Viewing entries tagged
Jazz Trombone

Facet Mutes Presents: What Should I Do

Facet Mutes Presents: What Should I Do

We're super happy to share this new video presented by our GREAT friends over at Face Mutes! (check them out at www.facetmutes.com) - from the upcoming Nick Finzer and Chris Ziemba duo release "Live in New York" - this is one of Chris's tunes called "What Should I Do?"

Visit out friends at Facet Mutes by clicking below

Click here to visit out GREAT friends at FACET MUTES!

Click here to visit out GREAT friends at FACET MUTES!

 

 

6 reasons you should be taking online courses! Vlog S.2 Ep. 2

6 Reasons you should be learning Music with Online Courses

 

Across so many industries online learning has taken hold in a real way, and is proving to be a highly effective tool! After taking several online courses myself, I was thinking about several ways that musicians could take advantage of these online learning opportunities! 

 

1 - Learn at your own pace

You can take your time through each lesson, making sure you get the point of each session. Repeat things at will, pause and interact with the video sessions, and have the time you need to process the information being presented. There are no time constraints! 

 

2 - it's like having a private instructor all the time!

These sessions allow you to visit a private instructor any time you like, getting inside information directly from folks who are making their lives in music!

 

3 - As an aspiring professional it's important to learn from as many teachers as possible. 

I think it's really important to learn from a wide variety of teachers. Everyone has their own way of thinking about things, and a unique way of explaining things as well. Sometime what you need is to hear the same information presented to you in a different way - I know that has been so helpful to me throughout my career! With an online course you can get those opinions without having to track down the teacher in person!

 

4 - It's a great value.

It would cost so much more to get all these lessons from a week to week teacher! If an hour lesson from a top professional is usually $100, a $99 course for five hours of video content is a STEAL! Not to mention that you can repeat those lessons time and time again, and the supplemental materials that come along with the course. 

 

5 - Lifetime Access

You know how you always wished you had an archive of all the lessons you took with your private instructor? Here's a great way to have the ability to check back in at any point, and see if you want to revisit any of the material you worked on before. And even more amazing - if the instructor decides that they want to add more content to the course? Bam! More lessons for you! The sooner you sign up the bigger the life long value you'll be getting from the course. 

 

6 - Location Independence

The hardest thing about getting lessons with musicians is scheduling. Do you have to travel to them? Are they on the road? It can be a real task trying to just line up a mutually workable time. Not to mention what If you live half way across the world from that teacher? With online courses you can be anywhere in the world and learn from the best in the business, whenever you want. 

 

In the case of my course "Get Ahead" it even comes with 5 complimentary video coaching sessions to get direct feedback about your playing! This is only available during the course launch period which is open now until June 19th, so make sure that you get on board to make summer 2017 your most effective yet! 

 

Can't wait to hear what you all are up to - 👍

 

Nick

 

Major Scale Workout for Jazz Trombone

As the semester settles in for most of the college students out there, I wanted to throw out a few thoughts about major scales that might go above and beyond what you normally do with them. Most of us are familiar with all 12 major scales, but are we really comfortable with all the permutations of that key center? Especially as improvisers we strive for fluency in and around all the key centers we might come across while improvising over all sorts of tunes. 

 

When I was teaching at Florida State, we would choose one key per week and do all of the exercises that I talk about in this video, and then move onto another key the following week. After a few times around the circle of 4ths/5ths you’ll be amazed at how much more fluent you are while improvising! Besides getting familiar with the tonal material, it is very important to focus on the details of your trombone playing (or whatever instrument you’re playing these exercises on). Focus on achieving great attacks on each note (and that they’re exactly the same on note regardless of register), having a great sound, and playing with accurate pitch/rhythm! Metronomes, Tuners, and Drone tracks are our friends! 

To get all of this in hard copy, you can check out the links below the video to get a copy of “GET AHEAD: a Practical Guide for the Developing Jazz Trombonist" 

http://www.nickfinzermusic.com/store#store-category=books

Until next time, please enjoy! See you next week - 

Nick  

Just Passed the Horizon - Nick Finzer & Chris Ziemba Live in Memphis!

