Original vs. Non-Original Music

On May 6th, I sat down with Josh Grossman, artistic director of the TD Toronto Jazz Festival. It was part of a series of live interviews Josh is hosting called The Artistic Director’s Guide to Jazz.  We had a great discussion about four artists performing solo shows at the festival: Kurt Rosenwinkel – June 22nd […]

Artists and Creative Residencies (Part 1)

I recently returned from a month long winter residency in Bamfield, BC. This was the result of a collaboration between Bamfield residents Nancy Hendry and Steve Clarke, and Music By the Sea. In case you haven’t heard of this place, Bamfield is one of the most beautiful places I’ve visited in Canada. Developed by Chris […]

Innovative Copycats

Suppose your raison d’être is to perform Oscar Peterson solos note for note. The potential for creativity and innovation here is endless. First of all, nobody’s doing this. Even if there was, he/she wouldn’t be able to mimic Oscar exactly; there would always be room for “improvement.” Improvement would require creative, innovative thinking. Innovation is […]

Spontaneity in Classical Music

I recently wrote about my friend and collaborator, Kornel Wolak. I claimed that he’s the most spontaneous classical musician I know. I’m sure this statement raises some eyebrows; spontaneity and classical music are often considered diametrical. But it’s possible! Classical music is notoriously structured and rigorous. This is evident just by examining its notation, where […]

Monk’s Wrong Notes #25

The notes here aren’t wrong, but the phrasing is! From Everything Happens to Me: Download the Mp3 here:Everything Happens to Me #4

Appreciating Structure and Freedom

How do you travel to the grocery store? Consider your mode of transportation, route, pace, time of day, choice of clothes and anything else related to getting from point A to point B. Consider which of these variables remain fixed for each trip, and which are flexible. For example, you may always walk to the […]

Creativity, Deliberate Practice and Structure

A few months ago, I wrote a series of posts on creativity, deliberate practice and structure.  I’m actually quite excited about these posts; they seemed to have set a foundation for more thoughts and writing. For this reason, I’ve compiled them into one long post so its easier to read and easier for me to […]

Monk’s Wrong Notes #24

The notes here aren’t wrong, but the phrasing is! From Everything Happens to Me:   Download the Mp3 here: Everything Happens to Me #3