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  • Saxophonist Tavis Yearwood | Teen Jazz Artist

    Why did you begin studying music?

    With me being a freshman in high school I can’t say that i’m studying music but its what i want to do with my life and I’m extremely serious about it. It is my favorite thing to do in the entire world and I look forward to being a music major once i reach college.

    What are you doing with music now?

    Right now I’m trying to get my name out in the music world in my area by playing at jam sessions, auditioning for every honor band and other audition entry band around, and school concerts.

    Saxophonist Tavis Yearwood

    Located in Orlando, FL, USA

    • Saxophonist
    • Doubles on Flute
    • 4 years of playing

    Teen Jazz Artist Badge

    [What’s this?]

    What is your instrument setup?

    Cannonball Big Bell Stone Series Black Nickel Tenor, Otto Link Super Tone Master 6, Rico Royal Blue Box 3

    Who are some of your influences?

    Kenny G, Dave Koz, Gerald Albright, Grover Washington Jr., Eric Marienthal, David Sanborn, Michael Brecker, Jeff Lorber, Brian Culbertson.

    Who have you studied with?

    Christina Hart, Kimberly Zipoli, Ryan Davenport, Corey Futrell, Billy Meether

    What would you like to do with music in the future?

    My dream is to become a professional musician creating my own solo studio albums and to share my music with the rest of the world.

     Any additional information you would like to add?

    I am a Soprano, Alto, Tenor saxophonist as well as a flutist. I’ve been apart of the All-County Honor Band twice and the All-County Honor Jazz Band once.

     

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    December 29, 2014 • Up and Coming Musicians • Views: 1251

  • Saxophonist Isaiah Moregrass | Teen Jazz Artist

    Why did you begin studying music?

    Music was something that grasped me for as long as I remember. I knew I wanted to study it because of the passion I had for the magic behind music.

    What are you doing with music now?

    I play in ensembles at my high school and gig around Philly with my school’s small band.

    Saxophonist Isaiah Moregrass

    Located in Philadelphia, PA, USA

    • Saxophonist
    • 7 years of playing

    Teen Jazz Artist Badge

    [What’s this?]

    What is your instrument setup?

    Premier by Hire mp
    Vandoreen 3s
    Bundy Sax

    Who are some of your influences?

    Johnny Hodges
    Pepper Adams
    Gerry Mulligan
    Billie Holiday
    Ella Fitzgerald

    Who have you studied with?

    Temple CMSP program
    CAPA high school

    What would you like to do with music in the future?

    Gigging in Manhattan and being a music teacher.

     


     

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    December 23, 2014 • Up and Coming Musicians • Views: 1145

  • Danny Elfman Biography | Composer & Guitarist | Teen Jazz Legends

    Despite a lack of formal musical training in orchestration, composing, counterpoint, or conducting, Danny Elfman has become one of the most sought after film composers in the film industry. Since his first major film about twenty years ago, Elfman has composed for more than fifty films and has received numerous honors including a Grammy, three Academy Award Nominations, and an honorary doctorate from the North Carolina School of the Arts in June 2007.

    Early Music Experiences

    Danny (Daniel Robert) Elfman was born May 29, 1953 in Los Angeles, California. Throughout high school, Elfman experimented with several instruments including violin, trombone, mallet instruments, and guitar (deciding much later that not one of them was of any use to him as a composer). He ended up settling on violin and guitar, and after high school, toured the world performing the violin as a street musician.

    At the age of eleven, Danny Elfman became enamored by film music and often frequented the local theater just to hear the music in the films. His “heroes” included film composers Bernard Herman, Nino Rota, Dimitri Tiomkin, Max Steiner, Franz Waxman, and Erich Korngold. Other influences include Prokofiev, Stravinsky, Orff, Bartok, Duke Ellington, Harry Partch, Philip Glass, and Lou Harrison. Elfman also attributes his diverse style of writing to other non-classical composers and groups such as old country artists, Hank Williams, Georgy Jones, and Patsy Cline, as well as pre-1935 to the 1940s jazz, current and contemporary music, Latin music, African music, and Cuban music.

    After high school, he and his brother, Richard Elfman, moved to France. It was here that he had his first professional music experiences performing and composing for a French theatrical troupe, “Le Grand Magic Circus,” at the age of 18. While he was with this group, he also learned to breath fire, a skill he continued once he moved back to California. After living in Paris, he moved to West Africa where he studied Javanese and Balinese Gamelan and embraced his passion for percussion. It was during this time that he contemplated becoming an ethnomusicologist, and was the only time when he actually “studied” music. He returned home when he ended up with malaria.

