Modern Range Expectations

This post addresses the range requirements of a modern professional jazz trumpeter, so it may be a little too specific for most people. You know… high notes and stuff… Professional jazz trumpet players are expected to play higher today than ever before in the history of the instrument. Perhaps the closest historical comparison would be during the baroque era, or, as Ed Tarr would say, “the golden age of the trumpet.” The picture above is a great example of a typical working trumpet section (L-R: Kelly Rossum, Seneca Black, Andy Gravish, Alex Norris). Tarr claims that the golden age of…

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Full Time Art

Maybe it’s my slightly workaholic disposition, or my academic upbringing; either way, I thrive on being busy. The first week or so of February was my first taste of full time work, happening approximately 4 months after moving to New York City. Each day, I was running from rehearsal to rehearsal, performing shows at night, and practicing whenever and wherever I could. The most satisfying aspect of this week was that these performances involved bringing specific artistic visions to life. Suspended Cirque’s Speak Easy show, February 5th and 6th Suspended Cirque is a troupe of dedicated performers specializing in aerial…

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The Other New York

I was talking with the guys on the gig this past weekend down at Fat Cat, and they were asking how things were going for me here in New York. Having no “other” vision than the current reality of “New York” and all that that implies in my head, I told him things are fine; really good in fact. I’ve learned that things weren’t always this way. First off, and seemingly the most obvious difference between reality and, well, the “other New York” is our economy. The unemployment rate in New York City is around 10%, we’re clearly in the…

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Definition of Jazz

“Jazz is a global art form; which, primarily through improvisation, combines both the traditional and popular music of multiple cultures within a modern social context.” -Kelly Rossum 12:05am, October 1, 2007

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When I First Came to New York

The phrase, “When I first came to New York,” means something special in the jazz world. It’s difficult to read an autobiography, watch a documentary, or find an interview, that doesn’t contain these words. It’s a subtle divider amongst jazz musicians; either you’ve done your time in the city, or you haven’t. It feels like a loaded statement, one that is treated as matter of fact by the musicians who utter it. Why is this string of words such an intimidating phrase to those jazz musicians who haven’t lived there? FEAR. It’s the fear of failure. This fear grows as…

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