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The Brass Junkies Podcast - Pedal Note Media

The Brass Junkies, hosted by former Boston Brass members Andrew Hitz and Lance LaDuke, features interviews with the best and brightest brass players in the world. Subject matter includes everything from the serious to the ridiculous, just like the music business.
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Now displaying: August, 2019
Aug 20, 2019

TBJ118: Trumpet player and builder Trent Austin on Clark Terry, making sacrifices for your dreams and an augmented trumpet

Trumpeting Renaissance Man Trent Austin lives up to the title: entrepreneur, player, designer, and raconteur.

Celebrated trumpet artist, educator/clinician and entrepreneur, Trent Austin is a trumpeting Renaissance Man. His brilliant performances and recordings in both the jazz and classical music worlds, as well as packed-house Master Classes have garnered him rave reviews, awards and International acclaim.

A prodigy, in high school Austin performed at the opening of Euro-Disney and also was a featured performer at the 1992 Montreux Jazz Festival. He was selected first trumpet of the Maine All-State Music Festival and was awarded a full music scholarship to the University of New Hampshire to study classical trumpet. Austin’s other early career awards include being named to the prestigious Berklee Grammy® High School Jazz Band in 1993 and designated lead trumpet of the 1995 Disney All-American Show Band.  He was also a featured soloist at the 1996 Harmony Ridge Brass Festival and at the 1997 Lake Placid Institute of the Arts Seminar. 

As an in-demand pro, Trent has performed with a lengthy list of music’s Who’s Who: Tony Bennett, Natalie Cole, Joe Williams, Clark Terry, Jack Jones, Bob Brookmeyer, Maria Schneider, Peter Erskine, Arturo Sandoval, Hal Galper, Dick Oatts, Marvin Stamm, Red Holloway, Jesse Davis, Dick Johnson, Kenny Werner, and Bob Wilber. For eleven years, Austin was a featured trumpet soloist with the famed Artie Shaw Orchestra. He is currently a first-call performer in the Kansas City Metro

Austin has recorded  4  CDs.  Trumpet 101 (2001), Two-Toned (2006),  Meditations for Solo Trumpet (2009), and Trumpet 102 (2012).  Each of these efforts demonstrates Austin’s impeccable command of his instrument and marvelous artistic approach.

Trent has studied jazz improvisation privately with greats Jerry Bergonzi, Kenny Werner, Chuck Findley and engaged in extensive studies with Hal Crook and Charlie Banacos. His primary classical instructors include studies with Robert Stibler of the University of New Hampshire, Benjamin Wright of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and with Edward Carroll, formerly musical director of the New York Trumpet Ensemble.

Fiercely dedicated to the cause and development of music and jazz education, Trent was a trumpet professor  at the University of Southern Maine for 9 years and regularly provides clinics and Master Classes nationwide at various trumpet and brass conferences, including at the International Trumpet Guild Conference and other trumpet/brass conferences. Austin also maintains an active teaching studio in Kansas City, MO and worldwide online via Skype, providing trumpet and jazz improvisation lessons. 

In this fun and lively discussion, we cover:

  • Trumpeting Renaissance Man
  • Moving to Kansas City from Boston
  • Impossible Tuna
  • Impossible Tuba
  • Bribery will get you everywhere
  • Trumpet placebo
  • Machining and Geekery
  • Designing horns for Adams
  • Bonding with his dad
  • Computedated
  • Mouthpiece as a gateway drug
  • Common tweaks
  • Fraggle Rock
  • Clark Terry buttermilk story
  • A good horn cleaning regimen
  • Stanford TRB TB story
  • Nick the Bio Writer
  • Adventures in Unnecessary Trumpet Modification
  • Dents in critical areas
  • Heavy valve caps
  • Everything affects everything
  • The King of Trumpet Geeks
  • Augmented trumpet
  • The fate of brick and mortar stores
  • Specialty stores will have an easier time surviving
  • ITEC vs. ITG
  • The influence of Clark Terry
  • The Clark Terry "Keep On Keepin' On" documentary
  • Trentbot 2000
  • Everything is monetizable
  • It's all about the hang
  • Bob Malone
  • Making sacrifices for your dreams
  • How badly do you want it?
  • Sleep harder
  • Gold-plated water key screw

LINKS:

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Expertly produced by Will Houchin with love, care, and enthusiasm.