    Once he moved back to California, he collaborated with his older brother, Richard Elfman, performing musical theater on the streets. This group, then known as the Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo, was an avant-garde, comic troupe that later evolved into the popular music group Oingo Boingo when the Mystic Knights dissolved in 1978. While with this group, Elfman claims he began to develop the skills he would utilize later as a film composer. Elfman would often transcribe (but never play) solos and songs by composers and performers such as Duke Ellington and Stefan Grapelli so that the group could use them. Essentially, he learned how to read music by writing it.

    Oingo Boingo

    Oingo Boingo achieved substantial popularity during its seventeen years together. Although it never achieved true commercial breakthrough, they became very successful in Southern California. Oingo Boingo performed the music written by Danny for Richard’s troupe, but was arranged into a more manageable “rock band” format. Members included Danny Elfman on vocals and guitar, Steve Bartek on lead guitar, Richard Gibbs on keyboards and trombone, Kerry Hatch on bass and vocals, Johnny “Vatos” Hernandez on drums, Sam “Sluggo” Phipps on tenor sax, Leon Schneidermann on baritone sax, and Dale Turner on trumpet.

    Elfman’s stylistic model for Oingo Boingo was an African band called Highlife, which performed in a salsa-reggae style and used a horn section. It was also, in this group that he taught himself to write, transcribe, notate and orchestrate (for the twelve piece instrumentation influenced by the African band). The influence West African drumming had on Elfman is also apparent in the music of Oingo Boingo.

    One of the last pieces Danny Elfman wrote for the group was a five minute piece called Oingo Boingo Piano Concerto #1 1/2. It was the first time he committed himself to a full composition that included counterpoint. This discipline, he carried on with him when he was scoring for his first major film, Pee Wee’s Big Adventure. In his own words, “if you can write for twelve pieces, it is not that big of a creative jump to write for a whole orchestra.”

    As Elfman’s career as a film composer grew, Oingo Boingo had difficulty remaining active. In 1995, the group retired with its final performance at the Universal Amphitheatre in Hollywood on Halloween. Some of the group’s hits included Weird Science and Dead Man’s Party. One of the most important connections to come out of this group, was that of Steve Bartek, who would become Elfman’s partner and orchestrator.

    His Career as a Film Composer

    Danny Elfman’s career as a film composer was created with an opportunity that arose when Tim Burton approached him to write the soundtrack to the movie Pee Wee’s Big Adventure. Unlike many film composers who study and work their entire lives to become film composers, Danny Elfman never dreamed of composing film music. In fact, he had hopes of becoming a writer or director.

    As demand for Danny Elfman scores increased, animosity towards him grew amongst his peers. According to Elfman, jealousy exists in every field. Lacking any formal training composition, Danny was labeled as an imposter. Others often told him that they hated his music, and he faced the bitterness of others on a daily basis. However, the jealously and constant stabs regarding his competence as a composer did not bother him; it was when others were given credit for his work that he found difficulty handling. This resulted in Danny Elfman becoming protective of his composition drafts, which often contained “notational flubs”. According to his orchestrator, Steve Bartek, “Reading Danny is like reading E. E. Cummings. It’s different, but not a problem. But he’s paranoid about it.”

    Danny Elfman frequently collaborates with several directors in addition to the single-contract films he composes. According to Danny, there are a few directors that he always says “yes” to without even knowing what the film is about. Those directors include Sam Raimi, who he no longer works with (over a creative dispute after Spiderman 2), Gus Van Sant and Tim Burton.

    The most prolific and recognized of these is his relationship with Tim Burton (it is often compared to the relationship between Steven Spielberg and John Williams). The Burton-Elfman collaborations began when Burton introduced Elfman to the industry with Pee Wee’s Big Adventure in 1985. It was Elfman’s first major film. His only film scoring experience prior was when he wrote the music for the cult film, Forbidden Zone, which was directed by his brother, Richard. Paul Rubens, who was working on the film with Tim Burton, had heard the music to Forbidden Zone, and wanted the composer for Pee Wee’s Big Adventure. Coincidentally, Burton had also approached Elfman because he liked Oingo Boingo’s music and thought that Elfman would be qualified to compose the music for the film. After producing a demo, Elfman got the job.

    The pair went on to produce Beetlejuice (1988) and Batman (1989), which earned Danny Elfman a Grammy for Best Instrumental Composition. His score turned heads and gave him a reputation as an “A-list” composer. In 1990, Burton and Elfman produced Edward Scissorhands, setting a new standard for fantasy score settings. Then again, in 1993, they astonished audiences and critics with the constant orchestral score and Elfman providing the singing voice of the main character, Jack Skellington, in The Nightmare Before Christmas. Other notable collaborations include Mars Attacks! (which reunited the pair after a fallout following The Nightmare Before Christmas), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for which Elfman sang all of the Oompa Loompa vocals, and Corpse Bride where Elfman provided the voice of Bonejangles, among others. In fact, Elfman has composed the music for all but two of Burton’s films, Ed Wood, and more recently, Sweeney Todd. Elfman claims that the relationship he has with Tim Burton works so well because “Tim will allow me to do my work.” In other words, Tim Burton allows Danny Elfman to be creative and produce strong scores because they are on the same page creatively.

