Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Trumpeters Clark Terry & Jon Faddis To Perform at the Opening of the Louis Armstrong Center for Music and Medicine

On Nov. 1 trumpeters Clark Terry and Jon Faddis will perform at the opening of the Louis Armstrong Center for Music and Medicine at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York. The center, an expansion of the hospital's decade-old Louis and Lucille Armstrong Music Therapy Program, will provide music therapy to complement medical treatment, primarily for patients with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

See also: Trumpeters Clark Terry & Jon Faddis To Perform at the Opening of the Louis Armstrong Center for Music and Medicine

Lincoln Center to Honor Marsalis

Jazz at Lincoln Center has announced that this year's fall gala, set for Nov. 14 at Rose Hall, will honor its artistic director, Wynton Marsalis, on the 25th anniversary of his arrival on the national music scene. Marsalis was a teenage trumpet prodigy when he joined Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers in 1980 and, later that year, signed with Columbia Records. He was a founder of Jazz at Lincoln Center in 1991. Among the artists scheduled to perform at the gala are the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the Kronos Quartet and, of course, the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra.

See also: Lincoln Center to Honor Marsalis

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Trumpet Day at Central Michigan University - Oct. 8th

High school trumpet players from around the state will visit campus Oct. 8 for the School of Music's annual Trumpet Day. Trumpet Day invites high school students to work with professionals and develop their trumpet skills, as well as attend master classes and concerts featuring CMU students and faculty. In addition, a finale concert, featuring renowned professional musician Rob McGregor, will be included in this year's activities.

Sessions at 10 a.m. and 1, 2 and 3:15 p.m. will take place in the Staples Family Concert Hall and Chamichian Hall, both located in the Music Building. Tickets for Trumpet Day cost $3 per session or $7 for the entire day for participants and audience members. All tickets can be bought at the School of Music office throughout the day or at the door immediately before each session.

For more info: CMU's Trumpet Day

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Boyd Hood, Trumpeter

You wouldn't call what happened to trumpeter Boyd Hood in the fourth grade a lucky accident. Yet the fire that burned 60 percent of his body and caused his right fingers to be amputated at the first joint above the knuckles was partly responsible for his commitment to an instrument he had started playing only recently. "At first, we propped it up on my knee or the couch," he says now, nearly six decades later. "And it turned out that my fingers just fit the trumpet."

Hood, who is also a composer, hails from a small farming town near Dallas and credits his parents with instilling in him perseverance and a love of music. "My father made it to the training camp for the Detroit Tigers but was then drafted, and my mother danced professionally on the stage of the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood before she married," he says.

After Hood's studies at the Eastman School in Rochester, N.Y., he had a fairly routine series of orchestral appointments. But in the mid-1960s, the trumpeter made a big change, spurning the Houston Symphony to teach at Indiana's Ball State University, which in turn led to an appointment at the University of Victoria, in British Columbia.

Though he and his family had "a rich life" in Canada, moving to Southern California in the mid-1970s after an extended visit wasn't hard. "I had forgotten what it was like to play on the level of the Philharmonic or the studio orchestras," recalls Hood, who joined the Philharmonic in 1982, leaving the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, where he had been first trumpet since 1979.

For more, see: Boyd Hood, Trumpeter

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Trumpet Master William Vacchiano Dead at 93

Trumpeter William Vacchiano, who never missed a performance during his 38 years with the New York Philharmonic and taught thousands of students through the Julliard School, has died. Vacchiano, who was 93, died Monday.

Vacchiano, a Portland, Maine, native, joined the philharmonic in 1935, becoming its principal trumpet player in 1942, said philharmonic spokesman Eric Latzky. The spokesman noted that Vacchiano's perfect attendance at philharmonic performances during his lengthy tenure was "extraordinary." Not only was he a legendary figure at the orchestra, he also "was one of the great trumpet teachers of the 20th century," Latzky said.

During nearly seven decades at Julliard, he taught some of the world's trumpet greats, including Wynton Marsalis and Miles Davis. The current principal trumpet player of the philharmonic, Philip Smith, was also one of his students.

See also: Trumpet Master William Vacchiano Dead at 93

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Jazz Legend Dizzy Gillespie's Life Up For Auction

Almost 1,000 items from the home of late jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie are going under the hammer. Possessions up for grabs include one of his signature bent trumpets, a Grammy Award, a piano, his record collection and handwritten sheet music. Gillespie, regarded as one of the best jazz trumpeters, died in 1993 aged 75. The items come from the house he shared in New Jersey with Lorraine, his wife of 53 years. Two of his other trumpets fetched $72,000 in February. Other items up for grabs on Wednesday include a range of drums, hats, photographs, letters and awards.

Gillespie was said to have taken up playing the bent trumpet after accidentally damaging one and discovering he liked the sound. He is credited with expanding the technical limits of the instrument and pushing back the boundaries of jazz. The sale will take place at Dawson and Nye auction house in Morris Plains, New Jersey.

Full story: Jazz Legend's Life Up For Auction

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Research Shows Where Brain Interprets "Pitch"

Johns Hopkins researchers have discovered a discrete region of the monkey brain that processes pitch, the relative high and low points of sound, by recognizing a single musical note played by different instruments.

