I really haven’t been keeping up with this blog much for the same reasons that I still haven’t completed any of the new, shiny video games I bought with my hard-earned adult money: I’m too busy living an active and fulfilling life in order to do fun things anymore.
Greetings! It's been quite some time since I've given this blog attention, but that's fortunately been due to me working part-full time as a music teacher (part-time pay for full-time commitment) as well as being fortunate enough to be playing with several different groups on a regular basis! It's great to be able to look at my calendar and always see shows coming up in the near future that I'm actually in!
At some point, I'll post some more regular entries into this blog (I'm thinking of a gear review for the next thing), but for now, I'd like to shamelessly plug a contest going on with one of the bands I'm currently with, The World's Heaviest Jam Band. For those of you who haven't been keeping up, it's a project that started in the summer of 2013, died, then was resurrected that's starting to gain some steam in the New Jersey general area. The idea is to take musicians from different musical backgrounds and put them together to see what they come up with. This is what we came up with:
Hello readers! I apologize for it having been a number of months since the first part of my multi-part installment on DIY improvisation instruction. It is quite a large undertaking and, quite frankly, life has been crazy since that last post. I've been living and traveling all over the place for a number of reasons, including the continued search for steady employment, a friend's wedding (where I was the best man), short substitute teaching and janitoring assignments, and a sudden burst of gigs in December. It's been wild, but I'm still alive...somehow!
I've done some updating/slight adjusting around the website. The most notable change is the addition of a "previous gigs" link on my Calender tab. After talking with other musicians and browsing around for myself, I thought it would be nice to avoid too much clutter on the page for people looking for my future engagements while allowing potential bookings and curious individuals to see where I've been recently. I will probably be listing a year at a time on there starting from this past December.
I've recently been sitting in with a group based in South Jersey called "Swing That Cat." They took a number of videos during our New Year's Eve gig. I'm hoping to post one or two of those to my YouTube channel. I'm just waiting to get the ok from them...because asking before using someone else's stuff is always a good thing to do.
Finally, I will be getting back to this blog. We'll see what that means exactly, but I will at least try to complete what I started with my last post.
Thank you to everyone who has been supporting me in some way recently, whether it be financially or spiritually. It's been a wild ride, but it's been amazing to see how many people are interested in what I've been doing and genuinely want to see me succeed. I truly am lucky to have such great people around me wherever I go.
Onward to 2014! May all of you have an amazing year!
Improvisation in music is probably one of the most mystifying of the many skills which can be developed by a pro musician. People who can do it at a high level make it look effortless, leaving all the square cats not in-the-know exclaiming, “They did that without reading music, and they made it up as they went…and it was good? IMPOSSIBRU!” Likewise, many musicians (especially those who begin with a regimented course of study) are reduced to being no better than blundering fourth graders when asked to improvise a passage of music, briefly mumbling that they don’t know how to improvise before sitting down and churning out some Paganini.
Sadly, due to a number of things outside of my control, the full-time job I mentioned finally getting in the edit of my previous entry was something that I had to walk away from. I was lucky enough to almost immediately find a long-term substitute band director position for a local high school, so I’m currently able to keep eating at least until the end of October.
However, like any great musician, the eternal question remains and haunts me like the ghost of an unwelcome mother-in-law – “what’s next?” Thus, my job search continues.
It has certainly been quite a journey thus far, filled with ups and downs that I never would have foreseen for myself a year ago. While the process of applying for jobs has been reduced to the submission of a lengthy digital form for most places, the interviews themselves have proven to have all been very interesting experiences. Some of these have stood out more than others in terms of the actual process, the expectations of the job, and pure weirdness.
Take a journey with me, bros.
Here's the second half of my two-part series on things I learned going to school for music. If you're just starting out on the journey, or if you'd like some reminders of your majoring in music basics, these are the blog posts for you!
Check out the first part here if you missed it.
Stay tuned for Part Two of "5 Things I Learned as a Freshman Music Major!" The positive responses to the first half so far have been great! (Read Part One Here)
I'd like to take a quick step away from that, though, and post my first equipment review! I decided to try something different and make a video review.
This time, we'll be taking a look at the Silverstein Works tenor saxophone ligature. I got this directly from the people at Silverstein Works who wanted me to check it out and put up some comments about what I thought. If you're not into the full-length video, check below for some "Quick Facts."
The end of summer draws neigh. While I’m sitting here continuing to try and figure out this “real life” thing (I’ve stumbled upon the cure for the common cold, though that’s not related to my field, so I tossed the paperwork), many of my potential readers are preparing to go back to school. Though I have both physically and emotionally finished with my undergraduate years of music school, I can’t help but think about my first year at Rowan University as a jazz education major and how different those experiences were from all my other years there.
[The Poetry of] Who I Am
The first entry of a new blog. Yea, indeed, such is as the life of a newborn babe first emerging into the world. It brings with it infinite promises of an equally infinite number of possibilities. It is as a blooming flower, bursting forth from its formerly covered state into a dazzling array of color and whimsy. Will this beauty continue into the future, or has yet another seed of self-destruction been sown?
Saxophonist, educator, arranger, composer, and now enthusiastic blogger.