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Timothy Higgins Trombone Interview – Trombone Corner #11

Timothy Higgins – Trombone Interview

Welcome to the show notes for Episode #11 of the Trombone Corner podcast. This episode features principal trombone of the San Francisco Symphony, Timothy Higgins.

Listen to or download the episode below:

About Timothy Higgins

Timothy Higgins was appointed to the position of Principal Trombone of the San Francisco Symphony by Michael Tilson Thomas in 2008. He was previously the acting Second Trombonist with the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, DC.  Mr. Higgins, a Houston native, has a Bachelor’s degree in Music Performance from Northwestern University and has performed with the Chicago Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Milwaukee Symphony, Virginia Symphony, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Music of the Baroque, Aspen Music Festival, Grand Teton Music Festival, Sun Valley Summer Symphony, Washington National Opera, and Baltimore Symphony.  His principal teachers have been Michael Mulcahy (Chicago Symphony), Michael Warny (Houston Grand Opera), and Royce Landon (Des Moines, Iowa).  He has participated in music festivals with the Roundtop Music Festival, the National Repertory Orchestra, and the Tanglewood Music Center.

Along with a busy orchestra career, Timothy Higgins is a sought after arranger of music.  He was the sole arranger of the National Brass Ensemble’s Gabrieli recording. Additionally, he has arranged music for CT3 Trombone Quartet, National Brass Quintet, Bay Brass, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Brass Ensemble.  Timothy Higgins has also composed works for brass instruments in solo and chamber settings. His arrangements and compositions have been performed by the Washington Symphonic Brass, the Bay Brass, the San Francisco Symphony brass section, the Chicago Symphony brass section, the Los Angeles Philharmonic brass section, and numerous university brass ensembles. His arrangements and original compositions are available through his publishing company, 415Music.

As a teacher, Timothy been a faculty member of the Pokorny Seminar since 2012, and is currently on faculty at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and Northwestern University. He has also led masterclasses in Japan, China, Canada and the United States, including classes at the Royal Conservatory in Toronto, the New World Symphony, Vanderbilt University, the Manhattan School of Music, and the Juilliard School of Music.

In 2005, Timothy won the Robert Marsteller Solo trombone competition, as well as the ITA Trombone Quartet competition with CT3.  While attending the Tanglewood Music Center, Mr. Higgins was awarded the Grace B. Upton Award for Outstanding Fellow. In 2013, Timothy released his solo CD, Stage Left.

Timothy Higgins Links

Podcast Credits

James Morrison Trumpet Interview – The Other Side of the Bell #88

James Morrison – Trumpet Interview

Welcome to the show notes for Episode #88 of The Other Side of the Bell – A Trumpet Podcast. This episode features trumpeter James Morrison.

Listen to or download the episode below:

About James Morrison

James Morrison is, by anybody’s standard, a virtuoso in the true sense of the word. Besides the trumpet, this multi-instrumentalist also plays piano, all the brass, saxophones, and double bass.

At the age of six he started on piano, at seven he took up brass, at nine he formed his first band and at thirteen he was playing professionally in nightclubs. His international career developed just as quickly with a debut in the USA at the Monterey Jazz Festival at age sixteen.

Following this were performances at the world’s major jazz festivals, including Montreux, North Sea, Nice and the Hollywood Bowl, playing with many of the legends of jazz – Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Hancock, Dave Brubeck, Chick Corea, George Benson, Ray Charles, B.B. King, Quincy Jones, Ray Brown and Wynton Marsalis to name a few. James also frequents the world’s most famous jazz clubs – Birdland, The Blue Note and Village Vanguard in New York, New Morning in Paris, The Tokyo Blue Note and Ronnie Scott’s in London.

Now 58, James Morrison’s career has included much more than just jazz…

He has recorded with The London Symphony Orchestra, rock legends INXS and the European Brass Ensemble, performed at the Royal Albert Hall for the BBC Proms, written the opening fanfare for the Olympic Games, played Royal Command performances for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and for US Presidents Bush and Clinton. He has played classical trumpet at the Kremlin, was TV presenter on Top Gear Australia and on International Jazz Day 2016, James was a guest of President Obama at the White House. 

