Why did you choose to study at NEC?
“I became interested in NEC when I found out that my favorite trombonist, Bob Brookmeyer, was on faculty. Being from a rural area, I wasn't familiar with NEC until I came to visit and take a tour. Although I checked out a number of music schools, NEC's community immediately drew me in. I felt at home at NEC. It was more than just a great faculty; it was the attitudes of my peers that convinced me to come to NEC.”
What do you like about studying at NEC?
“Being a Jazz performance major at NEC has been a wonderful experience. The jazz faculty is extremely generous with their time and knowledge, and the student teacher ratio makes for plenty of one on one opportunities. The jazz major at NEC also provides each individual with a unique education. Every student can choose the teachers, classes, and in some circumstances ensembles that best fit their personality and playing style.”
Can you think of a particular moment or experience at NEC that was memorable?
“My most memorable experience at NEC would definitely be performing for the ‘NEC Jazz 40th Anniversary’ concert. It was a busy week leading up to the concert with master classes from artists like Brad Shepik and Fred Hersch, not to mention the energy around the school was out of this world. On the day of the concert I spent my morning watching the Wayne Shorter Quartet rehearse with NEC’s Philharmonia. As the day wore on I was fortunate enough to see my favorite trombonist, Bob Brookmeyer, and was able to play side by side in the sound check for the concert. It was amazing to hear Bob play live for the first time and even more exciting to be performing next to him! I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to get to perform in a small group with a musician so influential to my playing. The evening concert had incredible energy, and being a part of it made me proud to be a member of NEC’s jazz program.”
What do you like about Boston?
“Boston is a wonderful city to live in! Between the hundreds of years of history, the thriving cultural centers, and the raw pride that comes with the pro sports in this city, Boston is never dull. I’ve found that over my four years here that there has not been enough time to check out even a fraction of what’s going on. That’s the beauty of Boston, it is always going to have something new to see or do.”
Who are some of your major musical influences?
“Some of my biggest musical influences include: trombonist/composer Bob Brookmeyer, percussionist/composer John Hollenbeck, pianist/composer Frank Carlberg, multi-instrumentalist/composer Hermeto Pascoal, trombonist J.J. Johnson, pianist Bill Evans, guitarist Jim Hall, and many many more.”
What kind of music do you like to listen to?
“When I’m not listening to jazz, I generally listen to some form of rock. As a teenager I was a guitarist in a punk rock band. I probably don’t need to explain how cool it was because everyone knows it doesn’t get any more glamorous than a high school garage band. In the time since my punk rock days my listening has mellowed out a bit. Now I enjoy listening to groups like Radiohead and Bjork; modern rock that has inventive and new ideas about the function of popular music. I believe music that pushes convention is the common denominator between progression of music and mass cultural acceptance of those new ideas.”
What do you like to do outside of class?
“When I’m not in school I try do things that kind of take my mind off the music. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love the countless hours I spend talking about, writing, and playing music with friends, but sometimes I just need to do something completely different. A lot of the time my escape includes sports. I enjoy playing pick-up games of basketball with my buddies, or playing baseball in some of the local parks. Since this is Boston, the weather isn’t always cooperative for outside activities, so in the winter I enjoy going dancing at salsa clubs or just going to the movies.