Don’t encourage mediocrity. Play at your best and don’t be second class in the head. —Arnold Jacobs, principal tubist for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, 1944–1988 Tweet: What Others Say / Arnold Jacobs

As I’ve noted, there are several truths about the musical life. • Most people simply will not “get it.” • They don’t want to hear that new piece you’re working on. • Sometimes you will (and should) turn down a gig. Some of these truths you had to learn the hard way. Some are just […]

Being a musician means you accept certain facts about the way you choose to make a living. We’ve already discussed that most people will not “get it” and that people don’t want to hear that new piece you’re working on. This week’s truth: Sometimes you will (and should) turn down a gig. Doing a favor […]

There are certain facts we have to face when we choose the musical life. Last week we were discussing the fact that most people will not “get it” about being a musician. This week’s truth is … People don’t want to hear that new piece you’re working on. Or at least they don’t think they […]

If you’re a musician, you’ve no doubt discovered several verities about the musical life. Some you had to learn the hard way. Some are just obvious. Some you can laugh about … now. Here’s the first on my list. Most people will not “get it.” The life of a musician is a strange one. You […]

Have you ever noticed that many times the best restaurant in town is usually in the smallest space? Because my dad’s career is in the food and beverage industry, I have always taken a keen interest in food and restaurants, and I’ve been thinking about these small restaurants. The biggest restaurants are always the chains, […]

I grew up in the South, and this included exposure to plenty of colorful colloquialisms. They’re really interesting, and sometimes I like to find out where these little sayings come from. For whatever reason, the other day I was wondering about the phrase “The proof is in the pudding.” From just a little research I […]

Edouard Ferlet is a fantastic jazz pianist. His career has covered many styles of music, from gospel to cabaret and many points in between. And he clearly has a love for classical music. In yesterday’s post, I talked about creating or re-creating music so we can make it our own. And I think that’s what […]

We all have groups or players that we admire and want to emulate; people who define the type of musician we want to be. The Empire Brass—and more specifically the “old” Empire Brass (to which I respectfully refer as “the Sam years”)—is on my aspiration list. The group always sounds phenomenal and were really pushing […]

A while back, Seth Godin posted a blog that had this to say: Is it interesting because it happened … or because it happened to you? … Should we read your press release or come to your gallery opening or take a sales meeting because it’s important, or because it’s important to you? Marketing is […]