Trumpet Dynamics

When You Hit the Real World, They’re Not Gonna Ask For Your Degree (feat. Tony Glausi)

How do you measure passion?

"People know when you're playing with passion. When you're playing music that really connects with you personally, it's going to connect with those listening to you."
So, this guy named Tony Glausi is 23 years old. He's put out 6 albums and has been paying his bills making music since he was 18. He won the ITG jazz competition last year as well as the Carmine Caruso jazz competition in 2017.
I asked him during our interview, "Why did you go to college when you proved to yourself at a young age that you can make it happen as a musician?"
He told me, quite frankly, that he's not sure he needed college, and that he wouldn't necessarily advise someone in his shoes to attend college. Actually, he was quite conflicted over it because college is, well, just what you do after high school.
I could tell he was a little uncomfortable with the topic, so I of course gave him a hard time over it. What is my job as a podcast host if not to make my guests a little bit uncomfortable, right? 🙂
Here's the thing. When Tony got to New York, he realized very quickly that his master's degree, the awards and accolades, the praise from other musicians, etc. don't mean diddly squat in the real world. He wasn't about to walk into a jazz club in Harlem and show off his credentials. You need to be able to play in a way that moves people - or you don't get paid. It's as simple as that.
When you're making it happen as a musician, you need to set yourself apart from the rest. Respectfully, of course. You don't want to make enemies. But trying to do what other people are doing isn't going to get you anywhere.
Playing with passion is what sets you apart. But how can you measure passion? It's not like you can walk into the store and say, "I'll have a pound of passion, with commitment and consistency on the side."
It's what makes the job of the musician so unique - not to mention difficult to put a price tag on one's services.
But in spite of the challenges unique to us musicians, we do what we need to do. Sometimes we shortchange ourselves. We don't see the value of what we do - so we play for free when we should be charging a fee. We play a gig for $50 when we know it should be $100.
Of course, when you're living in New York City and prices are sky high, you need to charge what you're worth. Otherwise you'll starve.
Tony and I talked about all this and more in this week's podcast episode.
Give it a listen and let me know what you think!
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meet our guest of honor!

Hailed as "a great writer and a terrific trumpet player" by legendary songwriter Burt Bacharach, and said by renowned jazz artist Dave Douglas to be "one of the finest young trumpeters", Tony Glausi has established his voice as an international award-winning trumpeter, keyboardist, composer, and producer in New York City.

Among other accolades, Tony won first prize in the 2017 Carmine Caruso International Jazz Solo Competition, first prize in the jazz division of the 2017 ITG International Trumpet Competition, and first prize in the jazz division of the 2014 National Trumpet Competition. Tony has been recognized in two separate issues of Downbeat Jazz & Blues Magazine for outstanding improvised solos and compositions. He was the sole recipient of the 2016-17 Laurie Frink Career Grant, an award given every other year to a young brass player in honor of Laurie’s legacy as an incomparably inspiring pedagogue, mentor, and friend. Tony has also had the unique privilege of engaging in private studies with Wynton Marsalis, one of his greatest heroes and influences.

Tony Glausi grew up in a musical family in Portland, Oregon—his mother and all four of his grandparents were professional musicians in varying capacities—and was exposed to all types of music, developing a profound love for jazz, R&B, hip-hop, and everything else in the Black American Music tradition. At a very young age he taught himself to play his favorite melodies on the piano by ear and later mastered these abilities through advanced studies in piano performance and theory. A trumpeter and composer by the age of ten, it was later in high school when Tony began to focus on jazz and improvisation.

Tony currently maintains a full schedule as an active performer and recording artist on the trumpet, flugelhorn, and keyboards. As a composer and arranger, Tony draws inspiration from his earliest musical influences while also channeling current trends in the music industry. He has written works for small and large jazz ensembles, various chamber ensembles, pop and hip-hop groups, and several short films and TV web series. His pieces have been commissioned on over a dozen occasions to be performed and recorded by numerous world-class musicians. 

To date, Tony has released six records of his own music in physical and digital formats—iTunes, Spotify, YouTube, Amazon Music, Google Play, and more. His debut jazz album, Identity Crisis (Dec 2015), which features ten original compositions for small jazz ensembles, earned him several noteworthy awards and garnered much praise. Flugelhornist Dmitri Matheny remarked, "An exciting new voice has arrived… I’m impressed with the conception for the project as a whole… So many inspired moments… I look forward to repeated, deep listening." 

Tony’s sophomore release, One-Dimensional Man(Sept 2016), with his nine-piece band, also features ten original works that captivated thousands of younger fans from around the world. His third original album, Bad Boy (June 2017), with his Portland-based jazz quintet, was recorded live at The Jazz Station in Eugene, OR. Chris McCarthy, creative director of Rent Party Records, wrote after hearing it: "Tony Glausi is one bad boy on the trumpet and will be a force on the jazz scene to be reckoned with for years to come." 

In September of 2017, Tony re-mastered and re-released his solo piano single There Is Always Hope, originally written in response to the terrorist attacks on Paris in November of 2015. This song, with its hymn-like structure and unforgettably lyrical melody, proved to his audience Tony’s versatility and depth as an artist. His fourth full-length album, Christmas with Tony Glausi (Nov 2017), came at the request of his ever-increasing fan base and features 11 unique arrangements of holiday classics including Frosty the Snowman, Greensleeves, and Silent Night. Tony’s most recently produced EP, TGXP Vol I: Midnight Snack (Feb 2018), was conceived and recorded in just two hours and is entirely improvised from start to finish. With Tony on keys, this album clearly branches out from his others as it delves into freestyle hip-hop featuring some of Oregon's finest emcees.

A passionate and devoted music educator, Tony maintains a private lesson studio in person and online via Skype, and he is consistently engaged with middle schools, high schools, colleges, and summer camps throughout the United States. In the past he has worked for the University of Oregon as a graduate teaching assistant and for the John G. Shedd Institute for the Arts as a private instructor and founding director of the Shedd Youth Jazz Orchestras. 

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1 Comment

  1. Mike Stanley on 03/19/2018 at 1:01 AM

    We have enjoyed seeing & listening to Tony
    at the JAZZ STATION in Eugene
    We appreciate his passion for music
    Love the interview
    Hope to see him in New York soon
    My daughter lives in the same neighborhood

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