The students of Eugene Rousseau present...
The Music of Don Freund
Sky Scrapings - David Kahn
ON AGAIN, off again - Benjamin Cold
Sunscapes - CJ Longabaugh
Louder Than Words - Jeffery Kyle Hutchins and Alexander Richards
Assisted by Jerrod Wendland, piano
November 18, 2013 7:30PM
University of Minnesota
Several months ago, I purchased a Saxholder from Jazzlab. I have been using this product quite a bit, both in my practice and performance during that time, and have found it to be a great alternative to a neckstrap or harness. I have been using a harness for several years now, as I am not a fan of neckstraps in general because of the weight and tension they put on the neck. The saxholder does an excellent job of keeping weight and tension away from the neck and upper back area by displacing the weight between the shoulders and the stomach. It is surprisingly comfortable to use and is fantastic for anyone experiencing pain from practicing or performing regularly. For me, it is a great alternative for the harness when I need to make quick instrument changes. While it is not difficult to adjust the straps to switch from alto to tenor to baritone usually, it is quite a labor to do in the middle of a performance and is often impossible depending on how quick the change may be; if I am wearing a jacket then it is out of the question. The saxholder adjusts in the front with the ease and quickness of a neckstrap while keeping me pain free and comfortable while I play. The hook is also another surprise for me as I did not expect it to be that secure from the photo. I prefer a hook with a closure on it, and while the hook on the saxholder is open, there is a device to keep the instrument securely fastened.
The main disadvantage for me in using this device is that I do not always perform standing. When holding a heavy instrument to the side while seated puts too much weight on one shoulder causing the center bar and brace that goes against the stomach to be uneven. It feels too unstable for my taste to use in that situation. Additionally, because of how the rope that attaches to the saxophone is suspended from the center of the chest instead of from around the neck, it causes the saxophone to have a weird center of gravity. It is not necessarily bad, but did take a little time for me to get used to the feel (and to figure out which way the saxophone was going to swing if I leaned over). Finally, although the device folds up and comes with a nice felt bag to store it in, there is no getting over the fact that it is a larger and harder to store than a regular neckstrap. It is designed to fit inside the saxophone bell, but if storing it in that manner is not an option or not desirable, it takes up a significant amount of space to store because of its irregular shape.
This holder has recently been living inside of my tenor case and is currently my regular device when I use that instrument. I would highly recommend it, but for me it is not for every situation and instrument.
It took me a bit, but I have finally uploaded the performance from last April of William Bolcom's Concerto Grosso with the University of Minnesota Wind Ensemble, directed by Craig Kirchhoff. Please enjoy!
I am excited to announce that my new CD Images: American Sonatas is finally available! This album, which I recorded with the lovely EunHye Grace Choi on piano, features sonatas by William Albright, David Biedenbender, Sy Brandon and Jennifer Higdon. Contact me if you are interested in purchasing a copy!
Images is now available on CDbaby and iTunes! You can still buy a copy from me, but now you can also download a digital copy for (slightly) cheaper!
AVIDduo just recently finished recording our first CD together! We were able to use the amazing facilities at the Art Institute of Minneapolis with a great engineer, Brian Hallermann. Stay tuned for details as the project unfolds... everything should be ready by the end of the year! It will include some great original works for flute and saxophone, and we are very excited to share this music!
In the last few weeks, I have been listening to quite a bit of Bob Reynolds. I first heard Bob play on a concert with John Mayer in 2007 and was really blown away! I wrote down his name at the concert so that I would remember to look him up when I got home; I have been a fan ever since. I have several of his albums, but Can't Wait for Perfect from 2006 is the one I have come back to the most often. In the last couple of weeks that I have returned to this album, I have been working my way through each chart transcribing it along with the solo and having a blast getting to know some really great music. I wanted to share some of Bob's playing for anyone interested. Buy his stuff here and support him! It is seriously groovin.
Earlier this month I had the pleasure of teaching at the E. Rousseau Saxophone Workshop at the Shell Lake Arts Camp. It was a fantastic week of making music with wonderful students and faculty. Over the course of the week, all thirty six students received a lesson with the six faculty members as well as participated in chamber ensembles and a large saxophone choir. There were also a variety of masterclasses and general sessions on various saxophone topics such as extended techniques and practice techniques. Every student got an opportunity to perform their works on the student recitals at the end of the week, and the faculty performed at the beginning of the week. Monday night was a special concert honoring the late Thomas Liley, a terrific colleague and teacher who was involved with the SLAC summer workshop for many years. Below is a picture of David Branter, Julia Nolan, Preston Duncan and myself playing a saxophone quartet on that concert. It was a terrific week working with some exceptional musicians, and I am already looking forward to next year!
Just a few weeks ago, EunHye Grace Choi met me in Minneapolis, MN for an intense week of rehearsals and recording for our upcoming CD. The project was to record four sonatas by American composers. The title track will be David Biedenbender's Images, along with sonatas by William Albright, Sy Brandon, and Jennifer Higdon and will be on the Emeritus recording label. Thanks to our great engineer Mike Duffy, we got some really great material that should be ready very soon!
The final product should be completely finished and ready for purchase by the Fall. Stay tuned!
(clockwise from left to right) rewind, play, fast forward by Shea Bartel; Into the Woods by Linnea Doyle; Extended Techniques by Jamie Winter Dawson.
This past weekend, Renegade Ensemble had our first ever ReneGALA, a gallery show/performance featuring works from this past season's Visual Artist Collaboration Series. We had a different visual artist come on stage with us during each concert series and create a new piece of art while we performed! The paintings were sold in an auction during the exhibit, along with some of the artist's other work. The ensemble performed a few highlights from the past season, as well as a few preview performances for next season!
Defined by human activities, places are ever-changing, ever-decaying, and always being reborn, often through collective action and collaboration. From Space to Place features projects from local, national and international artists and designers that reexamine place and one's relationship to it. The projects are a result of collaborative and individual efforts to interpret and investigate the phenomena of place and placemaking—the transformation of a space into that which has a distinct identity.
Featuring CookKIT from 7pm-10pm outside Regis
Parallel Hypothetical from 7pm-10pm at Rapson Hall
Identity of the Moment, a live performance by Anna Carlson & Joey Crane at 8pm at the Katherine E. Nash Gallery
I will be performing on the Identity of the Moment exhibit on May 30! It will be a performance art work for alto saxophone and soprano voice (Elizabeth Windnagel) of Joey Crane's piece Jewface in collaboration with fashion designer Anna Carlson. Come check it out!
Saxophonist, Artist, Listener, Thinker, Teacher, Performer, Curator, Veggie, Reader, Lover of Contemporary Music