- Why Hans created this accessory
- How the LefreQue works, and why he can claim that it helps someone’s tone
- How to use the LefreQue
- and more!
Matt Otto is one of my favorite saxophone players and teachers. Matt’s approach to the language and creativity is one of the most important voices in the jazz world. His amazing website is a treasure trove of lessons, advice, and wisdom on being the best player you can be. Matt has lived and played all over the world and brings that experience to our conversation. Matt lives in Kansas City and is currently the Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies at Kansas University (KU) teaching Jazz Theory and Performance, Jazz Combo 1 and private lessons.
Please enjoy my conversation with Matt Otto!
In this episode:
- Living and playing in Japan and what it’s like to experience such a different culture.
- Matt’s most important teachers and what they did to help shape his voice.
- Matt’s struggles with carpal tunnel and RSI and what players can do to prevent and recover from these problems.
- Matt’s important emphasis on aural skills and what they can do for your playing.
- Matt answers our famous 5 questions!
Blues/Funk/Soul Saxophonist, Songwriter and Singer Vanessa Collier has been creating quite a stir in the Blues world, performing in many Blues festivals all over the country, being nominated for Blues and Songwriting Awards and receiving accolades from Blues Blast Magazine, and epic Blues artists such as Buddy Guy and Joe Louis Walker.
Vanessa has released two critically acclaimed albums (2014’s Heart, Soul & Saxophone and 2017’s Meeting My Shadow), and released her highly anticipated third album, Honey Up, in July 2018. Honey Up spent 9 weeks atop the Billboard Blues Album Charts Top 15, 3 months on the Living Blues Charts at #10 and #23.
There’s so much more she’s accomplished in such a short time- we’ll have the link to her Bio in the show notes.…
In this show, we talked about
Her experiences studying with the late great Chris Vidala
Her performing experiences with Bluegrass/Country artist Kathy Mattea
An influential songwriting teacher from Berklee College of Music
How to keep good time when performing with others
The role of the instruments in a band, and how it influences your soloing choices
The importance of tracing the lineage
How studying voice helped her saxophone sound
How to comp & vary the texture
You can read more of Vanessa’s Bio here: https://www.vanessacollier.
Soul music really spoke to him at an early age, and Michael’s playing can be described as a mixture of King Curtis and Earl Bostic, with a serving of Dave Koz, a smattering of David Sanborn and you have Michael Lington.
In addition to performing as a front-man, one of his specialties is performing with great singers, such as Bobby Caldwell and Randy Crawford.
His brand new album, and first Christmas album, A Foreign Affair Christmas, features a Who’s Who of artists, such as Dave Koz, Vince Gill, Rick Braun and others. It’s a unique album with some twists to some classic songs from all over the world.
In this show, we talked about
Michael’s background in Copenhagen, Denmark
How he gets his amazing full tone and his influences
How listening to singers helped him create melodies
His interesting variation on long tones that brings his tone to the next level
The most important thing to work on in your practice routine
Advice he received from James Moody
His songwriting approach to his new Christmas album, and how he performed one of the tracks in 1 take
The priceless advice he got from touring with Barry Manilow
His thoughts on equipment and reeds
You can find Michael on social media:
On Twitter and Instagram: @LingtonSax
This week we welcome one of the top saxophonists in the New York area, Andrew Gould. Andrew is a full time freelance musician doing some very interesting things and loving every minute of it. Andrew has performed with James Moody, Ron Carter, Benny Golson, Wallace Roney, Jon Faddis, The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, the Mambo Legends Orchestra, David Weiss, Bobby Sanabria, Ray Angry and many more. Andrew was a 2013 Thelonious Monk Saxophone Competition Semi Finalist and has been featured on multiple GRAMMY nominated recordings. He has been involved with recording for MTV, Universal Records, Warner Bros Music, and Capitol Records for world famous artists including Fifth Harmony, Mac Miller, 88 Keys, Sebastian Kole and more. He has also performed live on the Today Show, ABC News, WBGO Radio, and has been featured on the Amazon Prime series “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” with the Bobby Sanabria Multiverse Big Band.
