Washington Post Review of Monday night’s Blues Alley CD Release Celebration

I was over the moon to play my new music Monday night, August 5th at Blues Alley with a stellar cast of musicians! Many thanks to Mike West of the Washington Post for the review of the performance, which was printed in the Style section on Wednesday. As my music evolves, I am so thankful to have the support of the DC community behind me, cheering me on as I break out as an artist. I have received so many anecdotal messages, from social media and folks in various circles. I have been so busy getting my album together, it is really gratifying to receive such positive energy upon its release. Thank you everyone!

Here is the link:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/whether-in-a-quintet-or-trio-shannon-gunn-delivers-exciting-sounds-at-blues-alley/2019/08/06/f2c47942-b852-11e9-8e83-4e6687e99814_story.html?fbclid=IwAR305jh8vdJv4GMHE9SRGRd1lnXoJsjOT2oq_pVx2lzLhZImduBhKLEh8zI

Photo credit Astrid Riecken.

Search Gunn’s Ablazin’ on iTunes, Spotify, Tidal, Amazon, or Google play and listen/download to your hearts content! Thank you for your support of my music!

CD cover photo credit Tim Gunn

New Album “Gunn’s Ablazin” is out! Download now!

Gunn’s Ablazin’ new album out now available on all streaming services! This album features the Firebird Organ Trio and the Shannon Gunn Quintet. Please stream and download it today! Liner Notes below!

Apple iTunes: https://music.apple.com/us/album/gunns-ablazin/1475384300

Amazon Music: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07VZ99781/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=shannon+gunn&qid=1564931720&s=dmusic&sr=1-1

Tidal: https://tidal.com/album/114735489

Spotify coming soon

Liner notes:

1. Orange Noise: This is the second song in my two song presidential suite. Dedicated to all the lies on Twitter. So orange! [SG Quintet]

2. Missing Perspective: This song was inspired Kara Walker’s “Harper’s Pictorial History of the Civil War (Annotated)” exhibit. It aims to bring to light the missing perspectives in the history books. [SG Quintet]

3. Babes in Cages are NOT OK. This is my protest song, children are still being separated from their parents, through smoke and mirrors, at the behest of the US government tax dollars. [SG Quintet]

4. Ellen: Written as a gift for (and inspired by) my friend Ellen, jazz hugs! [Firebird Organ Trio]

5. Ms. Cheverly: inspired by the mother of my good friend, Amy K. Bormet, for her unwavering support of women in jazz. This one is for Alice in Cheverly! (Maryland) [Firebird Organ Trio]

6. #canigetpaid: The song title is a hashtag, and it’s dedicated to Adams Morgan. [Firebird Organ Trio]

7. Cruash: When you crash into a crush, or crush into a crash. [SG Quintet]

8. Dinah: Seattle Grunge meets DC Go Go in this 1926 classic, Dinah – performed as you’ve never heard it before. [SG Quintet]

9. Carried Away: In the effort to make jazz relevant again, this is a cover of a popular tune by the artist H.E.R. Gotta get those streams up! [Firebird Organ Trio]

10. Gymnopedie #1: This is a cover of a classical song from 1888 by Erik Satie. [Firebird Organ Trio]

11. Cycal: This is a tune I wrote as a gift for my Father. His name is Calvin, and he is an avid cyclist, thus the nickname Cycal. He has biked across the country twice! The song simulates going up and down the hills on a bicycle. [Firebird Organ Trio]

12. Rainbow Connection: this arrangement was inspired by the passing of Aretha Franklin. [Firebird Organ Trio]

I hope you enjoy each tune!

Image of Shannon Gunn, download Gunn's Ablazin' today.

The Stories Behind the Songs: Gunn’s Ablazin’ (August 2019 Release)

Shannon Gunn will release her sixth album as a leader, and second album as a solo artist on Sunday, August 4th. The album, which tells a story and celebrates her writing, will feature two ensembles, recorded on two separate dates at BIAS studios by Brian Rivera (mixed, mastered, and produced by Shannon Gunn):

  1. Firebird Organ Trio featuring Hope Udobi on Keys and Kelton Norris on Drums
  2. Shannon Gunn Quintet featuring Chris Barrick on vibes, Garret Gleason on guitar, Mikel Combs on bass, and Kelton Norris on drums.

If you listen to the album in track order, each song tells a story. Read below for the stories behind the songs!

