Rob talks to Communist Public Radio (MTPR)

Here’s a link to Rob Mosher talking Polebridge talk to the lovely folks at Montana Public Radio. He says some very kind things about me, for which I am flattered and humbled. Love the talk at the end…I usually tear up a little bit at the end of “Didn’t Ask” also…

BTW, I guess this is a little old at this point, but given what I was up to last summer, I’m sure Rob will forgive my tardiness.

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Polebridge Canadian Tour dates

Just a few short weeks until Polebridge goes on a Canadian release tour! Although my current employment situation puts particular restrictions on my involvement in this one, I am happy to be able to make the shows in Ottawa and Montreal. If you’re of the Canadian persuasion, or are nearby to one of these places, come!

Sat June 28th, 2p CAMPBELLFORD, ON @ Aron Theatre
Sun June 29th, 7:30p TORONTO, ON @ 80 Gladstone
Mon June 30th, 7:30p LONDON, ON @ First-St Andrews United Church
Wed July 2nd, 7:30p OTTAWA, ON @ GigSpace
Thu July 3rd, 10p MONTREAL, QC @ Montreal Jazz Festival

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Polebridge at Montreal Jazz Fest!

Montreal Jazz Logo
In the middle of a crazy season with my current employer, I’m thrilled to say that I’ll be playing with Polebridge at the 2014 Montreal Jazz Festival! Rob Mosher and I released the self-titled debut for this group last year, and the band is doing a Canadian release tour, ending in a show at the festival.

I’ve never played this festival, but am humbled to get to do so now. Rob has written some amazing music, and the band should be pretty stellar. The album has gotten some pretty good reviews along the way, so I’m not the only one who thinks it’s great!

If you’re in the French-Canadian area on July 3, come check it out (unless you’d rather see Terrance Blanchard, the Violent Femmes, or Diana Ross, who are all also playing that night…I won’t be offended).

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Milagres’ Violent Light

milagres
I was lucky enough to get to sit down with Kyle Wilson and boys of Milgres a few months back and play some trumpet for their newly released album Violent Light.

Sitting alongside Dave Byrd-Marrow, Mark Broschinsky, Matt Musselman, Matt Marks, we played some great lines that Kyle put together, and the finished product is beautiful and haunting. It’s been on my repeat for a few weeks now, and I’m super proud to have played my own tiny tiny part.

The band has been on the road a ton recently on a release tour, so catch them if they come near you, you won’t regret it.

In the meantime, here’s the official video from the track “Jeweled Cave”. Must see:
Jeweled Cave

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Back in the Game

It’s been almost a year since I posted last. For those in the know, I’ve been in a transition artistically. I’ve begun a full time job that’s thrown me through a few twists and turns creatively, and keeping up a website hasn’t always seemed like a piece of the puzzle that’s been necessary. It’s not that I’ve not been playing, or teaching, or being involved with amazing people and music…I’ve been lucky enough to do all of that.

In fact, it was only after spending a few days working and performing with a few mentors and colleagues of mine recently, that I’m encouraged to reach out beyond the camouflaged walls of my job…

Thanks to Brian and Mark.

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Laurie Frink

Laurie Frink

Laurie Frink

 

Laurie Frink passed away today.

 

 

I’ve worked with Laurie in many incarnations for all of my fifteen years in New York. Phil Smith first sent me to her when my poor undergraduate embouchure wasn’t able to handle what Juilliard was dealing. I worked with her for an extended time again after I herniated my windpipe in my senior year, put the horn down for many months, and then decided to test the waters. And once again, years later, when we bartered lessons…she worked with my trumpet face, and I helped her learn Ableton. In this last iteration of our relationship we would spend long afternoons together at her studio teaching, learning, and laughing. I feel so lucky to have crossed into her orbit over the years.

 

Laurie wasn’t just a player’s teacher, she was a teacher’s teacher as well. By that I mean to say that she was not only the embouchure ER doctor for many of the worlds greatest brass players (see Dave Douglas). But she was a pristine example to those of us that also want to teach better. When you played for her, you had her undivided attention. She would sit (with you aiming directly at her face, usually) and give her entire being over to empathy. She wanted to feel what you feel, and think what you think.

Beyond that, she worked creatively, and tirelessly to help you on your own individual path. It was a given that your goals (much less your obstacles) were rarely aligned with another’s. While most of her students worked with basic prodcution issues that fell into large categories, the routines she prescribed were yours alone. She built you a boat to use to traverse the sea.

