I am honored to share that I have won the 2nd place prize in the 2020 CIJA saxophone competition! Due to COVID-19, this year’s competition was held online by submission. Thank you to CIJA for the opportunity to make some music and work towards a goal! Congratulations to Daniel Cohen (1st place) and Alex Ramirez (3rd place.)
I have taken the plunge into creating high quality (I hope) videos. My hope is to make videos regularly with a few focuses: education, performance and maybe non-music related. At a time when we are particularly oversaturated with online video content I am thinking very carefully about how to present interesting content that will hold viewers’ attention. In the past I have avoided doing this because I figure there is just so much stuff out there already, but an experiment in trying to improve my audio mixing skills led to creating a video.
There’s a lot happening in the world to be concerned with today. Before the world stopped turning, the biggest cause of sadness for me was the closing of my beloved school, Turtle Bay Music School in NYC. I have written extensively on here in two parts about what happened and what I thought happened.
In early January I posted a long essay here about what I had been researching on the school- financials, real estate, motives etc. I went deep. I researched and learned more about real estate than I ever wanted to, I even spent time in the office of the city register navigating records like a detective. On the 13th floor of 66 John St. way downtown are all the deeds in NYC that aren’t digitized (pre-1966.) The one guy staffing the place said “What are you looking for? We have everything dating back to the mid-1600’s.”
I’ve been biting my tongue on whether or not it’s worth it for me to talk further about the closing of Turtle Bay Music School. You may remember I posted a long essay about my experience there, what it has meant to me, my students and the NYC community for nearly 95 years. Upon reading the linked article from the Gothamist, it’s clear that the Board of Directors’ plan to navigate the closing with a positive PR spin is working, because this article COMPLETELY misses the mark on why TBMS is closing.
I started teaching at TBMS in late 2015. They originally interviewed me to teach there on a substitute basis the previous summer though at the time wasn’t the right fit. I wasn’t optimistic at my prospects, how many times had I heard that my resume would be “kept on file” at all the schools, cafes, restaurants and offices I’ve applied to in the past 10 years?
I am very happy to share with you that I am one of the eight semi-finalists in the Michael Brecker International Saxophone Competition. This is a great honor for me and I look forward to traveling to Israel in the summer to compete against the seven other saxophonists. In the mean time, lots of practicing to do. I’d like to thank god, my family, friends and all of my teachers over the years that have helped me get to this point. It’s a surreal feeling. Continue reading “Michael Brecker Competition & Summer 2019”
I am very excited for this upcoming concert with a new project featuring Mariel Bildsten, Simón Willson and myself. We will be performing this Friday 1/11/2019 in West Lawn, PA at the Yocum Institute for Arts Education. The concert will feature my arrangements of some classic jazz repertoire as well as originals and perhaps a few surprises. It has been a rewarding challenge to rework the music for this ensemble of saxophone/clarinet, trombone and bass (in many instances reduced from a big band conception.) We will try to capture and feature the depth and beauty of each instrument in this context. More info and tickets below. Continue reading “Nathan Bellott Trio to Perform in Berks County, PA”
And just like that, summer is upon us. After a busy spring of teaching, recording and performing, I’m looking forward to a relaxed summer where I can get a good amount of practicing and writing done.
Evan Sherman Big Band: Played a few shows with Evan at the Django in TriBeCa for Duke Ellington’s birthday as well as a really fun pop-up big band in Washington Square Park. Looking forward to more with this excellent ensemble.
Time flies! Spring is here and things are moving with great speed.
In early March I had the pleasure of playing at Turtle Bay Music School’s annual benefit dinner and fundraiser. Joining me for the event were bassist Dean Torrey and the wonderful pianist Eden Ladin.
In mid-March I participated in Turtle Bay’s Artist Series concert, where every month the school features a different member or members of the faculty in a feature performance. The concert we put on was a first of its kind, a New Music festival. The audiences at TBMS are more attuned to the classics, Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart, etc. So I, along with cellist Chris Irvine and guitarist Jay Sorce (and his ensemble, Hypercube), devised an evening of 20th and 21st century music (both written and improvisatory). I performed Luciano Berio’s Sequenza IXbfor alto saxophone as well as an improvisation for Continue reading “April 2018”