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– Brazil Journal Week 18, 15 do Outubro – Joseph Thieman

October 22, 2012

Brazil Journal Week 18, October 15th , 2012

I know it’s too early to be feeling eager for the end of school, but that’s where I am. There is less than a month and a half left of school here. I have to do a jury on Wednesday, and a jury on November 25th. I have three rehearsals and four shows left for the musical I’m playing in, and only one concert with the brass ensemble. I am playing two steady gigs a week, one on drums on Thursdays, and another on trumpet on Fridays. I have been writing a lot, and I am feeling productive, which is always a good thing. Sometimes I wish that I only played one instrument, a instrument that is less demanding than the trumpet. If I played piano all the time or drums I would be able to practice for greater periods of time, and I would probably get more work. But, I am a trumpet player, so that’s what I spend most of my time working on and thinking about.

I wish I could play the concert I played in Argentina again. If we could play with the same group on a regular basis, the amount that we could all grow is immeasurable. The music grows and becomes alive when you are really comfortable with the people around you. I certainly think there are exceptions to this; for example when a group of people that are really developed, amazing players get together and jam, or play a single concert. But, as I have said about jazz, “if the music is happenin’ it’s happenin”. When that takes place, when it clicks, you don’t want to change much, you don’t want to stop playing together. The problem is always money; that’s where most of the problems come from in this world. I think that it’s easier to create a good group after you have booked the gig. Nobody I know is willing to get together and rehearse music without a gig lined up. The better the gig pays, the more you can do. And as most musicians know, that is the problem. You can’t make a record without lots of money, and you can’t depend on people unless there’s money. It’s hard to convince a restaurant manager or owner to pay $100 a head, when they can just put on the new “Unrehearsed Perfection, Jazz Starbucks” CD.

I always said that if I ever won the lottery I would produce tons of albums. I would fund projects left and right, and I would pay musicians what they actually deserve. I wouldn’t be doing charity, I would simply try to put the stuff out there. I would try to get musicians what they actually deserve. There is tons of great jazz in Louisville, but no advertising; and lets face it, music is a business too. The amount of stuff that Jamey does in this very department is truly amazing.

But that is all a dream that I think about from time to time. I feel very motivated right now, and I can’t wait to get back to Louisville and try to create some gigs and get some bands working. Unfortunately though, I will also have to return to my job delivering sandwiches at Jimmy Johns on my bicycle to try to make enough money to afford a place to live. I am spoiled right now getting to play weekly gigs, and when I get back I’m going to do my best to try to feed the monster, and find a place where I can play every week.


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