Improvise from the START!
- Whether playing Improvised music or not, an “Improvisational Attitude” towards playing and performing enhances a musician’s ability, expressiveness and sheer enjoyment of the act of creating music. Unless a student has been ‘infected’ with the "Jazz Bug”, improvisation is rarely a part of any standard, progressive course of musical instruction. Also, given the obvious connection of Improvisation to Jazz music, if the possibility of Improvising is presented to a young player, there is a strong selection bias towards players of instruments considered to be normal “Jazz” instruments. Thoughts on the importance of introducing Improvisation to all young musicians as early as their first day with a new instrument, the importance of not limiting improvisation to any specific style (not all "Improvisation" is specifically “Jazz”) and ways to incorporate Improvisation without taking away from or altering standard approaches to instrumental development will be offered.
- Jim Pugh (email@example.com)
- 12/16/2015 02:30 PM - 03:30 PM
- Jim Pugh is a distinguished trombonist, composer, and educator. The inspiring virtuosity and wonderful versatility he has demonstrated during the course of his career has caused Jim to be often honored as the “musician's musician”. Whether he is performing as a concerto soloist in a symphonic setting, recording and touring with legendary artists in the fields of classical, jazz, and rock, or bringing forth his own exciting new compositions that expand the role of brass in contemporary music, his creativity knows no boundaries.
The early years:
Jim began studying piano at age five and trombone at age ten. After university studies, he toured extensively as lead and solo trombone with the Woody Herman Band and with Chick Corea before deciding to settle down and make New York City his home.
As a performer and recording artist:
Jim became New York's top-call freelance trombonist for film scores, records, and music for television and radio advertising: over the past thirty-years he has lent his special talent to more than four thousand recording sessions. His trombone can be heard in recorded collaboration with leading classical and popular artists and orchestras such as Yo-Yo Ma, Steely Dan, Eos, Concordia, St. Luke’s Orchestra, André Previn, Paul Simon, Barbara Streisand, Tony Bennett, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Pink Floyd, and Frank Sinatra. Jim has been called on to add his solo voice to feature film soundtracks including A League of Their Own, When Harry Met Sally, and Meet Joe Black; and on hit Broadway cast recordings City of Angels, Fosse and Victor/Victoria.
In 2003 Jim "re-premiered" the Nathaniel Shilkret Trombone Concerto to a sold-out audience at Carnegie Hall with Skitch Henderson and the New York Pops Orchestra. This mid-twentieth century masterpiece, originally written for Tommy Dorsey, will be heard in its first recording, along with Jim's own Concerto for Trombone and Orchestra and Jeff Tyzik’s Trombone Concerto, on his CD “X-Over Trombone”, released by Albany Records (TROY926).
Jim Pugh is the only recipient of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences Virtuoso Award for Tenor trombone, awarded after being voted Tenor Trombone MVP by the New York recording community for five years.
As a composer:
Jim's original music and arrangements can be heard on National Public Radio, in film scores, on "jingles," and on record. His composition, Lunch with Schrödinger's Cat, received a Lincoln Center premiere in 1989 by Marin Alsop and the Concordia Chamber Orchestra and was performed at the Krannert Center in 2012 by Sinfonia da Camera. Jim premiered his Concerto for Trombone and Orchestra in May 1992 with the Williamsport Symphony. It received its New York premiere in March 2000 with soloist Joseph Alessi and Leonard Slatkin conducting the New York Philharmonic and the piano reduction version has been recorded by Peter Ellefson, Professor of Trombone at Indiana University. A founding member of the Graham Ashton Brass Ensemble, several of Jim’s compositions can be heard on the group’s CDs “The Graham Ashton Brass Ensemble Plays The Music of James Pugh and Daniel Schnyder” and “Scenes of Spirits”, available on the Signum label. Jim’s latest composition “Lost In The Zonules of Zinn” was commissioned and recorded by the St. Louis Low Brass Collective for their latest CD, “alk?me”
As an educator:
Jim is currently on faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Prior to his appointment at Illinois, he has taught at SUNY-Purchase College, the University of the Arts (Philadelphia) and at New York University. He appears frequently at schools throughout the country as a guest artist/clinician.
In the field of instrument development:
Jim is presently playing an instrument hand-crafted by Mike Corrigan of BAC Horns and was involved with development of the Edwards and Shires small bore tenor trombones. He worked closely with Dave Monette in the development of the Monette TS6 and TS11 tenor trombone mouthpieces. Formerly not a fan of mutes, Jim has found new respect and loves stuffing anything made by the Facet Mute Company into his bell. He endorsed BAC Horns, Monette Mouthpieces and Facet Mutes unreservedly.