GR Mouthpieces

I’m very pleased to announce that I’m now endorsing GR Technologies mouthpieces. A few months back, I visited Gary’s shop in Wisconsin. I initially planned to make the appointment to see him on a Friday (since I had a concert on Saturday in Chicago). But when I told him about the concert he said, “no one should be trying out new equipment the day before a gig – come see me on Sunday”. I was thrilled, never thinking anyone would open up their shop on a Sunday for a trumpet geek! So I came up on Sunday morning.

Gary spent over 7 hours straight with me. No food, no break…he was 100% invested in setting me up with the correct mouthpiece. His attention to detail is unlike anything I had ever seen. Through a series of playing tests and much trial and error, he came up with something that felt perfect to play on. GR is a superb craftsman.

In the coming weeks, I look forward to having the entire signature series available through this site.

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Goodbye to 2015

I honestly feel that having the opportunity to play (and teach) music for a living is a gift! As 2015 comes to a close, I look back on some very fun events that I was fortunate enough to be a part of over the last 12 months:

January:
– recording John Pizzarelli’s “Midnight McCartney”
– the 2015 Jazz Cruise

February:
– concert with Dame Shirley Bassey
– backing up Martin Short on the David Letterman show

March:
– concerts with Barry Manilow, John Pizzarelli, Michael Feinstein, and Linda Eder

April:
– various guest conducting and clinics
– big band concerts at the Berks Jazz Festival, featuring Chuck Loeb, Jeff Lorber, Eric Marienthal, etc…

May:
– backing up Nathan Lane on the David Letterman show
– Gil Evans Project at Jazz Standard

June:
– 2015 Tony Awards
– Tony Bennett/Lady Gaga concerts at Radio City Music Hall
– first live performance of my big band at Subculture in NYC

July:
– Pete McGuinness Jazz Orchestra at the Blue Note
– John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble at Newport Jazz Festival

August:
– Philadelphia Pops at Saratoga Performing Arts Center
– John Fedchock NY Big Band at the Blue Note

September:
– Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra at Detroit Jazz Festival
– backing up Katy Perry at a Harper’s Bazaar event

October:
– recorded music for “The Wiz” on CBS, and “Royal Pains” on USA

November:
– annual Thanksgiving week at the Jazz Standard with Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra
-recorded new CBS news theme

December:
– conducted NY all-state high school jazz ensemble at the Eastman School of Music
– “ONE” benefit at Carnegie Hall, featuring Bono, Edge, and Miley Cyrus

May the fun continue in 2016!

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Summer 2015 CD releases

A few CD’s have been (or will be) released this summer that I’m very proud to be a part of:

– Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra (“The Thompson Fields”)

– Bob Mintzer Big Band (“Get Up!”)

– James Taylor (“Before This World”)

– John Fedchock NY Big Band (“Like It Is”)

Coming soon: new CD’s from guitarist John Pizzarelli, composer Chris Zuar, and trombonist Ed Neumeister.

Happy listening!

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