Top Eight of ’18

The past year was filled with so many awesome saxophone happenings in my life! I am blessed to have the opportunity to play and teach saxophone and even more blessed to share it with other people. Here are my top eight highlights from 2018:

IMG_6670(Pictured: Adam Larson giving a clinic at Platte County High School with my students!)

1. Joel Gordon’s Happy Habitat celebrated one year of getting off the ground.  In 2018, the group performed five concerts, Kansas to Kirksville…STL to KC.  I was fortunate to play alongside great saxophonists such as Tim AuBuchon, Stephen Martin, and Adam Larson.

2. {trés} performed at two conferences: Navy International Saxophone Symposium and the American Single Reed Summit.  As well, we finished our recording cycle and performed at venues throughout the east coast back in February/March. Exciting things to come for 2019 soon!

3. Matt Cook Collective was invited to perform at the Coleman Hawkins Jazz Festival in 2019. Our group still performs with three of the original members from recordings (Me, Nick, and Matt). The band continues to write, rehearse, and grow as an ensemble with additional KC musicians.  Clink and Peter moved to Nashville to pursue the music and recording scene of the South and Nate joined up with the US Air Force and is stationed with the band out in Colorado. Derek spends time on both coasts in Miami and L.A.

4. Student Austin A. finishing year four of high school and getting accepted to both the NAfME All-American Concert Band and the Interlochen Summer Saxophone Institute. Other senior studio students Payton B. will attend NWMSU to study with Joseph Tomasso and Emilio A. plans to attend UMKC to pursue jazz performance. All three made callbacks at state auditions this year–a talented bunch!

5. Five studio students making Missouri Solo/Ensemble state contest on their solos.  Glazunov, Maurice, and Eccles – oh my! As well, two students made the Missouri All-State Concert Band and three others were listed in the program with honors.  Finally, three students got callbacks for the Missouri All-State Jazz Band–an impressive feat in a competitive field!

6. Over the past six months, I’ve gotten to build the Northland Student Jam Session. As well, I had the opportunity to teach at the Charlie Parker Student Bebop Bootcamp and the KC Jazz Academy.  Finally, I am looking forward to the continued growth of the KC Area Youth Jazz organization–bringing the good music to those hungry to hear.

7. Working at Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute for seven weeks in June and July, getting to serve amazing young musicians and working with some of the best people in the industry.  I learned a lot about planning, organizing, and communicating.

8. Getting to see eight (plus others…) incredible saxophonists such as Kamasi Washington, Tim McAllister, Miguel Zenón, Claude Delangle, Dale Underwood, Bobby Watson, Chris Bullock, and Tivon Pennicott, most alongside my wonderful wife!

All the best to you and your family in 2019! Check back soon for updated live events for the new year!

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