Friday, June 20, 2014

Monday Night Band Interview: Trombone Perspectives

In honor of SFJAZZ’s upcoming Monday Night Band auditions (July 22nd and 23rd), you have the chance to get to know your friendly neighborhood trombone players! Ari Miller played trombone in the SFJAZZ Monday Night Band for the first time this spring. By day, he is in product design for Apple – by night, an artist carving out that creative outlet. Recent Cal grad, Matt Fay, has also lent his trombone skills to the band. He is picking up the trombone again after several years, brushing up in his downtime from the San Francisco-based electric powertrain start-up where he works.

Matt & Ari performing at the Monday Night Band's May showcase ©Bill Evans
When did you start playing trombone?

Ari: I first picked up a trombone in fourth grade, when I had the great opportunity to take one year of music lessons at school. My selection criteria at the time were based on which instrument could make the coolest sound. Fifteen years later and I have no regrets.

Matt: I started trombone in the 4th grade. My mom and brother both played trumpet, and I wanted to try something different, but not too far from the family, so I ended up at trombone. Also, what ten year old doesn't love making a wha-wha sound?

How did you hear about Monday Night Band?

Ari: I have been enthusiastically following SFJAZZ since moving to the area in 2011, but I didn't know anything about the Monday Night Band until I opened up the spring 2014 brochure just a couple days before auditions. Had it been any later, I probably would not have tried out!

Matt: I actually heard about Monday Night Band simply through the internet, looking around for a community big band in the city. Thanks Google! 

©Aaron Shuo Yang
What was your favorite thing about the ensemble?

Ari: I was really impressed with the unique background each musician brought to the band. It is a great opportunity to play and connect with people you might never meet in another context.

Matt: My absolute favorite thing about the ensemble, by far, was getting the opportunity to be surrounded by such talented musicians on a weekly basis, from Adam, our director, all the way down the line.

Do you have any other artistic "leisure activities" around the Bay that you enjoy?

Ari: I try to play and listen to live music whenever I have free time, and am always looking for more opportunities to perform. I'd like to get more involved in composing, too.

Matt: Lately, I've been trying out photography, since San Francisco has so many iconic visuals, but nothing too serious. I'm excited to be playing again, and still looking for more opportunities.

If any of these sentiments ring a bell to you, take a spin around the Monday Night Band website and audition with us in July! Sign up to reserve your spot.

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