With the sudden onset of October, I realized that my summer is over and Nashville has been my home for almost a month now. So far I’ve really enjoyed acclimating to Music City – there are tons of hip areas (much in walking distance), amazing weather, and the people have been warm and receptive. It seems like the majority of folks that I have met here are not actually from Nashville or the Tennessee area at all, but are instead transplants like me attracted to the music scene.
The music scene itself has been quite interesting to me so far. Despite what I’ve been led to think about the massive country music industry down here, I’ve actually seen very little of that around, save for the tourist area of downtown. In fact, most of the musicians I have met tend to laugh off the notion of this being a “country music town,” although that is surely related to the fact that most of the musicians I am meeting are jazz and classical players. Regardless, I have seen great music performed by the Nashville Jazz Workshop, the Nashville Symphony, and even got to the famed Ryman Auditorium to see Orchestra Nashville with Trey Anastasio as featured guest. I’m sure that my path will cross into the country scene, as well as the commercial bar scene (tons of cover bands), but for now I’m happy to listen to what’s around me.
As for my own playing, I’ve been jumping around town as much as possible to find jam sessions and meet new folks. I have been fortunate to hang with many of Nashville’s finer musicians, and have some excellent leads on both the saxophone and the oboe. If I have discerned correctly, many of the cats in Nashville’s jazz scene also comprise the studio players and touring bands for some major acts. Keep your eyes peeled as some dates on my calendar page should start popping up.
Who should I start listening to in country and popular music?
Time to get back into the woodshed.