James has been appointed a member of The Order of Australia, he is a Doctor of the University at Queensland Conservatorium of Music and has received a Doctor of Music from the Edith Cowan University Western Australia and the University of Adelaide. He is an Adjunct Professor at the University of South Australia and Vice-Chancellor’s Professorial Fellow. In 2015 James founded his own academy of music in Mount Gambier, South Australia. The James Morrison Academy of Music @ UniSA is an innovative school dedicated to teaching jazz and offering both a Bachelor Degree and post graduate programs. This exciting initiative involves educators from all over the world, transforming young musicians’ lives with inspiration and a love of jazz. In 2017, the JMA partnered with The Juilliard School in New York City to offer an exclusive Honours Program.

James has also written and performed his own concerto with the Tonkünstler Orchestra at the Musikverein in Vienna and has appeared as a guest with the Berlin Philharmonic, the Czech National Symphony Orchestra at the Prague Proms and many more of the world’s major orchestras.

In 2018, James’s activities included a return performance to the legendary Bern Jazz Festival in Switzerland, The New Zealand International Jazz and Blues Festival, the Melbourne International Jazz Festival and a as special guest at UNESCO International Jazz Day at the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg. James and his new quartet embarked on an Australian jazz club tour to promote their debut album “Midnight Till Dawn” as well as a tour to the United States and Europe (Austria, Ireland, Portugal and the UK). In London, James presented a 4-part documentary series “Top Brass” for the BBC. James also appeared in the 2018 seasons of the West Australian Symphony Orchestra and the Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra.

2017 highlights included a world premier of a jazz concerto written specially for James by Gordon Goodwin on International Jazz Day, a debut at the BBC Proms in London alongside Dianne Reeves, return performances at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Ronnie Scott’s and the Jazz Cruise, a debut at The Green Mill in Chicago, headline appearances at Melbourne International Jazz Festival, Canberra International Music Festival, Oslo Jazz Festival, Vail Jazz Festival Colorado and Grahamstown International Music Festival South Africa, an Australian tour with Grammy Award winning diva Patti Austin and featured appearances at the Sydney Opera House for Australia Day and the Australian Embassy in Washington DC for the Presidential Inauguration. 2017 recording releases included a recording of the Great American Songbook at Abbey Road Studios with the BBC Concert Orchestra. James also continues his education work with appearances in New Orleans at the Jazz Educator’s Network Conference and workshops at the Juilliard School, the Thelonious Monk Institute and University of North Texas’s One O’Clock Lab Band. 

Highlights of 2016 included a recording at Abbey Road Studios with the BBC Concert Orchestra for international release, sold out performances at the Prague Proms, Berlin Philhamonie, Budapest Music Centre and the Lionel Hampton Club in Paris, two sell-out return performances at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in London, two Australian tours, two European tours, a season with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, a hugely successful solo tour all over the USA including the Miami Beach Jazz Festival, the Newport Beach Jazz Party, performances with John Clayton, Jeff Hamilton and the One O’Clock Lab Band and, of course, International Jazz Day at the White House with the President of the United States.

Other career highlights include performing with artists as diverse as Phil Collins, Chaka Khan and Sting. 

He spends much time in education, doing master classes and workshops in many countries and presenting the James Morrison Jazz Scholarship at the world’s largest youth jazz festival Generations in Jazz. 

When not writing film scores, composing or serving as patron of some of Australia’s major music institutions, James relaxes in some unconventional ways for a musician – flying his private plane or driving in a rally championship. 

In a recording career spanning 3 decades, James has released a huge variety of albums from gospel to big band to electronic fusion. Nominated for eight ARIA Awards winning ARIA in 2010 and again in 2017. In 2013, James was inducted into the Australian Jazz Hall of Fame. In 2016, James’s disc “In Good Company” charted simultaneously in both the ARIA Jazz and Popular Album Charts, remaining at No 1 in the Jazz charts for over 20 weeks. James currently records for ABC Jazz/Universal and Fanfare Jazz and is an exclusive artist for Schagerl Instruments. He is also a proud Friend of the Brand for Mercedes Benz and Brand Ambassador for Oris Swiss Watches.

In 2012 James was appointed Artistic Director of the Queensland Music Festival, a state-wide music initiative whose vision is to “transform lives through unforgettable musical experiences.” As part of the festival, in 2013 James conducted the World’s Largest Orchestra, breaking a Guinness World Record with 7,224 musicians at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium. In 2014 James presented ‘A Tribute to Oscar Peterson’ at the Edinburgh Jazz Festival as part of the Commonwealth Games celebrations.

