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HEAR & NOW cd release at blue whale 4.10.17!
We're celebrating "Hear & Now" with a performance at blue whale Los Angeles!
Monday 4.10.17 9PM!
ft. John Beasley (piano), Danny Janklow (saxophone), Alex Boneham (bass), and Dan Schnelle (drums)
Here's a quick look at what happened last time we came to the blue whale!
won't you join us?
This past fall (October, 2016) the Institute for Creative Music (www.ifcmusic.org) headed to Montana for two weeks of workshops and concerts in Missoula and the Flathead Valley, followed by a short stint around Eastern Washington! While we were there, Chris Teal, Chris Ziemba, and myself recorded some new music for our 2016/2017 season! This year's featured composer is none other than Prince. If you follow the IfCM on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/ifcmusic/) you may have seen some videos posted before the new year, but I wanted to take a chance to feature them here on my site as well!
Here's the latest - Chris Teal's arrangement of "Darling Nikki"
and a throwback to my arrangement of "The Greatest Romance That's Ever Been Sold"
Hope you enjoy - and please share if you like what you hear!
Happy New Year! Enjoy!
Like what you heard? Leave a comment, and grab the download: http://nickfinzer.selz.com
Today's the day, the release of my latest single "We, the People"
This song is an embodiment of the spirit of The People. When we stand together, we're stronger than when we're alone. It's about believing in something. Standing for something.
Like, comment, and share!
Download this track: http://nickfinzer.selz.com
from the February 2017 album "Hear & Now" featuring:
Lucas Pino - http://www.lucaspino.com/
Alex Wintz - http://www.alexwintzmusic.com/
Glenn Zaleski - https://www.glennzaleski.com/
Dave Baron - http://www.davebaronmusic.com/
Jimmy Macbride - https://jimmymacbride.com/
I got together with one of my longest standing musical allies recently to record something special for the month of December. Chris Ziemba is an amazing pianist and composer here in NYC, and it's always a true pleasure to make music with Chris.
I'm usually not much for "holiday themed" music, but the spirit of today's tune usually drums up a spirit of nostalgia, and I couldn't resist.
A holiday gem, "The Christmas Song" - this time hopefully not quite like you've heard it before! I love playing ballads with the pixie & plunger mute combination. It's definitely a whole different realm of trombone playing. Some of my favorites doing this type of thing - "tricky Sam" Nanton, Lawrence Brown, Wycliffe Gordon and Steve Turre!
A huge thank you to my great friend and longtime musical compatriot - Chris Ziemba.
Check out what Chris is up to:
Chris' latest album - "Manhattan Lullaby"
Our Duo album from Summer 2016 - "Live in Memphis"
Happy Holidays All! I hope it's a great one.
See ya back here next week -
I'm excited to launch the pre-order period for my upcoming February release "Hear&Now" on Outside in Music (www.outsideinmusic.com)!
CD + Digital Download: You'll get the new album "Hear & Now" in February, and an advance digital copy of the album.
Discography: You'll get 3 CD's! Hear & Now, The Chase, and Exposition (lucky you, I've only got like 20 copies of Exposition left!)
CD + Charts: You'll get a copy of "Hear & Now" plus PDF's of all the charts from the album!
CD Bundle: You'll get 5 copies of "Hear & Now"! Sharing is caring, spread the word. Who doesn't like receiving "just because" gifts from time to time?!?
Mystery Box: You'll get a few copies of "Hear & Now" plus a digital download and some other goodies. What'll you get? Ya never know... that's part of the fun!
Wanna know more?
watch the video, and get your order in today - these offers won't be back!
The New Album is coming.....
I'm super excited to share that my next album "Hear & Now" is slated for release on 2.17.17! And since Here in the USA it's an election year (duh, everyone knows this unless you've been living under a rock!) we're celebrating by having a contest!
Usually, we might give away the single from the album to our fans, but this time we're turning the usual on its head! We want to hear YOUR versions of the single from the new album: "We, the People"
For all the contest details you can watch this video:
Click below to Download "We the People" PDF!
How to enter:
- Download the Sheet Music Here
- Arrange the tune for any size ensemble (solo instrument, your regular band, a school ensemble, big band, symphony orchestra, brass band, your imagination is the limit!)
- Record a video of you and/or your group playing your arrangement of "We, the People" (anything from a simple cell phone video to hiring a video crew! Whatever works for you!
- Fill out the form below, or email a link to your video to firstname.lastname@example.org (Include your name, contact info, and ensemble info in your message)
- Contest will be judged by Nick and his band (featuring Lucas Pino, Glenn Zaleski, Alex Wintz, Jimmy Macbride, and Dave Baron)
- Contest open through 12/15/2016 (At Midnight EST)
What you'll get for entering:
- All entrants and their ensembles will get a free digital download of the single version of "We, the People" on 1.1.17; the single's release day.
