This GRAMMY thing has been an adventure already…it started back in May. To become a voting member and, ultimately, submit your work, you have to send them your performance resume. How active are you? Well being one of the top call trombonists in a large metropolitan area, writing and self-releasing four records of original material, teaching, traveling…I guess that wasn’t enough. I was initially denied membership. I had to send a rebuttal with literally every press release from every gig, in every state and country I could find from the last ten years or performing.
Finally I was in, but they only hold your membership payment for 30 days. I had to send a payment card via mail or call them. One more problem, no matter what time you called you got an automated response saying that if you are calling during business hours, they were experiencing high call volume and to try again, unless you had an extension. So I sent more emails trying to get an extension. Their only answer was to keep trying the number. The first submission deadline was quickly approaching. I didn’t know there were two at the time so I was freaking out. Eighty-three calls later…yeah eighty-three…I gave up. So imagine my elation when I found out there was a second submission period. I got squared up and was good to go. There are all kinds of crazy rules too. The Academy has tons of submissions to go through so they’re already looking for ways to disqualify artists. They are very specific on how you send your materials in, and then the rules during this voting period. It’s been an experience, but I’m glad I did it.
So now, to the record…I’m so proud of this one. I’m proud of all of them. I consider them time capsules to where I was as a person and as a musician at the time. But this one…this was a culmination of a decade of finding out that I enjoyed writing music, learning how to write better, learning how to write simpler, finding a sound that agreed with me, a style that agreed with me. It was a checkpoint in my playing over the last decade. It was a reward for a decade of playing everything between empty dive bars, opening for groups like The Bad Plus and Snarky Puppy, playing at jazz festivals, rock festivals, coffee shops…man we played in a dust storm once.
The odds are close to nil on anything but a few votes in this first round because we’ve taken the long path. I found my voice late, I have a full time job, a mortgage and a family. Hitting the road for months at a time has never been in the cards. I’ve learned as I go, taking notes on better ways to record, market,learning from mistakes…and I’m still learning. Ten years and while we are known in Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma, we’re a small blip in whatever genre we are.
This is the best record you haven’t heard this year, go check it out. Tell your friends about it. Our category is a catch-all. Seriously it’s crazy how much of the musical spectrum is covered but whatever, we’re in it. Let’s go ahead and get it, with you help so…
For Your Consideration…everyday, forever