In 2019, James was the Co-Artistic Director (with Herbie Hancock) of International Jazz Day which was ‘live streamed’ from Melbourne, Australia to a world-wide audience of more than

With interests so broad and a career so filled with highlights it seems that James Morrison must have done just about everything he could want to do – but not so…

When asked, “What is there left to do?” James’ reply is typically “This is just the warm up!”

James Morrison Links

Podcast Credits

Steve Dillard Trumpet Interview – The Other Side of the Bell #87

Steve Dillard Trumpet Interview

Welcome to the show notes for Episode #87 of The Other Side of the Bell – A Trumpet Podcast. This episode features trumpeter and founder of the HornTrader website, Steve Dillard.

Listen to or download the episode below:

About Steve Dillard

HornTrader.com 1st hit the World Wide Web in 1998. Owned and operated by Steve Dillard, the HornTrader Web site was the first of its kind and still the best site to find quality horns, related gear, and information for the discerning trumpeter.

Steve brings extensive professional experience to HornTrader.com. Not only has he spent many years in the trumpet manufacturing industry working with Benge and Calicchio, he is also a very active freelance trumpet player and teacher.

As an apprentice to Dominic Calicchio, Steve learned the fine art of brass craftsmanship with hands on experience. At Benge under Zig Kanstul, Steve had many jobs including slide maker, quality controller and shipper.

Throughout the years, he’s stayed well informed in the industry both through his association with top leaders of brass technology such as Zig Kanstal, Bob Reeves, Schilke, Conn Selmer, CarolBrass and his relationships with highly regarded leaders in trumpet performance like Wayne Bergeron (LA Studios), Boyde Hood (LA Phil) as well as the many fine trumpet players Steve has met around the globe. Steve has always had a penchant for retail and at one time was the largest distributor of Reunion Blues gig bags in Southern California.

Since owning and operating HornTrader.com he has come to be one of the primary sellers of Professional pre-owned and vintage horns on the internet. He is well known in many countries throughout the world and his site is visited by thousands each month.

Steve’s first love has always been playing trumpet. He maintains a busy playing / teaching schedule and has had a professional performance career spanning over 40 years. One of the first to teach on line using SKYPE, and YouTube, Steve has been able spread his knowledge and love of the trumpet the world over. His teaching mantra “I believe I can help YOU,” recorded in January 2012, can be seen on YouTube.

Besides everything trumpet Steve”s passions are marathon open water (OCEAN) swimming, and the daunting task of traing his dog Dingoe. He currently resides in San Diego, California, USA, with his wife and two children where he manages HornTrader.com.  In 2019 Steve Opened his very 1st “Brick & Mortar” Shop.  HT HQ is in the heart of San Diego, is close to all major attractions and forms of public transportation.

Steve Dillard Links

Podcast Credits

Adrian Kelly Trumpet Interview – The Other Side of the Bell #86

Adrian Kelly – Trumpet Interview

Welcome to the show notes for Episode #86 of The Other Side of the Bell – A Trumpet Podcast. This episode features trumpeter & composer, Adrian Kelly.

Listen to or download the episode below:

About Adrian Kelly

Born in Lancashire, England and raised in Perth, Western Australia, Adrian Kelly began playing trumpet at the age of six. He has gone on to build an international career as a multi-faceted musician; performing, recording, and writing pop, classical, and jazz music. Adrian is currently engaged in PhD research at Edith Cowan University (Perth, Western Australia). He has served on the board of the Australian Trumpet Guild since 2019, and on the board of JazzWA since 2018.

His jazz group The Adrian Kelly Quartet has headlined at festivals and jazz clubs in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, and Australia. Adrian’s jazz compositions featured on the collaborative album with trumpet artists from New York, Chicago, and Boston, entitled Intercontinental Drift, and he won the 2007 WA Music Industry Song of the Year Award for that album’s track, ‘Curious Yellow’. 2012 saw the release of Adrian’s CD, Chinese Whispers 細語, featuring music from, and inspired by, China. From December 2012 to late 2013, this album was selected to be featured on Cathay Pacific flights as part of their onboard music offerings.

2020 sees the release of two releases: Visions a suite of pieces for improvising quartet written to accompany the visual art of Robert John Kelly (Adrian’s father), and Cry, “Wolf!” an album of music featuring an artificial intelligence ‘improviser’ along with an electric jazz quartet. All of Adrian’s music is available through iTunes and other digital platforms, and through links provided on his website.

