A Good Week!

One of the many chal­lenges facing free­lance musi­cians is the sched­uling of work. I’m like everyone else. I’ll have days off waiting for a call, the phone rings for a gig, you hang up thrilled and the phone rings again for another gig at the very same time. Frus­tra­tion a plenty! For the most part, I’ve found the best approach to be true to your word. If you accept a gig, honor the com­mit­ment. Even if you have to turn some­thing down that you’d really like to be a part of, the person calling will respect your integrity and know that when they do get you, you’ll be there for them. Obvi­ously, if the Rolling Stones call for a world tour, forget what I just said!

Once in awhile, things line up just right and you’re able to do every­thing. A couple weeks back I was for­tu­nate to have one of those stretches. I flew to Los Angeles on a Sunday and recorded two new videos for Hip-BoneU with the great Bill Reichen­bach. They’ll both be coming out next month. Fol­lowed that up by inter­viewing both Bill Reichen­bach and Bob Mintzer for Hip-Bone Music’s new artist of the month inter­view series bone2pick. Monday morning found me on my way to Tucson, AZ for three days at the Uni­ver­sity of Ari­zona Jazz Fes­tival. What a treat to work with the out­standing stu­dents and pro­gram at the U of A. It’s headed up by a tremen­dously tal­ented trombonist/educator named Moises Paiewonsky. If you haven’t heard of him yet, you will! Super pos­i­tive energy on all fronts.

Uni­ver­sity of Ari­zona Studio Jazz Ensemble directed by Moises Paiewonsky

Fol­lowing those inspiring three days, I was very for­tu­nate to be asked to be part of the house band for the opening of the Smith Center for the Per­forming Arts in Las Vegas. A stun­ning new arts center in down­town Vegas that rivals the finest con­cert halls any­where. The band was headed up by the supremely tal­ented musical director/pianist/arranger Rob Mathes, con­tracted by one of New York’s best pur­veyors of talent the esteemed Jill Della­bate and fea­tured an all-star cast including Michael Beardon on key­boards, Kenny Ara­noff on drums, Zev Katz on bass, Bashiri Johnson on per­cus­sion, Stuart Duncan on violin and my fellow horn sec­tion mates Jeff Kievit on trumpet, Lou Marini and Aaron Heick on sax­o­phones. We had the plea­sure of backing up Carole King, Willie Nelson, Jen­nifer Hudson, Merle Hag­gard, Joshua Bell and many other won­der­fully gifted artists. The con­cert was filmed by PBS for an upcoming spe­cial. It was an exciting and fun event to be a part of.

Since the gods of sched­uling tend not to shine on us on a reg­ular basis, I think it’s impor­tant to be grateful for those times when they do. I was def­i­nitely grateful for that week!

This entry was posted in Clinics, Hip-BoneMusic, Hip-BoneU, New York freelance scene, Rolling Stones. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to A Good Week!

  1. DrJ says:

    Con­grat­u­la­tions on the great opportunities!

    It’s refreshing, and inspiring to hear that you (unless it’s SUPER big) stick to your word regarding gigs that you’ve com­mitted your­self to. I know that per­son­ally, with only a few excep­tions, I always stick by the first com­mit­ment — even when losing sig­nif­i­cant money. If it’s a huge oppor­tu­nity for recording work, or the oppor­tu­nity to play with an inter­na­tional artist– I’ll call the first con­tractor and ask for help–but always give them the option of “vetoing” it.

    It’s sur­prising some­times how many people might “sub out” a job for a higher paying one, and lose track of the long term impli­ca­tions and effects. It’s always nice to hear of musical ethics!

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  7. Howdy! This blog post could not be written much better! Reading through this post reminds me of my pre­vious room­mate! He con­stantly kept talking about this. I’ll for­ward this post to him. Fairly cer­tain he’ll have a good read. Thanks for sharing!

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  9. Barry Ehrlich says:

    I totally agree that one has to honor com­mit­ments even if it means you lose money. I once had to turn down a West Coast Elvis Presley tour because of a con­flict with a back­stage opera part on one night.

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