The Other Bio

Dear students, Please understand that a career has high points and low points. Sometimes you will find yourself in unusual situations; stay professional, stay positive, and finish the gig. Below is a list of some of the more “interesting” things I have done over the course of my career. played the opening of a gas station played for Santa, who was being drawn by a team of Harley Davidson motorcycles, while wearing a full toy soldier costume adjudicated a solo twirler in competition played a solo trumpet fanfare on the roof of a 6 story building outside during a bitter…

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Memories of the Artists’ Quarter

The world will be loosing yet another famous jazz club at the end of the year (2013); the great Artists’ Quarter. I was asked by the jazz website BeBopified to share some memories of the club for their series, Pleased and Flipped: Memories of the Artists’ Quarter.   “After almost 20 years in St. Paul – first on Jackson Street in Lowertown, then in the Hamm Building near Rice Park – the esteemed and beloved Artists’ Quarter jazz club will close January 1. As we near the end of a jazz era, we’re asking musicians (and a few others) whose…

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Party in Zurich

Party’s Over/Begun Back in the spring of 2001, the Jaztronauts invited me to play a three-week gig with them in Zurich, Switzerland. The quartet consisted of sax, piano, bass and drums, but because of this specific contract, they needed a fifth member, so I got the call. The club was a little room in the historic “old town” part of the city called the Casa Bar. They usually hosted bands for at least a week at a time, with local groups covering the off nights. We stayed in a suite of apartments on the second floor of the building, directly…

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Band Camp

My upstairs neighbors finally convinced me to consider moving to another apartment at the end of our current lease. The 4:00am dumbbell drops just aren’t conducive to a good night’s sleep, and no matter how many times I talk to them, or how many times the super and/or the owners remind them, the noise continues. My only choice is to consider moving, again. Now I look around my apartment with the knowledge of how hard all of this stuff was to move the last time; I need to reduce the load. We’ll probably be moving into an even smaller place…

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Gig from Hell

This is the best “gig-from-hell” story that I have ever heard; and it happened to me. The story was big news for a while, I even remember reading about it in a regional dance band magazine. It’s been about 20 years since this gig and some of the small details may be off, so if you happen to know any of the key dramatic figures, go ahead and ask them about the trip. The Reflections Orchestra: 11-piece dance band based out of Lincoln, NE, owned and operated by five real-life brothers whose father also ran a dance band. Mike: Lead…

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The Move

Renting the apartment (July 24th – August 12th) The strategy was simple: Suzanne would go to New York and find an apartment while I stayed in Minneapolis for the summer to finish teaching and to pack up our old place. We decided to make the Inwood / Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan our focus for finding a place to live. We had both spent some time up there, beautiful green spaces, right off the A and 1 Trains, plus we have good friends already within shouting distance. We were told that you must be fast when renting in NYC. Have all…

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