Archive for the ‘Shows’ Category

Nice to Read

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

Occasionally we come across something that is just plain nice to read. Paul Compton has been doing some incredible teaching at Oklahoma State University and his work is getting noticed.

Paul’s trombone octet performed as the Remington Choir at the International Trombone Festival in Utah this past month. The ITF was well-organized and well-attended, and Edwards is proud to support this organization by sponsoring ITF artists and the Carl Fontana Jazz Trombone Competition. This year’s artists included Marshall Gilkes, Darren Kramer, Jim Markey, and Trombones de Costa Rica. They all performed exceptionally well and we’re thrilled they’ve chosen to play Edwards.

If you are not a member of the International Trombone Association (ITA), please join today. It’s through membership that this organization succeeds. It is up to trombone players to support the trombone and live music.

Edwards Going to Eastern Trombone Workshop

Monday, March 3rd, 2008

Trombones are shipped and on their way to Washington DC where our tax dollars are finally working for us. The Eastern Trombone Workshop is a FREE trombone show that allows you to hear professional and the “up & comers” who compete in competitions during the workshop.

Ron Knaflic and Jared Lantzey have teamed up to work this show and help trombonists find the right equipment. If you’re serious about getting a new trombone or just wanting to see what we’re about please drop by and try our instruments. We’ve built a few exceptional instruments that are just needing to find the right player.

Paul Compton, Chris Houlding, Paul Pollard, and Brent Phillips will be guest artists at this show, so enjoy the music and make it a point to try to attend as much as possible. There are very few places putting on events such as this and without your attendance they can not continue.

Visit the ETW Web site

TMEA 2008

Monday, February 11th, 2008

We’re getting ready to head to San Antonio (although some of us area already there) and are looking forward to seeing old friends and meeting many new ones.

Once again, we’ll have Leonard Candelaria, Paul Tynan and Bill Takacs helping out with the trumpets. Chris Branagan, Christan Griego and Joshua Brown will be working with the trombone players that get too close to the booth. We’ll miss Paul Compton this year, as he’s too busy winning the Remington Choir Competition to join us.

Big 12 Trombone Conference with Edwards Prize

Tuesday, November 13th, 2007

The Big 12 Trombone Soloists Competition will be held at the 5th Annual Big 12 Area Trombone Conference at Texas Tech University, January 18 – 20, 2008.

The competition is open to All University Students who play Tenor Trombone.

First Place Prize: $1,000.00 Gift Certificate towards any Edwards Product.
Second Place Prize: Gift Certificate for one gold plated Griego Mouthpiece.
Third Place Prize: Tuneup Basic Training by Stephen C. Colley

Finalists will be invited to perform in an Honors Solo Recital, to be held and adjudicated at the conference in Lubbock Texas. The finalists will be able to choose a 6-8 minute work to perform on this recital.

Preliminary Audition CDs will be accepted through November 15, 2007. The Repertoire for Tenor Trombone Entries appears below.

Preliminary Round:

Each candidate is asked to submit an unedited CD recording of one of the following

Sachse – Concertino ( International Music Company)
Jongen – Aria and Polonaise (Kalmus Pub.)

Please send the CD, along with a check for $15.00 (checks made payable to “Iota Tau
Alpha”) to:

Professor James T. Decker
c/o Texas Tech University School of Music
Box 42033
Lubbock, TX 79409-2033
Big 12 Trombone Conference
January 18-20, 2008

This page was created by Jeff Kurka
The 2008 Big 12
Trombone Solo Competition
$15 entry fee

David Taylor Artist Profile

Sunday, March 2nd, 2003

The following interview took place at the Edwards Pro Stop on October 11, 2002.

Christan Griego: You just got back from Austria. Do you want to talk about that trip?

David Taylor: Sure, I had a great time in Austria. On this trip, I was in Vienna, playing in two different settings: a jazz club called “Porgy and Bess,” and Vienna’s main concert hall. It was wild, soloing on this incredibly historic stage. In both venues, I was performing in a trio for bass trombone, soprano saxophone, and piano.

The composer and saxophonist Daniel Schnyder is a great musician. Although I’ve played in other settings with him, these days we mainly play in this format. So in essence he’s writing all this music for the group we have formed. In the jazz club we play multi-genre compositions that he has written specifically for the group. Daniel has also done arrangements of the music of George Gershwin and Kurt Weil that allow us to improvise and stretch a little. In the concert hall, we performed in front of a silent film completed in the 20’s. Dr. Faust is based on Goethe, and directed by the great German filmmaker Mornau. Daniel composed a score to emphasize the action and ideas in the film, roughly 70% through-composed and 30% improvised, and also transcribed additional material from Bach, Schubert, Mahler, Liszt and other heavy-duty composers. It was great. We had about 1500 people attending. We’ve actually played this peice around the world.