  1. Orange Noise: This is the second song in my two song presidential suite. Dedicated to all the lies on Twitter. So orange! [SG Quintet]
  2. Missing Perspective: This song was inspired Kara Walker’s “Harper’s Pictorial History of the Civil War (Annotated)” exhibit. It aims to bring to light the missing perspectives in the history books, especially in the United States. [SG Quintet]
  3. Babes in Cages are NOT OK. This is my protest song. It is absolutely unacceptable that kids are being separated from their parents at the border. It’s still happening, through smoke and mirrors, at the behest of the US government tax dollars. https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/the-five-year-old-who-was-detained-at-the-border-and-convinced-to-sign-away-her-rights [SG Quintet]
  4. Ellen: This is my jazz hugs song, designed to be listened to after you hear Babes in Cages. Written as a gift for (and inspired by) my friend Ellen, isn’t she wonderful? [Firebird Organ Trio]
  5. Ms. Cheverly: I was listening back to one of my live shows, and heard this very overt group of cat-callers and whistlers in the back of the room. I realized this was the mother of my good friend, Amy K. Bormet, with all her comrades, and she deserved a song for all her support of Women in Jazz. This one is for Alice in Cheverly! (Maryland) [Firebird Organ Trio]
  6. #canigetpaid: Yes, the song title is a hashtag, and yes, it’s dedicated to Adams Morgan. Sweet, then angry. [Firebird Organ Trio]
  7. Cruash: When you crash into a crush, or crush into a crash. (They don’t teach you that in school!) [SG Quintet]
  8. Dinah: Seattle Grunge meets DC Go Go in this 1926 classic, Dinah – performed as you’ve never heard it before. [SG Quintet]
  9. Carried Away: In the effort to make jazz relevant again, this is a cover of a popular tune by the artist H.E.R. Gotta get those streams up! [Firebird Organ Trio]
  10. Gymnopedie #1: This is a cover of a classical song from 1888 by Erik Satie. Often played by beginning pianists, I love the overlapping phrases, odd harmonic structure, and potential for synergy within the harmony. A Firebird classic. [Firebird Organ Trio]
  11. Cycal: This is a tune I wrote as a gift for my Father in 2012. His name is Calvin, and he is an avid cyclist, thus the nickname Cycal. He has biked across the country twice! Ocean to ocean! This tune flips between a double time swing feel and funk, and depicts the ups and downs of the hills while biking. [Firebird Organ Trio]
  12. Rainbow Connection: I wrote this arrangement of the tune, made popular by Kermit the Frog in the early 1980s, directly after Aretha Franklin’s passing. Her music inspired so many, and she was absolutely amazing! [Firebird Organ Trio]

I hope you enjoy each tune! Coming soon! I’ll add audio clips once I get them up.

What it Takes – Lead Sheets

Alright. I’m doing it. Self-publishing 100 songs in 100 days. Follow me and download freely.

What it Takes is a tune I wrote in the aftermath of the November 2016 election. This song, “What it Takes,” is dedicated to the leadership of Barack Obama. It’s about what it takes to become president, to pull a country out of recession and charge it forward. People don’t become president by accident, their journey starts in childhood with leadership, community, speaking, writing skills. Leadership is an art, and Barack Obama was awesome at it. This song is dedicated to the ability to keep us out of war. I truly loved this president, and cannot say enough how he has helped us as a nation.

Below is the link to the sheet music and a video of our performance from that awesome fun night. Please follow, subscribe, donate, and I’m happy for you to download the PDF and share it, play it, talk about it freely!

Hope you enjoy!

Facebook Insta YouTube Twitter

What it Takes Lead Sheets (includes Eb, Bb, and C parts)

Clicking the link above will ask for your email address, then I ask that you donate $4 or more using credit card, optional. (honor system) Minimum donation is set to $1.00. Upon donation, you will be automatically directed to the PDF music sheets, 14 pages, with parts for C, Bb, and Eb instruments. It may take up to 30 seconds. Please email me if you have any problems! Thank you for your support! I am on gmail as jazztothebone. IF the donation poses a problem for you (example, you are under 18 and don’t have a credit card yet), please email me and I’ll send it to you personally. Use jazztothebone at gmail. I would love for other folks to play this tune!

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For Immediate Release: The Washington Women in Jazz Festival Presents Jazz Girls Day DC

JAZZ GIRLS DAY DC
for high school and middle school students

Saturday, March 30th, at 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
John Calvin Presbyterian Church in Annandale, VA

With Special Culminating Free Concert Led by Women Jazz Musicians Featuring Women Jazz Composers

4:00 pm

John Calvin Presbyterian Church in Annandale, VA

(ANNANDALE) — The Washington Women in Jazz Festival is honored to present the first ever Jazz Girls Day DC workshop and concert on Saturday, March 30th, at John Calvin Presbyterian Church in Annandale, VA. The day will begin with workshops and tutorial lessons for student musicians. The day will culminate in a student led jam session followed by a free concert open to the entire community. The events will take place at John Calvin Presbyterian church at 6531 Columbia Pike, Annandale, VA 22003, where there is ample free parking.

            Jazz Girls Day is open to Middle and High School students who identify as women or gender non-binary. The workshops will be taught by professional women jazz musicians: Amy K. Bormet, piano; Karine Chapdelaine, bass; Shannon Gunn, trombone; Tina Raymond, drums; and Charmaine Michelle, trumpet. Please visit http://bullettesjazz.com/bios for the bio of each faculty member. Students will be exposed to jazz pedagogy, a friendly jam session, a free concert performed by powerhouse jazz musicians, and will have the opportunity to network with other musicians.

About the Washington Women in Jazz Festival

Created by Amy K Bormet in 2011, Washington Women in Jazz hosts an annual festival (WWJF) each March to celebrate the women of the DC jazz community. Bormet and her colleagues develop, promote and lead a wide array of concerts, jam sessions, lectures, panels, discussions, and master classes.  A highlight of the festival is the Young Artist Showcase, where high school and college women are given a platform to perform and connect with professional jazz artists.

About Shannon Gunn

Hailed by the Washington City Paper as “D.C.’s Best Trombonist 2015” and the DistrictNow Blog as “Best Trombonist 2017,”  DC based Shannon Gunn is known for her exceptional tone and her grandiose project-du-jour. She is currently the artist in residence on Tuesday nights at Columbia Station in Adams Morgan as leader of her band, the Firebird, named “DC’s Best Small Ensemble 2016” by the Washington City Paper. She also runs DC’s premiere all-women jazz orchestra, “Shannon Gunn and the Bullettes,” including successful performances at the Kennedy Center, Castleton Theatre House, DC Jazz Festival, Blues Alley, Washington Women in Jazz Festival, Takoma Park Jazz Festival, Jazz on Jackson Place, Westminster Jazz Night, Great Gatsby Inaugural Ball, Goethe Institute, National Jazz Workshop, Gallery O on H, Bohemian Caverns, and Dardanella.

