Full Interview

David Sancious always had records playing in his home growing up and his dad would take him to jazz clubs when he was just a child to sit by the stage so he could see the piano player. As an early member of the E Street Band, David toured with Bruce Springsteen as synthesizers and MIDI were...
Gayle Levant is the award-winning harpist who became the first woman to serve as President of the American Society of Music Arrangers and Composers (ASMAC) which was formed in 1938!  In the 1960s she followed in her father’s footsteps and began working as a studio musician in Los Angeles.  Her...
Paul Riser Sr. was given important musical training when he was in school, which helped set the direction of his career as a trombonist and later as an arranger. He was hired as a trombonist to join the famous studio musicians at Motown Records. He soon began arranging charts for the group and...
Billy Amendola is the Editor At Large for Modern Drummer magazine whose background as a musician makes him perfect for the job! His passion for music began at an early age and by the time he began working for the magazine in 1997, Billy was already a seasoned studio musician and founding member of...
Mary Jo Papich has dedicated decades to creating programs to assist music teachers! As co-founder of the Jazz Education Network (JEN) and as a former band director and arts director administrator, Mary Jo wanted to provide meaningful engagement, educational resources and connections that would be...
Tom Mathis spent over 50 years in the piano business! Just think of how many instruments he must have sold and all the music currently being made thanks to him! He developed his sales style while working for two legendary stores (Wooten Music and Smith-Holden) before opening his own store in 1979,...
Howie Schwartz has had a passion for music and sound since he as a kid, which landed him in the Eastman School of Music playing bassoon. After his time in school, Howie worked as a DJ at a local radio station. He was drafted and continued his DJ career working being the iron curtain in Berlin,...
Tosin Abasi is the founder and lead guitarist of the group Animals as Leaders and has a style of playing that is often unmatched. Tosin grew up in Washington, D.C and has memories of trying guitars out at Chuck Levin’s Washington Music Center. He took the leap to create music professionally and...
Jamal Batiste grew up in a very musical family and when he saw his brother’s drum kit at 3 years old, he fell in love. Raised in New Orleans he was surrounded by what he calls the gumbo of music, playing all styles and in many different settings. Throughout his career he has played alongside groups...
Bill Reeves saw a production of Peter Pan as a kid and was fascinated with how the sets changed and how the actors could fly. While majoring in technical theater in college Bill had a summer job at a local casino resort and started working on the traveling shows. This led to working on his first...

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