Dave and ChristanI’m returning to Vienna at the end of October to play Daniel’s Concerto for Bass Trombone with the Tonkunstler Orchester Niedersterreich. We’ll do four performances and a radio broadcast in Vienna’s other major concert hall, the Weiner Musikverein. It’s a thrill for me to perform as soloist in both major concert halls in Vienna in one season. This is something I’m really proud of.

CG: You get to play in a lot of different chamber ensembles. Do you have a favorite?

DT: I don’t think in those terms. I’ve played L’histoire du Soldat with Wynton Marsalis and loved that setting. I love my brass trio, Areopagitica, the resident brass trio at Mannes College, with New York Philharmonic trumpeter Bob Sullivan and hornist David Jolley of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. I’ve mentioned the Schnyder, Taylor, Drew Trio, and really enjoy this setting, as well. I guess I would have to say that whenever there are great musicians in small settings, that’s my favorite type of ensemble. Great musicians listen to each other and give each other space. The whole idea is to communicate with the person next to you, and the great part of communication is to let the other person say as much as he wants. That’s not just music, that’s real life.

CG: Can you describe a typical day in your musical life in New York City?

DT: Well, as soon as I wake up, I’m practicing. My wife teaches, she gets up early, and then, you know, I go to work. There are days start by going to do a jingle, a lunch-time concert with the Mingus Big Band, a Latin recording session in the afternoon, and the same night play pieces like Strauss’ Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme with the New York Chamber Symphony in Alice Tully Hall. There are also crazy days where I get up, travel to Europe, and play a recital.

CG: Is your daily routine set in stone?

DT: Yes, my daily routine is set in stone. For the last 34 years I’ve started every day the same way, with the same series of exercises. I want to write a method book about this system, not necessarily recommending my exercises, but recommending a consistent approach. I plan to talk about how the exercises developed over the last 34 years, and what a consistent approach has done for my security and growth. For example, my first series of exercises are always the same, and take somewhere between 15 to 25 minutes, depending on how long it takes me to either limber up, get set, repair, or get away from pain.

CG: You mean depending on how you feel from the previous day?

DT: Exactly. But it’s always the same series of exercises in the same rhythm, usually the same volume level. I don’t go after perfection of sound right away, I go after the process (it’s always about process for me). Then I always take a minimum of 20 minutes rest after the first warm up exercises. I’ve stuck with this routine throughout the years, regardless of my schedule.

CG: You’ve never committed to one orchestra or any full time job, and you’ve taken the liberty to pursue any interest at any given time. What’s been the key to your success as a freelance artist?

DT: I think one of the things that helped me to be a successful freelance artist in New York City is that I’m from New York, and went to school in New York. I went to the Juilliard School of Music for six years. I wasn’t one of those guys who stuck around school and only performed in the rehearsal groups in school. I left the building to learn on the street. Every rehearsal group, band, you name it. I think the vital thing, to be a successful freelance artist, is that you’ve got to immediately start playing outside of the school that you are attending. That’s why I think it’s great for students to go to school in metropolitan areas. Prioritize playing in as many groups as you can. Prioritize practice discipline, and prioritize keeping your mouth shut. Just do the job, listen to the guys next to you, climb into the sound around you, and go home and practice.

CG: How has the use of electronic music affected the scene in New York City?

DT: It’s affecting music all over the country. And, with the world market changing, well, a lot of recording and movie gigs are going to Eastern European countries or places where an orchestra can be hired at a fraction of the cost of American groups. Combine this with digital technology, and you have the possibility of “piping in” a live orchestra to a production staff in a different country.

CG: When can we expect Pugh/Taylor Project II?

DT: It’s done. We’re in the process of getting the label, giving the recording a title, and setting the release date.

CG: Who do you listen to? Who are your musical influences?

DT: The last couple of weeks I’ve been listening a lot to Harry Partch. Harry Partch is an American microtonal composer from the first half of the 20th century. I listen to improvising artists, pop, rock, and R&B. I haven’t listened to that much orchestral stuff these days, probably because I’ve been playing in a lot of orchestra’s lately. Wait a minute, let me answer this question another way: I listen to me. I’ve been doing a bunch of solo recording projects, so there’s usually a project I’m working on. I have 3 or 4 CDs coming out this year where I’m either unaccompanied, or partnered with a soloist. So I’m always listening to or editing these projects. I’ve got an unaccompanied scheduled for release in Europe this fall on PAO records called Hymns, Hums, Hiss, and Herz. Also out in December will be Doppelganger, from CIMP records here in the U.S. This is an improvisation-based recording with drummer Jay Rosen and bassist Dominic Duval.

CG: Has recording yourself helped you in your concept of sound?

DT: Do you mean like recording projects?

CG: Yes, and even just recording yourself while you are practicing.