For more information, please visit:

http://washingtonwomeninjazz.com/                          https://www.shannongunn.net

https://www.facebook.com/WWJazzFest https://www.facebook.com/jazztothebone2

https://twitter.com/WWJazzFest             https://twitter.com/jazztothebone

https://www.instagram.com/wwjazzfest/ https://www.instagram.com/jazztothebone/

# # #

Press Contact
Shannon Gunn
216-789-5310 | jazztothebone@gmail.com

3 Ways to Show Respect in Jazz: A Woman’s Perspective

Photo Credit Lawrence A. Randall

This past weekend, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to attend a wonderful panel presentation, “Will Women be the Savior of Jazz?” at the Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival. This panel was led by Sunny Sumter, Executive Director of the DC Jazz Festival, and panelists included artists Regina Carter and Chelsea Green. The panelists described their experiences as a women instrumentalist on the jazz scene while Sunny asked questions to explore the topic of women in jazz. The topic of respect came up several times, and I am writing this post to give 3 ways we can all show respect on and off the bandstand. I truly believe that jazz is intertwined with social justice, and we should embrace inclusivity, respect, and activism as part of the music of jazz. The good news is, these tips will work for anyone, not just help women in jazz.

Tip #1: Be Early

As a band leader, it took me about 5 years to realize that when musicians were late, it affected my playing. This may sound crazy, but my improvisation chokes up when I’m stressed. Improvising music requires vulnerability – the ability to relax allows thoughts to flow and creativity to inspire. When folks are late, I found myself in a stress ball and more concerned about their well-being than the music. The best thing you can do for yourself as a musician is to be the most reliable, on-time person in the world. Show up an hour early.

Tip #2: Don’t be Weird

If a woman instrumentalist wants to talk about music, don’t treat her any differently than you would a friend. Women instrumentalists are missing out on the camraderie, and this affects their longevity in the profession, development as musicians, and economy of playing. Hire a woman for their playing, and do not objectify them. I have seen women get hired time and time again because dudes were searching, looking, and hoping. I’ve seen women placed in dangerous situations when they think they are going to a “session” but it turns out to be a weird sort of trap. Women play no differently from men, and they should be treated with the same respect you would a brother or a best friend.

Tip #3: Differentiate between Ego and Confidence

I see jam sessions as toxic environments when people cut off someone else’s solo only to take 16 choruses of their own. This annoys the heck out of me, especially when folks don’t know changes. Women get pushed out and off, and that makes it difficult to keep going. At the same time, it’s a two way street – get up on the bandstand with a plan, a solo that arcs, and play music that is interesting enough that folks will want to listen more. To me, this scenario is an example of the difference between ego and confidence. I try to have high self-confidence but low ego. When someone cuts me off, I view them as insecure, with a big ego and low self-confidence. They have something to prove, and need to push others down to get there. Try to work on competing with yourself, plan your personal bests, and let others do their thing. There is no need to insult anyone, make excuses, and create strife. Just do your thing, and let others do their thing too. And keep your solos to 2 choruses at the jam sessions, folks.

What do you think? What are ways we can all create a more respectful environment? Respect for women is beneficial to everyone; it will lift the profession, which will in turn lift the economy of the music, the venues, and Jazz.

ForScore Tutorial: How to Use Bookmarks for Long PDFs

Have you ever received a PDF with multiple songs? Rather than splitting out each song, you can simply bookmark the PDF in ForScore and then add that bookmark to a Setlist. ForScore is a wonderful PDF music reader for iPad! This is a tutorial on how to Add Bookmarks to ForScore for a multi-page PDF, and then link to that bookmark within a setlist.

How to use bookmarks in ForScore

For Immediate Release: The Hill Center Presents an Intimate Evening with Samuel Prather for Valentine’s Day, 2019

Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital, 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, Washington, DC 20003

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                

Media Contact: Burnett Thompson, 703-489-8704, burnett@pianojazz.com

The Hill Center Presents an Intimate Evening with Samuel Prather for Valentine’s Day, 2019

Washington, D.C. (January 22nd, 2019) — Street Scenes at the Hill Center presents DC’s own genre breaking vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Samuel Prather on Thursday, February 14th, from 7:00 – 9:00 pm. Tickets are $18 in advance, $20 on the day of the performance and can be purchased online or at the door. Purchase tickets on InstantSeats at https://www.instantseats.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=buy.event&eventID=A5FF6C01-BA4C-7C82-B23FD15C5C421D3F.

Samuel Prather, who normally performs with a large groove oriented ensemble, will be presenting a rare small, trio jazz combo feature performance as part of the Hill Center Street Scenes series. He has developed a reputation as an engaging performer, weaving story into his unique take on standards as well as his originals. He’s been compared to Stevie Wonder, Nat King Cole, and Donny Hathaway for his classic takes on jazz and soul music. As a versatile musician, he has shared the stage with acts as varied as Shania Twain, Raul Midon, Frederic Yonnet, Hugh Masekela, and Cyrus Chestnut. A product of UDC, UMBC, and Howard University, he won a student downbeat award in 2012. On top of being tied for DC’s Best Pianist of 2017 in Mike West’s Jazzies Awards, his album “Groove Orchestra” was named #2 Album of the Year by Capitalbop.com in 2014, and he currently leads his critically acclaimed large ensemble on its way to a brand new album release in March.

