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Performance and Pedagogy Blog

A blog about the performance and pedagogy of music.

Filtering by Tag: Sousaphone

The Brass Junkies 58: David Silverman of The Simpsons

Andrew Hitz

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David Silverman plays a sousaphone with flames shooting out the bell and was one of the original animators on The Simpsons! I feel like this possibly makes him the perfect human.

In all seriousness, he is a Hollywood legend and a fixture at Burning Man. What a life this guy has led! It was a blast talking to him about all of it. (Especially asking him about the Simpsons episode that featured Phish!)

From the show notes:

Simpsons animator and Flaming Tuba artist David Silverman joins Andrew & Lance in a fascinating and hilarious exploration of The Simpsons, the tuba and animation. David has had an incredible career. He was one of the original animators on The Simpsons, directed countless episodes of the show, as well as the The Simpsons Movie. More importantly, he plays tuba! He started relatively late in school, at the age of 17. “Dr. Fonz” set him on his way and David went on to play tuba and sousaphone in college, first at the University of Maryland and later at UCLA, where he joined the marching band on a trip to Japan for the Mirage Bowl. We hear about the time he created a caricature of the National Symphony, his love for 1930's jazz, including artists like Sidney Bechet and the number of animators who are also musicians. 

As if that weren’t enough, David regularly plays with Vaud and the Villains, a "19 Piece 1930’s New Orleans Dance Orchestra and Cabaret Show" and is known to many as the guy with the flaming tuba from Burning man. Suffice to say, Andrew & Lance are fanboys. 

Monday YouTube Fix: Matt Perrine, Lew Soloff, Ray Anderson & Bobby Previte

Andrew Hitz

With all due respect to Ray Anderson, Lew Soloff, and Bobby Previte I put Matt's name first because he is one of my hero's.  The first time I heard him play the sousaphone I was driving into New Orleans and listening to the great radio station WWOZ.  He was playing with Bonerama and the tune was called Blues for Ben from the album 'Live at the Old Pointe'.  I started fist pumping and yelling woo-hoos! I had never heard sousaphone playing like this in my life.

They didn't say what the tune was or who was playing and this was long before the Shazam app so I called the station.  Evidently I asked the DJ with such urgent enthusiasm who in the hell I just heard playing the sousaphone that he literally cracked up.  After he told me it was Matt he said to stay tuned for the song.  He then mentioned the eager sousaphone fan and played another track of Matt's with the Tin Men.  That morning in New Orleans changed my conception of what a sousaphone could do.

I had the privilege of meeting Matt last spring when we did clinics on consecutive days at his alma mater in Sacramento.  It was great to put a face to the name and he is as nice a guy as you could ever hope to meet.  Not every day you get to meet one of your heroes!