DT: For sure. I switched to the Edwards based on what I was hearing in playbacks on recordings I was performing on in the early 90’s. In certain instances I made a direct change because of what I heard. In many other instances, and this may sound funny to you, I made changes because it’s important to me that I have total musical creativity and whimsy in my playing. So sometimes that means not listening to how you sound, just feeling the process—making sure you have a horn that will respond to whatever your process requires. I have to say that there are times when I listen back as a trombone player and say, “Wow, I wish I could be more trombone perfect,” because I know what that is supposed to be. But then I say to myself, “yeah, but listen to the colors.” So for me it’s a constant insecure battle between trying to get myself to play trombonistically perfect, and get away from the trombone at the same time. It’s can be very disconcerting.

CG: What’s the weirdest gig you’ve ever played?

DT: [Laughs] I’ll have to think about that. I’ve played some weird gigs.

CG: Would Liza Manelli’s wedding be high on the list?

DT: Yeah, it wasn’t weird—that was just, [pauses] heavy. It was like sitting backstage eating dinner with the cats in the band, and Michael Jackson’s hanging back there as well. It was a very interesting situation. It was very moving because it was down by the WTC, just a few months after September 11.

I played the Michael Jackson concert in Madison Square Garden on September 10, and that was strange seeing all sorts of incendiary devices being used as part of the show, and then the next morning I was on the phone with you when the WTC tragedy was happening. Remember that? I have to think about that last question a little more. I’ve done a lot of strange gigs.

CG: When you started Edwards you were playing the dependent valve setup. In the past year you switched over to the independent. Can you tell me why?

DT: I still play both independent and dependent. So many guys were playing on it (independent) that I couldn’t turn my back on it any longer. I had to try it out. One of the reasons I stayed away from the independent set up earlier was because it was much heavier than what I was used to playing. With the earlier models of independent set ups, the rotors didn’t allow for colors to change the way Thayers do. With the valve improvements and bell choices, there are more options now for people to match the valve sections. It’s almost making the dependent vs. independent battle a moot point. I think you can make either work.

CG: What does next year have in store for you?

DT: My book is filling up with other projects. My next tour to Austria is the main thing on my mind right now. After the Austrian tour, I’ll be playing the Schnyder Concerto in Chicago on November 12, and in New York on December 13. There are also a couple of CD projects that I’ve planned, so it’s going to be another busy year.

CG: What is the biggest technical problem facing the trombonists you are teaching?

DT: I think that any musician who takes up the trombone today is brave. I don’t get in any student’s face these days about my own agenda of technique, because if you’re going to be a musician, and especially a trombone player, you have to have an air of adventure about you. So, usually I don’t push my students into a particular philosophy or into a particular way of thinking. One element of being a great trombone player is following your whimsy. Being a musician is such a positive force that I feel my job is to help students realize who they are, and to help develop their strengths.

Interview edited for website by Chris Branagan.
© David Taylor

ITF 2002: Tales from the Edwards Booth

Monday, June 24th, 2002

by Chris Branagan

From the outside, the College of Music at the University of North Texas looked like any other big music school. But once you passed through the doors, you could tell something was different about this place. There were no sounds of clarinets, vocalists, or saxophone players, but the building was not quiet. The only sound to be heard in the practice rooms, classrooms, rehearsal and performing spaces was – the T R O M B O N E!

Stefan Sanders talks with Henry Howey after his performance on Friday afternoonTrombonists en masse came from all over the country and different parts of the world to take part in master classes, listen to concerts, and spend some money on music and equipment. The schedule of the four and a half day festival was bursting with events and opportunities to hear some of the world’s finest trombonists; too many events, in fact, to go over in this review. Here then, are a few highlights from the 2002 ITF. [I should note that I arrived at the Festival on Friday afternoon, hence the exclusion of events from Thursday and early Friday.]

After spending time at the Edwards exhibit on Friday, I attended a shared recital featuring some of the world’s best orchestral musicians: Ian Bousfield, principal Vienna Philharmonic, Stefan Sanders bass trombone Buffalo Philharmonic, and Ben van Dijk, bass trombone Rotterdam Philharmonic. Each musician performed at the level you would expect from such players, but it must be said that the highlight of this recital was Austin, Texas native and Edwards Artist Stefan Sanders. Performing Bozza’s New Orleans and a new composition for bass trombone and percussion ensemble (yes, it works!), Sanders’ rich, even sound and clear musical ideas came through with assurance and class.

Trombones de Costa Rica performed at their second consecutive International Trombone FestivalThe evening’s headlining concert featured Trombones de Costa Rica, the only trombone quartet on the Edwards Artist roster. Trombones de Costa Rica are a very special group of musicians who have been performing together for over ten years. Performing a mixture of standard quartet repertoire, transcriptions from the orchestral literature, and amazing arrangements of music native to South America, Trombones de Costa Rica demonstrated an incredible sense of balance and blend, and a seamless sense of ensemble as melodies and motives were passed from player to player. After the concert, the group hung out back stage to greet the audience and catch up with friends.

