Brooklyn, New York, United States
As the band leader and owner of Tin Pan, I relish the opportunities to lead a band and create opportunities for the guys in my band to make money, while having a good time making music.
As a performer, I am always excited to be on stage. I get to perform nearly every day of my life. I am able, by design, practice and effort, to create a connection with the audience that allows me to just be myself and make the music I love for which I am rewarded both emotionally and financially.
Here’s a bit of what we can cover in our PivotPlanet session(s):
• Creating a personal sound and artistic vision.
• Being entrepreneurial and creating one's own artistic opportunities.
• The ins and outs of street performance/direct sales
• Making a living (and beyond) as an artist.
• Creating and fostering good business relationships.
• How to be an effective band leader.
Making art as a living is rewarding on many levels. I know thousands of people are going to hear the music I write. The responsibility implicit in this is very exciting to me and inspires me to do my absolute best. Being an artist is kind of an inside-out- job: love, honor and cherish yourself and your gifts, and then merely be yourself and do what you do. What could possibly be more life affirming.
Before I could make a living as an artist I did many things. I was a waiter, prep-cook and a pastry chef. I found I was good with computers, and for about a decade I was a graphic designer and web site developer. At one point I was making $80,000 a year as a part-time employee at a dot com company in the late 90's. I took a look at my life and decided I had so much more to offer the universe beyond being a graphic designer and web developer. It was then I made a commitment to my art.
Over the years I provided street kids with music therapy; worked with The Stockholm School of Economics as a workshop facilitator of “mind expansion” exercises and founded and directed the Williamsburg Jazz Festival in Brooklyn. Each time I changed careers, I got a tighter focus on what exactly it was I wanted to be doing with my life: both professionally and artistically. In 2007, I stopped running the festival and began focusing solely on my performance career. Finally, and seemingly simply, I could just do what my heart desired and make a living doing it.
The accomplishment I am most proud of is my self-determination. I decided to actively go outside the normally accepted way people go about working in music and made my own opportunities. In other words, I just found a way to set up in Central Park and play my music. I've sold over 35,000 CDs doing that. When you think that the top selling jazz CD in recent memory only sold about 20,000 copies its first year, I know I am in the top percentile of success in jazz music. The charts won’t show it, the music industry doesn't really know it, booking agents don't know it, but I know it!
Do what you love to do. Do it persuasively, over and over again, day after day. Do it passionately like there is nothing else that would ever be satisfying. My life has formed up quite nicely around singing, writing music, and playing the trumpet.