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Live Music for a Longer Life

Did you know that attending live events bi-weekly has the potential to extend your life by nine years? Forget the Yoga and the Dog Walking and go to a live event to feel 21% after about 20 minutes – the Yoga only helps up to 10% and the Dog Walking 7%. And that happy feeling translates into a healthier person according to a recent study by O2 and Patrick Fagan, expert in behavioural science and Associate Lecturer at Goldsmith’s University. read more…

Jazz Girls Day Indiana

Image may contain: 6 people, including Monika Herzig, people smiling, people playing musical instruments and indoor“Let’s do it again next year” – the excitement was contagious as 20 girls packed up their instruments surrounded by their families who had come to witness the concert finale of the first Jazz Girls Day in Indiana. Guided by eight internationally acclaimed clinicians – Jamie Baum (flute), Shawn Goodman (clarinet), Monika Herzig (piano), Janiece Jaffe (vocals), Hannah Johnson (drums), Bethany Robinson (bass), Jennifer Siukola (trumpet), and Leni Stern (guitar) – the girls participated in a day of discussions, improvisation clinics, and combo coaching as well as had an opportunity to get to know each other. And to top it off – we did it not only once but twice – two days later with six young saxophone players in South Bend, Indiana. read more…

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough

We discussed the different types of licenses in my Music Industry course the other day and realized that it can be a burden for a small venue to be liable for the performance rights licenses through ASCAP and BMI and SESAC when resources are already limited. On the other hand of course, such monthly payments are supposed to ensure that songwriters get paid for their work  and performances of their music. At the end of class I overheard a conversation between some of the students. They discussed how venues might get around such burden by having performers play all their original music instead of any covers. As they considered the option, they admitted that it’s hard to listen to all original music and how the level of excitement rises once they hear a familiar melody. That made me think about the importance of programming the right mix of novelty and familiarity in order to communicate with an audience. read more…

Three Strikes

One of the important Centennial celebrations this year is for Marian McPartland, born March 20, 1918. She was fearless, determined, talented, and a leader in so many regards. This blog was initially written a few years ago for the New Music Box, my tribute to her influence as a role model for myself and so many others. It is timely to share this one more time as a reminder of the importance of providing role models to our young players as we launch the inaugural Indiana Jazz Girls Days as well as a series of concerts in celebration of Women’s History Month. Enjoy this personal testimonial and tribute to Marian McPartland’s Centennial. read more…

The Number Game

The principles of Western music theory are governed by the well-termpered system of 12 half steps combined in various patterns to form scales and melodies. I like patterns and anything that follows logical sequences – my mind just seems to be wired that way. Mathematics was always my favorite subject  – it was my High School AP class and one of my Undergraduate majors and I never missed a point on tests because once the process was clear the right answer was just a matter of putting the numbers in order. The logic and creative play with numbers also attracted me to the art form jazz. read more…