Week in review

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I just ran into Henry Threadgill at this little wine/pastry shop next door to my girlfriend’s place in the East Village.  I met him a while back when he was doing one of those workshops at the Jazz Gallery, so I said hello.  He’s a very nice guy! But that’s my geeky jazz celeb sighting for the week.  I just love the East Village.

This week has been a very productive one…I submitted my application for the Swing Space residency program (more about that soon!) and played a gig last night at the legendary 55 Bar in Greenwich Village with my band The Identity Crisis.  It was the first show I’ve played with that band in three years that me and my co-leader Joe Abba didn’t only break even, but actually made some money.  Making money from your music…what a concept! We’re going to be posting some live tracks from the show on our Facebook Page real soon.

I’m also starting to get things going with finding some new students.  Teaching piano mostly but I’m available for teaching saxophone, composition, and improvisation.  I’ve also had a few music copying students recently, teaching them how to use Finale.  I’m trying to get the word out more (which blogs are helpful for I suppose!) so please pass it on if you know of anyone that’s interested in studying with a really cool teacher! 🙂

More of an overview than a “Week in Review,” but hey…I’m a musician not a writer.  Hopefully soon I’ll be writing some more informational blogs though…I have some ideas about writing a piece about ensemble leadership, which I’m bit of an expert at.  I may also write something about arranging for jazz ensembles.  I’m only going to do it though if it’s looking like people are actually reading this blog.  Is anyone reading this blog? Seriously though, if there are any music related topics that you’d like me to expound upon, let me know and I’ll do it to the best of my ability.  I know that Joe Abba really wants me to write a piece about Phil Collins (shout out to my man Joey!).

This is also the first blog in the history of the universe that Henry Threadgill and Phil Collins were mentioned together.  Such is my musical tastes, for better or for worse.

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NYFA Boot Camp Redux

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This past weekend I completed the last session of the Artists as Entrepreneurs Boot Camp at the New York Foundation for the Arts.  I learned a lot and make a whole bunch of new friends.  It’s rare these days that I get to interact with artists seriously involved in other artistic disciplines, but this program allowed me to get to know several filmmakers, visual artists, actors, and even a puppeteer and a storyteller.  It was good to find out that there are others out there that have the same concerns as I do about having a career as an artist, and to learn that other people are sometimes just as confused and scared as I sometimes am about navigating finances, marketing, intellectual property issues, and just plain survival in NYC.

There is a lot to talk about here, and I’m sure the impact of what I’ve learned about goal setting and financial management will become evident over the course of the next several months.  I have a book to recommend though…especially if you’re a visual artist but it’s great for anyone who wants to make a living as artist…it’s called The Artist’s Career Guide by Jackie Battenfield.  She was the first speaker at the Boot Camp, and her awesome presentation about setting goals was both impressive and inspiring (and a little ass kicking – she started her talk by saying “This book is full of things that you don’t want to do!”).  We all got a copy of her book too, and I’ve gotten a lot out of it.

Two days to the Identity Crisis gig at the 55 Bar…rehearsing tomorrow and can’t wait!!!