I joined Twitter shortly after starting this blog and since then I have met some really cool people. It’s helped me connect to many other working musicians that continue to inspire and entertain me. I thought I would use this post to introduce you to some of these people in the hopes that they will inspire and entertain you too.
This is by no means an exhaustive list – in fact, this is probably the first in an ongoing, if irregular, series. Next time I’ll give you 10 more! But here is the first list. If you’re interested in jazz, music, and how musicians are making a go of it, you should follow all of these people.
1. @AtmosTrio is Rob Michael, a guitarist from the San Francisco area who leads the Atmos Trio. Not only does he tweet great information for musicians, but he has started to do weekly live video concerts from his studio! How cool is that?
2. @chrisdonnelly99 is Chris Donnelly, a young pianist from Toronto. He has a blog where he talks about many issues facing jazz today, often related to education (Chris is also a professor at University of Toronto). His posts are always engaging and thought-provoking.
3. @geoffreykeezer is Geoffrey Keezer, pianist extraordinaire. Geoffrey has played with a who’s who of jazz musicians, including Art Blakey, Diana Krall, Christian McBride, Ingrid Jensen, Chris Botti and many, many more. Geoffrey tweets from concerts with Botti, sends jokes, and even 12 second piano lessons.
4. @mattwilsonjazz is Matt Wilson, one of the most creative drummers around and also one of the funniest men you’ll ever meet. His tweets are equal parts philosophy and tomfoolery and will keep you on your toes. Plus, he does stuff like this.
5. @pianopeter is Peter Martin, pianist with the likes of Betty Carter, Wynton Marsalis, Dianne Reeves and Joshua Redman. Peter has been sending tweets containing video tour blogs and reports from his various concerts and tours. One recent day he kept us all updated while waiting 5 hours for his plane to take off!
6. @rgambarini is Roberta Gambarini, who renowned pianist Hank Jones calls “the best singer to emerge in over 60 years.” Roberta has been wowing crowds since she was a teenager and continues to do so by carrying on in the tradition of the great singers like Ella Fitzgerald and Carmen McRae. Follow her tweets as she travels the world with her own band, as well as legends like Roy Hargrove and James Moody.
7. @solobasssteve is Steve Lawson, solo bassist from the UK. Steve’s blog is an incredible resource for musicians, and we can all learn a thing or two about the meaning of success from the way he has structured his career. He has six self-produced albums, has great success with house concerts, and is truly livin’ the dream.
8. @SunnaGunnlaugs is Icelandic pianist Sunna Gunnlaugs. Her bio says she is “Bridging the Brooklyn-Reykjavik jazz divide with European elegance and a fiery, New York drive.” That statement beautifully sums up her music, much of which she gives away for free! Her blog and her tweets are fun and interesting. And did I mention the free music????
9. @uglyrug is Portland composer Andrew Durkin, leader of the Industrial Jazz Group. Andrew is doing what few dare to do – leading a big band. But not just any big band, but a band described as “avant-garde party music”: an idiosyncratic, charming / disarming blend of jazz, rock, cartoon soundtracks, humor, blues, funk, costumes, doo wop, dada, and a lot of other stuff. Plus, he tweets about his chickens.
10. @vijayiyer is Vijay Iyer, widely hailed as one of the the pre-eminent pianist of his generation. His new album Historicity is already getting votes for the best album of 2009, and his thoughts on the state of the music have made him one of the new spokespeople for jazz in the 21st century.
I hope you’ll follow these good folks and get as much out of your association with them as I do. One thing I can say about Twitter is that it is bringing the jazz community closer together than ever before, and that only benefits us all.
An aside: I just noticed that half the people on this list are piano players. What’s up with that?? 😉
Please feel free to add any of your favorite Tweeters in the comments.