Red Raspus Music

Home of Musician and Educator David Marriott, Jr.

David Marriott, Jr. is a jazz trombonist, composer/arranger, educator, and blogger. A two-time Earshot Jazz Golden Ear Award recipient and winner of the 1999 National Jazz Trombone Competition, David is active in a variety of Seattle jazz groups, including the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra, Zubatto Syndicate and his own critically-acclaimed groups Septology and Triskaidekaband.

Filtering by Category: Music Education

Huge Savings on Periodic Table of Jazz, Visualizing Kind of Blue, and Keep Calm and Dig Some Jazz Products -- Today Until 10am PT

Big savings for Black Friday in the Red Raspus Music and Design store -- check out some of the deals available today if you use the code ZBLACKFRIDAY in our store:

  • 50% off ALL posters, prints, postcards, and notecards
  • $5 off ALL shirts
  • 20% off ALL iPad and iPhone cases

Be it our Periodic Table of Jazz, or the design called Visualizing Kind of Blue, or one of the three tribute to jazz greats in our Keep Calm and Dig Some Jazz series, there's sure to be a gift for the jazz fan in your life. Take advantage of these great savings until 10am Pacific Time -- use the code ZBLACKFRIDAY in our store to save now! These deals only last 10 hours total, so get out there and save some of that hard-earned money while you still can!

Updates on The Periodic Table of Jazz - Video, Shirts, and More

It's been a hugely exciting 24 hours since releasing The Periodic Table of Jazz to the world at large. I spent every free moment of the day on the phone, returning calls about the image, the idea, the design, and jazz in general. I received some great emails with questions - I will be getting to all of you, so please be patient. I also discovered more than a few more duplicate element symbols -- I think the color differences must be the explanation, otherwise how could so many people miss them, including me? I also took the opportunity to update the image in a few other ways, including taking a few missed opportunities with clever element symbols. One student requested shirts, and my motto has always been, "ask and you shall receive," so here are some Periodic Table of Jazz shirts - available in many styles, so take your pick.

I've also posted a bit larger version for folks to look at -- sorry, I'm trying not to let a printable version out into the wild for free quite yet, but I'm working on that as well (a free version).

Also, I've made a little video to show the process I went through making the poster. I made the video before making the latest changes to the design, but it should give you a look at the spurts of work that created the majority of the design. Enjoy the evolution of The Periodic Table of Jazz:

Last but not least, if you ordered a poster and it has the old design, feel free to send it back to Imagekind or Zazzle and re-order the updated version. Otherwise, you have a one-of-ten (or less) rare version print! Treasure it! Enjoy - more as it comes!

Now Available: The Periodic Table of Jazz

At long last, and just in time for graduation season, comes The Periodic Table of Jazz, a beautiful poster depicting "an evolution of jazz style, improvisation and innovation" in a visualization homage to the periodic table of elements. Perfect for band directors, music grads, and jazz geeks and fans alike! For full details on how to purchase, plus a lengthy article about the poster's creation, visit The Periodic Table of Jazz page. Stay tuned for more "jazz meets graphic design" from Red Raspus Music - there's more to come... If you are already sold and want to skip the long read and order one now, go to our Zazzle or Imagekind pages and get yours ASAP!

On Working and Performing with the Liberty High School Jazz Band

I had the pleasure this past week of spending a few days with the Liberty High School Jazz Band, under the direction of Phil Donley. At his kind invitation, I spent some time with them Monday working with the band, performed some lunchtime concerts at the school on Friday with a short Q-and-A for the band members, and performed with them as guest artist at the Eighth Annual Liberty Jazz Night. Phil has done a great job getting his students to deal with some complex arrangements in a musical way, not just technical. Their rhythm sections are solid, the band features a few fine soloists, and they seem to dive in head first to whatever music Phil throws their way. They peaked at the performance Saturday night, so what more could you ask for!

It's always nice getting good feedback from students, so I was delighted to get mentioned in a few posts on Twitter by some students from Liberty High School's Jazz Band:

My thanks to director Phil Donley for the invitation, and to all the band members of the Liberty High School Jazz Band for making my time with you so fun and easy. The performance Saturday night was a blast, to be sure! For those of you not in attendance, here's the program from the concert:

Mountlake Terrace High School Jazz Band Premieres Two of My Arrangements at Hot Java Cool Jazz

When Mountlake Terrace High School band director Darin Faul approached me earlier this year to arrange Norah Jones' "Back to Manhattan" for the MTHS Jazz Band, I was excited, flattered, and most of all thankful -- I needed the work, too! There wasn't much to it, mainly just adding a backdrop to the original version, staying out of the way of the vocalist. But the last two things I've arranged for him -- Duke Ellington's "The Single Petal of a Rose" and Artie Shaw's "Concerto for Clarinet" -- were somewhat more daunting tasks. Ellington himself only recorded the piece as a solo piano composition, and the Artie Shaw piece had originally been recorded for a full orchestra -- and then there were the reputations of the pieces and the artists themselves. With a quick turnaround time needed for their Hot Java Cool Jazz performance, I had to squeeze all my musical and physical juices to get something completed that I was happy with.

