Jerry Bergonzi: State of the Tenor

Boston-based tenor saxophonist Jerry Bergonzi has been one of the most influential voices on saxophone over the past 40 years. In addition to being a giant on saxophone, he has been a prolific composer and in-demand music educator. In this interview, he shares his career experiences and thoughts on saxophone playing, improvisation, and remaining passionate about playing music. …continue reading, watch the video, or download the podcast

Robert Marcellus and his Clarinets

Created by Dr. Ron Odrich and Tomoji Hirakata

Robert Marcellus (1928-1996) represented the highest level of artistry in orchestral clarinet playing. His career spanned a period when orchestral clarinet playing in America had reached a zenith as represented by giants such as Daniel Bonade, Ralph McLane, Anthony Gigliotti, Clark Brody, Stanley Drucker, Robert McGinnis, Iggy Gennusa, Gino Cioffi and Harold Wright. Robert Marcellus …continue reading, watch the video, or download the podcast

David Mann: The Complete Saxophonist

I first met David when we played in the saxophone section on a week-long gig backing Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga. I was aware of David’s many talents via recordings but had not actually had the opportunity to work with him. That experience was enlightening in that I not only heard his creative soloing and …continue reading, watch the video, or download the podcast

John Bruce Yeh: The Complete Clarinetist

I met John when we were both students of Joe Allard at the Juilliard School in the mid-1970s. John was a very energetic and passionate clarinetist who thrived on performing in many musical scenarios and took advantage of every opportunity presented. It was clear that he was destined to succeed, and it surprised none of …continue reading, watch the video, or download the podcast

Walt Weiskopf: Tenor Gladness

Walt Weiskopf has been a longtime friend and colleague of mine. We initially met on the Broadway show Victor Victoria and have since shared many musical, educational and golfing experiences together. Walt is an extremely articulate individual who gives his all in every situation. Whether in a big band, jazz combo, commercial gig, recording date, …continue reading, watch the video, or download the podcast

Paul Edmund-Davies: A Simply Magnificent Flutist

I first learned of Paul Edmund-Davies through my wife, flutist Jeanne Wilson. She had his 28 Day Warm Up Book on the practice stand for several years in addition to his 1994 recording, Iconic Elements. However, it wasn’t until I attended an online class offered by the New York Flute Center with Paul during the …continue reading, watch the video, or download the podcast

Elizabeth Rowe: Flutist, Advocate & Mentor

As a long-standing fan of the BSO for many years, I have been able to hear Elizabeth Rowe’s performances with the BSO and the Boston Chamber Players at Tanglewood, Symphony Hall, and Carnegie Hall as well as on their many wonderful recordings. I have come to love her playing and admire her “chutzpah” in standing …continue reading, watch the video, or download the podcast

The Unbelievable George Young

George Young was one of those reed players that my generation of commercial woodwind doublers grew up in awe of. His prowess as a saxophonist is extraordinary, a virtuoso following in the footsteps of legendary players such as Rudy Wiedoeft, Jimmy Dorsey, Sigurd Rascher, Earl Bostic, Al Gallodoro, and Jimmy Abato. However, George is more …continue reading, watch the video, or download the podcast

Tom Ranier: Everyone’s Favorite Musician

I met Tom 15 years ago when he was the pianist in a group that accompanied Eddie Daniels on a weeklong gig in NYC. We became fast friends and have remained so to this day. Tom is not only one of the finest musicians in the business today, but also one of the most self-effacing …continue reading, watch the video, or download the podcast

Gary Gray: Master Player & Teacher

I met Gary early in the millennium when he came to the university where I was teaching to present a recital and masterclass. I had the pleasure of performing with him on that recital and quickly realized why he had been such a successful musician. He was well prepared, an ideal colleague to work with, …continue reading, watch the video, or download the podcast

Woodwind Studio Legends Roundtable

An Interview with Gary Foster, Ronnie Lang, Gene Cipriano, and Don Ashworth

The interviews that have appeared as part of the Woodwind Legacy Series to date have all taken place in New York City. However, I realized that there were a number of musicians on the west coast whose careers and achievements were important to present. During August of 2019, I traveled to Los Angeles to conduct …continue reading, watch the video, or download the podcast

Dan Higgins: First Call

I first heard Dan Higgins perform live while on tour in California in the mid-1990s. He was playing at a club around L.A. and the sax section that I was working with went to check him out. I had never met Dan at that time and didn’t even know what he looked like. I just …continue reading, watch the video, or download the podcast

Ken Peplowski: Swingin’ with Peps

I first heard Ken Peplowski some 30 years ago when I purchased his 2nd album as a leader, Sonny Side. I was blown away by his clarinet virtuosity (“Ring Dem Bells”) and his beautiful approach on tenor sax (“Bright Moments”). His very different approaches to sound and styles on these instruments is rare among great …continue reading, watch the video, or download the podcast

