“Ain’t Too Proud” on Broadway

Shawn Edmonds and me In the “pit” room for the Broadway production of “Ain’t Too Proud.”

Its always fun working with this band!  I love Playing those classic horn section lines, and we get to put on a clip on mic, costume and dance onstage at the end of the show.

 

 

 

Jason Jackson at Beautiful the Carole King Misical

I am subbing at “Beautiful” the Carole King Musical, all weekend on Broadway in New York City with my buddy Tatum Greenblatt.

The goal for me this weekend is to sound as “commercial” as possible.  One of my favorite trumpet players (who shall go nameless)  gave me some tips on how to achieve a commercial sound.

I don’t want to give away his secrets, but I did have to slap on a smaller mouth piece (bach 12c) to help me get that commercial sizzle, à la James Pankow from Chicago (one of my favorite “commercial” trombonists).  I am looking forward to the rest of the weekend playing Carole King’s Music.

Jason Jackson and Tatum greenblatt at Beautiful
Jason Jackson and Tatum Greenblatt playing Beautiful the Carole King Musical

Jason Jackson performing with Scott Reeves Jazz Orchestra

Jason Jackson with Scott Reeves Jazz Orchestra

Scott Reeves Jazz Orchestra
Sunday, February 10th 6:00pm – 7:15pm
Birdland Jazz Club
315 W. 44th St.
New York, NY 10036
Reservations

Celebrating the release of two CD’s,
“Without a Trace” and “Portraits and Places.”
    Scott’s CDs and arrangements may be purchased at www.creativejazz.com/albums.
    Digital downloads available at
Band Camp, Amazon, and iTunes.
Selected Reviews:
Downbeat Magazine: “Reeves arrives at his sound – modern metric ideas, sweetly stacked harmonies that move in surprising directions, atypical musical alliances – by utilizing the full scope of his playing experience.”  (Suzanne Lorge)
London Jazz News: “His new release, Without a Trace, contains originals and standards, colourfully orchestrated, with an intimate, club-like ambience. These pieces really are ‘composed’…there is always a feeling of forward travel.” (Nigel Waddington)
New York City Jazz Record: “This is an excellent example of both modern big band music and the arranging of Reeves.” (Scott Yanow)
Jazz Times: “Scott Reeves Jazz Orchestra is a wonder…hot compositions…a sizzling band…an assemblage of brilliant artists…the music is exciting, even thrilling.”
(Travis Rogers)

All About Jazz: “Reeves is a resourceful writer with…a keen ear for melody, harmony and counterpoint, his arrangements scrupulously burnished and invariably engaging.” (Jack Bowers)
Stereophile: “Within the highly specialized, invaluable, economically endangered discipline of composing and arranging for large jazz ensemble, a new badass has arrived. Reeves’s touch is always deft and light, his designs traced in fine lines.” (Thomas Conrad)
Personnel for this event is:

Scott Reeves – director, composer/arranger, alto trombone
Vocalist – Carolyn Leonhart
Saxophones – Vito Chiavuzzo, Jay Brandford, Tim Armacost,  Rob Middleton, Terry Goss
Trumpets – Seneca Black, Nathan Eklund, Chris Rogers, Andy Gravish
Trombones – Matt McDonald, Jason Jackson, Matt Haviland, Jennifer Wharton
Rhythm – Jim Ridl (piano), Todd Coolman (bass), Andy Watson (drums)

 

 

 

Our 52nd Anniversary Week with the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra

Come on down and help us celebrate this great 52 year tradition! Please share this event with your friends and family! We’d love to see you there!

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.

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 at the Vanguard last night with the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra. Tonight I’m at Beautiful, The Carole King Musical. 

Jason and Tatum at beautiful the Carole King musical
Jason Jackson, and Tatum Greenblatt (new trumpeter at “Beautiful, The Carole King Musical”

Great night at the Vanguard last night with the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra. Tonight I’m playing the great Broadway show Beautiful about Carole King.  the new trumpet player Tatum Greenblatt sounds great!!

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.

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

Looking forward to subbing in the pit orchestra for Bronx Tale on Broadway in New York City

Looking forward to subbing in the pit orchestra for A Bronx Tale on Broadway in New York City. Getting ready for that tuba part with some low long tones. Wheee!!!

Rehearsing with The Seaton Hall Faculty Ensemble

Nice rehearsal with the Seaton Hall Faculty jazz ensemble. Looking forward to our concert on march 21 at SOPAC (South Orange PAC.)

I am subbing for the great Douglas Purviance so I’m playing my bass trombone.

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.

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!”

Subbing at “Beautiful the Carole King Musical” for a couple of shows this week with the great lead trumpeter Jeff Wilfore

Subbing  at “Beautiful the Carole King Musical” for a couple of shows this week with the great lead trumpeter Jeff Wilfore.

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.

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.

My Office Tonight at “The Lion King”

This is my office tonight at the Disney musical “The Lion King.” There are 3 French Horns, Tuba/Bass Bone, and me on Tenor trombone in this room in the back of the theater. The rest of the orchestra is in the pit.

#thelionking #lionking #broadwaymusical #musical #theater #musicaltheater