Aug 6, 2019
TBJ117: Mike Nickens, Director of "The Green Machine" pep band at George Mason University, on being unapologetic about who he is and leading by example (while carrying a scepter). He has built a gig for himself which allows him to be fully him while enabling his students to do the same.
 
From his bio:
 
Serving as Director of Campus Life Ensembles and Collaborative Arts, and as an Associate Professor of Music, Dr. Michael W. Nickens (a.k.a. Doc Nix) is most recognized as the leader of the “Green Machine”, which in 2015 was named the #1 pep band in college basketball by the NCAA and commended by the Senate and House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia. In addition, Dr. Nickens launched Mason’s fife and drum corps and WGI world-champion drumline, and oversees Mason’s winterguard. This collection of performing units, known as the “Green Machine Ensembles”, are internationally known for their thrilling, high-energy performances at Mason ceremonies and basketball games, professional sports games and events (Capitals, Nationals, Wizards, and Redskins), community events (Celebrate Fairfax, and the Nike Womens’ Half Marathon), and marching competitions, as well as their popular internet videos that have over 100 million views collectively.

Dr. Nickens was named the 2016 Faculty Member of the Year by the George Mason University Alumni Association. He served as a Faculty Representative to the Board of Visitors, Chair of the Faculty of the College of Visual and Performing Arts, Chair of the CVPA  Diversity Committee, and as a member of the School of Music’s Graduate Committee. Having joined the faculty of Mason’s School of Music in fall 2006, he has taught courses in sight-singing/ear training, popular music in America, improvisatory music, brass methods, applied tuba, composition, chamber music, and jazz improvisation, as well as collaborations with Mason’s School of Dance. In addition, he was a co-founder and co-conductor of the Colonial Athletic Association’s “Breakfast with the Bands” intercollegiate pep band showcase.

During summers, he has taught tuba and euphonium, conducting, jazz performance, composition, improvisation, chamber music, large ensemble performance, and theory at the Performing Arts Institute at Wyoming Seminary in Kingston, Pennsylvania, the Music, Art, and Theatre (MAT) Camp in Evanston, Wyoming, and the Northern Arizona University Music Camp in Flagstaff, Arizona, and at Mason’s Potomac Arts Academy.  He has also coached a professional marching ensemble, “Mix It Up”, at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia.
 
Dr. Nickens was born in Washington DC and grew up in the Fairfax County Public Schools in Alexandria, Virginia. He completed his academic degrees from the Manhattan School of Music, Yale University, and the University of Michigan.

In this fun and lively discussion, we cover:

  • Strain the pool
  • Mouthpieces
  • Intentionally unhelpful
  • Fun standard euphonium literature
  • Doc Nix
  • Lance's newsletter
  • Went to some schools
  • Hard choices, mid-stream
  • George Mason University Men's Basketball team in 2006
  • Starting The Green Machine at George Mason
  • Encourage musicians to find their way to their best self
  • Building things from the ground up
  • Turning his gig into a tenure-track position
  • Picking tunes for the band, based on the world around him
  • From Bon Jovi to Snoop Dog
  • Creation of the arrangements
  • How to teach students to arrange
  • Broadening the instrumentation of the group beyond "traditional" pep bands
  • Using what you have
  • Empowering himself
  • Timing the tunes within a game
  • The budget (from the Dean of Admissions)
  • Additional funds coming through University Life and tuition dollars through the School of Music
  • Doing fundraising directly through their website
  • Wearing a pimp suit
  • 18-19 suits overall
  • Carrying a scepter, wearing shades
  • Blockbusting
  • The Green Machine as a manifestation of who he is
  • Conductor/Drum Major/Mascot
  • Being unapologetic about who he is and leading by example
  • Mr. Miyagi
  • Making love and joy happen
  • Andrew is a hater hater
  • Playing a gig at Duquesne University
  • The current makeup of The Green Machine
  • The nine groups which exist under The Green Machine umbrella
  • Celebrating Aretha Franklin
  • Playing with the National Symphony to backup Nas (one of his heroes)
  • 8-bit comedy rap videos
  • The odor was fine

LINKS:

Want to help the show? Here are some ways:

  • Help others find the show by leaving a rating and review on iTunes.
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  • Show some love to our sponsors: The brass program at The Mary Pappert School of Music at Duquesne University and Parker Mouthpieces (including the Andrew Hitz and Lance LaDuke models.)
  • Tell your friends!

Expertly produced by Will Houchin with love, care, and enthusiasm.

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