Originally presented on my album "The Chase" released in 2015, "Just Passed the Horizon" is the closing theme of the record. For me, the tune is a reminder to keep looking ahead, and try to journey closer to the projects and goals that are just beyond reach. The inspiration for the tune came after playing a series of concerts with a very inspiring mentor, and pondering what was to come as I looked out the airplane window on the way back to New York.

 

I've presented this tune in a number of settings from the original sextet version with my band (trombone, tenor saxophone, guitar, piano, bass, drums) scaled all the way up for big band, and now all the way back down to a duo setting.

 

We recorded this as part of our August 2016 digital release - "Live in Memphis" on Outside in Music (www.outsideinmusic.com) - from a live in studio concert at Young Avenue Sound in Memphis, Tennessee. 

 

We hope you enjoy! Please leave us your thoughts in the comments section, and share with your communities!

 

See you next time -

 

Nick

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From Live in Memphis - Chris Ziemba's "Manhattan Lullaby"

The title track from Chris Ziemba's debut album "Manhattan Lullaby" (available on Outside in Music - www.outsideinmusic.com) is one of my favorite of Chris' compositions. When I first heard him perform the tune, I was mesmerized. Chris has such a unique voice in the way he interprets the jazz tradition. From Eubie Blake and James P Johnson to Keith Jarrett and beyond, Chris has all of that history inside of him. 

This tune is inspired by the duality of life in a fast paced, complicated city, like New York. It's about finding your personal tranquility in a sea of humanity. Being in an uncomfortable place to allow yourself to be pushed and inspired by the energy and passion of the people around you. I think that's why we love New York. There nowhere that has the same energetic, inspirational, aspirational buzz. 

Please enjoy, and share, Manhattan Lullaby

"Nick Finzet & Chris Ziemba: Live in Memphis" will be available on Outside in Music (www.outsideinmusic.com) on August 19th. 

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First Preview! "Conception" Live in Memphis! featuring Nick Finzer and Chris Ziemba

Following up on the heels of the preview video of "Stella by Starlight" is the first track off of the upcoming Digital-Only Release: "Nick Finzer & Chris Ziemba: Live in Memphis"!

Chris and I were amidst a run of concerts and educational workshops around the Southern US back in March of 2016, and set our sights on recording our duos. Chris and I have been playing together since our high school days in the "Eastman Youth Jazz Orchestra" until now! We've done a lot of playing together, and I think that the interplay that we've developed provides for some interesting versions of the tunes on this album. 

We stopped in Memphis, Tennessee on our way from Birmingham, Alabama to Little Rock, Arkansas to record at a great local studio: Young Avenue Sound. We had a nice studio audience that afternoon, and of course Chris and I made it a point to enjoy some Memphis BBQ right after! 

This composition is by the pianist George Shearing and has been recorded by many in the history of jazz including Miles Davis. Here's our take on "Conception"!

Let us know what you think in the YouTube comments, and be sure to pay Chris a visit on his Facebook page. 

"Live in Memphis" will be available on Outside in Music (www.outsideinmusic.com) on August 19th. Preorder info coming soon! 

One of My Favorite Cole Porter Compositions...

Today we're featuring an original arrangement of one of my favorite Cole Porter compositions, his tune "What is This Thing Called Love?" Although it's a widely played tune, it has always stuck with me. I think this could be because this tune appears on the first JJ Johnson record that I started listening to when i was first falling in love with jazz - "JJ in Person!" ( which somewhat ironically, indicates on the liner notes of the LP that it was recorded at a live performance in Rochester, NY! Although, the applause may or may not sound dubbed in... I'll let you decide for yourself!). 

I always loved the way JJ augmented the form of a tune by adding introductions and interludes that used material from the tune. I tried to draw from that inspiration by adding both an introduction and interlude, allowing both the drummer and the soloists a moment to step out in front of the band to be featured before the ensemble plays all together. After hearing the recording of this arrangement back, I can't help but to acknowledge the Slide Hampton influence on the presentation of this composition. 

I can't wait to hear what you all think of the arrangement! Please share and leave a comment!

Until next week - be well!

- Nick  

All the Things You Are - New Arrangement!

Today, I'm sharing my version of the Jerome Kern mainstay "All the Things You Are" - a tune well known by just about every jazz musician! 