Adrian was a regular member of Motown legend Bobby Taylor’s band from 2013 to 2017. In 2010/11 he toured internationally with Chinese pop superstar, Jacky Cheung, performing to over three-million people at 146 performances. Since then he has performed and/or recorded with many of the top artists in the region, including YangKun, Eason Chan, Joey Yung, George Lam, and Hins Cheung. Adrian has appeared as a guest soloist on QingHai TV’s “Flowers” music program, and performed for live broadcasts on Hong Kong’s TVB, and RTHK. In 2012, he performed live in front of Chinese head of state, Hu JinTao. Adrian has also performed with many western artists including Hugh Jackman, Ray Charles, Shirley Bassey, The Four Tops, Patti Austin, Tim Minchin, Olivia Newton-John, Bonobo, Ben Folds, Dave Weckl, Bobby Shew, Frank Foster, and The Manhattan Transfer.

In his capacity as a classical trumpeter, Adrian held the position of principal trumpet with The City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong from 2011 – 2015, has performed as principal trumpet with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, and continues to perform regularly with the Perth Symphony Orchestra, the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, and the WA Philharmonic.

Adrian has delivered classes in jazz music and trumpet at Edith Cowan University, The University of Western Australia (Australia), and the Hong Kong Institute of Education (China). He has presented masterclasses to students at Lasalle College (Singapore), the Hong Kong Institute of Education, ShangHai Conservatory of Music, XingHai University, and Harbin Teacher Training College (China), and at independent venues in

Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, and Penang. In 2019, Adrian released a set of Eight Theatrical Etudes – available from qPress Music Publishing.

Adrian has performed on more than thirty musical theatre productions since 2005, including the 2016 international Asian tour of Les Miserables, the 2010 Australian tour of West Side Story, and most of the leading productions in Western Australia for the past two decades. He currently maintains an active freelance career, performing around Australia and Asia.

Adrian performs on instruments by Yamaha. Adrian Kelly’s trumpets always travel safely inside his Torpedo Bag.

Adrian Kelly Links

Podcast Credits

Sterling Silver Trumpet Mouthpiece

Most trumpet mouthpieces are made out of brass that is silver plated. Some mouthpieces are made out of other materials such as plastic, steel, or titanium. We recently had a client who requested we make a custom rim out of the precious metal sterling silver. Sterling silver is 92.5% silver and 7.5% of other metals, usually copper. Sterling silver is about 25% denser than brass providing the benefits of a heavier mouthpiece without adding volume to the blank shape. It also has beneficial resonant qualities. Sterling silver is rarely used in mouthpiece manufacturing due to its expense and because it is extremely difficult to work with. We were honored that our client trusted it with several hundred dollars of material that was masterfully hand carved by our own Brett Kendall. Here’s a video that takes you behind the scenes of the process:  

Are You Using A Formula to Calculate The Trumpet Mouthpiece Gap?

A lot of great, in depth work has been done about the trumpet mouthpiece gap. Unfortunately, many of the frequently cited formulas and studies on the gap have inherent problems that create erroneous results, which when relied on, will deter trumpet players from achieving optimum results with their equipment. I’ll address three of these inherent problems here.

Problem #1 – Failure to Take The Player Into Consideration

As we have written about previously, a proper study on the gap must include all three essential elements of the system – the trumpet, the mouthpiece, and the player. Having helped thousands of players through the years to fine tune their gap, we have no doubt that the player is the most important variable of the Player-Trumpet-Mouthpiece System. No gap formula or theory to date has been able to calculate what a player feels, and most importantly, what a player prefers to feel. Yes, there are certain generalizations about the gap and ranges of sizes that many players fall into. Relying on these generalizations is as silly as blindly buying a men’s size 9 or 10 shoe because that’s the range of shoe sizes most commonly sold, even though you are a woman who wears a woman’s size 8. Relating this back to the gap: Find the gap that plays the best for you, not what someone else told you should feel the best for you.

