Jamming with Marian Petrescu & James Morrison

I recently had the opportunity to meet Romanian piano virtuoso, Marian Petrescu and hang out with him and jazz trumpet legend, James Morrison, at the launch of the new Roland LX17 digital pianos.

Many laughs were had and much great music was enjoyed! Here's a clip from the evening of the three of us jamming on the Dizzy Gillespie classic, "A Night in Tunisia":

Thriller Live comes to a Close!

Well it's been a roller coaster few months with Thriller Live! - getting to perform some of the best material from Michael Jackson's catalog of hits. After a couple of really exciting weeks in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the tour has sadly come to an end and everyone has gone back to their respective home bases.

It was such a pleasure working with such an incredible team of people on this production, from the band, singers, dancers, crew and producers - everyone was one big family and pulled together even through some of the more challenging times - which inevitably occur on any touring production.

Audiences in KL were fantastic and amazingly enthusiastic - some of the most engaged we've encountered and it's great to see MJ's music is still thriving in all parts of the world.

I've posted photos of the tour online at both my Flickr account and on Instagram.

For now it's back to Sydney - but not for long - more exciting news coming soon!
 

QLD - Toasty one day, scorching the next!

Hi all! Firstly, apologies for being a bit quiet on the blogging front - touring life has been keeping me busy! I've been managing to keep up to date with Twitter and Instagram though so make sure you check those out if you haven't already.

The tour's going really well - after playing two weeks to pretty much packed audiences in Adelaide, we're now in sunny Brisbane and enjoying this QLD weather! It has been a tad warm though, with the mercury rising and setting records many of the days that we've been here! Oh well, we're off to Melbourne next week, so we'll surely have a change then!

I've been embracing my other love of photography while I've been here, and although I'm relatively new to it (compared to music) I'm having tonnes of fun - it's also a great way to keep track of all the great places we visit and things we get up to on tour.

I've been uploading many of my DSLR shots to my Flickr account, so head on over to:

www.flickr.com/mikepensini

to check them out! There's a dedicated "Thriller Live" tour album as well as a bunch of other shots from my travels and different gigs. For the fellow photography nerds out there I'm using a Canon EOS 70D and mostly the Canon 50mm f/1.8 and Canon 24mm f/2.8 prime lenses - not overly expensive lenses but can yield some great results.

If you're into photography, leave a comment or shoot me a message - always love to have a rave to fellow photography nuts! Also, same goes if you have any questions for the tour or requests for what you'd like to hear me record/do next musically!

Well, that's all from here for now, time to go have a cold shower and chill out in the air-con! Ciao for now! x

Thriller Live arrives in Perth!

So we've arrived in sunny Perth and given Australian audiences their first taste of Thriller Live!

After 2 well-received previews, we're gearing up for the official opening night tonight, which is going to be a blast. The show is looking and sounding great. The band is cooking - so glad to be on the road with some of my favourite Aussie musicians - Darryn Farrugia on drums, Tony Azzopardi on percussion, Victor Rounds on bass and John Bettison on guitar. Great blokes and great players.

Also a shout out to my local cafe Pinocchio's in Bardwell Park for looking after me on a pretty much daily basis when I'm back home in Sydney! When I told them I was going on tour they gave me this little guy:

to take with me so I started the #pinocchioontour series for a behind-the-scenes look at Thriller Live. It's also fitting as Pinocchio was Michael Jackson's favourite cartoon character. Poignant!

Off now to enjoy the awesome Perth sunshine - stay tuned for more Thriller Live updates!

Mike x

Welcome & Michael Jackson "Thriller Live" Tour

Hey guys - welcome to my new website! I thought it was about time for a refresh so I could update things on the road etc, so here we are!

Speaking of being on the road, I've just been asked to join the Michael Jackson "Thriller Live" tour of Australia, New Zealand and Malaysia, so will be starting rehearsals next week here in Sydney before flying over to Perth and commencing the 3-month tour.

It's shaping up to be an exciting show. Being a huge Michael Jackson fan, getting to play 2 hours of his music every night with a killer band of some of my favourite players in the country is going to be a real treat. I'll be sure to post updates about exciting stuff that's happening on the tour here so stay tuned!