The tune is a great example of the creative tunes written by Broadway show composers of that time period. Kern uses some slick (but simple!) harmonic devices to slide between key centers while repeating the melodic material between sections, making it sound new, and familiar at the same time. 

I've taken the tune, and added a spin to it by changing the meter into 5/4 and incorporating a new bass line that shifts the feeling of the original harmonies. 

I think a tune like "All the Things You Are" is a great example of the amazing melodic sense of these composers of the early 20th century. Their melodies can be stretched and reharmonized without losing their essence. To me, this is essential to the development of great melodic writing. 

Here you'll hear the always swinging rhythm section of Dave Baron on Bass, Jimmy Macbride on Drums, and Chris Ziemba on piano. Enjoy!

Pop and Jazz, a Marriage since the birth of the Music - Stevie Wonder Cover - Overjoyed

Too many amazing musicians have been leaving us as of late, and it has made me think about trying to show these musicians our love and appreciation while they can still receive it! Most recently we lost the genius of Prince - but another one of the greatest songwriters of the second half of the 20th century is still going strong, and I hope we can continue to appreciate him while he’s still with us! The man I’m talking about is the amazing Stevie Wonder.

The new video for this week features one of my all time Stevie Wonder favorites: “Overjoyed.” I’ve recorded this once before in a duo setting with my good friend and pianist Chris Ziemba. I’ve also played it on tour all over the country in the quartet setting, and it is always a treat to perform. 

In this arrangement I’ve taken the usual format of the song, and put a new spin on it. Changing the meter and adding some additional harmonies, I think this tune translates fantastically across genre boundaries. To me, this song has all the same great melodic qualities of tunes written by the great song writers of the first half the 20th century. Strong melodies and harmonic shapes that lend themselves to be interpreted in a multitude of ways. Stevie Wonder is right up there with Gershwin, Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, etc.

This video features the great musicianship of my longtime collaborators Jimmy Macbride, Chris Ziemba, and Dave Baron. I hope you enjoy!

Let me know what you think of this in the comments, and if you like what you hear, share with your friends! 

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Nick Finzer - Songs & Stories Quartet - Maria (Leonard Bernstein) from West Side Story

Maria by Leonard Bernstein; arranged by Nick Finzer

In addition to my band Hear&Now Ive been working on a number of other projects, that not only feature my original music, but some arrangements I’ve done of other peoples music. The concept for my latest quartet project - the Songs & Stories quartet - is to reimagine and recreate some iconic pieces from the jazz repertoire as well as music that has a connection to my life. 

The new video that Im sharing today, features one of these pieces that has been influential on my musical development. This video is an arrangement I did of Leonard Bernsteins composition Maria from the musical West Side Story.

Featuring: Chris Ziemba (piano), Dave Baron (bass) and Jimmy Macbride (drums)

This song has stayed with me since the beginning of my musical upbringing. Some of my earliest memories of elementary school music classes I have include watching the movie version of West Side Story. While I was in middle school, my main focus wasnt actually trombone, but singing. When I was in 7th grade I performed “Maria as part of a musical theatre-themed choir concert. At the time, having a solo piece in the midst of this choir concert seemed like a big deal! And my family remembers it as one of the important moments in my musical beginnings. 

When I was brainstorming repertoire for this new project, I wanted to include music that has a strong personal story connection - and this one certainly has that. There have been a few jazz renditions of this tune (notably by Dave Brubeck and Paul Desmond), but I think we presented a new take on this beautiful song. If you enjoy the video, I hope youll share it with your communities, and be sure to let me know what you think in the comments section! 

Until next time, 

- Nick

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March Jazz Arrangement Giveaway!

Happy St. Patricks Day All!

A little late this month - but none-the-less here is March's arrangement. This month I'm featuring a transcription for jazz sextet:

Trumpet
Trombone
Tenor Saxophone
Piano
Bass
Drums

Ray Bryant's "Tonk" by the Jazztet! Be sure to check out the original for reference!

Order the arrangement for free, at my store!

I'm also excited this month because I'll be launching my brand new book "GET AHEAD!" this Friday March 21st, at the Eastern Trombone Workshop! Check it out HERE - or come get one in person!