Problem #2 – Failure to Take Changes in the Equipment Into Consideration

We know that a change in the gap changes the acoustical impedance in the Player- Trumpet-Mouthpiece System. It is also well settled that there are thousands of other variables in the mouthpiece and trumpet that can change the acoustical impedance in the System. Due to the nature and limitations of mouthpiece and instrument manufacturing, it is impossible to consider every variable that affects acoustical impedance. Put another way, it is impossible to isolate and therefore calculate, what the gap should be considering every variable. The gap formulas and theories sometimes attempt, but do not succeed in addressing every variable in the equipment and therefore cannot predict anything with any consistency.

Problem #3 – Failure to Take The Environment Into Consideration

While the first two problems on this list are the most important inherent problems in any gap formula or theory, the third problem — considering the environment — is worthy of a mention. For argument’s sake, let’s say that we can calculate an optimal gap considering the player, the mouthpiece, and the trumpet. We know that the acoustical properties of the environment you are playing in can affect the acoustic impedance you feel as a performer. Playing outside in hot, humid weather and then moving inside a air-conditioned, dry, acoustically “stuffy” room can drastically change the acoustical impedance, and in turn, what you feel. In today’s musical climate, you could easily find yourself in a stuffy recording study, then in a huge, open cathedral. While most players would not think to adjust the gap in these situations, a significant minority of players have fine-tuned the gap to their varying situations. Experiment with the gap using the Reeves Paper Trick!

Christian Lindberg Trombone Interview – Trombone Corner #10

Christian Lindberg – Trombone Interview

Welcome to the show notes for Episode #10 of the Trombone Corner podcast. This episode features trombonist, conductor, and composer, Christian Lindberg.

Listen to or download the episode below:

About Christian Lindberg

In September 2015 Christian Lindberg was voted “THE GREATEST BRASS PLAYER IN HISTORY, by the worlds biggest classical radio station CLASSICFM, and on the 1st of April Christian Lindberg was given  “International Classical Music Award 2016” at the Gala Ceremony in in San Sebastian, Spain. Previous winners were Esa-Pekka Salonen (2011), Krzysztof Penerecki (2012). Charles Dutoit (2013), Aldo Ciccolini (2014) and Dmitri Kitajenko (2015).On top of this Christian has just signed a 5 year Music Director contract with Israel Netanya Kibbutz Orchestra, rated by Israeli Council of Art and Culture, side by side with Israel Philharmonic as the best orchestra in the country. Christian Lindberg’s achievements for the trombone can only be compared with those of Paganini for the violin or Liszt for the piano.

Having premiered over 300 works for the trombone (over 90 major concertos) recorded over 70 solo CDs, having an international solo competition created in his name, been voted brass player of the 20th century side by side with Miles Davis and Louis Armstrong, Christian Lindberg is today nothing less than a living legend.

On top of his unrivaled career as a trombonist Lindberg has now also embarked on a highly successful conducting career, and the near future includes major conducting engagements in Musikverein, Suntory Hall, at Beethovenfest, in Salzburg Festspielhaus, Tonhalle Düsseldorf, Meistersingerhalle, Nürnberg and National Centre for the Performing Arts (The Giant Egg) in Beijing with orchestras such as Nippon Yomiuri Symphony Orchestra, Beijing Symphony Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Royal Flemish Philharmonic, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, New Zealand Symphony, Düsseldorfer Symphoniker, Irish National Philharmonic and Ulster Orchestra to name a few.

In 2009 Lindberg signed contract as principal conductor with his third orchestra, The Norwegian Arctic Philharmonic Orchestra (the two previous ones being Nordic Chamber Orchestra 2004-2011 and Swedish Wind Ensemble 2005-2012). Since then he has prolonged his contract twice and their collaboration runs for the moment up to 2017 including major recording projects on BIS (Tchaikovsky Symphonies no 4-6 among other things), a major tour throughout Japan and performances at Beethovenfest, Musikverein and Salzburg Festspielhaus.

Alongside his activities as principal conductor Lindberg has major conducting collaborations with Norrköping Symphony Orchestra (performing and recording all the symphonies by Allan Pettersson), Royal Flemish Philharmonic(a major project performing and recording music by Stenhammar), The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic (a second major conducting residency in 2016), Nürnberger Symphoniker (various projects including music by Lindberg himself, Allan Pettersson, Grieg, Högberg, Tchaikovsky and Beethoven), The Swedish Chamber Orchestra (music by Lindberg, Schubert, Ginastera, Bizet and Andrea Tarrodi), Ulster Orchestra (music by Lindberg, Dvorak, Nielsen, Grieg and Sibelius), RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland (music by Tchaikovsky, Lindberg, Sibelius, and Sandström) and Taipei Symphony Orchestra (Bernstein, Lindberg, Tchaikovsky and Pettersson.

