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Performance and Pedagogy Blog

A blog about the performance and pedagogy of music.

Filtering by Tag: Ray Charles

The Brass Junkies 78: Chip Crotts

Andrew Hitz

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What an incredibly inspiring story Chip has! Talk about stepping up when facing some unspeakable adversity. This is one of the most uplifting and motivational episodes thanks to Chip being so open about his fight against Bells Palsy.

If I ever have to face something like that, I hope I have half the grace and courage that Chip has shown the world. We were honored to have him join us.

From the show notes:

TBJ78: Chip Crotts on playing trumpet with Ray Charles, prosthetic robot arms for musicians and his comeback from Bells Palsy

Chip Crotts has played trumpet with an incredible array of stars, from Natalie Cole to Maynard Ferguson and has been involved with building an innovative program from the ground up at Georgia Tech.

In this episode, we cover:

  • The integration of music and technology at Georgia Tech
  • Building the undergraduate degree from the ground up
  • The development of a prosthetic robotic hand and arm to allow folks to play piano of drums
  • Playing with Ray Charles and Maynard Ferguson (and an amazing array of other artists)
  • “You never know when your shot’s gonna come, so you have to be ready”
  • Natalie Cole, the Tuscaloosa Horns (T-Horns)
  • Lance’s water pipes freezing and bursting mid-show, FUN!
  • Working with Santa Clara Vanguard
  • Dealing with Bells Palsy which paralyzed the left side of his face, and his documentation of the recovery process on video at his Facebook page

You can check out the complete show notes including all of the links mentioned during this episode over at Pedal Note Media.

Monday YouTube Fix: Ray Charles

Andrew Hitz

This is a very special installment of the Monday YouTube Fix in honor of Memorial Day.  I hope this won't sound like lip service because it is true.  Without the sacrifices of our armed forces and their loved ones, I would not be able to travel the world performing and teaching music.  I can never even begin to put into words my gratitude for all who have served. Memorial Day is a day to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice: they never came home.  I can't think of a better tribute than Ray Charles singing God Bless America.  He just seems to get it.  Musically speaking, his embellishments are PERFECT and never overdone.  His vibrato is for my taste used at exactly the right time.  He sings from the soul and has a love for this country that is obvious.

And we can all learn from his demeanor onstage.  He concludes every performance I've ever watched with a smile that can (and does!) and light up a room.  He's certainly had a performance that he was disappointed in yet never lets it show.  He is the consummate professional and performer.

So to all who have and are currently serving: THANK YOU!