Time, Practice, and Parker

I can’t see where there’s anything fantastic about it at all. I put quite a bit of study into the horn, that’s true…. I used to put in at least from 11 to 15 hours a day…over three or four years. –Charlie Parker   Stay tuned for more frequent blog posts. Interviews have been and…

Jazz saxophonist Sonny Rollins

Jazz saxophonist Sonny Rollins talking with Tavis Smiley about practice and striving for betterment. This attitude is why the man’s still a genius and still one of the most highly regarded jazz musicians of all time. Beautiful words of wisdom on practice, music, life, and getting right with yourself despite what anyone else says. Talks about…

Jazz Trumpeter Avishai Cohen, on Practice

Avishai Cohen Talks Practice Jazz trumpeter Avishai Cohen first came to my attention when Chad McCullough spoke with me about practice several months ago. I promptly checked him out and was psyched to discover a new favorite jazz trumpet player. He’s one of the most interesting players I’ve heard in a while; definitely check out his albums Triveni and After the Big…

Ethan Bensdorf: NY Philharmonic Trumpeter on Practice

It might go without saying that Ethan Bensdorf is a fantastic classical trumpet player, but I’ll say it anyway: Ethan is a fantastic trumpet player. We talked over the phone and he told me the story of how he landed the gig with the New York Philharmonic, playing with principal trumpet legend Mr. Phillip Smith, including a week spent getting his chops together on the rotary valve trumpet before heading back to New York for another round of final auditions. Ethan also shared his thoughts about practice and had a lot of great things to say. Hope you enjoy.

Ingrid Jensen: Jazz Trumpeter on Practice

Really get it together as it’s supposed to go, but also explore with it; take it down the road, take it for a walk around the block,  climb to the top of a building and come back down with it, and then come back and play it exactly as it’s supposed to be as well….

Colin Oldberg: Principal Trumpet, Hong Kong Phil.

Colin Oldberg is an excellent player who has played with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and earned a spot on the first YouTube Orchestra and has played Carnegie hall twice. He’s also part of a fantastic brass quintet, Axiom Brass. There’s a link to the full length mp3 of the excerpt from the beginning of the show. Colin talks about practice.

Erin McKeown: Singer-Songwriter on Practice

Music is unique. The more I know about how it works, the deeper it gets; the better it becomes.

~ Erin McKeown, from the Interview

Check out what the excellent singer-songwriter Erin McKeown has to say about music practice. I’ve been a fan of Erin’s since hearing Distillation in 2000. Erin plays guitar, piano, drums, and bass and has recorded albums. I learned of her through one of many interviews with Erin on NPR, this one on The World Cafe, a most excellent show hosted on WXPN in Philadelphia and hosted by David Dye. Great stuff! Erin’s got 12 albums out, and they’re all worth owning. My favorite 3 albums are Distillation, Grand, and Hundreds of Lions.

Chad McCullough: Jazz Trumpeter on Practice

Check out the interview with Seattle-based jazz and classical trumpeterChad McCullough. Last year at the Lionel Hampton International Jazz Festival, Chad and I met and after a quick chat he agreed to talk with me about practice. Not only is Chad an excellent trumpet player, he’s also got piano chops, and this influences his trumpet playing. Listen to the podcast to learn his thoughts about trumpet playing and practice. McCullough just returned to Seattle after a tour of Belgium and release party for his latest album, Imaginary Sketches (out 2-15-11), from Origin Records in the states, and De Werf in Europe. He’s a busy guy and has some other great stuff out, too, including an excellent album from The Kora Band, and he was generous enough to let me use a tune from their latest album to open the podcast. The clip that opens the interview is Over-caffeinated and Under-fed. The Kora is a West-African stringed instrument that has a great sound. It sounds a bit like a Celtic harp, but with a different attitude and more rhythm. Oh, and a giant gourd. Here’s a video clip of Kora master Toumani Diabaté in action. Chad has interesting things to share about practice and how he thinks about music that I found both interesting and useful. Hope you enjoy the interview. Have fun and good luck with your practice.

Nicholas Barron: Chicago Singer-Songwriter on Practice

A talk with Chicago singer-songwriter Nicholas Barron who has an interesting take on practice. Check out the site for a free mp3 of Nicholas’s music.

In the course of the interview Nicholas said, “That’s what a lot of people do; they practice in a room and they don’t get anywhere. It’s really about practice being life, and life being practice.” Check out the whole interview if you want to understand what he means.

Podcast Ahoy!

Well, I’ve got a few interviews in the can and will be editing and processing them in the coming weeks. The next post to this podcast will have an interview with Nicholas Barron, singer-songwriter from Chicago, followed by interviews with classical trumpeter Colin Oldberg (principal trumpet w/ the Hong Kong Symphony Orchestra), Singer-Songwriter Erin McKeown, jazz trumpeter Chad McCullough, and the most excellent Chicago Symphony Orchestra Tuba player Rex Martin. There are more interviews in the works, too, including (tentatively) Ingrid Jensen, Bobby Broom, and Josh Ritter. Stay tuned. When that first one is posted, be sure to subscribe to the iTunes podcast feed to download future interviews automatically. The first one should be up by mid-March.