Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A new jazz/saxophone blog....

Welcome to Josh Cook's page...The intention for this new blog is to share ideas about playing jazz, particularly as it relates to the saxophone. I want to give you my thoughts about what I am studying (interesting concepts), practicing (and how to practice), or listening to (so important to becoming a competent player)... and hopefully getting some feedback and conversing with other players of all levels and styles. I hope the information I post will be useful to emerging jazz students looking for practice ideas and another resource to spur development.

A quick introduction: I am a tenor player currently based in Fredericksburg, VA. I did my undergrad work at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff and studied with a host of great musicians... jazz trombonist Dr. Pete Vivona, bassist Joel Dibartolo, and brilliant classical saxophonist Wildy Zumwalt... they are all burnin'! The years at NAU allowed me an opportunity to play with Marvin Stamm, Bill Watrous, Don Menza, and Ernie Watts. Ernie was kind enough to give me a couple of lessons, and I'll certainly make some of his effective exercises into a blog topic... He's got some great ideas for keeping one's technique fluid...Cool stuff!

From there I attended grad school at NYU, and studied with a few players including Ralph Lalama (look for a post about playing unaccompanied) and George Garzone (check out his triadic/chromatic concept). I highly recommend the NYU program to any serious player. A down to Earth, brilliant faculty. And my fellow students were there to share ideas and learn... there were no attitudes. Great experience!

Since, I've lived and played in Okinawa... if you ever visit, go to Kam's House jazz club. Kamura Hidefumi taught me a lot... he can PLAY!

Now, I am in Fredericksburg playing jazz, r&b, salsa on a regular basis. If you live in the F'burg area, you might have heard me with Jay Starling or Un Mundo. So many great players. Since moving to the area, I've gotten to play with James Moody and Eric Marienthal. I have even played a little with the country group the Oak Ridge Boys... so I get a variety of musical experiences and find them all valuable in developing as a musician. My focus is developing as an improvisor, but one has to be versatile and I enjoy honing my skills is all genres.

So hope you enjoy my blog...check back often as I'll be adding new posts all the time... Thanks!

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