Here’s the latest installment in my Musical Innovators series! Check out the complete Musical Innovators series here. If you have an idea for someone that I should feature in this series, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Innovator No. 1 – Andrew Hitz
I recently discovered Andrew Hitz’s podcast The Entrepreneurial Musician through an interview that he did with Adaptistration’s Drew McManus. I quickly realized that I actually knew Andrew from my time at Northwestern University—small world!
Andrew runs a podcast network called Pedal Note Media. They currently have three shows: The Entrepreneurial Musician, the Brass Junkie’s Podcast, and iCadenza’s Creative Careers. I’ve been following along with The Entrepreneurial Musician for the last several weeks and am really enjoying learning about how musicians are exploring new career territory.
Andrew has also published A Band Director’s Guide to Everything Tuba: A Collection of Interviews with the Experts and maintains a Twitter feed of inspirational quotes from the great former Chicago Symphony tubist Arnold Jacobs:
“Make each note worth $500, not $5”
— Andrew Hitz (@JacobsQuotes) May 1, 2016
Check out Andrew and his podcast—you’ll learn a lot about creative ways to explore today’s musical landscape.
Innovator No. 2 – Lauren Pierce
Lauren Pierce is one heck of a double bassist, and she has used YouTube and other social media channels very effectively to get her bass playing out to a wider audience. She has a lot of other excellent videos on her YouTube channel, and they both sound great and are visually interesting.
Lauren has put out her teaching in a number of interesting ways online. First of all, she offers a monthly subscription on her website that provides access to prerecorded lessons on a number of topics such as left hand technique, practice tips, bow technique, exercises, and musical ideas. She also offers Skype lessons, and she an Geoff Chalmers of Discover Double Bass have also released a 37 lesson set of videos covering double bass bowing technique that are available for purchase.
If you’re not familiar with Lauren’s playing, here’s a great video featuring her performing the Monti Czardas with guitarist Andrew McMillan–it’s great playing and the camerawork is really engaging:
Innovator No. 3 – Theaster Gates
I find Theaster Gates to be a fascinating artist and culturally-driven urban redeveloper. I have followed his career for years here in Chicago and watched what he has done to transform neighborhoods on Chicago’s South Side with great interest.
Theaster is a true Renaissance man. He performs with the Black Monks of Mississippi, founded the the non-profit Rebuild Foundation, and is a Professor in the Department of Visual Art and Director of Arts and Public Life at the University of Chicago.
Theaster has transformed areas of Chicago’s South Side through programs like his Dorchester Projects. I lived a couple miles north of this particular project in Hyde Park while my wife attended the University of Chicago and followed along with great interest as he expanded and developed this project.
Check out this video from PBS covering what Theaster is working toward with these projects (hat tip: ChicagoArchitecture.org):
I’d also recommend checking out this TEDx talk with Theaster about the artist as catalyst.