Milwaukee sax players??
Hello all -
Just wondering if any forum members live in or around the Milwaukee, WI area and might be interested in getting together to practice. I've been playing the alto sax on and off for about 15 years (thought i'd still call myself a novice player), but it's been all private lessons or simply studying on my own. It's difficult to stay motivated when you don't have the chance to play with other musicians, and i'm sure i've been missed a critical part of the learning process - ie, getting the chance to play/learn with and from other players. I'm 27 with a full time job, so i don't have some of the same opportunities with a high school or college type of group and given the fact that i've really got no combo/band experience, hard for me to just sit in with a well established group (which i'm not ready for). Anyways, thought i'd inquire ......
I'm a sax performance/philosophy double major at UWM. A few of us browse here, but I think i'm the only one who posts much. I play alto in our innovative jazz lab, lead alto in our jazz ensemble, soprano in our saxophone quartet, and one of the altos in our top wind ensemble. I consider myself much more of a classical player than a jazzer, but I still enjoy jazz and I'm told I have some decent chops - though I don't really think so.
Except for one considerable break, I've been a student of Curt's for about 9 1/2 years now, and I've been playing for 14. I recognized your screen name from the thread you made last year, regarding an SX-90R tenor. I didn't read it until long after the fact, so I didn't bother reviving it, but while I have your attention let me tell you that he definitely wasn't trying to rip you off. As you may or may not know, Curt is not good with computers, and I wouldn't be surprised if he's never been to Ebay.com. He has an inflated sense of Keilwerths' resale value. Beyond that, though, if he was selling it for another student (and I can think of two different students who would have been selling black nickel SX-90R's around that time) then he would have been quoting you their price - not his own - and he wouldn't be collecting any money for himself.
Anyways, enough for drudging up the past! On to this topic!
There's a jam session at Club Timbuktu in River West every Monday night. Nearly everyone who regularly attends (or periodically attends) is quite nice, and the atmosphere is usually very positive. And in case you're intimidated, there's a bar not more than 15 feet from where you're playing! There really isn't any ensemble work involved except for playing the head - and of course anyone there can do that in case you don't know it.
There's also probably going to be a jam session starting up this spring right on the UWM campus in room 150 of the music building. There's been a "put your name here if you're interested" sheet on the jazz bulletin board for the past month. Looking at the people who've signed up thus far, I can assure you that however well you play, there will be someone else there at your ability level so it shouldn't really be intimidating. The guy who's leading it, Nate Weiss, is a strong jazz trumpet player and is gaining experience as a (jazz) teacher. I'm pretty sure that if this happens, he'll be doing a little bit of teaching to go along with the jamming, so it should be a good experience. I'm also sure he doesn't care (and no one else does either) if not everyone who shows up is a UWM student or even alumni.
Thanks for the info Rick. I will definitely check out the club you mention.
Just quickly .... I've been taking lessons from Curt for a while too and really didn't expect that he was trying to rip me off - in fact I bought my last alto through him and am very happy with it. I was just a bit surprised when a number of forum members suggested (enthusiastically at that) that the price I was getting for an SX90R was too high ... and in some cases members suggested way too high. Given that I'm fairly ignorant of what used saxophone fair market prices are (even more so when it comes to tenors) , I wanted to at least get an idea of what these type of horns are typically going for (I was working with a limited budget). Anyways, just had to address that portion of your message as I didn't want to give the impression that I was accusing Curt of anything - he's always been straight up with me.
Again, thanks for the recommendations and info. It would be great to have the opportunity to actually play in a group setting (even if it involved quite a bit of fumbling). Are the uwm jazz get togethers you mention open to non-students?