Kampela with Momenta Quartet

Even though there are more and more fast food outlets and less and less old-style delicatessens than when I first arrived in 1977, New York is still the best place for me to live when it comes to the music I play and listen to. Living elsewhere is like cigarettes, drinking, drugs, promiscuity, and “super-size” fast-food: I gave it the old college try, and it’s just not for me.

Creative Partners in the Work of Life

Rob Deemer

The concert reviews won’t mention them, historians will only consider them if there is a scandal, and the audience won’t think twice about them, but it is often those who stand just offstage who provide a vital and necessary component to the birth and growth of much new music.

Making It Matter

Two Boys

The music that can most clearly relate to the ongoing concerns in our society is the music that is being created right here right now.

Culture Counter Culture, Pt. 4

Jazz in the Space Age

New York City is Mecca to thousands of aspiring artists, especially jazz musicians. But, to twist a phrase into a Gordian knot, not everyone who makes it there, makes it there. When trumpeter Al Kiger decided life on the road wasn’t for him and resigned from the innovative George Russell Sextet, the jazz scene in Indiana welcomed him and he prospered.

Competitive Nature

Rob Deemer

While competitive drive can be unhealthy if left unchecked, if focused correctly, it can also be turned into an advantage that can reap benefits for everyone.

Revise THIS!


Even for those who have the experience and temperament to derive some satisfaction from a well-executed revision, the process of revising definitely sets off different and perhaps less expansive emotions than brainstorming a new, heretofore unimagined composition. What works for you?

Music is the Gateway Drug to Listening


Just as reading novels or short stories will make you fall in love with written language and ultimately enable you to more effectively communicate as well as comprehend the world around you, a similarly immersive experience with music will make you fall in love with listening and ultimately enable you to more effectively pay attention to others.

Culture Counter Culture, Pt. 3

Freddie Hubbard 1976

A musical reflexivity exists between genre and locale, a fact that is supported by concepts like: “Chicago” versus [Mississippi] “Delta” blues or “West Coast” versus “East Coast” jazz. In this paradigm, musicians, especially those who improvise, can act as a nexus of many stylistic affectations that might be realized in a unique artistic voice.

Wonder and Magic

misty forest

It is all too easy for those of us who are active in new music to get so focused on the workings of the business–be they awards, commissions, premieres, recordings, scandals, spats, or celebrations–that we lose sight of the simple gifts inherent within our art form.

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