

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Asparagus with Pecorino Romano, lemon, and fried garlic chips. Fried garlic friend garlic fried garlic. ESPECIALLY while on tour.. Besides garlic’s amazing health properties.. I’m 13,000 miles from my boyfriend in New York City? I don’t think he can smell me from here. 😉

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An amazing pile of homemade spaghetti… enough said.

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Last but not least,  a perfectly cooked Veal Scallopine with capers. THE END of  a beautiful dinner. mmm mm mmm! Go to Coco’s on K street next time you’re in Auckland!

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Also in that adventure filled day we hit up a quaint, rustic bakery and the most amazing museum!

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For those who are not Kiwis, did you know that NZ is mostly made up of volcanoes?! Don’t worry, the last one erupted 550 years ago.. So Rie and I climbed to the top of one, Mt Victoria!

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The view doesn’t get any better than that! Rie and I had to take a ferry to get over there:

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I would like to conclude this post and my first trip EVER to Auckland, New Zealand with the yummiest lamb burger I’ve ever tasted in my life:

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Thanks for such a blast New Zealand! It was so nice to meet you and experience your culture! I hope you enjoyed the Mrs Carter Show!

Much love,

Adi

PS- Melbourne, I’m comin’ for you next! 😉

Where’s the guac, Mexico!?

The first stop in Mexico was Monterrey. A whole bunch of us went out for Mexican food and we got some serious guacamole, churros, and tacos. Guacamole was the number one on my list. Mmm mmm mmm was it good!

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After an amazing show last night we packed up and got up for another very early lobby call this morning and took the one hour flight to Mexico City!
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While waiting for our rooms to be ready, Crystal and I headed across the street to get some more tacos and guac. You know, I really do learn something new everyday on the road. It's a beautiful thing. While we were sitting there eating lunch a woman came up to us asking us for pesos.. Me being the New Yorker that I am habitually just said "no, lo siento".. Crystal looked at me and asked if I'd be alright with letting her sit with us for a meal.. So I said… "Well.. okay". Turns out, I made a new friend today, thanks to Crystal.
Her name is Juana. She is 58 years old and has 10 children, 7 still living and 2 died from leukemia, and 1 from asthma. She's only been in Mexico City for 20 days staying with her uncle, just walking around the streets asking for change, because she actually makes more money doing that than actually doing her job back in the town that she's from which is in the countryside outside of Mexico City. She said that her family actually doesn't speak spanish, but rather they speak Mystico (spelling). She says she comes from an indigenous people that live in the country side, and more than anything she would like to come to the states and work there, doing laundry, cleaning houses, or something of that nature. Then I realized how difficult it is for a person in her position to get papers to move to the states, without having to actually marry an American. Then it really made me think, how many other people are in her position? A position in which they are between a rock and a hard place, living in a rough neighborhood, not really able to make enough money to even survive off of never the less try to save up enough money to somehow get to the states.
It really makes you think. I’m grateful to have met Juana today and grateful for my very gracious friend, Crystal for that opportunity.

On a not so heavy note.. Since coming to Mexico City, Mr. Bear has made a friend (I found him in the hotel room) and his name is Panchito.

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Caracas Venezuela and Medellin Colombia

I know I’m a little late on your post, Venezuela! Thank you for the most adventurous show I’ve ever experienced! I’m grateful for you! At this point in the tour, just the traveling alone is enough to wear you out.. So I decided to stay in the hotel for our time in Caracas, but loved experiencing the mountains of Venezuela on the way from the airport to the hotel!

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While at the hotel I had some pretty good food! I think one of the top dishes of this leg so far is this one: crema de auyama: (pumpkin soup)

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It was the most comforting dish and reminded me of home. (Can you tell I’ve gotten a little homesick, yet? Lol) Comes with the territory.
One of the best moments in Caracas was going to Benihana with Rie and sitting next to two couples from Venezuela (both speaking Spanish and one couple knew Italian too) Rie didn’t know a word of Spanish or Italian.. And mine is very broken in both languages, yet we had a full dinner’s conversation talking about where we were from and how we like South America and all.. What an adventure that was. Rie and I left the dinner and she said “Adison, that was SO MUCH FUN! Like one giant game of charades!” Hahaha and it was!

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Today is actually the day of the show in Colombia.. So I hope you guys are ready, Medellin! We got here yesterday, after the quickest plane ride I’ve ever experienced.. (2 hrs but I was passed out for the entire thing) I fell asleep before the plane took off and when it landed, I woke up and started freaking out because I didn’t know where I was, but the more alarming question was, who was underneath my bed shaking it. I really thought I was being attacked by the boogie monster. (Rough, I know). To give you a better idea of my flying experience yesterday.. here’s Mr Bear and I after 2 hrs of sleep and waiting for 5 hours in the airport. Wait, this one needs a proper intro.
Ladies and Gentlemen I introduce to you the most glamorous part of the road..
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I’m going for Miss America with that shot.. Jeez Louise. My point is people.. Is that this job isn’t all makeup, heels, and fabulousness. It involves a whole LOT of looking like that. Anywho..

Luckily I woke up enough to experience the winding mountainous roads and beautiful landscape of Colombia. I wouldn’t of been able to sleep even if I wanted to the way the bus driver, Weavie Wonder (ba dum psh) was flying around the corners like we were in an Aston Martin.. Plus the whizzing by of the motorcyclists.. Turning the corners like they’re in a video game and going by so quickly it sounded like a bumble bee was permanently in my ear. The views and the weather were stunning, though:

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I’m looking forward to playing for you tonight, Colombia!
Have a beautiful Sunday, all!