Given the similarities between monkeys and man, humans may have a similar pitch-processing region in the brain too, which might one day help those with hearing and speech problems. The paper appears in the Aug. 25 issue of Nature.

By recording the activity of individual brain cells as monkeys listened to musical notes, the scientists identified single neurons, located in what they've called the brain’s “pitch center,” that recognize a middle-C as a middle-C even when played by two different instruments.

Full story: Newswise | Research Shows Where Brain Interprets "Pitch"

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

University of Oklahoma Music Department Excludes Symphony Band

Performances by the OU School of Music this semester will not include the Symphony Band, leaving some music students without an ensemble this fall. William Wakefield, director of bands and coordinator of ensembles, said the ensemble started about 10 years ago, and this is the first fall since then that it has not been included.

During the fall semester, the school usually includes two large wind ensembles, the Wind Symphony and the Symphony Band. The number of students auditioning for some sections, including the clarinet section, was not high enough to fill both of these ensembles this year. Students who play instruments that had higher numbers audition had more competition than usual to get into a group. Students can audition for both ensembles at once. The top-ranked students are placed in the Wind Symphony, and the next in rankings are usually placed in the Symphony Band.

Full article: Music Department Excludes Ensemble

Friday, September 02, 2005

Trumpet Player Marsalis to Perform at Concert for Hurricane Relief Tonight at 7pm

Four Louisiana-born stars - Harry Connick Jr., Wynton Marsalis, Aaron Neville and Tim McGraw - will headline a televised charity concert to air live today on News 4 WOAI for victims of Hurricane Katrina. McGraw's wife, country star and Mississippi native Faith Hill, will also perform. Plans for the one-hour, commercial-free show, called “A Concert for Hurricane Relief,” were announced as the Bush administration and Congress began working on legislation to assist in hurricane recovery efforts.

“I am heartbroken by the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina in my home state,” said country star McGraw, born in Delhi, Louisiana, in a statement. “It’s at times like these that each of us must work together to provide life-saving aid to those in terrible need.” Joining McGraw are two New Orleans natives, trumpet player Marsalis and jazz singer Connick, whose hometown was left largely submerged in floodwaters.

Full article: A Concert for Hurricane Relief

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Music Schools for Trumpet Musicians

I FINALLY completed a very comprehensive listing of music schools in the U.S. on my website including DIRECT links to the music department, degree programs, audition requirements, and faculty listings.

You can check it out here: http://www.trumpetmusician.com/trumpet-music-schools.html

Let me know if I missed any or on how I can improve the listing. Thanks!

Monday, August 29, 2005

Former Santana Trumpeter: Dunlop Drivers Cup Is Pure Music

Grammy Award winner and former Santana trumpeter Julius Melendez may have to wait awhile to promote his first solo effort, a new double CD set titled "Passion & Romance." Melendez will be competing in the Dunlop Drivers Cup in Phoenix on Sept. 10 and 11, while the album -- a tribute to great Cuban composer Osvaldo Farres -- hits the streets nationally Sept. 13.

The fresh, thoughtful, "rootsy" record can wait a few days. The Richmond, Calif., musician and recording artist said he feels fortunate "to finally have a real opportunity to demonstrate my driving skills and ability." Most friends and fans know Melendez for his musical talent, but few might realize his "lifelong interest in everything automotive."

Full article: Former Santana Trumpeter: Dunlop Drivers Cup Is Pure Music

National Hispanic Heritage Month; Guest Artist Lew Soloff

Jazz at Lincoln Center's Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra with Arturo O'Farrill celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month with concert performances on September 30 and October 1, 2005 at 8pm in Rose Theater at Frederick P. Rose Hall. The concerts, entitled Jazz con Salsa, feature the big band performing the best of Latin jazz with salsa flair. Jazz con Salsa is the band's first concert series of Jazz at Lincoln Center's 2005-2006 season. On the heels of the successful release of Una Noche Inolvidable, the band's debut CD, the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra brings together the styles of salsa and jazz in an eclectic mixture of rhythm and groove. Guest artists Joe Lovano (saxophone), Lew Soloff (trumpet) and Greg Osby (saxophone) join the critically acclaimed big band to showcase the finest in Latin and straight-ahead jazz rhythm, new and old.

For more info: National Hispanic Heritage Month

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Review: "Dizzy : The Life and Times of John Birks Gillespie"

When the Second World War ended, what was deemed a revolution came to jazz. Primarily the inspiration of alto saxophonist Charlie Parker and trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie, it had an enormous and disorienting effect on jazz musicians and fans alike. Some loved it, some hated it; among the latter were Benny Goodman and Louis Armstrong, whose animus lay in the fact that they not only couldn't play it, they couldn't even understand it. Contemptuously called "Chinese music" by some, it wasn't helped by the nickname attached to it: bebop, a term that trivialized the music and, to an extent, still does.