Hill Center Street Scenes Concert Series

For a complete schedule and artist bios for the Hill Center Street Scenes Concert Series, curated by Burnett Thompson and Shannon Gunn, please visit www.pianojazz.com/hillcenter.htm. Ensembles in residence at the Hill Center provide exquisite concert performances coupled with children’s programming in D.C. public schools.  In its 7th season, the aim of the series is to bring the world’s rich musical universe to Capitol Hill and the wider Washington, D.C. community.

Street Scenes Concert Series:


February 14th, 2019: Sam Prather
March 27th, 2019: Washington Women in Jazz Festival featuring the String Queens
April 17th, 2019: Kris Funn and Cornerstore
May 15th, 2019: Monika Herzig’s Time Flies

Photo cut-line: Samuel Prather to Perform at the Hill Center Street Scenes on Valentines Day, 2019

Apps for Jazzers 2019

By Shannon Gunn, presented at JEN 2019 (Reno, NV)

  1. Utilities (Metronome, tuner, iReal, iGigBook, payment apps, bank apps, scanning)

2. Sheet music/set lists, including sharing within a band

3. Notation

  • MuseScore – the desktop version allows you to write sheet music and load it to the website. The app is for viewing only (can’t write notation with it). Beware of $50 fee to download music to the app and the non-refund for cancelling subscription.
  • Notion – iOS, $14.99
  • Android sheet music apps, Sibelius, Finale, Noteflight

4. Transcribing

  • Amazing Slow Downer (ASD) – iOS, Android, Lite is free but only 30 seconds of song, $14.99, import from music library or Spotify
  • MimiCopy – iOS, $4.99, nice user interface for zooming and looping
  • Transcribe! – Desktop software with frequency analyzer

5. Apps for band directors/students – ear training, theory, pedagogy, improvisation

  • Stretch Music – iOS, $9.99, play along with Christian Scott Atunde Adjuah’s album, solo parts, view his sheet music
  • Harmony Cloud – iOS, $9.99, Stefan Harris’s play along improvisation app
  • Modacity – iOS, $8.99, music practice app, make a goal and watch your progress, make a playlist, take notes, recording, playback, set a timer, demos
  • Anytune – iOS, free with in-app purchases $1.99 – $4.99, music practice app, slow down, speed up, loop, and separate out parts, transpose to a different key, play along with a recording
  • Drum Genius – iOS, Android, free for the first three downloads, after that it ranges from $0.99 to $7.99, encyclopedia of drum grooves, practice along with Brian Blade
  • PlayByEar – iOS, free, ear training app
  • SR Machine (Sight Reading Machine) – iOS, $1.99, sight read difficult examples, demo
  • ReadRhythm, aka Rhythm Reading Sight Reading Trainer – iOS, $2.99, tap along with sight reading, then receive a graphic of what you did, connect to Evernote to show improvement over time
  • iImprov – iOS, Android, $4.99, this is a suite of apps which are short duration courses on everything jazz improv. Topics include: Scale Compendium, Modal, Fundamentals, Bebop, ii V, Contemporary Colors.
  • Tenuto – iOS, $3.99, music theory app for students, associated with musictheory.net
  • MyMusicTheory – Android, free, music theory app
  • Music Theory Pro – iOS, $3.99, music theory app
  • Fingering – iOS, $6.99, interactive fingering charts for brass and woodwind instruments
  • Scales Lexicon – iOS, $4.99, over 100 scales, modes, jazz scales, and world music scales
  • RhymeZone – iOS, browser, app is $2.99, browser is free, rhyming dictionary for lyrics
  • Clapping Music – iOS, free, tap along with Steve Reich’s Clapping Music (gamified)
  • GroupMuse – browser, iOS, free, social media app to host and attend classical chamber music house shows

6. Lead sheet resources

  • Scribd, MuseScore, Google Images

7. Pedals/Effects/VSTs

  • Ampkit – iOS, $19.99, hook your guitar into your iPad with the iRig for hundreds of pedals and amp modeling options
  • Tonestack – iOS, $4.99, with expansion packs up to $24.99, hundreds of pedals, amp sims, and heads
  • Cantabile – Windows, desktop app you can use for patches for your midi instrument (ex: Keyboard), $69 – $199
  • Apple MainStage 3 – iOS desktop only, $29.99, live stage performance app for iOS

8. Synths

  • MultiTone Generator – iOS, Android, free with $2.99 upgrade for all features, generate sine waves and adjust amplitude and frequency
  • iMini – Desktop avail for Windows and iOS, iPad app also available, $9.99, this is an app created by Arturia which looks, feels, and acts just like the infamous MiniMoog, AudioBus compatible

9. Looping

  • Loopy HD – iOS, $3.99, looper app, watch Jimmy Fallon’s demo on the tonight show
  • Garageband – iOS, free, use the live loops and record, also includes the Alchemy synth

10. Recording

  • Audiobus – iOS, $9.99, link your audio apps together to process and record, demo
  • Aurio Pro – iOS, $49.99, record up to 24 tracks, mix, master, and produce (DAW)

Deep Dive into Apps for Live Performance

  • Audio Interface setup 
  • Pedals
  • Live looping
  • Recording
  • Demonstration of synth apps and how to use them, including oscillators, filters, modulators, and internal effects

Resources:

https://www.shannongunn.net has tutorial videos and the Apps for Jazzers blog

Introduction to the Recording Arts by Shannon Gunn (198 page textbook) is on Amazon and provides a turn-key resource for educators, including chapters on the history of audio recording, physics of sound, microphones, PA systems, and basic electricity. Includes a curriculum, exercises and note-taking resources.

