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Performance and Pedagogy Blog

A blog about the performance and pedagogy of music.

Filtering by Tag: Billy Martin

Tuba Legend Bob Stewart Performing Live with John Medeski and Billy Martin

Andrew Hitz

Earlier this month I had the privilege of seeing one of my favorite chamber ensembles in the world Medeski Martin & Wood (MMW) perform at the Masonic Temple in Brooklyn.  I have seen them around 75 times in concert and I get very excited for each new opportunity to eavesdrop in person on their musical conversations.  They are three of my favorite musicians in the world and is always a treat to see them in concert. This was a very special gig with a really cool theme.  Instead of just being as an MMW show this was billed as MMW? and featured many guests.  The first set was a straight forward set featuring MMW.  During the 2nd set, one member of MMW at a time was replaced by someone creating a new trio of instruments.  The third set featured the usual trio with guests added.  It was a fantastic concept and came off famously.

Bob Stewart (who you can see killing Voodoo Child in 1976 here) was one of the second set guests and replaced the bass player, Chris Wood, for this jam.  These three had never met before appearing onstage because Bob was a last-minute replacement.  Marcus Rojas, another incredible tuba player from New York City, was supposed to make an appearance.  When I reached out a couple of days beforehand to tell him how excited I was to see him play with two of my favorite musicians in the world he told me that something came up and he wasn't going to be able to make it.  I was devastated.

Little did I know that they would replace him on the bill with a living legend of the tuba, Bob Stewart, whom I had never seen perform.  It was a night to remember and I highly recommend that you pick up the full audience recording made by taper extraordinaire Scott Bernstein (@scott_bernstein).


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Monday YouTube Fix: Medeski, Martin & Wood

Andrew Hitz

No brass this week but instead one of my favorite bands in the world.  I have seen MMW in concert around 75 times and always walk away inspired and motivated to make music.  All three of them play with an incredible amount of style.   The keyboard player, John Medeski, is one of my favorite musicians in the world.  This is a great clip of him in particular.  I have always likened him to a mad scientist.  I have had a lot of luck transferring the intensity with which he plays music like this to my own playing, even things like orchestral excerpts.

As Rex Martin taught me you can play any note or any phrase with one of two punctuation marks: a question mark or an exclamation point.  All three members of MMW scream exclamation points.