Friday at F Scott’s

Yesterday I saw some posts highlighting a blurb by an “LA Times contributor” talking about the difficulties associated with being a musician. “Singers and Musicians are some of the most driven, courageous people on the face of the earth. They deal with more day-to-day rejection in one year than most people do in a lifetime. Every day, they face the financial challenge of living a freelance lifestyle, the disrespect of people who think they should get real jobs, and their own fear that they’ll never work again.” The quote goes on to provide some inspirational epithets – so inspirational in fact that the same quote can be found from a few weeks prior, but speaking about “Actors” instead of singers and musicians. Bad internet researching …

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Talking with Steve Herrman

If you’re heavily into the Winter Jazz Fest this week, I’d say the chances are good that you’ve never heard of the trumpet player Steve Herrman, even though the chances that you’ve heard his playing are strong, particularly if you’ve ever listened to Kenny Chesney or Delbert McClinton, among others.  Steve is well-known and very highly regarded in Nashville’s music scene as a session trumpet player.  But fear not if “session trumpet player” is an unfamiliar term – it was to me when I first moved here. Earlier this week Steve and I sat down to lunch where we spoke about that very term, as well as the idea that ‘jazz’ is a dirty word (and not just in the BAM sense), and how his …

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Scholarship Opportunity

Being a music teacher in Tennessee has been one of the most rewarding parts of my 4.5 years here.  Beginning with singing in church choir at the age of 5, I had had music teachers work with me privately or in groups on a weekly basis for two decades.  The more I teach, the more I recognize what has stuck with me, not just in terms of information but pedagogy.  I can still hear the voices of my early choir directors Mrs. Rodland and Mrs. Ho-Ho (yes that’s an abbreviation!) teaching how to read note values in a song: “A whole note is – a great big circle.  A half note adds – a great big stem…” As all students do, I had many opinions …

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The White Brothers of Kitty Hawk

Orville and Wilbur Wright were brothers credited with the first successful airplane flight on the coast of North Carolina.  As a child I was always thrilled by flight – my two favorite parts of trips with my parents would be the takeoffs of commercial airliners to and from the destination.  Sadly that’s no longer the case for me on jet planes, but the sensations that I remember from takeoffs are still thrilling.  Luckily I do still experience them, and most typically through music. You’ve no doubt heard trumpeter Matt White – he’s featured prominently on Falling Up – but you likely haven’t had the pleasure of listening to his original material.  Just prior to moving to the coast of South Carolina to begin a trumpet …

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Happy New Year

It’s hard to believe we’re now thirteen years into the ‘future’.  Pretty much every year from here on out sounds like a science-fiction number to me.  Then again, I watched a season 1 episode of The Sopranos the other day from 1999, and that seemed outdated.  Perhaps I’m just an anachronism. Anyways, in 2013 I’ve resolved to be a bit more active on this blog.  As facebook has become a nightmarish tool for those afraid to have a civil discussion on a barstool, I’m trying to disengage from the malicious source altogether.  There’s all sorts of great things happening in Nashville’s jazz scene, and ideally this blog will give me a chance to illuminate them without inundating my “virtual friends.” So to kick things off, …

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Summer Conclusions

Summers always disappear so fast.  Ever since I was little and took summer trips with family, played sports in Maine or studied intently at music camps, summer has been a time for departing from the norm and self-discovery.  The summer of 2012 has been no exception. First and foremost, here in Nashville summer 2012 brought on the first ever Summer Jazz Camp at the Nashville Jazz Workshop.  We had a great group of over 20 high school kids from the area have fun learning and sharing through jazz.  The camp was a great success, thanks mostly to the very hard work of all the people involved, notably Joe Davidian, Jonathan Wires, Larry Seeman, Duffy Jackson, Chester Thompson, Connye Florence, Matthew White, and of course Lori …

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You’re Live in Three, Two, (one) —>

It was a great weekend of music at Pete Miller’s in Evanston, IL.  The Northwestern University campus and Evanston are in some ways unchanged and some ways very different.  Ten years ago it seemed like I had hundreds of friends and colleagues in and around the area.  Walking along there nowadays seemed like the ground had swallowed up and digested that universe with new people and businesses playing their roles in the recognizable Evanston facade, only to perhaps find the same result in 2022. 2022 sounds so futuristic, doesn’t it?  In remarking about the ease of having a pet cat versus a dog, my friend mentioned that the task is even easier since the litter box is cleaned by a robotic ‘litter’ dispenser.  It seems …

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Camp!

It’s been a busy spring here in Nashville, although since we hit 90 degrees yesterday it really seems like an early summer.  Some recent news to share: This past weekend I had the distinct honor and privilege of playing with The Queen of Soul herself.  It was pretty wild to hear all the famous soul tunes that I’ve played at weddings and events countless times being sung by Aretha herself.  She completely killed it for 90 minutes and had the audience (and the band!) in the palm of her hand.   Yesterday I received some excitement from the mailman (not that excitement, get your mind out of the gutter) – the June issue of Downbeat.  When I first became enthralled with the jazz scene as …

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Tenor Players Passing Through

It’s been an exciting 2012 here in Nashville so far.  Monday nights have been a fun hang  since Chester Thompson started leading his trio at the Commodore Grille, and now the Nashville Jazz Orchestra is playing an early set there every Monday at 5:30!  Sportsman’s Grille has continued its Wednesday night jazz series, the Charles Walker Trio has been playing many Tuesday nights, Beegie Adair Trio on Thursdays at F Scotts…it’s been a thrill getting out and hearing so many inspiring players. As a tenor saxophonist it’s been an especially thrilling winter.  First Bob Mintzer was here as a guest soloist with the Nashville Jazz Orchestra.  The band played about 12 of his charts and Bob sounded ridiculous.  He’s so incredibly expressive, and his tone …

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NY Times

The show with JD Souther was a big hit (despite what Stephen Holden might lead you to believe!).  The band played great and JD was totally captivating.  There’s a review of the show with a beautiful picture in the NY Times. Also exciting is that this week Falling Up has officially ‘charted’ – reaching number 36 on Jazzweek’s Top 50 Jazz Chart for January 17th.  It’s the only album among the top 50 that is self-released! And for future excitement, I just confirmed that I’ll be playing with Cassandra Wilson when she performs with the Nashville Symphony as part of the jazz series on March 2nd.  Time to practice! – evan

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