A Bronx Tale

Nice time substituting at A Bronx Tale last night. The regular let’s the subs use his Miraphone tuba, but I brought a Walter Sear tuba last night to see if it would be more comfortable. Both seemed fine, if anything, the Miraphone played with less resistance. I was able to produce more sound with less effort on the Miraphone as compared to the Walter Sear tuba.

Thanks to the fine musicians in the band: Perry Cavari, Kenny Beschia, Jamie Dauber, Smitty at the stick and playing piano, and everyone else. Hope to be back soon.

At the Blue note this week with the Grammy winning Artist Paquito D’Rivera and the Dizzy Gillespie alumni all-star big band

Join us this week, July 18-23 at the Blue Note jazz club in New York City.  Paquito D’Rivera leads an all-star big band of Dizzy Gillespie alumni and world-class jazz artists. We will be for performing some of Dizzy Gillespie’s most famous works as well as samba Jazz and Cuban jazz for your enjoyment.

Joining us for the set will be the Grammy nominated artist Roberta Gambarini singing some beautiful selections from the Dizzy Gillespie repertoire.

Vanguard Jazz Orchestra tonight at the Village Vanguard in NYC

Our weekly show at the Vanguard tonight. Sets at 8:30 and 10:30. More info at www.vanguardjazzorchestra.com

Playing with the legendary Earl Gardner from the Saturday Nigt Live Band today at “A Bronx Tale” today!

Jason Jackson, and Earl Gardner At A Bronx Tale in NYC

All weekend I get to play with the legendary Earl Gardner at A Bronx Tale on Broadway in NYC. I also  get to dust off the tuba and play some sweet baselines in the book.

 

Great night last night at the Village Vanguard with the vanguard Kazz Orhestra 

We welcome our newest member John Chudoba (pictured below on the left) as second trumpet.

Vjo bone section
Left to right: David Wong, Douglas Purviance, Rock Ciccerone  John Mosca and Jason Jackson
Left to right: John Chudoba, Jeff Wilfore

Teaching at the Dalton School in NYC, and City College, then an evening subbing at the Broadway Musical, Sunset Blvd. starring Glenn Close

Wednesday was my first day of teaching at The Dalton School in NYC where I am now the trombone teacher.

The Dalton School
The Dalton School

My next student was up town at the City College New York where I have taught for 6 years now.

CCNY
City College New York (CCNY)

And finally I ended the night at Sunset Blvd. starring Glenn Close.

Nat King Cole tribute with Micheal Feinstein last night at Lincoln Center

Jason Jackson performing with Michael Feinstein for a Nat King Cole Tribute

I performed last night with Michael Feinstein and the American Song Book Big Band conducted by Tedd Firth for a tribute to Nat King Cole at the Jazz at Lincoln Center Appel Room.  Great concert!!i

Tonight I’m at the South Orange Performing Arts Center with the Seaton Hall Faculty Jazz Ensemble. Concert starts at 7:30pm. 

Tonight I’m at the South Orange Performing Arts Center in South Orange NJ with the Seaton Hall Faculty Jazz Ensemble. Concert starts at 7:30pm.

South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC)
South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC)
Seaton Hall Jazz Faculty: Steve and Carol Hamersma
Seaton Hall Jazz Faculty: Steve and Carol Hamersma

Another successful subbing experience at “Sunset Boulevard” on Broadway in NYC

There are strict rules governing when a substitute musician is allowed to play on with a Broadway orchestra.  One of the rules is that in a given section, if there is a 1st time sub, all the other musicians in that section must be  a regular member OR a substitute that has been designated “as good as the regular player.”

Usually a person is not designated until they have played the show quite a number of times. In my case, I’ve played the show three times and tonight I was playing in the section with a first time lead trumpet player.

Although playing with a 1st time lead trumpeter can be nerve wrecking, I took it as a compliment to my playing.  All went very well.

Tonight I’m back at the wonderful show “Sunset Boulevard” staring Glenn Close. 

Looking forward to performing with one of Broadway’s most fabulous Orchestra’s at “Sunset Boulevard” tonight.

Excited about my performance tonight with the CompCord Big Band at The Cutting Room in NYC. Great new works by renown Composers to be premiered by an all star ensemble. 

FB – Tickets – Site

Composers Concordance

Gene Pritsker, Dan Cooper – Directors
Milica Paranosic, Peter Jarvis, Melissa Grey, Svjetlana Bukvich – Associate Directors

– CompCord Big Band –

Friday, March 3rd, 2017 at 7:30pm The Cutting Room
44 East 32nd Street, NYC

Featuring: Vesselin Gellev – violin, Melanie Mitrano – voice, Gerson Galante – clarinet, Sebastian Pritsker – voice, & Charles Coleman – conductor.

CompCord Big Band: Livio Almeida, Gerson Galante – alto saxophones;
Andrew Gould, Jay Rodriguez – tenor saxophones; Mercedes Beckman – baritone saxophone; Franz Hackl, Wayne J Du Maine, Peter Oswald, Jonathan Finlayson – trumpets;
John Clark – horn; Jason Jackson, Mike Seltzer – tenor trombones; David Taylor – bass trombone; Gene Pritsker – guitar; Carlton Holmes – piano; Laurence Goldman – bass; & Joe Abbatantuono – drumset.