- The winner will receive a gift box for their ensemble containing copies of the new album "Hear and Now" and some more goodies (who knows what cool new merch is coming...)!
- The winning arranger will get Tickets to a show of Nick's of your choice (for the arranger + 1) redeemable anytime.
- Promotion on Nick's social accounts! All entrants will get a Tweet/FB post of your entry on Nicks pages. The winning ensemble will get a feature on Nick's channel as well as Outside in Music's.
I can't wait to hear what you all come up with!
A little context: As you may be aware, Since August of 2014 I have been serving as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Jazz Trombone at Florida State University’s College of Music. An opportunity that for me, seemed to come out of nowhere. It came to be as a product of being prepared at the right time. I was in this position for the past two school years leading the school’s second big band, a graduate level improvisation class, teaching private lessons in trombone and composition, and coaching a small ensemble. I did this all while keeping up an active touring schedule, leading my own band, teaching in New York, working as a sideman in the city, and even subbing on the occasional broadway show. Although I’ve decided to continue to focus on my performing career, I’m very glad to have had the opportunity to work with the students at FSU. I think that I learned as much or more teaching them, than they learned from me! I’m proud of the work my ensembles put in every semester, reaching into parts of their musicianship I’m not sure they knew were there. We explored the depth and breadth of the jazz tradition with an ear towards the future, keeping tabs on what is happening on the scene today in addition to being attuned to the history of this music.
Today I’m posting the conclusory movement to my “Ten Year Suite.” I thought it would be a nice time to share a few things about the piece, where it came from, who played on it, provide a home for all of the movements of the suite, and talk about what comes next.
Watch the piece in it’s entirety here:
A little bit of context...
I’ve always been a fan of large ensemble music in the jazz setting. My first love in jazz was Duke Ellington. Not only for his compositional sense, but his orchestrational mastery. Duke could get so many colors out of his band! Not to mention making musical decisions based on the personalities of the members of his orchestra... Something unique that I have always liked about Duke is that he would compose suites (meaning a series of related compositions that make up parts of a larger whole). The Far East Suite, the New Orleans Suite, the Such Sweet Thunder Suite, Ellington’s arrangement of The Nutcracker Suite, and the Queen’s Suite are some of my favorites and I’ve had the opportunity to perform many of these throughout my collegiate studies and with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra on tour. For me, I think that writing and organizing music in this more long form way, allows the composer to tell a broader and in many ways more detailed story.
In combination with these Ellington influences, I began to check out some extended works by Wynton Marsalis and others who share in that same story-telling aesthetic by writing multi-movement pieces. The orchestration and combination of instruments in medium size groups like Michael Brecker’s Quindectet, Pat Metheny’s The Way Up, and Gil Evans’ wide-ranging ensembles proved to be equally influential in my development of this piece. While I was at Eastman, I had the pleasure of playing weekly in the band of a fantastic Rochester based composer: Dave Rivello. His band was comprised of 12 musicians: six brass, three reeds, and rhythm section. This band was another example of masterful orchestration, and the complex and individual search for colors within the realm of jazz composition and orchestration. During much of the time I’ve been in New York, I’ve also had the pleasure to play in a fantastic Nonet led by composer and amazing tenor saxophonist Lucas Pino. We’ve had a monthly residency at Smalls Jazz Club for about the last three years, and this band is another example of a composer writing for personalities, not just instruments.
All of this coalesced at a time after I had finished writing my first two albums for my six piece band (2013’s Exposition and 2015’s The Chase) and wanting to challenge my creativity to write for a new and different ensemble. I decided I wanted to explore a new direction for my music, try a larger ensemble, and involve some instruments that I don’t normally have the opportunity to perform with. Around this time II also received a commission from a New York based non-profit that I’m involved with called the Institute for Creative Music. And the “Ten Year Suite” was born...
The story behind the suite...
The “Ten Year Suite” is a reflection of, and a story about, life and relationships. The piece was born in the summer and fall of 2014, a time when I was realizing that I had been invested in a life in music since 2004 (the beginning of my final year of high school) and there was a lot that had happened in the interim. Many musical relationships had been made, friendships formed and lost, and an ever evolving complex relationship with family as one “grows up" and moves away.
The piece began as a collection of just a few notes, that expanded (or perhaps exploded is a better word) into the basis for all of the music found in the suite. Here you can see that initial brainstorm:
In life, it seems like people, places, memories, and relationships are all tied up within one another. Often I’m unable to separate one from the others totally. Everything is interconnected! You never know what cursory event might lead to extraordinary things in the future. These movements also reflect the complex nature of our lives and memories.