So, for that matter, did the nickname given to John Birks Gillespie: Dizzy. His friends, for the most part, called him Birks. He was an extraordinarily funny man, more so onstage than off, where he was, for the most part, thoughtful and serious, and inordinately kind and generous with his knowledge, the great teacher. He once told me, "I don't know that I know that much, but what I do know, I'm willing to share."

He was occasionally -- by younger and militant black musicians -- called an Uncle Tom, but that he was not. He simply loved to be the merry Andrew on stage, not as sycophancy, but because he liked to make people laugh. He once told me, "If making people laugh makes them more receptive to my music, then I'm going to do it, and I don't care what anyone says." By those who knew him well, he was more than liked, more than respected: He was loved.

For all the deserved reverence accorded Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington, I believe that Dizzy was the greatest jazz musician who ever lived, and one of the greatest musicians of any kind who ever lived. Dizzy was pure genius, equally dazzling in his powers of invention and execution.

But when in high school in St. Catharines, Ont., I heard my first Parker-Gillespie record -- it was Salt Peanuts, a classic example of the hilarious Dadaism Dizzy scattered to the winds -- I thought they were crazy. Some of my friends, however, did not, especially a young trumpet player, Kenny Wheeler, who went on to become a major figure on his instrument and as a composer. If Kenny took Bird, as Parker was called, and Dizzy seriously, I felt it behooved me to find out what he heard in them. When it hit me, it hit me hard.

Reflections on these and collateral matters have come with the issue within weeks of two things. One is a Gillespie-Parker CD of material largely unissued and unknown, drawn from a concert they did in New York's Town Hall on June 22, 1945, with Al Haig on piano, Curly Russell on bass and Max Roach or (on two tracks) Sidney Catlett on drums. The CD is on Uptown Records (P.O. Box 394, Whitehall, Mich., 49461, U.S.A.), and that so monumentally important a record could be issued by an almost unknown label, when the major labels are doing almost nothing to the arts but damage, is a tragedy. The other is a biography by Donald L. Maggin, Dizzy: The Life and Times of John Birks Gillespie.

It contains some good stuff, especially Maggin's exploration of Dizzy's brutalized childhood and roots, going back to the Yoruba people of Africa. British writer and musician Alyn Shipton's 1999 biography Groovin' High: The Life of Dizzy Gillespie did not uncover this much of Dizzy's family background. He avoided technical discussions the reader would not understand. Maggin does address them, and the result is dismaying. It lies in the author's ignorance of music, music theory and music history. Maggin is neither a journalist nor a musician. In fact, he is a creature of politics; he was chairman of the Democratic National Committee during Jimmy Carter's presidency.

See full review: Dazed by Dizzy

Friday, August 26, 2005

Audition for the Jr. Philharmonic Orchestra

Musicians through age 25 are invited to audition for the famed California orchestra. Need musicians trained in: flute, oboe, clarinet, bass clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, French horn, trombone, tuba, violin, viola, cello, string base, tympani and percussion. Call (323) 272-3667 for audition.

For more info: Audition for the Jr. Philharmonic Orchestra

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Principal Trumpet - Billings Symphony Orchestra Audition TODAY!

The Billings Symphony holds auditions for its substitute musician list for all sections. Vacancies include principal trumpet, principal harp, assistant principal second violin, section violin I and II, section viola, section bass and the percussion call list. Call 406-252-3610.

For more information: Billings Symphony Employment

Friday, August 19, 2005

Joyce Johnson-Hamilton, Cornetto Virtuoso, is Heart and Soul of Diablo Symphony

ONE NEED not look far and wide to find the unique or unusual. Sometimes something significant is going on, figuratively speaking, in one's own back yard. Consider the relative rarity of women orchestral conductors in the world. It isn't necessary to look to Baltimore, Boston or Buffalo to find one. According to East Bay music promoter and aficionado Robert Rezak, we've got "our answer to Marin Alsop" right here in the Bay Area. (Alsop was recently named conductor/music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, albeit not without some furor.)

Rezak, of course, was referring to our own local feminine ground-breaker, Atherton resident Joyce Johnson-Hamilton. Writes Rezak, "This year marks her 26th anniversary as conductor of the Diablo Symphony Orchestra, the oldest aggregation of professionally trained musicians in Contra Costa County."

While she has distinguished herself as a fine conductor, she is also a noted trumpet virtuoso and has performed as such with major orchestras and in music festivals throughout the country. She has been a member of the San Francisco Symphony, the Aspen Festival Orchestra, the Oregon Symphony, the Oakland and San Jose symphonies, and principal trumpet with the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra.

She has become a specialist in Renaissance and baroque wind instruments, including the "cornetto" and the "natural," or valveless, trumpet. She recently performed one of the two solo cornetto parts in the Carmel Bach Festival's performance of the Monteverdi "Vespers for the Blessed Virgin," conducted by William Jon Gray.

Studying under Bruce Vickey, she became a virtuoso in the cornetto, a Renaissance period instrument that she describes as "sort of a cross between a recorder and a trumpet with a curved, conical shape and seven finger holes like a recorder." In addition, she also became skilled playing the difficult, bugle-like, valveless brass baroque trumpet.

Full article: Joyce Johnson-Hamilton is Heart and Soul of Diablo Symphony