    In the mid-90s, Elfman’s sound as a composer began to change as he implemented the use of synthesizers and sequencing software. This is demonstrated clearly on the Dead Presidents and Mission Impossible soundtracks. Elfman uses many samples when composing – mostly for percussion and guitars. He says it is too costly and time consuming to record instruments such as hand drums and ethnic drums, and it is easier to sample the instruments independently in his home studio and have the orchestra perform to the track.

    Danny Elfman states that he is proud of most of his scores, but in particular, he likes Batman, Batman Returns, Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, and The Nightmare Before Christmas, which he said was very hard to compose. He also enjoyed writing Midnight Run in 1988, which lead to a wave of imitators, Dolores Claiborne, and composing for the Gus Van Sant films To Die For and Good Will Hunting.

    Other Works

    In recent years, Elfman has grown tired of film composing and has sought to explore other avenues of composition and creativity. He still enjoys film scoring as part time work, but admits that he hates doing it as full time work.

    Some of his outside compositions have included composing for television. In 1989, he met with Matt Groenig, and created the theme to The Simpsons, which he claims earns him $11.50 every time it is played. He has also composed themes for several other television shows including Tales from the Crypt and Desperate Housewives.

    In addition to television, he is interested in composing original musicals and musical versions of films of films he has scored, such as Edward Scissorhands. He has also explored writing full-scale orchestral works intended to be performed in a hall. On February 23, 2005, Serenada Schizophrana, was premiered at Carnegie Hall. It earned great acclaim from both popular music and classical music critics. Due to its popularity, it was implemented into the film Deep Sea 3D, which was narrated by Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet. The piece is scored for large orchestra, electronics, two pianos, and female voices.

    Conclusion

    Over the last twenty years, Danny Elfman has been recognized as a prolific composer across a variety of genres, namely film scoring and popular music. He is constantly surprising his audience with his diversity as a composer, and has created a strong reputation as a skilled composer despite animosity from others in the industry early in his career. Despite the fact he was initially labeled as a dark composer, he has eluded being put in a stylistic box by avoiding composing in any one style. According to Elfman, he does not feel it is necessary to have a trademark sound and prefers to be the composer that “you never know what he’s going to do next.” With over two decades of experience under his belt, Danny Elfman will continue to develop his reputation as an in-demand and well-respected film composer.

    Selected Discography

    1982 Forbidden Zone

    1985 Pee Wee’s Big Adventure

    1986 Alfred Hitchcock Presents
    Back To School
    Wisdom
    Amazing Stories

    1987 Summer School

    1988 Beetlejuice
    Midnight Run
    Big Top Pee Wee
    Hot to Trot
    Face Like a Frog
    Scrooged

    1989 Batman

    1990 Nightbreed
    Dick Tracy
    Darkman
    Edward Scissorhands

    1992 Article 99
    Batman Returns
    Batman: The Animated Series

    1993 Sommersby
    Army of Darkness
    The Nightmare Before Christmas

    1994 Black Beauty

    1995 Dolores Claiborne
    To Die For
    Dead Presidents

    1996 Freeway
    Mission Impossible
    The Frighteners
    Extreme Measures
    Mars Attacks!

    1997 Men In Black
    Flubber
    Good Will Hunting

    1998 A Simple Plan
    A Civil Action

    1999 Instinct
    Anywhere But Here
    Sleepy Hallow

    2000 Proof of Life
    The Family Man

    2001 Spy Kids
    Mazer World
    Planet of the Apes

    2002 Spiderman
    Men In Black II
    Red Dragon
    Chicago

    2003 Hulk
    Big Fish

    2004 Spiderman 2

    2005 No Experience Needed
    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
    Corpse Bride

    2006 Deep Sea
    Nacho Libre
    Charlotte’s Web

    2007 Meet the Robinsons
    Desperate Houswives
    The Kingdom

    2008 Standard Operating Procedure
    Wanted
    Hellboy II
    Milk

    2009 Notorious
    Terminator Salvation
    Taking Woodstock
    The Wolf Man

    2010 Alice in Wonderland
    The Next 3 Days

    2011 Restless

    2012 Dark Shadows
    Men in Black 3
    Frankenweenie
    Hitchcock
    Promised Land

    2013 Oz the Great and Powerful
    Epic
    American Hustle

    2014 Mr. Peabody & Mr. Sherman
    The Unknown Known
    Big Eyes


    Sources

    http://www.angelfire.com/biz2/nightmare1/danman.html

    http://www.bluntinstrument.org.uk/elfman/

    http://encyclopedia.jrank.org/articles/pages/1313929/Danny-Elfman.html

    http://elfman.filmmusic.com/

    Glionna, John M. COVER STORY, A Different Beat. Danny Elfman Pinged From
    Oingo Boingo Front Man to Prolific Movie Score Writer. Now This Oddball
    May Pong Into Directing His Own Scripts. 1999.