Program
1.) Groove From The Louvre – John Clark
2.) ADDIYO * – Alon Nechushtan
3.) Vav Hey Vav – Dan Cooper
4.) Three Paintings ‘Bout New York by Kostabi * – Gene Pritsker 5.) Waltz Heteroclite – David Taylor
6.) Forgotten Peoples – Anthony Branker
7.) Meu Adorado * – Melanie Mitrano / Gerson Galante

8.) Resist * – Joseph Martin Waters
9.) CLIMATE (a nasty woman’s guide to surviving the apocalypse) * – Marie Incontrera 10.) 139th Street – Kinan Azmeh
11.) New York, New York * – John Kander / Lyrics: Fred Ebb / Arrangement: Gene Pritsker

(* denotes a premiere)

Back at “Beautiful The Carole King Musical” tonight. Looking forward to some nice “phat” pedal Bb’s on the bass trombone and some popping horn section lines on the large-bore tenor trombone.!

 

Back at Beautiful tonight where the book calls for doubling on large-bore tenor trombone and bass trombone.  We are going to make some “Broadway Magic!”

Another incredible experience subbing at “Sunset Blvd.”

Another wonderful experience subbing at “Sunset Blvd.” last night.  The full symphony orchestra on Stage sounded wonderful.

Glenn Close is amazing in this drama.

Last night I played with the Grammy Award Winning Vanguard Jazz Orchestra at the 50th Elmhurst College Jazz Festival near Chicago.  The audience gave us a standing ovation. 

The picture shows me sitting next to Scott Wendholt (Trumpet,) and Chris Byars (Sax,) packed in a passenger van leaving the hotel on our way to the 50th Elmhurst College Jazz Festival with the Grammy Award winning Vanguard Jazz Orchestra

The band was in rare form last night.  The students and teachers gave us a rousing ovation after our set.

Performing as a substitute with the orchestras of “Kinky Boots,” and “Sunset Blvd.” (starring Glenn Close) on Broadway for the first time this week. 


This week I joined the orchestras of two hit Broadway shows back to back; “Sunset Blvd.” and “Kinky Boots.”  For those of you who don’t know what it means to sub on a Broadway show for the first time, It may be interesting for you to get my perspective. 

Playing a Broadway show for the first time is like walking a tight rope 50 feet in the air with no net.  There is no rehearsal with the band. You get the music and you prepare as best you can without actually playing with the orchestra. 

The notes (although absolutely important to NAIL) are the least of your worries.  It is the unknown variables that you don’t find out about until you actually get on stage and perform.  Theater is live, you never really know what is going to happen.  In the case of “Subset Blvd,” some of those variables included the following.  

One of the big challenges for all the orchestra members is a lack of space to play your instrument.  This is a problem in almost every pit I have played in.  While playing the 1st trombon chair at “Sunset Blvd.,” if you move a few inches from side to side, your instrument will hit parts of the set. 

Anothe unknowable variable was the music stand being inches from my face.  This makes it difficult to see the notes at the top, bottom and sides of the page while trying to follow the conductor.  Oh yes… and  you can only see the conductor on a small video monitor above the stand which is difficult to see and hard to follow while reading the music that’s too close to your face.  

In addition,  the trombone section mate (the bass trombonist) was suiting in front of me with a felt curtain between us. 

The level of musicianship on Broadway is exceptional.  Tonight, my section mate (the bass trombonist) had only played the show once before.  In other experiences, this could definitely make my job harder.   Luckily “my man” did his homework and played beautifully.

From the conductors perspective, all of these variables are the subs problem.  The maestro wants to hear the same thing that the regular musician plays. 

It might sound a little stifling to the reader if they have never experienced this level of chaos when they go to work. For the Broadway sub, this is well within our wheel-house. We deal with all of these variables because this is how we make our living.

Tonight the conductor was thoroughly pleased with my performance. To me that means I could be called back. That is the paramount goals. 

It’s not all about getting a gig though. The orchestra at “Sunset Blvd.” is one of the best orchestras I have played with. It is also one of the largest.  There is a full string section, brass, winds, percussion/drums, and even a harp. Most Broadway shows have less that half of the musicians that are in the “Sunset Blvd.” orchestra. It was truly a joy to play with this fine ensemble. 

It was also cool to see Michael Douglas hanging near the musician are.  When he saw me and a group of musicians (wearing our tuxes) he said to us “The orchestra sounded beautiful!”

“Kinky Boots” had a whole other set of variables. 

Preparing the music was essential, but it is only part of the skill set needed to thrive as a Broadway sub.

A Bronx Tale and The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra

a Bronx tale
A Bronx Tale
doubles this week
Doubles this week

Today is a busy day.  Up early to fix breakfast for the family and clean the kitchen and get ready for two completely different gigs today.

First, I am excited to be back at “A Bronx Tale” on Broadway for the matinee today in NYC. The book requires a trombone and tuba double so I’ve been practicing the instruments together for the past few days.

Then, tonight I continue playing the week at the Village Vanguard which continues tonight with the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra for our 51st Anniversary. I am blessed for these opportunities.

VJO CELEBRATES 51 YEARS AT THE VANGUARD!

2017 FEB … VJO CELEBRATES 51 YEARS AT THE VANGUARD! (8DAYS FEB6 – FEB13) 

We are very happy to announce that 2017 is the 51st anniversary. We, the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra – established by Thad Jones and Mel Lewis, will perform the compositions of Thad Jones, Bob Brookmeyer, Jim McNeely and others from our library of over 300 tunes!

Come and join the celebration!

Feb 6, 2017 (mon) to Feb 13, 2017 (mon) …8 days
Sets 8:30pm and 10:30pm

at Village Vanguard
178 7th Avenue South, New York, NY, USA
http://villagevanguard.com/

For reservations:
call : (212) 255-4037
online : http://villagevanguard.com/html/tix.html

Vanguard Jazz Orchestra Tonight

Come hear the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra tonight at the Village Vanguard in NYC. Sets at 8:30 and 10:30.