- His incredible background as a prodigy on saxophone
- How his friendship with Paquito D’Rivera came about
- His father’s connection with David Sanborn
- How he eventually became an official part of Grammy Winner Marcus Miller’s band
- A practical perspective of the Music business today
- Why it’s harder to book tours now
- His view of the type of music that will always be successful
- and much more…
This week we had a great conversation with Marco Pignataro. Marco is the director of the Berklee Global Jazz Institute in Boston as well as holding numerous high level positions in jazz festivals, organizations, and institutes across the globe. When you combine that with his amazing ability as a saxophonist, you get the total package! Marco is a true ambassador of the music and we speak at length about what that means to him.
Marco also has a brand new album that features Adam Cruz, Alan Pasqua, Eddie Gomez, and George Garzone titled, Almas Antiguas. This album is truly inspirational and the playing is really pushing the boundaries forward. Please enjoy our interview with the great, Marco Pignataro!
In this episode:
- What it’s like to be a truly international artist and educator and to live as a citizen of the world.
- Growing up in Italy and then making the move to the United States.
- Holding the position as saxophone chair at the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico.
- Heading the Berklee Global Jazz Institute.
- Marco answers our famous 5 questions!
This week we got a chance to speak with the immensely talented young saxophonist, Alex Hahn. Alex is based in Los Angeles and is doing really big things in the music world. He has performed with some of the best musicians in the business during his career including, Hancock, Esperanza Spalding, Bob Mintzer, Peter Erskine, John Clayton, Russell Ferrante, and John Daversa. He also recorded on Michael Bublé’s latest album, “Nobody but Me.”
Alex is a breath of fresh air in the music world. Someone who is not afraid to utilize social media, produce amazing video content, and do the things that our new digital world require to rise to the top of the heap. Alex is also a really nice guy with a down to earth approach to what he does. We hope you enjoy our conversation with Alex Hahn!
In this episode:
- Why and how Alex took to the saxophone and why it became such a big part of his life.
- What it was like to play with so many of his heroes already in his young career.
- The music scene is Los Angeles.
- The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz.
- What lies on the horizon for Alex and what he would like to do with his music.
- Social media and the role it plays in today’s landscape for musicians.
- the history of Rovner Products
- how important the “somatic experience” is for musicians
- detailed descriptions of each ligature
- how each ligature provides a specific solution to a performance issue or meets a new performance demand
- how each ligature has a certain behavior
- and much more
- The best way to learn
- How to recover from what you may perceive as a bad experience
- Advice for finding jam sessions & musical interaction
- The real truth about record sales
- The process for releasing a CD (It’s not as simple as you think)
- The personnel you need in your music team
- Riley‘s connections with Darren Rahn and Najee
This week we caught up with Canadian saxophonist, composer and band leader, Allison Au. Allison is busy taking her quartet all over Canada and the US getting her music into the world and doing a lot to advance this music we call jazz. Allison is a native of Toronto and still makes her home there where she is playing gigs, teaching, and composing on a regular basis. Watch out for Allison’s tour dates as she will most likely be in a city near you sometime soon. Allison has great insight on many aspects of the music business including touring, applying for grants and scholarships, maintaining a band based around her original music and playing the saxophone at the highest level. This is an insightfulContinue Reading …
Daniel Bennett is a saxophonist, woodwind artist, educator, and band leader based out of New York. Daniel has been hailed as one of the most original and unpredictable voices of his generation. Daniel leads his group all over the country on a regular basis, spreading his music to fans of creative music far and wide. This episode will be eye opening in many ways for all of the musicians Continue Reading …
Stephen “Doc” Kupka is best known as the foundation of the horn section for Tower of Power, having performed on Baritone Sax with them for 50 years and running.Ever since co-writing “You’re Still a Young Man,” he really has enjoyed songwriting. He wanted to showcase the many songs he has written over the years, so he established Strokeland Records in 1998.Doc’s longevity with performing and songwriting is truly Continue Reading …
Miguel Zenon is an alto saxophonist, composer, and band leader hailing from Puerto Rico. Miguel has been featured on over 70 recordings as a sideman and is about to release his 11th album under his own name. Miguel is a multiple Grammy Nominee and is also a recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship also known as the genius grant. Miguel lives in New York and also teaches at the famous New England Conservatory.
We caught up with Miguel to talk about his new recording set to come out on September 21st entitled, Yo Soy La Tradicion. We also managed to talk about his move to the United States, his development as a composer and saxophonist over the years and what he does to maintain his high level of playing through a busy schedule. We also chatted about teaching advanced students and asked him our famous five questions. I think you’re going to really enjoy this interview so sit back, relax, and let’s get into it with Miguel Zenon!
In this interview:
- The concept and execution of Yo Soy La Tradicion.
- The challenges and rewards of writing for string quartet.
- The overwhelming presence of Puerto Rican traditional music in Miguel’s compositions.
- The evolution of Miguel’s saxophone playing and composing process.
- What it’s like teaching students who are extremely advanced.
- The most important aspect of being a saxophonist in Miguel’s opinion.