While a student at University of Miami, I wrote an original jazz tune for one of our ensembles that I was very excited about. I felt the tune captured the vibe of the famous Miles Davis quintet from the ‘60’s… That was the theme of the ensemble. The tune had unpredictable harmonic rhythm, harmony based on modes of melodic minor and a lot of suspended chords, and romantic-influenced melodies. It wasn’t extremely complicated but it wasn’t simple either.
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Our students are typically really into music. As teachers we often assess a student’s musical engagement by how much and how well they practice in relation to what we ask them to do. However, an untapped goldmine for teachers lies in the music students engage with outside of the lesson.
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I wanted to post a reminder about Monday’s show at Zebulon. I’m very excited and honored to be playing with these geniuses.
You can order your tickets here: https://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/1677226
The Facebook even page is here: https://www.facebook.com/events/756192954571352/
Here’s a little promo video with sounds from the last show…
If you are getting this via email and can’t watch the video, click here.
For many students of music, performing without the printed music in front of them can be a stressful venture. Over the years I’ve eliminated the word “memorized” from my teaching vocabulary – at it has helped my students tremendously. However, for the sake of honoring the tradition I’ve included the word “memorize” from time to time in the post – this is the first of a series of posts on playing without the printed page.
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The teaching calendar between the new year and the end of the school year is a long one. Even those of us who teach private lesson typically follow some sort of “school” calendar. Over the past few weeks I’ve observed both teachers and students starting to show the signs of being caught in the Spring lull. Maybe as teachers we get a little short and agitated because the students are spinning their wheels a little (or a lot). Students tune out the teachers because all the lessons are starting to run together. And this just scratches the surface of possible feelings and emotions happening.
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Here’s a new emo number called “10,000 Miles”. This one has been years in the making and one of the toughest songs I’ve ever worked on for both technical and emotional reasons. I hope you like it.
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Reggie Watts, Louis Cole and I will be playing another improvised show on April 16. Novena Carmel will be kicking the night off with a DJ set.
The doors are at 8:30 pm. The cover is $10 (order in advance as the last two have sold out).
Order tickets here: https://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/1677226?utm_medium=bks
Facebook even page is here: https://www.facebook.com/events/756192954571352/
Here is a sample of what the last show sounded like (click here if you cant see the video):
Here is our bio in case you want to learn more about the project:
Fate would have it that Reggie Watts, Louis Cole and Michael Stegner all happened to have flat tires simultaneously in a small town in Idaho last September. After meeting in the local tire shop lobby, they struck up a friendly conversation and realized that they each had an affinity for handmade vegetable dumplings. This was the beginning of a musical relationship that has seen them perform in 251 countries and seven states in January alone. Their emotional performances innovate while drawing from their no-wave, shoe-gazing electro and ambient trip-hop heroes.
One guy who saw them in Bulgaria last week said it was the best show he’d ever seen.
For the last several years I’ve been learning more about sound design and electronic music. My students would push me pretty hard when we would work on these concepts forcing me to keep pace. I’ve finally gotten up the skills with the tech to start improvising more freely. Here’s as short sample something I improvised today when working with a program called Reason. First I programmed the drums and the sounds, then improvised on the keyboards. I hope you enjoy it!
If you can’t see the video in your email, click here to view it.
I have a new single out on all the major streaming services online. It’s called Love Song From a Montana Boy to a Wyoming Girl He Saw Once Forever. It features my friend from Senegal, Thione Diop, on the talking drum.
Here are the links… Please share on social media and add to your playlists if you’re so inclined.
Reggie Watts, Louis Cole and I will be performing together once again on January, 15 at Zebulon in LA. One of my favorite DJs, Muñeka, will be playing a set as well. The doors open at 8 pm and I’d recommend getting tickets in advance if you are planning to come – the last one sold out.
Click here for tickets.
If you want to learn more about Reggie and Louis, click here for a blurb I wrote about the last time we did this show.