Contact:

Shannon Gunn

jazztothebone@gmail.com

216-789-5310

@jazztothebone on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr

Shannon is available to do masterclasses and residencies at schools and universities.

Shannon Gunn and the Bullettes: http://www.bullettesjazz.com/ 

Bio:

Hailed by the Washington City Paper as “D.C.’s Best Trombonist 2015” and the DistrictNow Blog as “Best Trombonist 2017,”  DC based Shannon Gunn is known for her exceptional tone and her grandiose project-du-jour. She is currently the artist in residence on Tuesday nights at Columbia Station in Adams Morgan as leader of the “Firebird Organ Trio,” named “DC’s Best Small Ensemble 2016” by the Washington City Paper. She also runs DC’s premiere all-women jazz orchestra, “Shannon Gunn and the Bullettes,” including successful performances at the Kennedy Center, Castleton Theatre House, DC Jazz Festival, Washington Women in Jazz Festival, Takoma Park Jazz Festival, Jazz on Jackson Place, Westminster Jazz Night, Nomadic Jazz, Great Gatsby Inaugural Ball, Goethe Institute, National Jazz Workshop, Gallery O on H, Arts on the Avenue, Bohemian Caverns, and  Dardanella. As a member of the Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra, she’s had the privilege of playing with notable artists such as Oliver Lake, Cheryl Bailey, Yotam Silverstein, Wycliffe Gordon, Ken Schaphorst, and for Miho Hazama. Additionally, as lead trombone player at Michigan State University, she played with Billy Taylor, Rodney Whitaker, and Marian McPartland. She earned her Masters of Music in Jazz Studies from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia and also attended James Madison University and Michigan State University for her music studies. She produced “The JazzCast,” a podcast dedicated to curated listening sessions with jazz musicians. In addition to the ensembles listed above, Shannon Gunn has performed with the Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra, Reunion Music Society, American Festival Pops Orchestra, Manassas Chorale, at various TV stations such as  DCTV, CBS Morning Show (local) in Richmond,  WJLA ABC in DC as part of the Gatsby Ball promo, and has subbed in with the DIVA! Jazz Orchestra for Maurice Hines’ “Tappin Thru’ Life” as well as subbed on tour with Monika Herzig. She resides in Virginia with her husband, Timothy, and her dog, Faith. Photo Credit Suzette Niess.

Apps for Jazzers 2019 Outline

Here is the outline I originally submitted for the JEN presentation on 1/11/19 at 6:00 PM in the Ruby Room:

Top 10 Apps Every Musician Should Have

1. Utilities (Metronome, tuner, iReal, iGigBook, payment apps, bank apps, scanning)

2. Sheet music/set lists, including sharing within a band

3. Notation

4. Transcribing

5. Band directing apps

6. Lead sheet resources

7. Pedals/Effects

8. Synths

9. Looping

10. Recording

Deep Dive into Apps for Live Performance

  • Audio Interface setup
  • Pedals
  • Live looping
  • Recording
  • Demonstration of synth apps and how to use them, including oscillators, filters, modulators, and internal effects

How to Link Apps with AudioBus (iOS)

Have you ever wanted to record a non-Apple synth app into Garageband on your iPad? Or perhaps you want to run your synth app through your pedal effects app? This is all possible through the Audiobus app. Watch the tutorial below to learn how to link your apps together.

2019 – The Year of Apps in Browsers

Recently, I deleted Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter from my phone. I almost immediately felt a lift in spirit, and have not regretted it since. I still have the accounts, just deleted the app, that’s all.

First of all, the invasion of privacy is astounding. Pay close attention to your ads. Have you ever searched for that item? We all know our searches are tracked and then ads are targeted later. If you put an item in a shopping cart online, and then abort, you will get retargeting ads a few minutes later on Facebook.

What really concerns me are the ads for items I did *not* search for.  Our phones are listening and our conversations are constantly mined for “keywords.” Companies pay big money to drill down their advertisements to people talking about a problem they can solve. I’ve seen this happen on my own accounts with large ticket items. Try having a conversation around a few of the following topics, and then pay close attention to the ads you see on Instagram and Facebook. Say the following words aloud.

1. I want to switch careers. I wonder if it would be helpful to have an MBA. I wonder where I should get an MBA. I need figure out what I should do for my career… [keep going, make stuff up]

2. Let’s go on vacation. Hawaii? Costa Rica?

3. I need a new mattress…

4. Honey let’s buy a house

5. Need a new kitchen, bathroom, I need new windows

I would even go so far as to say that these high value keywords are still recorded when the phone is off.

(please note – I am not an expert, just describing what I’ve seen)

Try it!

It’s legal because we agree to this in the terms and conditions.

There is something about these social media apps that causes a bit of jealousy, especially seeing other musicians’ gigs. You might say, but you need social media as a musician? To promote gigs?

First of all, I’m not sure how useful social media is for promoting live shows. It can help propel the wave of marketing, but print and curated media is still king. I would question the effectiveness of social posts. I have seen one, maybe two people come out to a show because they saw a social post, per gig, but it’s never a huge impact.

Facebook Ads do work, but that’s not really a strategy I want to use, if I can help it. That’s more for venues and large orgs.

What posting really does is give cred amongst other musicians, and builds rapport. That’s musician-to-musician business, though, not musician to audience marketing. Musicians are watching each other – checking out new venues, looking for sessions, you know the drill. It’s good for the industry to see what you’re up to. You have to constantly feed your social network and fans with new music (videos, recordings, etc.)

So how does one continue to stay in the eyes and minds of the industry, without sacrificing self-confidence and “FOMOOG” (fear of missing out on gigs)?

