Welcome to 2024!


It's the beginning of another year, and promise and hope are strong as the seasons renew and we complete another circuit around the sun!  I retired from my teaching job in May of 2023 and only recently started to feel like I am adapting successfully to my new routine. I am still doing some limited private teaching but my schedule is definitely more flexible and I have hopes of playing more gigs in 2024.

The topic I am reflecting upon today is the business of establishing some type of consistent online presence so that my fans and people who appreciate what I am doing musically can actually track my progress and hopefully even participate in the process.  It's evident by now that success in this endeavor depends on regular creation of content, whether it be in the form of prose, poetry, or music.  Closely related is the regularly scheduled sharing of that content on websites designed to deliver the goods.


From Notes to Profits: How Jazz Musicians Can Monetize Their Knowledge with a Blog

For many jazz musicians, the thrill of improvisation and the joy of connecting with audiences through music are priceless. But let's be honest, the music industry can be tough, and making a living solely from gigs and recordings isn't always easy. That's where a blog can be a game-changer.

Think of your blog as your own virtual jazz club, a space where you can share your passion, expertise, and unique insights with the world. But beyond simply expressing your love for the genre, a well-crafted blog can actually generate income and support your musical career in several ways:

1. Education and Inspiration:

  • Online lessons and courses: Your deep understanding of jazz harmony, improvisation techniques, and music theory can be packaged into online lessons or comprehensive courses. These can be offered on platforms like Udemy, Skillshare, or even your own website.
  • E-books and sheet music: Write e-books on specific jazz topics, like mastering the blues scale or exploring advanced bebop harmony. You can also sell original compositions or arrangements as downloadable sheet music.
  • Live Q&A sessions and workshops: Host regular live sessions where you answer questions, provide feedback on student playing, or conduct in-depth workshops on specific jazz styles or artists.

2. Building Community and Engagement:

  • Content marketing for music gear and services: Partner with music equipment brands, online music stores, or educational platforms to create sponsored content like reviews, tutorials, or artist interviews.
  • Affiliate marketing: Promote relevant products and services through your blog and earn a commission on each sale generated through your affiliate links.
  • Build your audience and fanbase: Use your blog to connect with other musicians, music lovers, and potential collaborators. Share your performance schedule, promote your music, and engage with your readers in the comments section.

3. Establishing Yourself as an Authority:

  • Guest blogging and freelance writing: Contribute articles and insights to other music blogs and websites, expanding your reach and establishing yourself as an expert in the jazz community.
  • Consulting and coaching: Offer one-on-one consulting or coaching services to aspiring jazz musicians, helping them with their playing, songwriting, or career development.
  • Public speaking and workshops: Leverage your blog's success to land speaking engagements at music conferences, workshops, or even local music schools.

Remember, building a successful blog takes time and dedication. But with consistent, high-quality content, strategic marketing, and a genuine passion for sharing your knowledge, you can turn your blog into a valuable asset that fuels your musical journey and opens doors to new opportunities. So grab your laptop, hit the keys, and let your love for jazz resonate with the world!

I hope this blog post has inspired you to explore the potential of blogging for your jazz career. Remember, the possibilities are endless, so get creative, have fun, and let your music do the talking!

A worthwhile music blog to check out!

 It’s a well known fact that composers often derive inspiration from the work of other composers; in fact, much controversy has arisen around the topic of musical plagiarism over the years.  Lawsuits are frequently leveled by artists who feel that their creations have been stolen, sometimes wholesale, to create the foundation for another work.  But a more subtle form of musical appropriation is also taking place over longer periods of time, as revealed in this article by Ted Gioia, noted musical historian. Here is a link to his substack blog, “The Honest Broker.” 



New Content for March and April 

Here it is the middle of April already, and I am playing catch up for March, although I did do some recordings of short classical pieces last month which are going up today.  You can find descriptions and click throughs on the "Links" page of this website.

I am encouraged by the arrival of spring and the possibility of starting to play live music again in 2021. I am the pianist with the Freese Brothers Big Band which will be rehearsing outdoors at Concord High School next month, and we have a number of concerts planned for the summer.  I will start posting those dates on my calendar for folks who want to get out and enjoy both the weather and some jazz in person!

Creating a useful website for 2021 

It's a familiar scenario; all of a sudden I have woken up out of the zone I have been in for the past year to realize that nothing of substance has taken place in my creative world outside of the necessary activity to stay alive and pay my mortgage.  All the plans of publishing arrangements, transcriptions, new tunes, recordings, etc. have been no more than a pipe dream and here I am again with a blank page and a new year, lots of ideas and zero organization.

I look around and see that some of my former students have cracked the nut and have established a successful presence in the online musical community.  One of them has not only a series of jazz education podcasts, but is also blogging about his visits to state parks and outdoor hiking activities.  Another markets his wide variety of recording projects, backed by his participation in touring with a popular band.  Another longtime friend and musical associate is a successful music educator offering a variety of improvisational methods and an impressive string of live recordings. They give me inspiration that I might possibly contribute positively to the ongoing musical dialogue that is gaining online momentum due to the oppressive limitations of the pandemic.