As if a full day of classes and recitals wasn’t enough, the organizers of this ITF provided one more opportunity to max-out on trombone. In all seriousness, Jazz at the Radisson was an excellent way unwind, enjoy a few drinks, and to try to absorb as much trombone as the body would allow. Late-night jam sessions at your typical trombone festival are usually used as a proving ground for the superfluous yet time-honored tradition of incorporating standards of trombone solo and study repertoire into an improvised solo. While this scenario has the potential to end in heartbreak for the listener, occasionally an artist of remarkable talent can intelligently merge material that seems at opposite ends of the trombone spectrum. Bill Reichenbach displayed such intelligence and musical sensibility by deftly segueing from the prelude of Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1 to Gershwin’s Summertime, much to the approval of the audience. Bravo Bill!

Chris Branagan and Christan Griego work the Edwards boothThe first concert scheduled on Saturday featured the winners of the various ITF Competitions. From a student’s perspective, nothing can be more daunting than playing for an audience of trombone players, but each of these very talented young players performed stunningly in the hot seat. A special mention goes to Jonathan Lombardo, who presented a wonderfully tailored rendition of the Grøndahl Concerto with well-developed lines and a musical maturity beyond his 20 years.

Saturday afternoon saw the British Invasion of the ITF, with a clinic by the English trombone quartet Bones Apart and a recital by Ian Bousfield. Bones Apart gave an entertaining clinic with anecdotes from the group’s past and plans for the future, mixed in with some absolutely stunning playing. Bousfield’s recital was informal only in its presentation, as the playing was outstanding. Known for his technically dazzling rendition of Blue Bells of Scotland, some of the highpoints of this recital came from the wonderfully delicate playing of hymn tunes like Walk With Me, an old Salvation Army tune. Ian’s lyric playing in very soft dynamic ranges is both delicate and assertive, and always musical

Don Lucas recognizes the photographerSaturday night’s Jazz at the Radisson was an open mic night featuring the first and second place winners of the Frank Rosolino Competition. Sunday night featured Edwards Artists Ron Wilkins of San Antonio and Bill Gibson of South Dakota. It was a treat to hear Bill Gibson for the first time. Bill offered the complete package with great solo lines, soulful blues choruses, and some outstanding plunger work that Al Grey would have been proud of! Ron Wilkins, known for using all 5 of his Edwards Fleet of trombones on a single gig, spent most of the night on the bass trombone, but showed the crowd no mercy with the pyrotechnics we have all come to expect in his playing.

Sunday brought a day of master classes and panel discussions, and included a consumer test of various trombone manufacturers. Concert highlights included an exciting performance of the trombone band Spiritual to the Bone and a wonderful concert given by the Cramer Trombone Choir conducted by Jay Friedman. The award for best master class of the Festival goes to Bousfield, for his Orchestral Excerpts Coaching. Ian focused on clarity, attention to detail with regard to printed articulation, and rhythmic accuracy, with an underlying thought to finding the meaning behind the printed music.

Ben van Dijk poses with Edwards webmaster Joshua BrownChristian Lindberg’s Trombone Unit 2000 made waves on Sunday night’s concert. Backed by five of Sweden’s most accomplished trombonists, Lindberg performed many of his own compositions including a collaboration with Swedish composer Frederic Högberg. Play ‘em High, a spaghetti-Western style theatre piece telling the tale of Kit Bones, Lindberg’s alter ego, was one of the most talked-about performances of the Festival.

Lindberg closed the ITF 2002 on Monday in a concert with the Fort Worth Symphony conducted by Miguel Harth-Bedoya. Lindberg was featured on Leopold Mozart’s Alto Concerto and SOLO for Trombone and Orchestra by Luciano Berio. Lindberg’s approach to Mozart was clean and musical, and the Ft. Worth Symphony provided graceful accompaniment. The highlight of the concert was the performance of the new Berio concerto, an ITA Commission. Special mention goes to the trombone section of the Fort Worth Symphony who met the challenge of not only a difficult piece of orchestral music, but also the challenge of trading solo lines with Christian Lindberg.

The ITF 2002 closed with an indoor barbecue (blame it on the weather), in keeping with the wonderfully social atmosphere of the entire festival. Kudos goes to the organizers and UNT student workers who kept the festival running smoothly. We here in Texas were very lucky to have the ITF in our own back yard. While somewhat exhausting, my experience at the ITF was inspiring and most enjoyable. Even after four days of non-stop, full-on trombone, I couldn’t wait to get home to practice!

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