The answer, my friend, is to push out social posts with apps in browsers. Simply open Safari or Chrome to the social media site of choice, post your selfie/video/text, and get out. Close the tab. You can post video and pictures to Facebook, and pictures only to Instagram. You can only use IG via browser on your phone, not the desktop. You can view and post to Twitter with your browser. The only one that has been sticky is Pinterest, they force you to open your recipe for the best chocolate brownies in the app. So download and then delete when done.

I am having difficulty deleting Facebook Messenger. I’m not seeing any ads, so I don’t think it’s tracking me (yet), but I’m not an expert. FB Messenger is the most reliable way to reach a lot of folks, and also gives me a way to book people I have met but don’t have their phone number.

Cut the endless scrolling, go get coffee with friends, and cut those social media strings!

Ah, where was I on Instagram stories?

Just kidding!!

By the way, everyone under 25 has figured this out. This post is for us old folks, millennials and older.

For Immediate Release: The 17th Annual Jazz4Justice Concert features a new partnership between George Mason University and Legal Services of Northern Virginia

George Mason University School of Music

presents
THE 17TH ANNUAL JAZZ4JUSTICE™
featuring a new partnership between George Mason University
and Legal Services of Northern Virginia

Friday, November 16, 2018 at 8 p.m.
Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas


Saturday, November 17, 2018 at 8 p.m.
Center for the Arts in Fairfax

 (FAIRFAX)— George Mason University’s School of Music presents the 17th annual Jazz4Justice LIVE! concert and fundraiser on Friday, November 16 at 8 p.m. in the Hylton Performing Arts Center and Saturday, November 17 at 8 p.m. in the Center for the Arts. The events raise funds to directly support vital legal services and the George Mason University Jazz Studies program. Information and tickets are currently available at hyltoncenter.org and cfa.gmu.edu.

For the first time, Jazz4Justice™ is presented in partnership with Legal Services of Northern Virginia (LSNV), the largest legal aid organization in Northern Virginia. “We are looking forward to partnering with Jazz4Justice™ as well as the entire Mason community to promote justice for a better community by providing civil legal assistance to those facing the loss of a critical need,” affirmed Marcy Kossar, Director of Development for LSNV.

James Carroll, Professor of Jazz Studies and Mason Jazz Ensemble Director, has assembled a stellar musical program for the upcoming Jazz4Justice™ performances. He shared, “we are excited to feature alto saxophone virtuoso Charlie Young, Professor of Music at Howard University and leader/Artistic Director of the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra. Charlie is, absolutely without a doubt, ‘the best’. In addition, we will feature amazing student musicians and compositions from Mason’s Jazz Studies Department, and there will be an open jam session hosted by Mason students following each concert. We will also be producing a live recording of the concert. We truly hope local audiences and arts supporters can join us for this wonderful collaboration between Mason Jazz and the legal community.”

Tickets to Jazz4Justice™ at the Hylton Center are available in person at the Ticket Office (open Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.), by calling at 703-993-7759, or at hyltoncenter.org. Tickets to the Center for the Arts’ concert are also available in at the Ticket Office (open Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m.- 6 p.m.), by calling at 703-993 2787, or at cfa.gmu.edu.

About Jazz4Justice

In 2000, Fairfax attorney Ed Weiner attended a student jazz recital. He was impressed by the music but distressed by the small audience. As the President of the Fairfax Law Foundation, he saw an opportunity for a new partnership – universities would provide the musical talent and the local legal community would provide the audience and sponsors. Today, Jazz4Justice concerts are held throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. Thus far, Jazz4Justic has raised over $350,000 for music scholarships and an array of educational and charitable services benefiting Virginia’s local communities. Jazz4Justice has received awards from the American Bar Association and the Virginia State Bar.

About the School of Music

The Mason School of Music is part of the College of Visual and Performing Arts. Students study with nationally and internationally recognized faculty who are active performers, conductors, composers, music theoreticians, historians, and music teachers. Admission is based on acceptance to the university and audition. The music program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).

About the College of Visual and Performing Arts

The College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA) provides an academic environment in which the arts are explored as individual disciplines and interdisciplinary forms that strengthen one another. The college prepares students for careers as creators, performers, teachers, scholars, arts leaders and arts entrepreneurs. Understanding that an education in the arts is deepened by regular contact with the work of distinguished visiting artists, the Center for the Arts, the professional presentation and production arm of the college, welcomes a variety of professional and world-renowned artists, musicians and actors to its stage. Students have the opportunity to perform, create and exhibit their work in a wide variety of public venues including a 2,000-seat Concert Hall. CVPA is home to the Schools of Music, Dance, Art and Theater, as well as the Computer Game Design, Arts Management, and Film and Video Studies programs.

About George Mason University

George Mason University is Virginia’s largest public research university. Located near Washington, D.C., Mason enrolls 35,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states. Mason has grown rapidly over the past half-century and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, remarkable diversity and commitment to accessibility.

About Legal Services of Northern Virginia

Legal Services of Northern Virginia (LSNV), a private, not-for-profit organization, offers free legal services to low income individuals and families, seniors, veterans, people with disabilities and victims of domestic violence residing in Northern Virginia. With 7 offices located throughout the region, LSNV completed more than 6,000 cases in 2017 benefitting 15,000 individuals, providing assistance in the following substantive areas:

  • family law, focusing primarily on matters which include domestic violence
  • housing law which includes eviction and foreclosure prevention cases
  • consumer law
  • public benefits
  • veteran’s affairs
  • employment law
  • elder law
  • child advocacy
  • education law with a focus on children with special needs
  • HIV/AIDS Project

LSNV’s mission could not be accomplished without the generous support of the Northern Virginia community. We thank you for your support and invite you to learn more about how we benefit the community at www.lsnv.org.