So now at the beginning of 2021, I have to ask the question: why not me, too?  I am realizing that if I spend time trying to figure out why I am NOT doing something useful in my online space, that's only going to distract from actually posting something, so this blog will also be accompanied by some postings, available in the "links" section of this site, of two activities i have been involved in recently.  One project is the first installment of a two part local history project sponsored by the Seacoast Jazz Society of New Hampshire and the Portsmouth, NH public library.  The other is a link to a recent saxophone concert offered to a local retirement community; it is unlisted, so you can only view it by access through this site.

To conclude these observations, I am once again publicly committing myself to publishing more useful musical content this year.  I will attempt to blog monthly, publish any new tunes or arrangements I have created, put up excerpts of the four books I am working on and print portions of the method books I am creating for saxophone and piano. No subscriptions are necessary to access the material, but if you would like to leave a comment in the guestbook, I would appreciate knowing you visited.



Keeping up with the changes 

Here at the beginning of 2020, I am reflecting at the vast number of changes I have observed in the music business since my early days of playing cocktail piano in restaurants when I was still in high school.  At one point, musicians were at the mercy of recording studios and record companies and often careers rose and fell dependent on the vagaries of the marketplace.  Today, with the advent of the internet, enterprising artists can create their own marketing firms online and control the manufacturing and distribution of their creations from home over a cup of coffee.

I have to admit I have more or less been watching the entire scene unfold as though I were munching popcorn and viewing a Netflix movie, but I have resolved in the New Year to get my feet wet and start creating my own little domain online through which I cam market the educational materials and arrangements I have created over the past few decades of teaching.  Creating an online presence will undoubtedly assist my efforts in securing gigs for myself and hopefully some of the groups with whom I perform.  It remains to be seen - one thing is certain; if I don't try to create a killer website, nothing is going to happen anyway.

Seems like a steep learning curve, but on the other hand automation has replaced many of the odious coding tasks required for the early pioneers in the field, so it's time to start experimenting!  I would be interested in hearing from anyone reading this blog what kinds of efforts you have found successful in marketing your creative activities.  Send me links to your sites: if they complement what I am trying to accomplish, I will definitely post them.


Here's to a successful and profitable 2020!




For musicians: Take photos on your gig! 

If you’re playing live, it’s a great opportunity to get photos of you and your music in action. You know that. I know that. So why do we always forget?

Honestly, it’s probably because we’re so focused on the task at hand – playing a quality show. But if you’re not already, it’s time to start thinking about making that show work for you, even after it’s done.

I am – ahem – a little older, so I’ve played gigs in the pre-cell-phone era, when, if you forgot your camera at home, you were most likely out of…

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New Year's Resolutions 

Hello again!

Another musical goal is to maintain this blog on a more regular basis.  I will start with monthly, then if successful, perhaps weekly around March or April when I get a break from classes.

In case anyone was wondering, I am still teaching private lessons in saxophone and jazz piano at Phillips Exeter Academy, performing with the Faculty Jazz Group three or four times a year, and overseeing the All State program for the PEA Music Department.

I am also currently planning a big band album…

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Getting back on the horse 

Wow - maintaining a blog is definitely not for the faint of heart!  Although I have been performing in New Hampshire on a fairly regular basis, I certainly have not been advertising the fact too effectively.  I know myself too well to make any promises that I will sit down on a regular basis, say at least once a week, but this brief message is my attempt to start making a regular effort to keep my fans (assuming I have any left) updated as to my recent musical activity.

One thing that is emerging from…

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The Big Band in Jazz 

The Big Band in Jazz - from a lecture to be delivered at the University of New England on Oct. 4th, 2016.


Questions about jazz in general?

Definitive sources of information(with thanks to Amazon.com)


“Early Jazz” by Gunther Schuller ISBN: 0-19-504043-0

Early Jazz is one of the seminal books on American jazz, ranging from the beginnings of jazz as a distinct musical style at the turn of the century to its first great flowering in the 1930s. Schuller explores the music of the great jazz soloists of the…

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Free educational content! 

This area of the website will be receiving more attention from now on, as I have decided to start posting excerpts from both my saxophone method book and a new set of jazz piano exercises I have been developing for my students.  Look for updates in early May.

Jazz All State Prevails 

If evidence of New England resilience is required, look no further than the New Hampshire Music Educator's Association (NHMEA).  When NEMO covered the Northeast with a blanket of white, the Festival had to be canceled because transportation and cafeteria services could not be guaranteed for the 100 plus students who were involved.  Some clinicians even flew to New Hampshire despite the weather, only to turn around and head home after the runways were cleared. 

Fortunately, the disappointment lasted only…

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