• Mural designed by Zach Medler
  • No Matter Where Noir – CD release scheduled May 2016
  • Ecalypse CD by Brent Laidler

Thanks for stopping by...

A good friend once told me that if you want music to stay fun, don't ever try to make your living at it - I'm happy to say that it's still fun!!!regina colt

I’m a composer, arranger and musician with a day job… My "side" career so far has been amazing. I have friends and clientele that include some of the best musicians in the country, and also in the world! I’ve performed with amazing people, including jazz and pop recording artists, stars from Broadway, television and film – written music for video games, commercials, award winning documentary films, television, marching bands and now even podcasts.  Oh yeah, I have a few CD's as well, some got national air play.  Wow.
It's a blessing I hope to never take for granted.


February 2016 - Letter from the Editor

Next month will see the relaunch of my podcast, "Music, Mayhem and Motivation."  What an amazing opportunity!
It became obvious that the focus on Jazz specifically was too narrow.  Though I love to play and still plan to create opportunities to bring students and professionals together in my "Live Sessions," I can now also talk with students and educators, about music programs at all levels, and with adult players from amateurs to professionals.
We plan to cast a wide net.
But the thing they all have in common is learning to manage time, organize and coordinate, and even make the best of a bad situation.
These are some serious life skills.

After yet another recent meeting I felt was rather unproductive, I said to a musician friend, "Life would be so much easier if instrumental music were mandatory in school"
The organization (especially at higher levels) goes like this...
The musicians get their music 1 to 2 weeks in advance - are expected to prepare at home - and show up for rehearsal knowing their part and ready to learn what is required of them by the conductor.  After two rehearsals, the Symphony is then able to produce an amazing performance of two hours or more that sound like they've been rehearsing for weeks or months!  It's not rocket science...

Another thing which tends to get under my skin a bit is when you tell a musician something starts at 8 o'clock - that means to be in your seat, with all your equipment and materials, and ready to GO. At. 8. O'clock.  Sometimes I could weep for the people who try to run a meeting any other way.
But that is simply digression.

I hope everyone enjoys the new focus and format.  Also check out the interesting variety of podcasts as well as mine in Dr. Will's Neighborhood.
Thanks and take care,

January 2016 – Letter from the Editor

Years ago I had a subscription to “Gig Magazine.” It had a lot of helpful information about promoting and marketing your band, how to create opportunities, make an inexpensive demo and a standout press kit, and yes - find gigs.
Then it suddenly changed…
If you wanted to be a Serious Musician, then it was time to quit your day job, go on the road and make a commitment to follow your dream. The helpful advice to those of us with day jobs and families to feed stopped. Playing locally and in your spare time branded you “Amateur.”

In the last dozen years, as I became a real student of jazz, I found that the “Jazztablishment” has some definitive lines of demarcation as well - although it’s more about your level of musical ability rather than your capacity to live out of a van - but the labels are handed out: “Professional” or “Musician” and finally “Amateur.” Everyone gets adjudicated, but don’t let it get you down. Seriously – I’ll say it again.
Don’t let it get you down.

Do you have fun when you play? Are you excited and thrilled when you learn something new?  Are you driven to practice and improve?
Yes? Well, then Great!  You are totally on the right track.

Are you John Coltrane? Are you Freddie Hubbard?
No? Well, then the “Jazztablishment” is NOT your demographic. Quit banging your head against the wall!

Play for yourself, play for your friends and family, play from your heart – and let the stress and self critique go… You’re doing the right thing, and it’s going to be okay. If you keep doing it, it’s going to be even better.
As amazing as my own story has been so far, don’t believe for a second that I’m among the “In Crowd” when it comes to Jazz.  I've never played a single solo that would cause a Downbeat critic to wax poetic. [chuckle] But my personal talents are improving in composition and my musical proficiency grows when I write tunes that I can’t play… yet. But there is no shame in recognizing how many people are better than me, and if I approach them with a good attitude and willingness to learn – they are incredible teachers!

This whole concept is about helping you to find those cats in your neighborhood.
Check out the podcast at www.drwill.com
Thanks for your time,