    Gordinier, Jeff. ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY #422, MARCH 13, 1998.

    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000384/

    http://movies.nytimes.com/person/88821/Danny-Elfman/biography

    http://www.serenadaschizophrana.com/

    http://www.timburtoncollective.com/sonic.html

    http://web.archive.org/web/20001213004800/http://www.emu.com/artist/d_elfman/elfman_intrview.html

    November 19, 2014 • Interviews • Views: 2369

  • The Biography of George Gershwin | Teen Jazz Legends

    Known as the American composer who bridged the gap between popular and classical musics, George Gershwin is an award winning composer and musician who got his start playing in a resort during his free time and as a song plugger for Tin Pan Alley.

    George Gershwin was born Jacob Gershovitz in Brooklyn, New York, to Jewish, Russian immigrants Morris Gershovitz and Rose Bruskin on September 26, 1898. As the second of four children, he had two brothers and one sister. He went on to become the most well-known member of his family even though his older brother, Ira (born Israel Gershovitz), was a successful lyricist.

    Some of Gershwin’s initial musical inspirations were a mechanical piano that played Rubenstein’s “Melody in F” and Maxie Rosenzweig, a violin-playing peer attending his school. Gershwin kept a musical scrapbook in which he glued music related things into as a child. In 1910, the Gershwin family brought a piano original intended for Ira. Instead, it was George who began to seriously study music. He soon began lessons with neighbor, and then, he was later referred to Charles Hambitzer. Simultaneously, he began taking theory lessons from Edward Kileny. George Gershwin attended the High School of Commerce. At school, he would play piano during the morning assemblies.

    Gershwin worked in one of his father’s restaurants while playing popular songs at a mountain resort in his free time. His mother was not supportive of his musical path because she had intended for him to become a bookkeeper or lawyer.

    Moses Gumble at Jerome H. Remick and Company (a music publishing company) eventually offered Gershwin a job as a song plugger. He was paid fifteen dollars a week, and after convincing his mother of the benefits, he dropped out of school at fifteen. The organization he “plugged” songs for was Tin Pan Alley. As a song plugger, he played a tune, hoping to convince performers that they wanted to buy the sheet music to perform it at home. While doing this, he also began to write his own music. These compositions were kept in a folder titled “GT,” an abbreviation for “Good Tunes.”
    + Get the Essential George Gershwin on Amazon

    In 1913, George Gershwin wrote “Since I Found You,” a ragtime song which was later followed by “When You Want ‘Em You Can’t Get ‘Em, When You’ve Got ‘Em You Don’t Want ‘Em” in 1916 which was not initially a success, but attracted a few Broadway composers. Also in 1916, another Gershwin song was used by Sigmund Romberg; Gershwin also began to make piano rolls.

    In 1917, he wrote “Rial to Ripples,” “Beautiful Bird,” and “You Are Not the Girl.” In this year, he also stopped working as a song plugger and began to travel the Vaudeville Circuit as a pianist. He was then hired to write songs for Max Dreyfus at T.B. Harms, another music publishing company. In addition, he also toured as Nora Bayes’ pianist.

    On October 24, 1918, “The Real American Folk Song (Is a Rag),” the first song on which Iran and George collaborated, premiered on Broadway, sung by Nora Bayes. The same year, Gershwin also wrote “Kitchenette,” “If Only You Knew,” “There’s Magic in the Air,” and “When There’s a Chance to Dance.”

    In 1919, “Swanee” premiered at Capital Revue. It later became a hit when Al Jolson interpolated the song into his revue at the Winter Garden Theater. It was performed in the musical “Sinbad.” That year, Gershwin also wrote “La, La Lucille,” “Morris Gest Midnight Whirl,” “Lullaby,” “The Lady in Red,” and “Good Morning, Judge.” “La, La Lucille” was Gershwin’s first Broadway show.

    In 1920, he began to write for George White’s Scandals. This series of compositions lasted for five years. He also wrote “Piccadilly to Broadway,” “For No Reason at All,” “Mischa, Jascha, Toscha, Soscha,” “Waiting for the Sun to Come Out,” “Back Home,” “I Want to Be Wanted by You,” “Ed Wynn’s Carnival,” and “Broadway Brevities of 1920.”