Bob Mover: Bebop Master

I first met Bob Mover in 1978 when I began to study with him. Bob is just a year older than I but he’d already had a lifetime of experience to draw from as a jazz artist and student of the art form. I soon discovered that he also had a tremendous gift for analyzing …continue reading, watch the video, or download the podcast

The Art of the Saxophone Section

Interview with the Saxophone Section of the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra

My introduction to live jazz big band playing was hearing the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra at the Village Vanguard in 1971. The experience hearing that band with its magnificent saxophone section was life changing. Sitting in front of Jerry Dodgion, Ed Xiques, Eddie Daniels, Billy Harper, and Pepper Adams with Thad leading the band …continue reading, watch the video, or download the podcast

Jeffrey Khaner: Principal Flute

I first heard of Jeffrey when we were both students at The Juilliard School. While I was a saxophone major at that time, I was also studying flute very seriously with Tom Nyfenger and becoming more enamored of the flute repertoire, pedagogy, recordings, and great performers on the instrument. The flute class at Juilliard was …continue reading, watch the video, or download the podcast

Anastasia: A Look Inside The Broadway Musical

The musical theater is the major employer of woodwind doublers in today’s music industry. As a result, I feel that doublers and all woodwind players need to know as much as possible about the musical environment that surrounds any show. This led me to consider an interview with the musical team involved with Anastasia, the …continue reading, watch the video, or download the podcast

Steve Wilson: The Total Jazz Musician

I first heard Steve “live” while he was subbing on the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra and subsequently started listening to him. It was clear that he was the real deal—an improviser who had studied the music and his instrument with great thoroughness. Steve has his own voice on saxophone while reflecting the influences of many of …continue reading, watch the video, or download the podcast

Stanley Drucker: The Heavyweight Champ

Growing up in New York and having lived in the city my entire life, I had a chance to see and hear Stanley Drucker play hundreds of times. He was our hometown kid who made good and always seemed to succeed regardless of any musical challenges he faced. His musical commitment, confidence, passion, personality and …continue reading, watch the video, or download the podcast

Bobby Porcelli: Alto Saxophonist Supreme!

I first heard about Bobby from my first clarinet/saxophone teacher, Joseph Porcelli, who was Bobby’s father. Mr. Porcelli was a first-class gentleman who played the woodwinds beautifully and always conveyed his love of playing them in our weekly lessons. He was never one to ever boast about his abilities or accomplishments and was egoless. One …continue reading, watch the video, or download the podcast

Eddie Daniels: Woodwind Virtuoso

I first heard of Eddie Daniels when I began my woodwind studies with Joe Allard in 1971. Joe recommended that I go to hear Eddie play with the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra at the Village Vanguard on a Monday night when he realized my desire to play jazz on clarinet. Hearing that band up close …continue reading, watch the video, or download the podcast

Paul Lustig Dunkel: A Flutist’s Journey

I first met Paul when I was an undergraduate at Queens College, CUNY. I was a saxophone/clarinet player who had recently become interested in learning the flute and had been impressed by the performances of Paul as well as his students. I had about one year’s worth of experience playing the flute when he agreed …continue reading, watch the video, or download the podcast

William Hudgins: Principal Clarinet

I have always been a fan of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, attending their performances in New York, Boston and at Tanglewood as well as owning many of their recordings. As a woodwind player, I was particularly attracted to the sophisticated elegance of the woodwind sections in that orchestra throughout my adult life and in particular, …continue reading, watch the video, or download the podcast

Dr. Ron Odrich: Renaissance Man

I first listened intently to Ron Odrich when I purchased a Music Minus One recording, Wood on Wood, in the 1970s that had copies of his solos transcribed by Buddy DeFranco. Already infatuated by DeFranco, Goodman, Shaw & Eddie Daniels’ jazz clarinet playing, I quickly became acquainted with the good doctor’s performances and have remained …continue reading, watch the video, or download the podcast

Ted Nash: Musician for All Seasons

I have known Ted for many years and always regarded him as one of the finest musical talents of my generation. His ability to use various disciplines to inspire his music (art, literary contexts, speeches, etc.) reflects his continuing interest in the world and our society. I have had the opportunity to play with him …continue reading, watch the video, or download the podcast

Lew Tabackin: The Evolution of a Jazz Artist

I first heard Lew Tabackin play on an album called Introducing Duke Pearson’s Big Band, released in 1967. Lew took an extended tenor solo on “New Girl” that remains to this day one of my favorite sax solos within the context of a big band. Since that experience, I have purchased many albums with Lew …continue reading, watch the video, or download the podcast