I - Re:Connection
It isn’t always at first glance that we realize the importance of someone entering our life. Sometimes it isn’t until much later that we realize the impact that person had on us. This could be a friend, a co-worker, peer, anyone really. From this point of realization we’re then set upon a journey to try and encourage this person to re-enter our lives. These days (especially for my generation) our main forms of connection are digital. For better or worse, we often hide behind the convenience and anonymity that digital communication offers, even when we are trying to connect in a meaningful way. Hence, the double meaning found in the title “Re:Connection.”
II - Middle Distance
Whether it’s a long distance, short distance, or a middle distance, physical space between the past and present always create obstacles. Being apart from family and friends is bittersweet. You’re now open to new relationships that will allow you to grow and develop as a person in a new context. But we often long for the familiarity and comfort that our childhood home and friends provide. For me, I’ve often been trapped in a kind of middle distance between new and old, here and there. This movement aims to capture that bittersweet tug of war between the past and the present.
III - Changing Times
Everyone can relate. You never really know the exact path you’ll follow in life. Even when things seem laid out clearly in front of you, the exact path becomes twisted and windy. But it is these unexpected struggles and detours that end up shaping us into who we need to be to deal with the situations that shall arise further down the path of our life’s journey. This movement is a development of ideas moving from a representation of the “simple”/“sheltered” world of academia, and transitioning into the professional spotlight.
IV - Are You Sure?
Our internal self-doubt pops up at the worst times. It is this feeling that can sometimes prevent us from taking action on the goals that matter to us most. This recurring feeling creeps into all of our subconscious at one time or another. This movement is really a representation of that feeling, what it might sound like to be trapped within the reeling mind of someone battling against this doubt to realize their artistic visions/goals.
V - Sun in Your Eyes
The sun is a symbol in so many ways. It provides life. Its path through the sky presents ideas of the cyclic nature of life. It lights our way. We miss it in the darkness. It lights the faces of those we love in a beautiful, warm, and enchanting way. But if we look straight into it, it seers into our eyes. Looking into the sun is not a pleasant experience. This piece represents the duality of symbols in our lives. Sometimes the very things we seek are the ones that cause us the most displeasure in the process.
VI - The Indefinite Road Ahead
No one really knows what lies ahead. Anything might happen. Good, bad, or neutral, at any time. But we must move forward. Always move ahead. And with conviction.
VII - Never Enough (Time)
For me, this piece represents the idea of having presence in the present moment. I tend to be one to look into the future, to plan incessantly. But, if we don’t take the time to be grateful and humbled by the moment that we’re in, how can we be happy? There is never enough time to do everything that we want to do and everyone’s time in this life is finite. This is me trying to stop, and “smell the roses."
All of the guys involved in this project are amazing, and have many of their own projects WELL worth your time to investigate! You can check out their projects by clicking on their name below:
Playing music for this mid-size “chamber jazz” type ensemble has been some of the most rewarding playing that I’ve done in my life, and I’ve wanted to share this music with more musicians that just the few who were involved in the New York City premiere. I’ve shared this music in a few other places since this February 2015 performance. In May of 2015 the Institute for Creative Music presented the “Ten Year Suite” as part of their “Jazz is Ugly; Jazz is Beautiful” festival in Rochester, NY. And I presented it again in April of 2015 at Florida State University’s College of Music with a new student “Chamber Jazz Ensemble”. Sharing the story of the music, and sharing the music itself has been a real pleasure. For me it has been a large undertaking to develop and execute this project - but I can’t wait to do it again! I’m booking some additional performances for the ensemble for the summer of 2016 and beyond, and hope to share the piece with more student “Chamber Jazz” type groups in the future!
If you want to bring the “Ten Year Suite” to your town or school, please send a message to my Booking Agent via: email@example.com
In May of 2012, I was bright-eyed, enthusiastic, soon to be a “Master of Music." A life in music, living in New York City, was upon me. A dream I’d had since I first got serious about playing jazz in 10th grade. I had six years of intensive conservatory training (not to mention the accompanying student loans), plenty of gigging and teaching experience (from my time living in both Rochester and NYC), and having the opportunity interact with and play alongside some of the top musicians in the industry. However, at the same time there also seemed to be a persistent sense of negativity amongst musicians. Some say there are “no gigs," people "don’t listen to jazz,” and the scene “isn’t what it used to be.” And while some of those things may be true, I don’t find that to mean that there isn’t ample opportunity to do what we love. Make Music.
So what did I do at that crossroads? Start a record label and put my music out into the world.
In January of 2013 I released my debut album “Exposition” and launched my label Outside in Music (www.outsideinmusic.com). For a new to the scene jazz trombonist, the album did much better than I thought, and the whole process was intensely gratifying and completely terrifying at the same time. It was (and still is) a learning experience. I’m very proud of it and so grateful to the amazing musicians who were willing to participate.