    In 1921 he wrote “The Perfect Fool,” “Blue Eyes,” “Selwyn’s Snapshots of 1921,” “A Dangerous Maid,” and “Phoebe.”

    In 1922, Gershwin composed the one act opera “Blue Monday.” He also composed “Molly on the Shore,” “For Goodness Sake,” “A New Step Ev’ry Day (Stairway to Paradise),” “Our Nell,” “The French Doll,” and “The Spice of 1922.”

    In 1923, Gershwin composed “The Rainbow,” “The Dancing Girl,” “Nifties of 1923,” “I Won’t Say I Will But I Won’t Say I Won’t,” and “The Sunshine Trail.”

    February 12, 1924, “Rhapsody in Blue” was premiered in Aeolian Concert Hal with Paul Whiteman and his Palais Royal Orchestra.

    Later in 1924, Gershwin wrote “Lady, Be Good” in collaboration with his brother which premiered on December 24 on Broadway at Liberty Theatre. This cemented the partnership between George and Ira.

    “Concerto in F,” “Song of the Flames,” “Short Story,” “Tell Me More,” and “Tiptoes” were composed in 1925. Then in 1926, “Preludes for Piano,” “Americana,” and “Oh, Kay!” were written.

    In 1928, “An American in Paris” premiered at Carnegie Hall with Walter Damrosch conducting the New York Symphony Orchestra. “Treasure Girl” and “Rosalie” were also written.

    “Show Girl,” “Impromptu in Two Keys,” “Three-Quarter Blues,” and “East is West” were composed in 1929.

    In 1930, Ira and George began to write musicals together and moved to Hollywood for seven years. One of these musical upon which they collaborated was “Strike Up the Band.” Written in 1927, the musical was a satire and it became a huge success. The later collaborated on “Funny Face” and “Girl Crazy” which featured Ethel Merman who introduced “I Got Rhythm” in this musical. It also featured Ginger Rogers at Alvin Theatre. This same year, George Gershwin composed his first film score, “Delicious” in Hollywood. He also composed for the film “The King of Jazz.” This year, “9:15 Review” was composed as well as a revision of “Strike Up the Band.”

    In 1931, the Second Rhapsody and The Cuban Overture premiered but the public did not enjoy them. In 1932, on December 26, Ira and George wrote “Of Thee I Sing” with George S. Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind which premiered at the Music Box Theatre. It was the first musical to win a Pulitzer Prize for drama, but George was not recognized for this until 1998.

    “Pardon My English” and “Let ‘Em Eat Cake” were composed in 1933. Then, in 1934, “Variations on I Got Rhythm” appeared. In 1935, George wrote his first opera, “Porgy and Bess” which was released to mixed reviews and didn’t really become popular until Gershwin’s death. Then in 1936, Gershwin composed “The Show is On” and “Suite from Porgy and Bess.” In 1937, “Shall We Dance” and “A Damsel in Distress” were also composed.

    George Gershwin began to experience headaches, dizzy spells and blackouts in 1937. His spells became so bad that he was sometimes found crouched down between hotel room beds with all light blocked out, holding his head with no idea of how long he had been sitting there. On July 9, he collapsed into a coma and a brain tumor was diagnosed. The situation was found hopeless when surgeons went to operate. He never awoke from his coma and he passed away on July 1, 1937.

    Gershwin was one of the first American premier composers. He also did visual arts. After his death, thirty-seven of his works were exhibited in a one-man show at the Harriman Gallery in New York.

    November 10, 2014 • Interviews • Views: 1842

  • Vocalist Juwan Hall | Teen Jazz Artist

    Why did you begin studying music?

    I began studying music in the 6th grade.

    What are you doing with music now?

    Right now I’m still playing viola in my high school orchestra. I’m also trying to find my start as a musician by playing, writing, and singing my own songs.

    Vocalist Juwan Hall

    Located in Memphis, TN, USA

    • Vocalist
    • 7 years of playing
    • Doubles on Viola

    Teen Jazz Artist Badge

    [What’s this?]

    Who are some of your influences?

    My biggest influences don’t come from many people, instead they come from my life experiences. Some of my favorite artists that has some touch of influence in my life are Nina Simone, Michael Jackson, Lady Gaga, BB King, Bill Withers, and Sean Hayes.

    Who have you studied with?

    I learned how to play the viola with my teacher for the last seven years Mrs. Michelle Johnson.

    What would you like to do with music in the future?

    In the future I plan to have a career as a musician.