Thanks all -

Nick

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Solo Jazz Trombone Videos - Started this week!

Greetings All!

I wanted to take a chance to share with everyone, my latest project! I've started a YouTube video series that will feature some solo trombone arrangements of some of my favorite tunes from jazz composers.

The first one features a composition by the great JJ Johnson, his tune

Judy

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Judy

 was originally recorded by JJ along with Kai Winding on "The Great Kai and JJ" released on Impulse! in 1961.

The arrangement is pretty simple - and opening melodic statement followed by a few improvised choruses and the melody restated. Hope you enjoy! Please do leave feedback in the comments section of the YouTube video, and subscribe to the channel to see the next video!

See ya next time! Happy Superbowl Sunday!

- Nick

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Free Jazz Arrangements for 2014! January: Triste

For 2014, I've decided to post a new arrangement to my online store each month - free! Feel free to share and perform with school ensembles, bands you play with, or just to read through.

January's arrangement is an octet arrangement of Antonio Carlos Jobim's great piece "Triste".

Vist: https://nickfinzer.storenvy.com  to download today! After February 1st it won't be free...! Let me know what you think about it by dropping me a line at nick@nickfinzermusic.com or leaving a note on my FB page.

Here's some more about this month's arrangement:

Difficulty: Intermediate
Instrumentation:
Alto Saxophone
Tenor Saxophone
Trumpet
Trombone
Guitar
Piano
Bass
Drums
Description:
This octet arrangement of Antonio Carlos Jobim’s “Triste" was originally written for the Jazz Standard Youth Orchestra in New York City for one of their weekly performances. This arrangement features the lead voice as the trumpet, with solos for any instrument, and a shout chorus that trades with the drummer. This arrangement includes full score plus eight parts, provided in .PDF format.
Performance Notes:
This tune is in the traditional Bossa Nova style from Brazil made popular first in New York by jazz musicians like Stan Getz. Be sure to check out some of the original recordings that feature the composer Antonio Carlos Jobim on piano (both instrumental and vocal versions). The intro layers in starting with the rhythm section and then adds in the horns.This intro should grow gradually into the first opening statement of the melody at letter B. Each repeat should be played twice (i.e. as written). The form of the song is all of letter B,C, and D (the form of the sections is ABAC with a tag), the first time is the statement of the melody and then opens up into solos. Each part has chord changes, so anyone who wants to can improvise! Measure 43 is cued after solos are finished (marked “After Solos”), ensemble should play strong to send off each drum solo section. At the conclusion of letter F (end of measure 76) D.S. back to letter C (measure 9). Play letter C as before for the recapitulation of the melody, and go directly to the CODA at the end of measure 40. The Coda should be played as written, with diminuendo. The last chord should come in strong, drums be sure to set it up. Be sure to attend to the detail of phrasing each ensemble passage together, minding articulations and making a dynamic statement with each phrase!

Hope you enjoy this arrangement! Questions? Email Nick at nick@nickfinzermusic.com

Want help with this? Contact Nick to schedule a consultation or in person session - nick@nickfinzermusic.com

For more arrangements visit Nick’s online store at www.nickfinzermusic.com

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Fall is here - busy, busy, busy!

Greetings all!

I hope the start of the new school year is treating everyone well! I know it's been a busy fall so far here in New York!

I'm excited to get underway once again this year with the Jazz Standard Youth Orchestra! The second week of auditions are this weekend October 13th and the season kicks off promptly October 20th! This is a free program for students in middle and high school - please send interested students our way! It's an amazing opportunity to perform each week at the Jazz Standard! Not to mention all of the amazing guest artists David O'Rourke brings in!

This fall has also given me the opportunity to share the music from my January release Exposition with Arizona! I will be at the Nash in Phoenix on Saturday October 26th, giving a master class the day before at Arizona state university, and on Sunday I'll be a guest of the Tucson Jazz Institute! Can't wait for these performances!

Additionally I'll be able to present my own groups in the coming months here in New York! November 3rd we return to The National for "The National Sessions", and my trio with Jimmy Macbride and Clovis Nicolas will be back at the Bar Next Door on December 2nd!