Brad Behn: Clarinet Mouthpiece Innovator

In this video interview, clarinet mouthpiece maker Brad Behn discusses his innovative mouthpiece designs along with his new barrels and bells. I first met Brad a little over 10 years ago when a former teacher of mine, Ron Reuben of the Philadelphia Orchestra, introduced me to his work. Brad’s desire to create a mouthpiece using …continue reading, watch the video, or download the podcast

The Legendary Joe Soldo Speaks

I had heard about Joe Soldo from my saxophone/clarinet teacher, Joe Allard, some 40 years ago. Soldo was Allard’s dear friend and favorite pupil—a term Mr. Allard liked to use. When I finally met Joe Soldo 12 years ago, I understood why Joe Allard liked him so much. It wasn’t just that Joe Soldo played …continue reading, watch the video, or download the podcast

Woodwind Repairmen Roundtable

A Conversation with Mark Jacobi, Bill Singer, Tomoji Hirakata, and Tony Salimbene.

Expert woodwind repairmen are among the most important professional associations for any performing artist. They often are the difference between having a good performance or a great one and allow us to achieve our potential. In this video, we examine the careers and artistry of four of the most respected woodwind repair technicians in the …continue reading, watch the video, or download the podcast

Reed V Summit

Roger Rosenberg, Ron Janelli, and Allen Won

This video is a behind-the-scenes look into the world of the players who are the foundation of any woodwind section—whether in a pit band, big band, movie soundtrack, or a symphonic setting. The low reeds set the pitch center and help determine the overall volume, balance and rhythmical stability of any woodwind ensemble. The players …continue reading, watch the video, or download the podcast

Broadway Conductors Forum

Interview with David Chase, Charlie Alterman and Constantine Kitsopoulos.

During the 35-year period that I have worked in musical theater, I have encountered a few conductors who carried forth their responsibilities with not only great talent and integrity but also created a positive feeling within the orchestra and cast. The three gentlemen interviewed here represent that type of individual and this interview provides great …continue reading, watch the video, or download the podcast

The Contemporary Oboe Doubler

Interview with Rick Heckman & Dan Willis

This video interview with Rick Heckman & Dan Willis offers rare insight into the world of the double reed doubler. Rick & Dan discuss the nature of what today’s oboe doublers encounter on the job and offer solutions to performance problems. They also describe what they emphasize in their practice routines and demonstrate how they …continue reading, watch the video, or download the podcast

Larry Guy: Clarinet Fundamentals

I met Larry Guy a number of years ago while freelancing around New York. Larry was always a colleague in the truest sense of the word—a team player and positive influence in the section whether playing principal, second or auxiliary clarinet. His sense of elegance in playing and professionalism on the job was gleaned from …continue reading, watch the video, or download the podcast

Keith Underwood: Flute Exercises

In this video segment, Keith Underwood provides invaluable information on historical flutes, recordings, exercises and a variety of other topics. He plays several of his historical instruments, including flutes previously owned by Tom Nyfenger and Albert Tipton. He also references recordings/videos by some of his favorite players (Rampal, Baker, Kincaid, Nyfenger, Glenn Gould) as a …continue reading, watch the video, or download the podcast

Keith Underwood: Flute Fundamentals

I first met Keith when both he and I were studying flute with Tom Nyfenger in the late 1970s. He was one of Tom Nyfenger’s prized students and would sub for Tom on gigs, often with little upfront notice. Nyfenger recognized Keith’s tremendous technical prowess and ability to handle almost any situation without fuss or …continue reading, watch the video, or download the podcast

Jerry Dodgion: A Career Retrospective

Jerry Dodgion was the first great lead alto saxophonist I experienced in a live setting when he headed the formidable saxophone section of the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra beginning in the early 1970s. He made it all seem so easy and fun at the same time and I’ve never heard a better saxophone section …continue reading, watch the video, or download the podcast

Charles McPherson: How to Practice Jazz

Charles McPherson has been a musical hero of mine for decades. The fact that we have become good friends over the past 15 years has only enhanced my respect for Charles as a musician and as a human being. He is a self-effacing individual who manifests integrity in everything he does and is always available …continue reading, watch the video, or download the podcast

Lawrence Feldman on Woodwind Styles

Lawrence Feldman has the rare ability to imitate diverse musical styles on all of his woodwinds with great accuracy. His ability to capture the musical voices of renowned artists such as Dave Sanborn, Johnny Hodges, Michael Brecker, Les Robinson, Paul Desmond, Stan Getz, Benny Goodman, etc. has allowed him to remain a mainstay in the …continue reading, watch the video, or download the podcast

Lawrence Feldman on Building a Career

I’ve known Lawrence Feldman since the mid-1970s, having played in a sax quartet with him for a number of years and worked with him on gigs in New York for close to 40 years. Lawrence is one of those rare birds whose love for music and desire to find new techniques to employ on his …continue reading, watch the video, or download the podcast