March 2016 News

I realised it’s been a while since I’ve done anything with my blog…so here goes for March 2016

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I’ve just had a very interesting time over the last 2 weeks. Firstly it’s been the start of semester and JMI has been buzzing. Secondly, Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Centre Orchestra have been touring Australia. I saw their concert the ‘Swing Symphony’ in Sydney with the SSO, then their gig in Brisbane. The gig in Brisbane was outstanding. 2 sets. The first set was Jelly Roll Morton, Duke Ellington and the second set were originals and arrangements by members of JLCO.

I’ve been very fortunate to meet Wynton Marsalis a few times and get to speak with him. He’s a super human in every way. Also Vincent Gardner (lead trombone in JLCO) is an amazing person. We have brought Vince out twice now to deliver teachers conferences and workshops and each time I get to hang with him it’s always a great. The band finished with one of his charts and it was just incredible intelligent writing.

As I mentioned I haven’t written much on here lately. Mainly due to not wanting to deal with criticism. However, I’ve decided bring it on. After spending time with these super humans it has given me more direction and dedication to do what I do (play, teach and write). To think that people criticize Wynton Marsalis considering how generous, humble and talented he is. The word genius is a good word to describe him. Last year there were other very notable musicians who I dealt with who were not on the same level or even close to the same level of person that Vince Gardner and Wynton Marsalis are. Which is making me start to believe that we need to be good people in order to be good musicians.

Currently, I’m reading “Keating” the biography on Paul Keating by Kerry O’brien. And am re-reading Wynton’s “Letter’s to a young musician’ which is really worth reading for any musician.

I’ll share one thing out of his book with you. Getting good technically is what we (musicians) are supposed to do, that’s a given. We need to keep working and practicing our craft. It’s when we get good enough we need to think what are we going to do with that? Because the phone isn’t just going to ring. People aren’t just going to call and book you. You need to do something? Get a band together, get your own gigs…

I’m setting myself a challenge to update at least every month from now on.