Well, after seeing these two videos from the concert, I can only say, "Bravo!" The Mountlake Terrace High School Jazz Band, under the direction of Darin Faul, has hit a series of home-runs with these new charts, and made a whole ton of music out of some ink I put on a page. You clearly got the vibes I was going for, and then some. Bravo! Enjoy the videos of the two charts below:



Mulgrew Miller's Advice for Young Jazz Musicians (Video)

Writer and video journalist Bret Primack posts original video related to jazz with an insane amount of regularity -- four new videos posted just in the last 24 hours! One of this latest batch is from a group of videos featuring veteran pianist Mulgrew Miller, and this most recent entry where Miller gives some advice to budding young jazz musicians is not to be missed:

The Partial Observer Presents "How To Alienate Your Audience in 10 Easy Steps"

In a recent series of articles for The Partial Observer, Neo Classical columnist Holly Mulcahy writes about the ten most common ways that performers alienate their audiences. While the article is generally written from the context of a classical musician's point of view, nearly every word in this article applies to the vast majority of musicians as a whole. The article is written with humor to demonstrate it's points without coming across heavy-handed. Musicians: pay attention to this article -- it could help you get hired back!

Marc Fendel's 21 Jazz Recordings from Which I Learned

fendel.jpgMarc Fendel sent me a great list to put on the blog a while back, and I'm just now getting to posting it. The list is the twenty-one recordings that Marc learned from as a young student of jazz music in his first eight years of playing. You'd be hard pressed to find another list that provides such a solid foundation for becoming a jazz improvisor.

Marc Fendel's 21 Jazz Recordings from Which I Learned:

Joe Locke Clinic at the 2005 Ballard Jazz Festival

The 2005 Ballard Jazz Festival played host to master vibraphonist and personal guru and mentor Joe Locke. If you have not heard Joe Locke play his instrument before, rush out and buy one of his recordings -- yesterday! He's recognized both by critics and fans alike as a tour-de-fource of energy, precision, melodicism, and integrity. I was able to attend Joe's clinic, and while the audience was primarily young people, Joe managed to turn it into a fun event for both kids and adults, amateurs and professionals. Here are some memorable moments I pulled from his hour talk:
  • Equal fear on both sides of the classical-vs-jazz fence: in his experience, he is just as intimidated by what classical vibraphone and marimba players can do as those players are of what he can do as an improvisor.
  • Jazz harmony and theory can help inform a classical player: intuitively, a jazz player would look at a Bach Cello Suite and immediately go about understanding the harmonic development and chord movement.
  • Joe Locke does the Monkees: Joe talked about his first drum lessons with the nuns at his Catholic school, and jamming away with the Monkees and their hit, I'm a Believer.
  • Pre-teens and Whiskey: Joe talked about the fact that the rock band he played in during his early-teen years (12-15) was named after an Irish Whiskey, Tullamore Dew.
  • Music-making = Responsibility: "Music-making is a big responsibility becasue you take the hearts of the audience in your hands -- you affect how those people will feel at any given moment."
  • On getting in the zone: there is no way to plan this feeling -- you could be treating yourself right for weeks and practicing everyday, and you still may or may not achieve that state. Likewise, you could have not played a gig in months and still find this place.
  • Conversation while playing on the streets in NY as a young man:

    George Braith: "You suck."
    Joe Locke: "Yeah, I know."
    George Braith: "Ok, see you tomorrow..."

  • Recordings that make certain tunes click:
  • Matisse and Picasso: both spent much of their early development on the fundamentals of their art -- jazz musicians need to do the same to be creative and able to move the music (art) forward.
  • Technique: will always be a means to an end -- Joe prefers to think abstractly, like, "I want to sound like water," and the technique comes from that aesthetic.
  • A possible goal: to be one with the instrument, where what is coming out is not really you; you are merely the vessel through which the music comes; it is for you to nurture and take care of, but it is not yours.
  • Practicing: a never-ending necessity is order to keep the bar high.
Joe Locke continues to be an inspiration to me, and a model in the jazz world for anyone interested in getting to the next level. Joe - thanks for the clinic!

Teaching on Whidbey Island

Since the end of July, I've been teaching out on Whidbey Island at Langley Middle School, thanks to music educator Chris Harshman. Every other Friday, Steve Korn, Mark Taylor and I head up on the ferry to teach private lessons on our respective instruments. In the fall, we will be moving to the high school and injecting older students to the mix. SO -- if you know any junior high or high school students on Whidbey Island interested in jazz-based instrument lessons, be sure to let them know there is now a high-caliber option available for them.