During this process I also realized that I have some useful personal traits. That is, that I am willing to take risks, willing to work as I hard as I have to to make an idea into reality, and I don’t wait around for things to happen “to” me.
Why am I saying all this? Because some people have asked me why I have a record label. It started as an outlet for my personal projects, but I realized that I wanted to help my friends and colleagues to share their work, too. There is so much great music being made without getting the attention it deserves.
I am building a community of artists who want to share their music with the world, and want to do it in a serious way. The success of one artist in our community helps the others. I’ve organized printing, publicity, radio promotion, pre/post production, mixing/mastering, artwork, photography, US and International distribution, and licensing, all on behalf of our team. I am building access to booking resources to help our artists to grow their careers past the album release. This is the beginning of what I am sure will help to enable a sustainable model for our artists to release their creative output.
However, this is not the mythical all-inclusive “record deal” where the label pays for your project. It is a collaboration, another layer of accountability to your art. This is for musicians who are looking to make an investment into their future and take a strong step forward.
In an effort to be transparent, I’ve laid out the expectations of the agreement between Outside in Music and our Artists. You can take a look at it here, and see if this could be a good fit.
"Do you want to know who you are? Don't ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you. “ … Thomas Jefferson
In my life, I know that taking action has enabled just about all of the opportunities that I’ve had. From school, to gigs, to touring, and in business. Waiting around to be the 1 in 1,000,000 who gets picked (for a big gig, a record deal,etc) is a fools errand.
I hope you’ll drop a line to the label at: info [at] outsideinmusic.com
… and that we can work on a project together soon.
Here’s some of the projects we’ve put out to date:
I'm very excited this morning to announce the official launch of my brand new book:
GET AHEAD! A Practical Guide for the Developing Jazz Trombonist
This book has been a project of mine for the last 18 months or so, since I finished up my time at the Juilliard School and began reflecting on what I learned there as a student. I realized that there were so many simple things that could have set me on my path much earlier on. Simple ideas, thoughts, and exercises to help guide me to where I want to be as a musician. So, I wrote this book in the hopes that it will be able to inform future generations of trombonists and inspire them to work hard to achieve their goals - one day at a time.
In short, this book is full of all of the stuff I wish I had practiced BEFORE I went to music school! Any student looking to go down this path is highly encouraged to check this book out.
This book is intended for any trombonist who wants to get more in depth about playing the trombone and jazz. Although the exercises are intended (and scored) for trombone, the ideas and exercises are applicable to instrumentalists of any kind.
- Sound Development Exercises
- Flexibility/Articulation/High Range Studies
- Tune Learning Skills
- Ear Training Exercises
- Basic Jazz Piano Skills
- Jazz Vocabulary Studies
You can check out the front and back cover right here:
Front Cover of GET AHEAD! A Practical Guide for the Developing Jazz Trombonist
Back cover of GET AHEAD!
** note - the amazon page at the time of this posting currently shows the book unavailable, it is updating in their system and should appear in stock shortly! Order now in my store to avoid delays!
I hope you can check it out soon - I'm excited to share this book with everyone! I would be remiss if I didn't thank all of the people who have helped to mentor me thus far, and provide the inspiration to make this book into a reality! Steve Turre, Michael Davis, Rodney Jones, Carl Allen, Mark Kellogg, James Burton, Steve Davis, Curtis Fuller, and many more - THANK YOU!
I'm en route to the Eastern Trombone Workshop this morning, and will have the first printed copies with me to share with all of you in attendance! Be sure to check out my recital Saturday March 22nd at 1130AM if you're around Fort Myer (outside Washington DC)!
Take care, and thanks for your continued support!
GET AHEAD! is published by Outside in Music: www.outsideinmusic.com
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
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!
I spent two weeks in West Palm Beach Florida with Juilliard Jazz teaching at their Summer Jazz Camp at the Oxbridge Academy. It's always inspiring to spend time with enthusiastic young musicians who want to learn about jazz! Thanks to Mr. Cleve Maloon and Oxbridge Academy for being such great hosts! Hope to make it back to work with the students again next summer!
The following week brought two performances at the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival, it was great to make it back to perform for the hometown crowd!
As for the coming weeks, I'll be back at the Bar Next Door with my trio on Monday July 22nd featuring Clovis Nicolas and Bryan Carter - 630PM. Tuesday July 30th at Smalls with Lucas Pino's No Net Nonet - 10PM.
I'm very excited to be making my first trip to Argentina for the Trombonanza festival in Santa Fe! Looking forward to working with trombonists from all over the world!
Back at the Bar Next Door on Monday August 29th - 630PM!
Hope to see you around!