     

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    November 5, 2014 • Up and Coming Musicians • Views: 1314

  • Guitarist Brandon Coleman | Teen Jazz Artist

    Guitarist and composer Brandon Coleman is based out of Cincinnati, OH and is one of the region’s most in-demand jazz musicians. He frequently tours and plays his own compositions with the Brandon Coleman Quartet, progressive electronic rock with his trio Zvezda, and avant-garde rock and roll with acclaimed Louisville band D’Arkestra. 2013 saw the release of his debut quartet album, Decisions, which received many favorable reviews. Critical Jazz said: “Brandon Coleman may well be one of the most unique guitar voices to emerge over the last decade…While his technical proficiency is beyond reproach, Coleman has an deceptively subtle artistic sense of harmonic movement that could be considered in the same style as that of a Bill Evans. ” 2014 saw Coleman join the Timberwolf Guitar Company Family, and he plans on recording a new album in 2015, with supporting tours in Japan and Brazil. He is going on tour with his Louisville-based bands D’Arkestra and Anomaly in the fall.

    Guitarist Brandon Coleman

    Located in Cincinnati, OH, USA

    • Guitarist
    • I have been playing about 14 years
    • Endorsements: Timberwolf Guitars, PHRED Instruments and Curt Mangan Strings.

    www.brandoncoleman-music.com
    brandoncolemanjazz@gmail.com


    Teen Jazz Artist Badge

    [What’s this?]

    Setup/Gear/Manufacturer of Instruments:

    I endorse:
    Timberwolf Guitars
    Phred Instruments
    Curt Mangan Strings

    Why did you begin studying music?

    I started playing at 12 years old, but I got into jazz around the age of 15 when my love for Frank Zappa lead me down the rabbit hole of creative music. Since then, I was on a journey to learn as much as I could about the inner workings of music. I went to Morehead State University for undergraduate and the University of Louisville for my Master’s Degree.

    What are you doing with music right now?

    I am currently performing and touring as a bandleader for The Brandon Coleman Quartet, as well as a member of progressive 9-piece band D’Arkestra. I also teach students in my spare time and engrave charts for a publishing company.

    Who are some of your influences?

    Kurt Rosenwinkel, Paul Motian, Wayne Shorter, Maria Schneider, Kenny Wheeler, Gilad Hekselman, Jim Hall, Grant Green, Lennie Tristano

    Who do you/have you studied with?

    Glenn Ginn – Guitar
    Craig Wagner – Guitar
    Gilad Hekselman – Guitar
    Bucky Pizzarelli – Guitar
    Steve Snyder – Piano/Arranging
    Chris Fitzgerald – Piano/Harmony
    John LaBarbera – Composition/Arranging

    What do you plan on doing with music in the future?

    Keep on performing, writing, and making records!


     

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    (C) Pictures and Contact Information on your page are optional, but let us at Teen Jazz know if you would like to have both or either on your profile.

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    August 28, 2014 • Up and Coming Musicians • Views: 1585

  • Guitarist Alex Sill | Teen Jazz Artist

    Setup/Gear/Manufacturer of Instruments:

    Ibanez PM-120, Fender Twin Reverb Amp, Music Man JP-6, Martin 1978 D-35

    Why did you begin studying music?

    I grew up in a very musical household and was exposed to lots of great music growing up. My mother is a great singer and my dad has been in the music business for over thirty years, in addition to being a former saxophone player. Through all the exposure to different music, I became fascinated by the different effects certain music would produce within me, both imaginatively and emotionally.

    Guitarist Alex Sill

    Located in West Hills, CA, USA

    • Guitarist
    • I have been playing about 8 or 9 years

     


    Teen Jazz Artist Badge

    [What’s this?]

    What are you doing with music right now?

    I am currently a student in the Cal Arts Jazz Program and play frequently with my own group: www.trifieldguitarproject.com

    My group has been performing at numerous jazz clubs around town lately including the Baked Potato, Vitello’s, and Herb Alpert’s Vibrato Jazz. We’ve performed with several special guests including Lee Ritenour and piano virtuoso Vardan Ovsepian.

    In addition to my love for improvisation, I’m also very involved with composing.

    Who are some of your influences?

    Lyle Mays, Pat Metheny, Allan Holdsworth, Steely Dan, John Coltrane, Guthrie Govan, Chick Corea, Charles Altura, Steve Vai, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Julian Lage, Keith Jarrett, Jonathan Kreisberg, Carl Jung, Albert Einstein, and John F. Kennedy-just to name a few 🙂

    Who do you/have you studied with?

    I am currently studying with jazz guitar great Larry Koonse at Cal Arts, and as of late, have also been receiving mentorship from Lyle Mays. I’ve also studied and/or performed with Steve Vai, Charlie Haden, Lee Ritenour, Joe LaBarbera, Sonny Emory, Melvin Lee Davis and Vardan Ovsepian.

