Bob Mintzer Quotes
My background was pretty typical through junior high school and much of high school. I played in the concert band, marching band, and there was a big band. Now, in high school an interesting thing happened. The band director had very little interest in big bands, but a math teacher named Charlie Komanoff started a big band. There was an interesting connection there. His sister, Ruth was a vibraphonist who played with Frank Zappa. Through this connection, Charlie was acquiring big band arrangements from Frank Zappa’s book, as well as some Gil Evans arrangements. So, it was a pretty interesting introduction to jazz and big band music. During my senior year of high school I attended the Interlochen Arts Academy and worked with Dave Sporny. It was a wonderful band, a great level of musicianship, and Dave was a terrific director. We really got to play a wide spectrum of big band literature and it was very enlightening. Peter Erskine was the drummer in that band. The experience was several notches up from what I had experienced prior to then.
I think my opportunities were average until I went to Interlochen Arts Academy. That was a turning point because it’s a specialty school. I think there are selective strong programs in public schools, but there are questionable programs as well. I was fortunate enough to be removed from a questionable program in public school and placed in the Interlochen program. Had I not done that, I’m not sure what would’ve happened. All it takes is a director that knows the music, knows how to teach it, and communicate with kids.
The two universities I attended had small jazz programs that were in their early stages. Case in point: Manhattan School of Music, which now has one of the premier jazz programs in the country. Jazz education has come a long way, partly because jazz has been recognized as an important art form that demands a course of study comparable to classical music. With the multitude of great players and teachers on the jazz scene today, the university jazz programs have exploded into solid vehicles for the advancement of the music. I see this happening all over the world as well. Along with this you can find all kinds of information in print on the subject of playing and writing jazz music.
Category: Music Quotes