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Su Terry: BLOG

Someone recently sent me trumpeter Philip Tauber's "The Language of Modern Jazz Improvisation for Trumpet", a nice compendium of practice material.  In the beginning of the book he lists 120 trumpet masters, serving as a listening guide as well as an homage to colleagues and past masters. 
Out of 120 players, there are 2 women: Ingrid Jensen and Louise Baranger, both of whom I know and have played with. 
I realize that one can't possibly mention all the great players in a list of that sort--but here's the thing--you've got to make an effort towards making the world a better place.  If you have to go out of your way a little bit to research the women players, then do it!  On that list were white guys, black guys, American guys, guys of other nationalities, but only 2 chicks.
Any list of this nature should include Pam Fleming, Ellen Seeling, Barbara Donald, Jami Dauber, Tanya Darby, Rebecca Coupe Franks, historic players like Valaida Snow and Clora Bryant, amazing [...]
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Music students are certainly aware of the scarcity of professional music jobs available when they graduate from music school ready to embark upon a career.  I always tell people, don't try for a career as a professional player unless you are totally committed to it, because it's hard.  Most of us pros resent the fact that we are compelled to not only keep ourselves in top condition (practicing, rehearsing, composing, recording, listening, performing, traveling to jobs, studying further---this is more than a full-time job already) but also to market ourselves. 
Marketing is also a full time job.  That's why you can major in it at school, just like you can major in music. 
My advice to would-be pros is that you team up with fellow students in marketing, in art, in film/video, in radio, in business, etc.  Make your team now.  You are an adult already, might as well start doing what you want to do.  If I were studying marketing or business at a college, [...]
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The Gods of FUBAR

Posted on June 10, 2012 with 0 comments
The Gods of FUBAR
by Sue Terry
Sometimes, in the course of human events, we are visited by alien entities who descend upon us to mess up our projects.  In the military they have a descriptive name for these happenings: FUBAR.  This is an acronym which euphemistically translates as "Screwed Up Beyond All Recognition."  The chief weapon in the hands of the gods of FUBAR is Surprise.  When one realizes the debilitating strength of their onslaught, one might easily succumb to the second weapon--Fear.Here's what happened:  I was in a top recording studio with a top engineer, getting ready to do an important phone interview with a top Jazz journalist, to be broadcast on NPR during my upcoming tour.  I had worked hard to make this happen, and it looked like all the ducks were in a row and we were ready to go.  Setting up for the interview, the engineer checked the phone line, the microphone, the feeds--everything was in order.  The interview went great, [...]
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Last Friday I was in Quito, the capital of the country of Ecuador. I met with the Cultural Affairs Director at the U.S. Embassy and we discussed plans for a tour with my South American-based group in 2013. We will bring Jazz to several of the outer regions that don't have access to many cultural events. The aim of the project is not only to bring top quality Jazz to these areas, but also for the group members to speak to the audience in both English and Spanish, in order to promote goodwill between the North American and South American communities that are living together on the continent. I'm really looking forward to it!

I also got a chance to check out the weekly jam session at Cactus, where faculty and students from the Institute of Contemporary Music (Univ. of San Francisco, Berklee sister school) blew me away. My buddy Walt Szymanski, trumpeter extraordinaire, is a professor there and he will be playing with me on the tour.

The Problem With School

Posted on April 20, 2012 with 0 comments
When I went to college, it was relatively inexpensive, especially if you went to a State school. I went to a music conservatory at a private university so it was more expensive: tuition was $6,000 per year. That was affordable. At $20K + per year, school is no longer affordable.

Affordable means that you can afford it. If you have to take out a loan to pay for something, that means you cannot afford it.

What do you come away with after a typical college education? A degree, for starters. A degree that is recognized and valued mainly within the system that created it--Academia.

More and more we are seeing that lots of successful people are turning away from traditional employment routes, and creating not only their own businesses but also their own lines of work. A "job" is not necessarily satisfying to the soul, although it may keep the landlord and the electric company happy. But why should you spend 40 hours a week doing something you are ambivalent about, or that you hate, [...]
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