    What do you plan on doing with music in the future?

    I plan on continuing to perform with my own group, hopefully someday on a global scale, and devote as much energy as possible to these ventures. If any other music related project/job opportunity comes along that interests me, I will most certainly take it, whether it means being a sideman in a band or composing music for Film/TV.

    Any additional information you would like to add?

    Awards/Accolades:

    -Winner of Rock Category in Lee Ritenour’s 2012 International Six String Theory Guitar Competition and one of three top finalists overall in the contest. The competition involved hundreds of applicants from over 50 different countries, and was judged by jazz greats including Lee Ritenour, Julian Lage, and Dave Grusin.

    -Recipient of Louis Armstrong Jazz Award (2011)

    -Recently composed a piece entitled “Montana Suite,” commissioned for the 2013 Crown of the Continent Guitar Festival in Montana. The composition was written for three guitars, and was performed during an opening set for Robben Ford. Other performers at the festival included Pat Metheny and Lee Ritenour. “Montana Suite,” is part of an album of the same name, which is now available on iTunes, Amazon, and other major outlets for purchase.

    -Was a member of the great Charlie Haden’s Cal Arts Liberation Music Orchestra in 2013. Rest in peace, dear Charlie!

    -Commissioned to compose and record music in 2010 for the independent film “Smitty,” which starred Peter Fonda and Lou Gossett Jr. The recording sessions included major L.A. studio players such as drummer John Ferraro.

    -I’m also in the process of arranging and recording music for another independent film entitled “Saved in America,” a documentary about one woman’s journey to save the lives of animals in high kill shelters, and her successful attempts to ameliorate the problem of pet overpopulation.


     

    Interested in having your profile featured on our site?

    Teen Jazz is also looking for young Jazz Artist features, so you could become a feature if you apply. You will be notified by email of the status of your application.

    Terms and Conditions:

    (A) You cannot submit one sentence answers to the Teen Jazz Artist Application form questions, they must be a short paragraph.

    (B) You must respond to the confirmation email that you receive from Shannon Kennedy after you submit your profile or your profile will not be published on Teen Jazz.

    (C) Pictures and Contact Information on your page are optional, but let us at Teen Jazz know if you would like to have both or either on your profile.

    Apply Here

     

    August 7, 2014 • Up and Coming Musicians • Views: 1809

  • Saxophonist Austin Gatus | Teen Jazz Artist

    Setup/Gear/Manufacturer of Instruments:

    Selmer Super Action Series 80 Alto Saxophone
    Jody Jazz DV 6 Mouthpiece
    Legere 2.75 or Rico Jazz Select 3M reeds

    Why did you begin studying music?

    When I was in the third grade, I was taught in my class how to play the recorder. From there I tried taking it a level higher by playing other tunes I knew on the recorder. This eventually led to my parents buying me a saxophone. My dad being a Jazz lover and the saxophone having very similar fingerings to the recorder, this was a perfect fit for me.

    Saxophonist Austin Gatus

    Located in San Diego, CA, USA

    • Saxophonist & Singer-Songwriter
    • I have been playing Saxophone for seven years.

    www.austingatus.com
    Facebook | YouTube | Instagram


    Teen Jazz Artist Badge

    [What’s this?]

    By the time I was in the 4th grade I had joined my elementary school beginning band, but after the second rehearsal the teacher promoted me to advanced band and even invited me to join the middle school jazz band he instructed.This had spurred my passion for playing jazz music and led me to want to study in that genre. As I’ve grown as a musician, I’ve had the honor of gaining attention and sharing the stage with some of my idols such as Dave Koz and Kenny G. My passion for music has also led me to taking up other instruments such as Singing, Guitar, Piano, and even writing my own songs.

    What are you doing with music right now?

    As of now I am a Senior at Valhalla High School currently involved with the schools Jazz band and a local San Diego big band called Jazz Xpress. I also lead my own band that gigs around San Diego. We play a variety of genres from Traditional Jazz, Funk/Fusion, and even my own singer songwriter music. One of my goals and challenges when I’m writing music is to be able to blend the saxophone to fit in the songs I write. As of now I’m am currently self producing my first album that I’m expecting to release at the end of 2014. I have also been honored to have the opportunity to be a guest artist on the upcoming Dave Koz and Friends at Sea 2014 Alaska Cruise.

    Who are some of your influences?

    My main influence in traditional jazz is Cannonball Adderly. I am also influenced by Phil Woods and Danny Janklow. For Smooth Jazz I am heavily influenced by Dave Koz and Eric Merienthal.

    Who do you/have you studied with?

