Jacob Teichroew Quintet – “Icicle” Video

It may not be the best song for the onset of Summer, but I hope you enjoy it anyway:

This video of my composition “Icicle” was taken at my birthday show at Brooklyn Launchpad. Huge thanks to the Jacob Teichroew Quintet (Syberen Van Munster, Jarrett Cherner, Christopher Nolte, and Ronen Itzik) Josh Deutsch, Nico Soffiato, and the members of Rhododendron (Nico Dann, Sebastien Ammann, Lauren Falls, Matt Plummer, Nathaniel Morgan, and Owen Stewart-Robertson) for contributing to a great night of music, and a really fun birthday. More videos from this show are coming soon.

In case you missed the Launchpad show, the Jacob Teichroew Quintet will play at Tomi Jazz on June 9th, and the Brooklyn Lyceum on June 13th. Exact times will be announced shortly.

“It’s Really Tough, Right?”

The title of this post is a recent quote from a concerned mother of one of my students. She was nervous about the prospect of her daughter attending a performing arts high school, and then being thrust against her will into the throes of life as a professional musician.

Coincidentally, I’ve been asked to speak and perform at Washington and Jefferson College in Washington, PA this week to help eager scholars wrap their minds around what being a working musician entails. During my “masterclass” on Friday, April 27th, I’ll perform with a local rhythm section, and later that night I’ll be a featured soloist with the college’s jazz ensemble.

As I’ve been preparing for my talk, I’ve come to realize what a bizarre industry I’m involved with. I planned to talk about the artistic goals and challenges of being a musician in New York, yet I notice that the section of my talk pertaining to that subject is proportional to the time in my daily life that I actually have to devote to artistic concerns. That is to say, it’s a very small part of my speech.

Also, as I describe the jazz “scene,” I realize that being a jazz musician is more like belonging to a religion than it is to being part of an industry. “Jazz” may not signify anything specific, but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t mean “teaching beginning woodwinds in under-funded public schools,” or “playing Lady Gaga at weddings.” And yet, my entire social (and arguably spiritual) life revolves around a community of devoted, sacrificing, and hard-working jazz musicians.

As I responded to the mother of my student, yeah i guess it is tough. One question that I’m beginning to ask myself, but which I’m certainly not prepared to answer, is “why work so hard to be a member of the jazz world?”