For Immediate Release: Amy Shook and the SR4tet to perform at the Hill Center, October 4th

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital, 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, Washington, DC 20003

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact: Burnett Thompson, 703-489-8704, burnett@pianojazz.com

Premiere DC Bassist Amy Shook and the SR4tet to open the Street Scenes Concert Series at the Hill Center on October 4th, 2018

Performing New Originals and Old Standards With a Star Studded Cast

Washington, D.C. (September 9th, 2018) — Street Scenes at the Hill Center presents jazz bassist Amy Shook with the SR4tet on Thursday, October 4th, at 7:00 – 9:00 pm. Tickets are $18 in advance, $20 on the day of the performance and can be purchased online or at the door. Purchase tickets on InstantSeats at https://www.instantseats.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=buy.event&eventID=A56190A9-939F-F073-A96255EFC0D4D987.

The Shook/Russo Quartet, comprised of Amy Shook on bass, Pat Shook on tenor sax, Frank Russo on drums and Jonathan Epley on guitar, has been working together for nearly 13 years in the Baltimore/Washington, D.C. area. Their focus has always
been to compose and perform their own original music within the jazz idiom, honoring the masters by carrying on the tradition. The group has developed an incredible and unique sound by merging the diverse backgrounds of each of these fine musicians into one voice. The result is a whirlwind of grooves, melodies, and diverse textures that are a true delight to hear. Collectively, the members of the Shook/Russo Quartet have performed extensively throughout the United States, as well as performed in Canada, Mexico, Asia, Europe, and the Caribbean, and at festivals such as the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, the Ottawa Jazz Festival, the Stan Getz Jazz Festival, the Cape May Jazz Festival and the Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival to name a few. For more information, please visit www.amyshook.com.

“Amy Shook builds tension in her blues march groove to climax with the inclusion of the rhythm section and the harmonious horns that float, swirl, roll and boil to a gentle simmer, giving way to graceful poise…So Far From Home (Shook/Russo 4tet, Summit Records) should be in every straight-ahead, jazz lover’s house.” Paul J. Youngman, www.jazzreview.com

Hill Center Street Scenes Concert Series

For a complete schedule and artist bios for the Hill Center Street Scenes Concert Series, curated by Burnett Thompson and Shannon Gunn, please visit www.pianojazz.com/hillcenter.htm. Ensembles in residence at the Hill Center provide exquisite concert performances coupled with children’s programming in D.C. public schools. In its 7th season, the aim of the series is to bring the world’s rich musical universe to Capitol Hill and the wider Washington, D.C. community.

Street Scenes Concert Series:

October 4th, 2018: Amy Shook and the SR4tet
November 17th, 2018: Tom Teasley
February 14th, 2019: Sam Prather
March 27th, 2019: Washington Women in Jazz Festival
April 17th, 2019: Kris Funn and Cornerstore
May 15th, 2019: Monika Herzig’s SHEroes

Photo cut-line: Amy Shook and the SR4tet to perform at Street Scenes at Hill Center on Thursday, October 4th at 7:00pm.

Announcing: The Hill Center Street Scenes Concert Series 2018 – 2019

Announcing: The Hill Center Street Scenes Concert Series

For a complete schedule and artist bios for the Hill Center Street Scenes Concert Series, curated by Burnett Thompson and Shannon Gunn, please visit www.pianojazz.com/hillcenter.htm. Ensembles in residence at the Hill Center provide exquisite concert performances coupled with children’s programming in D.C. public schools. In its 7th season, the aim of the series is to bring the world’s rich musical universe to Capitol Hill and the wider Washington, D.C. community.

Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital Street Scenes Concert Series:

October 4th, 2018: Amy Shook and the SR4tet
November 17th, 2018: Tom Teasley
February 14th, 2019: Sam Prather
March 27th, 2019: Washington Women in Jazz Festival
April 17th, 2019: Kris Funn and Cornerstore
May 15th, 2019: Monika Herzig’s SHEroes

Shannon Gunn and the Bullettes to Perform at Republic Restoratives 3/2

Get Tickets: http://bullettes.brownpapertickets.com/

Start out the evening with a classy cocktail around 5:30 pm inspired by the community spirit that is Republic Restoratives, a new women-owned distillery turned venue in town. They are located just a few blocks north of the Angelika pop up and humane society on New York Ave in Northeast DC. There is plenty of parking (free for 2 hours) within a block in the Hecht’s garage. All ticket holders are given 20% off drinks. Feel free to drink water or soda, it’s not required to drink alcohol. Around 7 pm we’ll convene intro the huge industrial style back room.  You can also order food to be delivered, and there is a nice pizza spot nearby that delivers to the distillery. There are about 10 restaurants within a block, and Union Market is also really close.

Audience members will enjoy a trek through time following the changes in style of the jazz tradition with performances of arrangements by Fletcher Henderson, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Oliver Nelson, and Thad Jones. Following their tribute to the masters, the jazz orchestra will play world premieres of new music by band members as well as groove arrangements of recent popular music. This will be a nice event, and we hope to see you there!

Shannon Gunn and the Bullettes
All-female Big Band
March 2nd, 2017 @ Republic Restoratives Craft Distillery and Bar
1369 New York Avenue NE, Washington, DC 20002
7:00 and 9:00 Sets
Tickets range from $7 – $15

Tickets for each set will be sold separately. Ticket holders for the 7 pm set are welcome to stay through the 9 pm set.