Lindberg also conducts orchestras such as the Nippon Yomiuri Symphony Orchestra, Beijing Symphony Orchestra, ,Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Verdi Orchestra Milano, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Gürzenich-Orchester Köln, Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Malmö Symphony Orchestra, Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie, Extremadura Orchestra, Umeå Symphony Orchestra, Tiroler Symphonieorchester, Het Noord Nederland Orkest, Het Gelders Orkest, Stuttgart Radio Orchestra, Poznan Symphony Orchestra, Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Jenaer Philharmonie, Jyväskyllä Symphony Orchestra, Oulu Symphony Orchestra, Euscadi Orchestra, Maggio Fiorentino, Haydn Orchestra Bolzano, Northern Sinfonia, Helsinki Philharmonics, Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Cape Philharmonic, Aarhus Symphony Orchestra, Shanghai Opera Orchestra,  Iceland Symphony Orchestra, National Orchestra of Brazil, Württembergische Philharmonie, and Tenerife Symphony Orchestra  to name a few. 

As a composer Lindberg has been constantly busy with commissions since he wrote his first composition Arabenne for Trombone and Strings in 1997-98 as a pure experiment. Orchestras around the world have been queuing up, and he has composed over 50 works on commission from, among others, The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, The Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Hessische Rundfunk, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Swedish Chamber Orchestra, Verdi Orchestra Milano, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Trondheim Soloists, Sion Musik Festival, Nordland Musikfestuke, Vertavo Quartet, Vib’bone Duo, Sergio Carolino and the Wild Gang, Arctic Philharmonic Orchestra, Norrköping Symphony Orchestra, Bones Apart, Anders Wall Foundation, Hardanger International Music Festival and Share Music Sweden. Future commissions include a trombone concerto for the Taipei Symphony Orchestra, a 30 minute long orchestral piece commissioned by Düsseldorfer Symphoniker,  a trumpet concerto commissioned by the Swedish Chamber Orchestra and Västerås Sinfonietta and a concerto for Evelyn Glennie, Christian Lindberg and orchestra commissioned by the Cheltenham Festival.

Christian Lindberg’s own philosophy regarding his work as a composer is simple: “I do not write in any style whatsoever! I just listen to what my brain and my soul tell me, and what I hear I simply put down on paper. To say anything more about my work would be pretentious nonsense.”

Christian Lindberg Links

Podcast Credits

Simon Sweeney Trumpet Interview – The Other Side of the Bell #85

Simon Sweeney – Trumpet Interview

Welcome to the show notes for Episode #85 of The Other Side of the Bell – A Trumpet Podcast. This episode features trumpeter Simon Sweeney.

Listen to or download the episode below:

About Simon Sweeney

Simon Sweeney is a professional trumpet player and educator based in Sydney. He holds a Bachelors and a Masters degree from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. He is a studio musician and has been prolific in the live music scene since 1993. As a member of the Jazz Faculty at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music since 2010 he has taught many of the young players currently working in the Sydney scene.

Simon has appeared as guest Principal trumpet with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. Film recording credits include Happy Feet, The Great Gatsby, The Extra and The Bank.

Simon has played on over 40 professional musical theatre productions since the mid 90s. He has played lead trumpet for Michael Bublé, George Benson, Paloma Faith and Tim Minchin. As a jazz musician he has toured and recorded with Mike Nock, played with the Space Cadets, recorded with the Jazzgroove Mothership Orchestra and he is currently co-lead trumpet of the Australian National Jazz Orchestra. He has performed with Silverchair, Thirsty Merc and recorded with Powderfinger and Billy Thorpe.

Simon’s lead playing can be heard on the Netflix series Beat Bugs and Motown Magic. Simon’s own small group jazz album “Emerald City Blues” was released on the Jazzgroove label. During the lockdown he has put together a horn section called the Emerald City Horns comprising some of Sydney’s most prolific studio musicians.

Simon Sweeney Links

Podcast Credits

Jack Schatz Trombone Interview – Trombone Corner #09

Jack Schatz – Trombone Interview

Welcome to the show notes for Episode #9 of the Trombone Corner podcast. This episode features New York-based trombonist and tubist, Jack Schatz.

