Fun Stuff  

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     Fun Stuff   

The National Memorial Day Concert This is the story of one of the great honors of my music career:  performing in the National Memorial Day Concert in Washington, D.C.
The Most Exciting Six Minutes of
My Life
These minutes took place center stage at
Carnegie Hall, with Kristin Chenoweth. 
Oh my.
Rhapsody in Blue for Two Guitars and Orchestra  George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" was one of the very first attempts to blend jazz and classical music, and it remains to this day as one of the most successful.  This is a tale of a new look at Gershwin's classic. 
Playing the 
Concierto de Aranjuez
On April 28, 2007, I performed Joaquin Rodrigo's "Concierto de Aranjuez" with the Ohio Valley Symphony.   This is the tale of  learning and performing this masterpiece.
Hong Kong and Shenzhen Tour Travelogue  In November 2006, I was hired to go to Hong Kong and Shenzhen, China to perform in concerts conducted by Maestro Erich Kunzel.  It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.  This travelogue gives a glimpse of the tour.
Hong Kong and Shenzhen Tour Photographs  Click, click, click went my camera while on tour in Hong Kong and Shenzhen.  You too can click, click, click through the photos.

Musicians shouldn't take themselves too seriously.  If we're not having fun, how can our audience have fun?

A Kunzel Tale An amusing, odd tale from a recording session with Maestro Erich Kunzel.
Freddie Green Comping The basics of 4-to-the-bar swing rhythm guitar.
Copyrights for the Working Musician An overview of how copyrights work:  who gets paid, when they get paid, who has to pay, and how the money is paid.
The Orchestral Guitarist Orchestral work is often overlooked by guitarists, even though it is challenging and interesting work that pays well.  This essay is a discussion of orchestral guitar playing, including what skills are needed, how to get the gig, and how to keep it.

One of my first full time gigs was playing guitar in a show of 50's music at Kings Island in 1981.  I don't miss dancing like Chuck Berry while playing "Johnny B. Goode," but I do wish I still had that pink tuxedo.

What does it mean to become a master of the guitar?
Tuning the Guitar Getting your guitar in tune seems like it should be simple, but for some reason it isn't.  Here are some suggestions for tuning.
Interview with:
John Abercrombie
John talks candidly about his early terror in the recording studio, competition among jazz musicians, and sight reading
Interview with:
Howard Alden
Howard tells about the worst gig he has ever had, the mechanics of working with a 3 guitar ensemble, and what he thinks "good music" means.

The orchestral banjoist:

A real life game of "What is wrong with this picture?"
Interview with:
Joshua Breakstone
Joshua discusses the relationship between art and self expression, not listening to guitar players, and how he handles working with new rhythm sections when he travels.
Interview with:
Jimmy Bruno
Jimmy discusses his many year long transition from playing commercial music to playing jazz, life in the music world of L.A., and what it takes to succeed as a jazz musician
Interview with:
Cal Collins
Cal talks about his early transition from bluegrass to jazz, parachuting while drunk, and the oddly large number of good jazz musicians in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Interview with:
Mark Elf
Mark talks about the necessity of self promotion, what he has gone through to establish his name as a player, and life in the music business.
   Interview with:
Bruce Forman
Bruce discusses his opinion of jazz critics, learning tunes, and pick technique.
Interview with:
Jimmy Ponder
Jimmy discusses his friendship with Wes Montgomery, his love of recording and the difficulties of making a living from playing jazz.

Yes, we really did wear clothes like this back in the day. 
For some reason, the Cincinnati Pops refuses to wear these outfits on stage.
Interview with:
Kenny Poole
Kenny discusses his view of fame, the struggle of playing jazz guitar for a living, and bass players with big ears.
Interview with:
Bob Roetker
Bob talks about life as a jazz guitarist in the U.S. Army, teaching, and learning tunes.
Interview with:
Craig Wagner
Craig talks about the Java Men, his unique picking style, and the differences between learning in the practice room and on the gig.
Interview with:
Jack Wilkins
Jack discusses the importance of listening when playing, his amusing and caustic opinion of jazz critics, and musical self expression.
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