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Performance and Pedagogy Blog

A blog about the performance and pedagogy of music.

Filtering by Tag: solo

Steve Dumaine: Monday YouTube Fix

Andrew Hitz

Steve Dumaine is the tuba player in the National Symphony here in Washington, DC but has many talents beyond his immense orchestral abilities.  I first met Steve when we were both in high school in New England.  He played the Vaughn-Williams Tuba Concerto with the Greater Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra back then and pretty much scared me with how good it was.

This clip is not him playing the Vaughn-Williams or anything close to it! This performance is from the 2008 Army Tuba Conference and features Steve playing a solo by the original bass player for Metallica, Cliff Burton.  I saw Metallica perform at the Worcester Centrum back in 1991 and it remains to this day one of the best rock concerts I've ever attended.  1991 was after Cliff Burton had passed away, but Steve does a great job of getting to the essence of Cliff's playing in this clip.

And my favorite part of this clip, for humor reasons, may very well be at the 2:00 mark.  Steve Dumaine is a beast on the tuba!


Mnozil Brass Featuring Wilfried Brandstötter: Monday YouTube Fix

Andrew Hitz

Wilfried Brandstötter is one of the best tuba players in the world and Mnozil Brass are not only some of the best players, but some of the best entertainers this world has ever seen.  This tuba solo is just silly good, both musically and conceptually from a staging standpoint. One of the highlights of my 14 years with Boston Brass was a brass festival in Austria where we shared the bill with Mnozil Brass in 2012.  It was an honor getting to see them play and getting to know them.  Wilfried is one of the nicest guys you could ever hope to meet in the music business.  And what a monster player, as this clip displays.


Joe Alessi: Monday YouTube Fix

Andrew Hitz

I'm not sure what else I can really say about Joe Alessi.  His artistry and command over the trombone are famous.  His ability to play solos like this one just as convincingly as playing the lead trombone in the New York Philharmonic is also noteworthy.  He is a true virtuoso. This is a live clip of Joe playing "Three Scenes for American Trombone" by Eric Richards.  This is a perfect piece to show off his abilities as both a technician and musician.

A few things that pop out at me in this clip:

- I love how unapologetic his slide technique is.  His right hand never goes fishing for the right location, no matter how fast the passage.  He tells it where it is going which is something I try to emulate with my valves.

- I really like his use of vibrato in this solo.  He only uses it in certain instances which really gives it an effectiveness.

- His combination of seeming to be so calm while also going for it with no hesitation is truly great.

I listen to Joe's playing all the time and still need to listen him more.  I learn something every time I do.


Øystein Baadsvik: Monday YouTube Fix

Andrew Hitz

I had just had the privilege of performing with Boston Brass at the Chicago Brass Festival this weekend.  It was a real treat to return to the city where I studied in college for such a prestigious festival.  The best part of the weekend was getting to hear both Øystein Baadsvik and Rex Richardson who were also featured artists.  What a weekend! On Friday night before our concert I was able to attend the beginning of Øystein's tuba master class.  I will post some quotes from this excellent class a little later this week.  But perhaps the highlight of the weekend was hearing him play the next day, first with the NEIU Faculty Quintet and then with the NEIU Wind Ensemble.  What a treat!

The audience demanded more than one encore after his very impressive performance.  The first encore he did was one of his standard solo selections, Czardas.  I don't think I've ever heard it played better on any instrument.  The clarity this man gets on fast passages on a tuba simply must be heard to be believed.  A true showman, a real gentleman, and one hell of a tuba player, any Øystein performance is a master class.  And this clip is live.  There is something not right with this man!