Category Archives: Dimestore Philosphy

How to Make a Million Dollars Playing Jazz

Start with two million… I know, ancient, right?  But there is a reason the conventional wisdom is just that. A while back, a friend told me he had been talking about me with his private students.  I assumed it was just another instance of someone offering me up as a cautionary tale, but no.  He …

Continue reading

Meet me at the intersection of Commerce and Art

  A friend asked me recently, “Doesn’t it give you a lot of pleasure when you perform to look out and see everyone dancing and enjoying your music?” Well, of course it does.  But it’s not the main motivator in doing what I do. I guess people forget that this is a business.  Music is …

Continue reading

The Future Is Here! (and it needs to get paid before it leaves)

Yesterday I attended an invite-only roundtable discussion on cultural economic development, featuring author and consultant Louise Stevens.  It was part of the ongoing dialogue on the arts in Austin hosted by the city’s Cultural Arts Division. Ms. Stevens is from out of state, but has been studying the arts scene in Austin and other cities …

Continue reading

Musings on Miles

Next Wednesday is the 20th anniversary of Miles Davis’ death.  I trust you have the altar in your home prepared, the candles ready for lighting. This year for Season Eighteen, the AJW is presenting Miles’ music for elementary school students.  That’s a tough one on a variety of levels.  I had some thoughts going in …

Continue reading

Working musician? Live in Austin? Join Local 433!

Every year on Labor Day, I reflect on what it means to belong to a labor union. Really, I think about it a lot more often than that.  I think about it every time I read another headline about workers being laid off, about factories shutting down, about jobs being outsourced overseas.  I think about …

Continue reading

Sounds Great! Could You Turn It Down?

No. Or more accurately, of course we can turn it down.  But why do you want us to?  We’re barely above a conversational level now. Why do people hire professional musicians and then put asinine restrictions on their ability to perform their job well?  I don’t get it.  You’re paying top dollar for this.  Don’t …

Continue reading

How To Do What We Do

From time to time, an email arrives in my inbox from a jazz group in another part of the country interested in starting a school program such as the AJW in their area, and asking for advice.  Like this one: “I would really appreciate any advice that you have about starting a program that focuses …

Continue reading

Notes on Practicing Flute under the Annie Street Bridge

That’s where I was this morning. I love playing outside.  Even in a Texas summer, where the mercury climbs sky-high after 8:00 a.m. and the humidity can choke an iguana, outdoors is the place to be.  One of my big problems in music school was going into those stuffy little practice rooms and trying to …

Continue reading