Listen to or download the episode below:

About Jack Schatz

Ted Nash Big Band Recording Session “Chakra”: Jack Schatz, Alan Ferber, Mark Patterson, Charley Gordon.

Jack Schatz is an in-demand New York City–based trombonist and tubist. Jack has played in numerous Broadway shows, including The Phantom of the Opera, My Favorite Year, Damn Yankees, Hello Dolly!, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Side Show, Little Me, Flower Drum Song, Wonderful Town, A Chorus Line, Billy Elliott: The Musical, Hugh Jackman, Back on Broadway, and Nice Work If You Can Get It.

He can also be heard on recordings ranging from Barbara Cook’s All I Ask of You (DRG, 1999) and Jazz Takes on Joni Mitchell (Arkadia Jazz, 1999) to Chakra (Plastic Sax, 2013) and Noah (Nonesuch, 2014).

Jack Schatz Links

Podcast Credits

This One Simple Trick Can Make Trumpet Easier

Trumpet Mouthpiece Gap Adjustment

Let’s face it, the trumpet can be a beast sometimes — stuffy low notes, tight high notes, quirky notes that just don’t settle or play in tune. While there is no substitute for diligent practice, there are always ways to make the trumpet easier. Maybe even a lot easier! What if we told you that with this one simple trick, you could make one or more of the following improvements to your trumpet playing immediately:
  • better intonation
  • more open feel
  • better projection
  • cleaner articulation
  • more secure slotting
This may sound too good to be true, but we see these results with our customers every day and have for the past 50 years! So what is this magic trumpet trick?

The Bob Reeves Brass Paper Trick

Here’s how to do the Bob Reeves Paper Trick yourself:
  1. Take a sheet of paper and cut off a small piece. It should be about 3/4″ long and only about 1/8″ wide. Set the piece of paper aside.
  2. Play an exercise that covers your comfortable range. It should include some articulation.
  3. Remove your mouthpiece and place the paper length-wise on the side of the shank of the mouthpiece.
  4. Put the mouthpiece and the piece of paper into your trumpet receiver.
  5. Play the exercise again.
  6. Note what changes you hear in your sound, articulation, slotting, and feel.

“I’ve Done The Paper Trick – Now What?”

One of three things will happen:
  1. It will play better with the paper.
  2. It will play worse with the paper.
  3. You won’t notice a difference.
If it plays better (#1), then you need a larger gap on your mouthpiece. This can be achieved by altering your mouthpiece and getting a removable sleeve at the larger size. If you don’t want a removable sleeve, we can re-shank your mouthpiece to that larger size while keeping the shank solid. If it plays worse (#2), you might need a smaller gap. This can be achieved by machining down your shank, or by converting your mouthpieces for Reeves Sleeves and experimenting with smaller sleeve sizes. If you don’t notice a difference (#3), try the experiment again, this time adding a second piece of paper on top of the first. Keep repeating until it plays better or worse.

How Does the Gap Work?

How can this simple trick improve your trumpet playing? The short answer is that it allows you to experiment by changing the gap between your mouthpiece and the leadpipe, which is an often neglected, yet crucial element of your playing setup. Some tips on doing The Paper Trick:
  • record yourself and listen back
  • have someone else listen to you in front of the bell
  • use the paper trick on all your mouthpiece and trumpet combinations

Paper Trick Video:

Exploring Deeper into the Trumpet Gap

If you would like to learn more about the gap, here are some additional blog posts you can read:

Danny Falcone Trumpet Interview – The Other Side of the Bell #84

Danny Falcone – Trumpet Interview

Welcome to the show notes for Episode #84 of The Other Side of the Bell – A Trumpet Podcast. This episode features trumpeter Danny Falcone.

Listen to or download the episode below:

About Danny Falcone

Daniel Falcone began working professionally in Las Vegas at age 15. The son of Vincent Falcone, musical director, pianist and conductor for Frank Sinatra, he literally grew up on stage. Starting in high school, Daniel backed the likes of Tony Bennett, Rita Moreno, Jerry Lewis, George Burns, Andy Williams, Jack Jones, Paul Anka and many other headliners on the Las Vegas Strip.