The Institute for Creative Music makes it's return to Montana this November thanks to another grant award from the plum creek foundation, from the 17th - 24th, this time in Missoula! The week prior, November 11-16th the Ifcm will be I residence in Buffalo and Rochester. Really looking forward to expanding on the programming we began last year!

Whew! And last but not least I am excited to share with you all that I am a video blogger for the new website by the Eastman school of Music's Institute for Music Leadership, polyphonic.org.  We are three posts in so far, and can't wait to continue this collaboration! You can check out the videos at polyphonic.org and by subscribing to my YouTube channel at YouTube.com/nickfinzer


A lot of news to share! And more to come I'm sure!

Thanks for supporting the music, looking forward to seeing some of you out at some gigs!

Until next time,

             -  Nick


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Exposition - Continued...

Hey All!

I'm excited to say that since Exposition's release back on January 22nd, it has been in the top 50 of the JazzWeek charts for the past five consecutive weeks! Mitchell Feldman of MFA has been hard at work spreading the good word about my release, and I'm very glad for the results.

In other news, I recorded an interview with Joe Dimino of Neon Jazz radio in Kansas City two weeks ago! Really enjoyed talking to Joe about Exposition, you can check it out here.

Moving forward I am pleased to have three upcoming dates to celebrate the music from Exposition!

First is next Sunday - March 24 at ShapeShifter Lab at 7PM on a double bill with Lucas Pino and his No Net Nonet. More details HERE.

April 7th will bring my group back to The National for their National Sessions for the first time since the album release show at the beginning of February. We'll play 6-10PM and it is free! (50th and Lexington in Manhattan)

Third is another exciting gig, my first gig at the Bar Next Door in the Village. I'll be performing as part of the Emerging Artist Series on Thursday April 18th - 630PM!

Thanks again for your continued support! Hope to see you at one of the upcoming gigs!

 - Nick

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Exposition Released Today!

Nick's Debut Album Exposition is Released Today!

Greetings Friends, Fans, and Family,

Happy New Year! I hope your year is off to a great start. Things are picking up for me here in New York, and today is especially exciting. Today marks the release of my first album as a leader, Exposition. I couldn't be happier with how it turned out, and I hope you all will be too.

The band features some great colleagues that I attended The Juilliard School with:
Lucas Pino - Tenor Saxophone
Alex Wintz - Guitar
Samora Pinderhughes - Piano
Dave Baron - Bass
Jimmy Macbride - Drums

This release marks the culmination of this project which started in April of 2012 with a Kickstarter campaign. Thank you again, to all of the people who backed the project! The success of that Kickstarter campaign really got the ball rolling. Thank you backers! There is a great Video Preview of Exposition by Marie LeClaire on YouTube HERE.


Starting today, you will be able to find Exposition for sale online at CDBaby.comiTunesAmazon, and some limited edition copies for sale through the online store on my website. It will also be available to stream on services like Pandora and Spotify. Please visit my website at www.nickfinzermusic.com for links to these retailers.

I will be celebrating the release of Exposition with two official CD release events. Here in NYC it will be held Sunday, February 10th at The National, and a two part CD Release event in Rochester on Wednesday February 13th. See the listing information below:

NYC Release:

Sunday, February 10th, 2013
The National (50th St and Lexington Ave)
Sets at 7 & 830PM
No Cover Charge or Minimum

Rochester Release:

Part I
Wednesday, February 13th, 2013
Live Radio Broadcast at Jazz 90.1 FM (Online stream available worldwide at www.jazz901.org)
7 - 8PM
Featuring compositions commissioned through Exposition's Kickstarter Campaign. 

Part II
930PM
Lovin' Cup
300 Park Pointe Dr.
Rochester, NY 14623
$5 Cover

I certainly hope you might be able to join us for one of these performances! You can connect to the official facebook event pages by clicking HERE for NYC or HERE for ROCHESTER

New Gigs of Note:
Sunday March 24th at Shapeshifter Lab - Double Bill with Lucas Pino's No Net Nonet
Thursday April 11th at Bar Next Door Emerging Artist Series - with Dave Baron and Jimmy Macbride


Thank you all for taking the time to read this note, and for your continued interest in me and my music! 

Best wishes for a prosperous 2013!

- Nick

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