 

That empathy and focus on the individual (rather than dogma) is what all great teachers aspire to. Knowing her, she would probably tell you that it was Carmine Caruso that taught her to do that, but that would be predictably modest. Laurie cared for her music, she cared for her craft, and she cared deeply about her community. She helped heal many of us in ways that she probably never meant to.

 

I wish you the calmest peace my friend.

 

 

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Polebridge Release!

Polebridge @ SubculturePolebridge release JPG

 

Last week at Subculture in Manhattan, this fantastic album was officially launched. Big thanks to the unstoppable Zach Brock, sitting in for John Marcus, and the amazing personalities and talents of Rob Mosher, Stephanie Nilles, and Andrew Small. Putting this together has been a year-long journey for Rob and I, and I’m really happy to have helped birth this child out to the world. Rob has written some really beautiful and eclectic music that I hope the band has done justice. I’ll have some audio samples up soon. Shows for the next year will be forthcoming! Also big thanks to all the kickstarter supporters, without whose help we wouldn’t have been able to get this together!

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Beat Furrer’s “Fama” with Talea Ensemble

Talea Beat

New York is full of hyper-achievers. I saw a clip of Garrison Keeler once on American Masters where he said that within five minutes of landing in a New York airport, he already feels like he’s got to start working on something lest he fall behind the productive masses here. The downsides of this are complicated and too obfuscated to explore here, but the advantages to this condition are clear when you’ve got the opportunity to work with some of the genius busy bodies. As a musician, I’m constantly amazed at the number of folks I run into doing hard things simply because there are hard things to do. There are chamber groups, new music groups, composer/performers etc who are constantly creating new mountains to climb (Peter Evans comes to mind as someone creating mountains that won’t be climbed again for many years…) whether someone wants to come hear it or not. Money, prestige, notoriety…all seem to take a back seat to the complex pleasure of accomplishing something that few others could.

 

A few weeks back, I had the pleasure of working with a roomful of these folks at the Talea Ensemble, as they put together a few performances of Beat Furrer’s epic Fama, and if the group had consisted of anything less than hyper-achievers, a work like Fama wouldn’t have been pulled off. Instead though, it was 80 minutes of colors, rumbles, textures, bleats, and beauty that I was super humbled to be a part of. Thanks New York.

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Final Polebridge Session!

 

Here’s Peter Lutek and I in his spaceship in Toronto. Rob and I visited last week to put the finishing touches on the album that’s due out in less than two months! Peter’s got incredible ears and I know he’s going to work some magic with the tracking put down by the band. I’m really excited about it!

 

Check out a little audio track recorded the other day. This is Stephanie Nilles on a Hammond B3, with myself on Bb cornet (thanks Josh Landress, for the awesome horn!), playing the coda of a track called “Didn’t Ask”. This bit is subtitled “Breathe Now”, and is dedicated to memory of my amazing mother Celia Furey. She’s missed.

didn’t ask, breathe now

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Oh, get a job? Just get a job? Why don’t I strap on my job helmet and squeeze down into a job cannon and fire off into job land, where jobs grow on little jobbies?!

After 15 years of hustling, teaching, freelancing, creating, and loving New York City (and Brooklyn), I took an audition a few weeks back, and decided to get myself a full-time trumpet job. As of June 18th (if everything goes according to plan), I’ll be a member of the United States Air Force Concert Band, in Washington DC.

On one hand, I’m thrilled. I’ll be getting a steady paycheck with great benefits, and will get to play with a really great band. Although the causes and effects will continue to be debated for some years yet, right now is not the best time (financially) to be making a living in the music business. Unless you’re at the top of the pop music world (bless you fine people up there), it can be a bit hard to make an adult living doing what I do. So, having a gig is unequivocally good.

 

But, the only professional life I’ve known has been a really bizzarre and satisfying patchwork of opportunities. Some teaching here, some orchestra there, some administration and presenting in that direction. Now while this doesn’t supply me with the steadiest of paychecks, it’s given me a really flexible, enjoyable, and exciting life. I’ve been able to travel for work and play, accept or deny work as I see fit, working with people that I love. Now I get to see what it is exactly that makes me happy in my early 30’s.

 

My hope is to still maintain (and pursue) a few creative and interesting artistic outlets in New York, while being true to my military position. I’ve got to see what my new life and my new job will require of my time, my music, and my spirit.

 

Back in January, while driving through South Florida after a relaxing vacation with my awesome wife Caia, I decided to stop at a nearby airfield and go skydiving for the first time. I’ve never been much of a thrill seeker (bungeeing is out of the question), but it felt like something I should do once, at least to know what it is…to know that it’s alright to be afraid. Having a full time gig has that same allure to me right now…I should know what that’s about.

 

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