In 2013 Joe Dollard helped me learn some jazz improvisation ideas as we hung out probably a dozen times, jamming to his play-along recordings. A euphonium player that I knew in the U.S. Navy Band, Joe was (and remains) a good friend. He suggested I do a jazz recital and that he would participate. So we did.
I gathered together a rhythm section and got permission at my church to perform there. The drummer and pianist were students at George Mason University–Marty Risemberg and Clif McCall. The bass player was a colleague in the Navy Band–Kyle Augustine. And the guitar player was my friend Tony Halloin, normally seen with a tuba in the Navy Band, and a member of the Navy Band Brass Quartet. Even though it was only one performance, I gave the group a name–JAM (“Jazz Art Music”).
Here are some clips from that recital that took place on September 29. Playing jazz was a little out of my expertise but was a solid learning experience for me. And fun.
Peter Masseurs, former principal trumpet of the Concertgebouw Orchestra
At the Sweelinck Conservatorium in Amsterdam, my primary course was baroque trumpet with Friedemann Immer. But I also took modern trumpet lessons from Concertgebouw Orchestra principal trumpeter, Peter Masseurs. He was a very good teacher, advocating for a lot of declamatory expression in trumpet solos like the Arutunian Concerto.
The second-most important course I took at the Conservatorium was a baroque chamber course with continuo professor, Veronica Hampe. She was a wonderful and interesting teacher, originally from Germany. She told the story of how her father, in post-WWII reconstruction Germany, had spent about a month’s salary on tickets for his family to see Mozart’s Magic Flute. She lived in a tiny apartment to the side of the Oude Kerk (“Old Church”), and she kept her complete works of various composers all around her apartment, even under her bed. She loved music, and transmitted that love to her students.
Baroque violinist, Daniel Elyar
In Ms. Hampe’s class, we played music that mostly included cornetto mixed with strings and continuo, but we also did some pieces for baroque trumpet. And at the end of the year, we performed the Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 by Bach. I have kept up a friendship and also a professional relationship with one other student in that chamber music course–American baroque violinist, Daniel Elyar.
I also took some jazz trumpet lessons from American expat, Charles Green, and even tried to learn medieval chant, but had to give up on these, because I started to get busy outside of the conservatory doing gigs. More on that later…