1. Tell us about the creative process for your new single, PLAY? How was it different or similar to how you’ve written/produced music in the past?
Yes, it was different from my previous 4 albums as it was done in layers as opposed to recorded at the same time. This song started out sounding more electronic but as it progressed I felt it needed to be more organic and “live” so we first replaced the drums, then the bass, and then added electric guitar.
2. What was the recording session like? Was it a live session, a remote session, or a mixture?
I wrote the song over the internet with Darren Rahn and then he programmed a templet. He ended up doing live sessions at his studio in Colorado and I did the same at my studio in California. In a way, it was pieced together, but that was because the tune started to shape itself into another direction and we wanted to replace the programmed feel with more of a live feel.
3. What reeds do you use and why do you choose them?
I have been using green Java 2 1/2 for a very long time, over 25 years. The truth is I use to play plastic reeds and I was on a tour in South Africa and ran out of reeds. The only reeds I could get my hands on was a box of green Javas. I loved them so much that I never played a plastic reed again, or any other reeds since then.
4. You’ve just started a radio show on smoothjazz247 – how did that start and what can people expect when they tune in?
Yes, I have been doing that for 3 months now. They offered me to host my own show on Fridays and I thought it would be a new, fun adventure for me! I get to play the music of my friends and fellow artists, and tell stories that have never been told. It’s like a new muscle for me to work out so I enjoy the experience.
5. How did you turn your love for saxophone into a prolific career?
Little by little. Started by doing gigs around town, then started making records, then tours..then it was rinse and repeat. You have to continue to build an audience and create new music. It’s an ecosystem and everything within has to work! When it does it’s the best job in the world.
6. What non-saxophone skills have been the most important to you?
Well that’s a great question...I think communication is the most important, however, I was never a master of that, but I’m learning. Also the ability to work with others is super important!
7. How do you think the music industry is changing and what can saxophonists do to adapt?
The world is changing, so you have to be really good at adapting to all of it. The music business is a moving target - continue to study, learn, and be current. As with any professional trade, be good at what you do, be adaptable, be easy to work with, and be flexible…if you follow those things you’ll do well.
8. Do you have any advice for new parents trying to advance their musical careers while balancing a healthy family life?
Having kids and family is wonderful but takes dedication and can be time-consuming. Set goals and timelines for yourself, make sure there is time for it all, and if anything make a schedule of your day! All of it needs your attention, so master your time management. It’s all possible!