A Guitar Christmas, Joe Pass, Santa Claus is Coming to Town

Do you listen to Joe Pass? If yes, pass GO and collect $200. If not you better catch up on some listening!

Listen to how many different ways he treats the melody throughout the piece, true mastery, ENJOY!

Note: The video below was accidentally embedded but a great one as well so I will leave it on here. Wes Montgomery on guitar and Jimmy Smith Keys.

A Guitar Christmas- Al Di Meola, Carol of the Bells

For those of you who don’t know about Al Di Meola,  you are missing out especially if you are a guitar aficionado. Di Meola’s style is a blending of Latin influences with jazz fusion. He is known for blistering solo work and has collaborated with a wide variety of musicians. These partnerships range from rock/metal guitarists Steve Vai and Joe Satriani to fusion jazz master Chick Corea.  From  flamenco giant Paco De Lucia to pop singer songwriter Paul Simon.

Happy holidays, hope you enjoy the guitar inspired Christmas music.

A Jazz Musicians Christmas

“Playing nice and simple for the ol’ folks…

If they heard my b5’s and minor 9’s I’d be headin’ for the unemployment line…”

I heard this song the other day and had to post it. Musicians all have to play gigs at times where the music means more to the consumers than the musicians(beats digging ditches I always say!) This song a jazz musician lets out his hardships about playing Xmas music for the holidays and not being able to throw in his favorite jazz licks.

Pretty funny and maybe a new Xmas tune to many of you.

Enjoy!

Amazing Artistry on Drums, Buddy Rich

A colleague of mine, Carlos Rull, recently posted a Buddy Rich drum solo. I always knew Buddy was a great drummer, but, I never really knew about him until his older days when he was known to be somewhat of a ‘colorful’ character. His legendary rants often precede his reputation as an incredible musician.

Seeing this video blew my mind! Rich’s sheer artistry and technique are spectacular. As much as I love music of all genres and technical prowess, highbrow classical to 3 chord punk,  the level of artistry you are about to witness is one of my favorite parts of listening to music. The total control over every note, rhythm and sound only a true master can offer.

Carlos is a great drummer himself…make sure you check out his blog!!

Carlos Rull’s Blog Post of Buddy Rich Drum Solo

Lets Take Five for Dave Brubeck, RIP Dec. 5, 2012

Sad day in  the music world! Jazz legend Dave Brubeck passed away on December 5th just one day shy of his 92nd birthday.

A pianist and composer, Brubeck was known for writing in odd meters. Two of his most famous compositions are, “Take Five,” and “Blue Rondo A La Turk.”

One of the first jazz tunes I ever performed was the aforementioned “Blue Rondo A La Turk.” It is a piece penned in an odd 9/8 meter; 2+2+2+3 alternating with measures of a compound 9/8 meter 3+3+3.  The rhythmic drive of Brubeck’s music was rare in jazz, but, easy for listeners to feel and relate to the strong beat.

For a young musician like myself who grew up influenced by Heavy Metal and Hard Rock genres the composer’s music was a natural fit. Any fan of the Progressive Rock band Rush would be familiar with the odd meters Brubeck employed.

Godspeed to Dave Brubeck, Rest in Peace and thank you for all the music!

Guitar, Wine & Relaxation…a Black Friday Alternative, A San Diego Guitarists Performance Blog

Once again, I had the pleasure of performing at Orfila Vineyards and Winery in Escondido. This time the day after Thanksgiving.  I really didn’t know what kind of crowd to expect. Would everyone stay home? Be burned out? Turkey hangover? Shopping?

Well, the first sign it was going to be a nice crowd was there was no parking except the overflow. Walking up with my gear, it was packed. That always gets the musician juices flowing. But, it was also nice to see folks using their ‘Black Friday’ to relax. Even better they were supporting some locals over the big box chain stores. Including Orfila, myself and local jewelry maker Katy of KD Custom Jewelry, who’s always a pleasure to work with. Darn Good Food Truck was also there, but, I was so busy I never got a chance to go see what they were all about, sure they were ‘darn good’ though.

With the holiday season upon us, I only have one more scheduled public performance and you guessed it…I will be at Orfila on Dec. 2…3:00 to 5:30 PM. If you haven’t been to Orfila yet it is a must. There is truly something in this valley overlooking the vineyards that always  makes for a great relaxing day. If you are planning any events or weddings definitely take a look here!

Some photos of the day!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thank you all for following my blog! I appreciate all of you who follow and chat about my favorite subject…..MUSIC!

Thank you to all my wedding and performance clients, fellow musicians and students….it is a pleasure to share music with all of you!

New Trend in Wedding Videos

Looks like there is a new trend in wedding videos. Couples are expressing themselves through their favorite music instead of a traditional video of the day and their guests.  Hmmm, one could argue they are just trying to go viral and get some attention, but it seems like a trend that is gaining popularity.

I think it would be a fun change to play a wedding where everything was a bit crazy and different. Although, these days most couples are not throwing their parents weddings and the ‘traditional’ is now less the norm. Most couples enjoy having music and events that are more reflective of who they are than traditional wedding marches, etc.

Let me know if I can help you with your wedding music!

I am Not a Wedding Singer!- A San Diego Wedding Guitarist Blog

Adam Sandler’s movie, “The Wedding Singer,” was hilarious. It followed Robbie Hart a disgruntled musician whose dream of becoming a rock star falls through and he ends up singing at weddings. He became a burned out, bitter, resentful musician, who had to play weddings. He had to play the part of the ‘Wedding Singer’ to entertain the crowds, young and old and all in between.

Thankfully, my career is much different!! Everyday I wake up and have a chance to share music with others it’s a great day, whether it’s a wedding, a corporate event, a concert, a class, a rehearsal, etc. I am truly fortunate to be a working musician. Honestly, I don’t even do the same ‘job’ as Sandler’s character. I usually play the ceremony, cocktail hour and receptions when folks don’t want the over the top wedding band or DJ. The Wedding Singer was definitely over the top!

There is one similarity between me and the character, however, I thought I was going to be a rock star too. Once I heard Eddie Van Halen when I was a kid that was it, I knew what I wanted to do. My musical path since has followed the saying, “Life is what happens while you are making other plans.”

Somewhere down the line I realized that I REALLY wanted to be a musician first and rock star second. Then I realized I wanted to be a musician first, make a living in my field and be a rock star 3rd. Not til I got older I realized, I just always wanted to be a musician. Rock music will always be a part of who I am but not what I am. Having studied classical, jazz and world music among other disciplines in college I get to work in any style I want and get the same energy I did as a kid trying to be the next guitar hero.

There are some of my old friends who are still living the rock star dream. They tour the world, hang out with famous musicians we grew up idolizing and have tons of  fans following them on Facebook and MySpace. More power to them! I love to hear their stories when we get together. Funny thing is they love to hear about what I am doing too!

Everyday, I get to do some combination of play, perform, teach, compose, listen to, write about, record, study, absorb, eat, drink and sleep music! I get to make a living in a tough field in my native San Diego. Life is good!

Click here for more info on planning your wedding music. Let me know if I can help you in any way.