Andrew is a really down to earth guy and I had a blast talking to him. He dropped a lot of knowledge in this conversation and anyone from aspiring musicians to seasoned veterans will enjoy this no doubt. In this episode:
- Andrew’s journey coming up with music and the saxophone.
- Attending SUNY Purchase and then Manhattan School of Music.
- How Andrew handles all of the roles demanded of him in his day to day life.
- Making a living as a full time musician.
- Andrew answers our famous five questions!
Back when I was in high school, I attended some jazz workshops on Long Island, and I met Andy Farber at a couple of them. We became friends, and even back then I was astounded by the knowledge he had of jazz recordings and artists.
Well, our show today will be like a jazz history lesson for you.
The people that Andy and his family have worked with are among the Who’s Who of Jazz, and the details about some of those performances and composing and arranging jobs are really interesting.
We focused a lot on the music, which is important because it’s the music that we play. The instrument is just the voice or vehicle for our expression. At the end, we get into some more saxophone-specific talk, with his recommendations on horns and mouthpieces.
Let me tell you a little about Andy…
A Long Island native from an artistic family, Andy Farber started his studies on clarinet at the age of 8, and then quickly moved over to saxophone the following year. He attended many jazz camps and workshops during his high school years (USDAN, Manhattan School of Music, Jamey Aebersold).
He studied composition and arranging with Carl Strommen and his uncle Mitch Farber, and continued his studies at the Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with David Berger, and Mike Abeme. He won the Manny Albam prize for jazz composition.
He has continued to compose, arrange and perform, and has worked with Jon Hendricks, Shirley Horn, Bobby Short, Joe Lovano, Joe Temperley, Stevie Wonder, and many others.
He is the Musical Director for the BMI Composers Workshop, and teaches Jazz Composition and Arranging at Juilliard.
The LJCO has commissioned a work from Andy to be performed in April, 2020.
In this show, we talked about
- What is education? Andy’s thoughts on this
- How he became friends with Wynton Marsalis and has been performing with him and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra (LCJO) since 1995
- What he feels is missing from some artists today
- Andy’s recommendations for who to research for jazz composition and saxophone history to build your foundation
- A resource (under $100) that Andy finds indispensable for transcribing
- His thoughts on doubling
- Andy’s advice on equipment, and what NOT to do
- HIs suggestions for learning tunes, based on Barry Harris’ method
- And more
Some great quotes:
“Learning by ear is permanent.”
“Music business has no rules, and they’re strictly adhered to!”
“If you want to find your voice, study the entire history of jazz.”
From his father, “If you’re the best musician in the room, you’re in the wrong room. You can’t learn anything that way, and it actually hurts you because the other people are dragging you down.”
From Duke Ellington – “There’s only 2 kinds of music: good music and the other kind.”
You can find Andy on social media:
I have never laughed so much and had so much fun with one of my guests as I did with Theo Wanne. Theo is one of the nicest guys in the saxophone industry and most knowledgeable individuals in the world when it comes to the history, design, and elements that make a great mouthpiece. It isn’t every day that I get to speak with a world authority on what is, perhaps, the most important piece of equipment that we own as saxophonists. This episode was really special for me.
Theo started his manufacturing career early building professional bicycle frames by hand. Theo then turned his love of improvisation into becoming a saxophone repair technician and expert mouthpiece refacer under the direction of the legendary Master Refacer, Bob Carpenter. Theo worked long hours for many years turning thousands of vintage mouthpieces and saxophones into gems. Creating beautiful sound became his passion, and he soon became known as the ‘go to’ guy for vintage equipment.
Theo now owns one of the world’s most popular mouthpiece companies under his own name, Theo Wanne Saxophone Mouthpieces.