    I studied Jazz for two years with John Rekevics and I am currently being mentored by Dave Koz and Kenny G.

    What do you plan on doing with music in the future?

    In the future I plan on attending college to study and major in music. I hope to someday make a career in music performing but if that doesn’t work out I would like to produce/record for other musicians or teach and direct.

    Any additional information you would like to add?

    When I was 9 years old, shortly after taking up the saxophone, I was diagnosed with Leukemia, Cancer of the Blood. After three and a half years of treatment, I am grateful to be a 5 year cancer survivor. Although a hard struggle, this has led me to meeting the amazing musicians I idolize today. I met Kenny G through my local Children’s hospital and Dave Koz through the Starlight Foundation.


     

    Interested in having your profile featured on our site?

    Teen Jazz is also looking for young Jazz Artist features, so you could become a feature if you apply. You will be notified by email of the status of your application.

    Terms and Conditions:

    (A) You cannot submit one sentence answers to the Teen Jazz Artist Application form questions, they must be a short paragraph.

    (B) You must respond to the confirmation email that you receive from Shannon Kennedy after you submit your profile or your profile will not be published on Teen Jazz.

    (C) Pictures and Contact Information on your page are optional, but let us at Teen Jazz know if you would like to have both or either on your profile.

    Apply Here

    July 30, 2014 • Interviews • Views: 1794

  • Saxophonist Cannonball Adderley Biography | Teen Jazz Legend

    Saxophonist Julian Edwin Adderley, better known as Cannonball Adderley was born September 15, 1928 in Tampa, Florida. He began to establish himself during the hard bop era, but is best remembered as a cross-over artist in the pop charts for his recording of “Mercy Mercy Mercy” and his collaboration with Miles Davis on “Kind of Blue.”

    While living in Florida, Cannonball Adderley, along with his brother and fellow musician Nat Adderley (a trumpet player), collaborated with Ray Charles. The two would continue to work together throughout their careers as part of the Cannonball Adderley Quintet and other groups.

    In the 1950s, Cannonball moved to New York and it was not long after that his career as a performer really took off. He signed with Savoy in 1957 along with his brother, trumpet player Nat Adderley. It was also during this year that he began to collaborate with Miles Davis.

    Cannonball Adderley was also a renowned music educator. While in Florida, he worked as a high school band director and his love for teaching was apparent in the talks he would give during performances.

    His nickname, Cannonball, is supposedly derived from his ability to quickly eat food. It was given to him in high school. He passed away due to a stroke in 1975. He was 46 years old.

    July 8, 2014 • Interviews • Views: 1717

  • Flute Player Althea Rene | Teen Jazz Influence Interview

    Name: Althea Rene
    Location: San Antonio
    School/Major/Degree: Howard University, Flute Major

    The Interview

    When did you first begin seriously studying your instrument?

    At the age of 12.

    Who are your greatest influences? Who did you study with?

    My influences are Ian Anderson, James Moody, and Hubert Laws. I studied with Clement Baron, the principle Flautist with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

    Who or what gave you the confidence to pursue music as a career?

    I came from a musical family and my mom constantly encouraged me to pursue my dreams of a career in music.

    What are your thoughts on what it takes to be successful as a performer? Do you think any other skills are needed aside from the ability to play your instrument well?

    You have to be able to play, perform, as well as pull from all of your abilities. You need to learn solid business practices, how to make good connections and build good relationships, especially with promoters.

    What are some of the things you did before your career as a performer became as successful as it is today?

    I was a Deputy Sheriff in Detroit.

    What are some of your goals musically for the future?

    My musical goals for the future are to do a World Tour and continue to record.

    What inspires you to continue to pursue music? Have you ever come close to giving up and if you did, how did you overcome it?

    My inspiration to continue is because I feel so good when I perform and it allows me a spiritual release. I never allow myself to think about giving up.

    What are some of the things you enjoy most about your career as a performer/recording artist?

    I love the preparation that goes into performing and recording, learning new material, planning outfits, meeting other artists, and the experience of playing with different musicians.

    What was your lamest gig and how did you learn from it? What was the best?

    The worst shows always involve poor sound or a sub-standard backup band. You have to learn to just get through it, and then forget about it. Make sure that you always perform your best, no matter what’s going on around you. I’m still waiting for the Best… LOL

    Hobbies other than Music:

    Working out, living a Healthy Lifestyle, Fashion, and Beauty/

    What would your advice be for an up and coming, young musician?

    Study hard and listen to a variety of music. Identify what area of music you would like to pursue.

    What inspires you to continue to pursue music?

    It’s my destiny, a gift for my Dad (RIP), who would never want me to give up.

    Where can we find more information?

    http://althearene.com

    July 2, 2014 • Interviews • Views: 1637