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Efficient Practice

January 16, 2011

Over many years of teaching, I have learned that the biggest challenges students face have to do with developing efficient practice techniques and learning how to be open and responsive while performing. My teaching at The University of North Florida and privately has taught me that these issues should be of the highest priority and […]

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‘Plan B’ for the Jazz Musician

November 19, 2010

We all know how hard it is to make a living today as a jazz musician. Clubs have dwindled, interest in the music isn’t what it once was, digital technology has replaced live musicians with synthesized sounds. The dedicated jazz player need never give up his or her aspirations, but it never hurts to come […]

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Playing Jazz on the Bassoon

July 9, 2010

In recent years, several instruments not traditionally associated with jazz have come into the picture, including various strings instruments, brass, and woodwinds. There are many reasons why the entry of new instruments into jazz is now taking place, some of which I would like to cover in this article. From the start of jazz or […]

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The Jazz Big Band: Ingredients To Assure Good Ensemble Performances

December 9, 2009

I was afforded the opportunity to play in jazz big bands from my youth through higher education. I experienced many styles of leadership, some more effective than others. Some ensembles I played in at the University level were at a professional level. Others were mere reading ensembles sorely lacking in basic technique, intonation, improvisational skills, […]

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Getting In Mysteries of the College Jazz Program Audition Process Explained

October 28, 2009

For many students, the college jazz program audition process can seem to be full of anxiety and stress. Although your audition is certainly a moment when you want to make the best possible impression (musically as well as personally), it’s best to think of this as a time when you can also learn which program […]

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Playing the Gig You’re On: Coltrane Knew How

March 18, 2009

Picture the following

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Staying Healthy on Tour

October 21, 2008

The focus of this article is to discuss ways to stay healthy while on the road. With Be;la Fleck the Flecktones, we do a fair amount of overseas touring and, even without a time zone change, the travel can wear me, and the others, out. Most times airplane flights come way too early on the […]

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Writing the Book on Jazz Education

March 11, 2008

Without the leadership of capable ambassadors, jazz and the boundless creativity and dedication it inspires would never have gained the foothold it has today in our schools. One of these heroes of jazz education is Ronald Carter, who currently serves as the director of Jazz Studies at Northern Illinois University, international vice president of IAJE, […]

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My Lessons From Herb Pomeroy

January 9, 2008

Like thousands of other musicians, I was deeply saddened when I heard of the passing of Herb Pomeroy in August 2007. Herb was perhaps the most influential jazz educator of the last fifty years inspiring and mentoring generations of the top musicians from the Berklee College of Music. The lessons that I learned from Herb […]

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Mick Taylor: Soul Survivor

October 30, 2007

So why would a jazz magazine prominently profile a blues guitarist most well known for his work with the most commercially successful rock band of all time? Well, the reasons are many let me share them with you, because ever since attending my post-hippy, free-to-be-you-and-me nursery school, I’ve had a fierce and lifelong appreciation of […]

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