If Your Life Were A Song…

What would it sound like? Name that life song. I posed this question to family members at a recent party. Spouse Anita had the great idea to put up a poster-sized piece of paper. She wrote everyone’s name across the top and added 2 questions down the left side with room for more questions below. […]

Four Fast-Fingering Fab Clarinetists

My friend and fellow clarinetist, Craig Bunch, sent me a link to an inspiring jazz concert – The Legacy of the Benny Goodman Quartet, Jazz Night In America on NPR. The concert was narrated by author and activist, Wendell Pierce and featured: Christian Sands, piano; Sammy Miller, drums; Joel Ross, vibraphone; and four clarinetists: Will […]

How to get from “Funky Town” to “Shut Up and Dance”

Feel Good Music For most of this week, I’ve been feeling off-center, off-kilter, just off. Like a rowboat cut free of the dock and without any oars to boot! This is not good. I’m someone who likes to have focus, direction, and clarity of vision; to know where I’m going and what my plan is. […]

Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra

Just. Listen. From 2007 performance. Conductor and bassist John Clayton, brother Jeff Clayton on alto and Jeff Hamilton, drummer are the trio who brought together this phenomenal band in 1985. I heard Jeff Clayton at Mt Hood Jazz Festival some years ago. Sweet.  

My Favorite Movie is Not A Movie

What’s Your Favorite Movie? When I get asked that question, I either draw a blank or I blurt out a movie title based on the soundtrack! Witness this answer: The Incredibles! The soundtrack by Michael Giacchino is truly incredible (pun intended.) It’s not the same without the music The thing about movie soundtracks is how much […]

When Musicians Hear Visual Art

Here’s a scene – I am washing dishes and have the stereo blasting from the other room at pretty high volume so I can hear the music over the sound of running water and clinking dishes. I’m listening to the classical station and they are broadcasting Irish Rhapsody #5 by Charles Stanford. When Anita walks […]

Play, Write, Listen, and Create Music at 1000 MPH

One night, before I went to sleep, I asked my dream self to help me write today’s music appreciation article. I woke up with this headline on the tip of my tongue and the skeleton of an actual article in my mind. I quickly wrote it all down. Courtesy of my subconscious, here are four ways […]

Folk Music Around The World Spring Recital

This year for the Spring recital, my students chose folk music that was significant for them culturally or otherwise. They transposed the music for their instrument and in many cases also wrote arrangements for two, three and four instruments. I’ve compiled a playlist of the 14 performances from the April 27th performance. Check out the wonderful photos […]