There is so much information in this episode, it’s a real treat. Some of the things we talked about:
- Studying the best mouthpieces ever made to see what made them tick.
- Learning to reface a mouthpiece and how that led Theo to designing his own pieces.
- The different elements to a mouthpiece and what effect they have on the sound including material, facing curve, tip opening, baffle, and chamber.
- How Theo embraces technology to make his design and manufacturing process second to none.
- Theo’s website and how it is educating people on the history and beauty of saxophone mouthpieces.
In 2018, she was the Grand Prize winner for the John Lennon Songwriting Contest in the Country Music category.
She appears regularly in the house band for the Late Show with Stephen Colbert , and was highlighted on screen as a jazz soloist for the emmy-nominated Amazon series Bosch.
Grace broke open new territory with her Facebook Live stream of her Go Brooklyn album recording session, a fully-choreographed experience that thousands of fans enjoyed all over the world.
She has won multiple performance and songwriter awards over the years.
She wrote her first song at 7 years old, recorded her first CD at 12, orchestrated and performed an original composition with the Boston Pops Orchestra at 14, and performed at President Obama’s inauguration at 16. As a bandleader, Grace has performed in over 800 concerts in over 30 countries.
You can read about Grace on her site HERE.
In this show, we talked about
How Grace prepares for performances with special guests
The roles of a band leader – it’s more than you think
How she picks her band members, and it’s not just about musical skill
The importance of branding
The book she recommends all artists read
How to prepare mentally for a performance
The one thing you need to consider before moving to a music city
Why feeling uncomfortable is a GOOD thing
The other skills that are important to stand out as a performer today
Her motto -”just do it!”
The importance of storytelling
And so much more
You can find Grace on social media:
On Twitter: @GraceKellyMusic
On Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/gracek
Kenyon has worked with middle school and high school students as a band director and frequent honor band clinician, aspiring saxophonists as a university saxophone and jazz instructor, and other musicians across the globe through his popular video lessons and private Skype coaching.
Kenyon is also an internationally known recording artist having released three full length albums. Six tracks from those albums went on to become charting singles and can be heard on contemporary jazz radio around the world.
Drawing from his diverse experiences, Kenyon is known for making the complex simple. His most recent project, “Bebop Boot Camp,” uses cutting edge brain science, clever analogies, and the power of deliberate practice to help musicians play better solos and truly improvise authentic bebop lines in just eight weeks.
Although originally from Georgia, Kenyon is currently traveling the United States with his wife Chris and their dog Maggie in a forty foot motor coach exploring America.
In this episode:
- Growing up in Georgia and falling in love with music.
- The teachers that made a huge influence on Kenyon’s musical life.
- Bebop Boot Camp and how it can turn very complicated ideas into valuable lessons and exercises.
- What it’s like to be traveling the country and meeting musicians from all over.
- Kenyon answers our 5 questions!
Austin has performed with Dave Koz locally here in Los Angeles, as well as on the Dave Koz Jazz Cruises to Europe and Alaska. He sat in with the Average White Band a couple of times on a recent tour, and was a featured artist with Kenny G with the Orange County Symphony and San Diego Symphony.
Austin has also had pregame performances for the San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Clippers, NBA All-Star Game in Phoenix, and UCLA Bruins Basketball.
He recently wrote and performed in his own musical, performed at UCLA’s Royce Hall celebrating Filipino culture.
Austin, a cancer survivor, performs at charity events helping to fight kids’ cancer, having performed for the Starlight Foundation and Rady’s Children’s Hospital.
His original music, a mix of electronic, pop and Lo-Fi styles is featured on his latest album, Motions, available on Apple Music and Spotify.
Austin is endorsed by JodyJazz and Rovner Products
In this show, we talked about
Playing ballads to improve your tone
How to incorporate transcribed licks into a solo
His mentors, Dave Koz and Kenny G, and how he met them
His approach to pop saxophone
You can find Austin on social media:
On Twitter and Instagram: @AustinGatus
On Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/