After high school he moved to LA to attend USC and toured and played with some of the world’s finest orchestras, including the London Philharmonic. After his time at USC, Danny returned to Las Vegas, playing for many headliners and production shows until he was asked to join the Tom Jones band as the lead trumpet player in 1998. After a 2 year world tour, Dan returned to Las Vegas to perform in a Ricky Martin production, “Storm”, at the Mandalay Bay Hotel. The musical director was Jerry Lopez, leader of the iconic band Santa Fe. A few years later Dan joined Santa Fe and the Fat City Horns and has been with the band ever since.

Two years later, Dan joined Paul Anka full-time and toured for many years playing split-lead, then lead trumpet, recording two albums and a DVD. He then joined the Las Vegas production of Broadway Musical “Hairspray”.

Danny with Celine Dion and members of the band.

Dan performed with Toni Braxton for more than a year before joining the Las Vegas production of Broadway hit “Jersey Boys”. At this same time, Dan was hired to perform with Bette Midler (The Showgirl Must Go On), for her two and half year run at the Colosseum at Caesar’s Palace culminating in an HBO concert performance. For the last ten years, Dan has been the lead trumpet player for Celine Dion both in Las Vegas and around the world on tour.

Daniel has most recently been hired to play lead trumpet with Lady Gaga on her new Jazz and Piano show.

Danny recording on Kanye West’s session.

TV credits include Late Night with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The American Country Music Awards, The Billboard Music Awards, The American Music Awards, Lionel Richie and Friends, The American Country Music Awards, The Latin Grammys, The Michael Parkinson Show on BBC, The BET Awards, Men Strike Back on VH1, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The View, The Today Show, Good Morning America and has been a member of the Jerry Lewis Telethon Orchestra. Dan has also performed and recorded with many artists including Alicia Keys, Kenny Loggins, Luis Miguel, Christopher Cross, D’Angelo, Blood, Sweat and Tears, Bill Champlin, Cheap Trick, Gladys Knight, Patti Austin, Martin Nievera, Frankie Valli, Vince Gill, Victor Manuelle, Destiny’s Child, Hunter Hayes, Big and Rich, Barry Manilow, Lionel Richie, Aretha Franklin, Brian Bromberg, Jennifer Nettles, Ricky Martin, Gloria Estefan, Jordan Sparks, Frank Sinatra Jr., Jon Secada, Gino Vannelli, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Hugh Jackman and Maren Morris, Dwight Yoakam and most recently recorded for Kanye West’s new album “Jesus is King” performed at Lincoln Center with Kanye West’s Opera “Mary”.

Danny Falcone Links

Podcast Credits

Leonhard Paul Trombone Interview – Trombone Corner #8

Leonhard Paul – Trombone Interview

Welcome to the show notes for Episode #8 of the Trombone Corner podcast. This episode features trombonist and bass trumpeter of Mnozil Brass, Leonhard Paul.

Listen to or download the episode below:

About Leonhard Paul

Leonhard Paul is the trombonist and bass trumpeter in the world-famous Mnozil Brass and the Wieder-Gansch-Paul Trio. Originally from Vienna, Austria, Leonhard received diplomas in pedagogy studies and trombone studies from the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna. He went on to receive a degree in jazz trombone from the Conservatory of Music Vienna where he studied under Erich Kleinschuster.

Since 2005, Leonhard has been a professor at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna-MDW where he teaches chamber music, period music (sackbut), and popular music.

Besides his busy schedule with the Mnozil Brass, Leonhard has also performed on sackbut with the Wiener Akademie, Concentus Musicus Wien, and Tonus and on trombone with Salonorchester Alhambra and Die Eiserne Zeit among others.

Wieder-Gansch-Paul Trio

Coincidence writes the beautiful stories. Albert Wieder, Thomas Gansch and Leonhard Paul started at some point, Playing an encore at the end of each Mnozil Brass Show. On every tour a new one.

Into the blue, very spontaneous, not rehearsed, standing on stage and doing, what music is about – communicating. That’s how, during the last years, a whole concert program developed.

With songs from all corners of their three universes. George Michael, Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel, Chuck Mangione, Johann Strauß, Toots Thielemans, Franz Schubert, Thomas Gansch, and so on.

Bass, melody and harmony.
You could say “Earth, Wind and Fire” – but that is already taken.
So let’s call it  “Wieder, Gansch & Paul“

Thomas Gansch – Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Vocals
Leonhard Paul – Trombone, Bass-Trumpet, Vocals
Albert Wieder – Tuba

Leonhard Paul Links

Podcast Credits