TICKETS: http://bullettes.brownpapertickets.com/

Personnel:
Leigh Pilzer, alto sax
Halley Shoenberg, alto
Megan Nortrup, tenor
Julieta Eugenio, tenor
Michelle Acton, Bari
Mike “Bags” Davis, trumpet
Ginger Turner, trumpet
Alison Rogers, trumpet
Shannon Gunn, trombone
Nicole Connolly, trombone
Amy Bormet, piano
Adi Meyerson, bass
Ana Barreiro, drums

Bullettes to Perform September 20th At Castleton

FB3

This is a cross posting to my other blog for my all-woman big band, Shannon Gunn and the Bullettes.
The Bullettes are busy this month! 
 
We hope you can join us this coming Sunday, September 20th, to kick off the Castleton in Performance series at the Castleton Theatre! This is a very prestigious event and we are extremely excited to perform there. 
 
At Castleton, the theme is to encourage young people in jazz. We will feature Caeley Niess (recognize that name?) on trumpet playing “Portrait of Louis Armstrong.” Yup, you read it right. We also have Jazz Academy All Star Ingrid Winkler on Baritone Sax joining us for a rousing rendition of “Moanin’.” Finally, I am super excited to invite Catie Story, Sam Sandler, and Dan Lyster-Mensh from Fauquier High School to the stage to help fill out our band for Nestico’s arrangement of “Fly Me To The Moon.” It will be a swingin’ affair! I have really enjoyed working with all of these high school students. The concert will benefit the Fauquier High School band program and will feature a history of jazz in the concert, topped off with originals by band members. I am extremely happy and blessed to get to play with such amazing musicians! Not to mention we have Sarah Hughes flying in from Boston, Miki Yamanaka coming in from New York, the amazing Jessica Boykin-Settles on vocals – you get it, the list goes on and on! Please check out our roster below!
 
Here are the details:
Sunday, September 20th
4 – 6 pm
Castleton Theatre House
7 Castleton Meadows Lane, Castleton, VA, 22716
(Please note: there is no cell data service out there)
Tickets are $20 to $40 and can be purchased here:
 
We will also be on the Morning Show at CBS in Richmond, VA on Friday, September 18th, at 9 am, to promote this upcoming Castleton performance! I am excited to bring in Adi Meyerson and Miki Yamanaka from NY as well as Jessica Boykin-Settles, Lydia Lewis, Alex Flanagan, and Caeley Niess to perform on TV! Many thanks to my folks for putting up the band!
 
 
Additionally, we’ll be going into the studio on Wednesday to record some tunes for our upcoming album, “Bullettes and Friends.” We will be releasing this album on Saturday, October 10th, at the Durant Center in Alexandria, VA, presented by Nomadic Jazz. Tickets are $25 in advance and $33 at the door. Anyone who purchases an advance sale will get a complimentary copy of the CD. We will make a limited run! I am extremely proud and excited to present new original music to you all. Here is the link for ticket pre-sales: http://instnt.us/NomadicJazz .
We hope to see you soon! As always, please feel free to hit reply and let me know how you are doing!
 
Keep swingin’!
 
Shannon Gunn and the Bullettes
 
September 20th:
Jessica Boykin-Settles, Vocals
Sarah Hughes, Alto
Halley Shoenberg, Alto
Michelle Acton, Tenor
Megan Nortrup, Tenor
Alex Flanagan, Bari
Mike “Bags” Davis, Trumpet
Cheryl Terwilliger, Trumpet
Caeley Niess, Trumpet
Kirsten Warfield, Trombone
Shannon Gunn, Trombone
Miki Yamanaka, Piano
Cyndy Elliott, Bass
Savannah Harris, Drums
 
Ingrid Winkler, Bari sax, Rockville MD
Catie Story, Trumpet, Fauquier HS
Sam Sandler, Trombone, Fauquier HS
Dan Lyster-Mensh, Fauquier HS

 

JazzCast Ep. 27: Wycliffe Gordon!

squareIn regards to his experiences walking the streets of Berlin, Wycliffe Gordon states: “I saw the thing that music does, and has done… time and time again… it shatters all of those things that separate us.” In this interview, Mr. Gordon tells stories about his experience in Germany, how Louis Armstrong stopped a war, and how the JLCO‘s performance of Ellington/Strayhorn’s Peer Gynt Suite helped break the proverbial “glass wall.” Please enjoy this episode of the JazzCast, where we dig into the music on his latest album, “Hello Pops.”

Mentioned in this podcast (in no particular order)

The beautiful thing about podcasting is that there is no time limit. It gives the artist a platform to share their insights, views, and stories related to their music. This interview was especially inspirational to me because it reminded me of my time at MSU, and specifically the Martin Luther King Jr. concert we did each year. This interview, along with my experiences at MSU, inspired me to create the Jazz and Freedom Festival, which happened MLK weekend in January 2015. Although we recorded this in the summer of 2014, it’s timeless. Thank you Wycliffe Gordon for your inspiration and beautiful artistry!

JazzCast Ep. 26: Bobby Jasinski

square_finalWelcome back to the JazzCast! This episode we have Bobby Jasinski, DC based pianist, composer, and bandleader. I’m very happy to share his latest endeavor, “Retrospection,” with you as we dig in behind the scenes in the music. This is Bobby’s second album and features 12 original songs played by a cast of amazing musicians he has put together. I hope you enjoy this interview!

Bobby and his Septet will be performing at the Jazz Loft on Sunday, May 10th, at Union Arts located at 411 New York Ave NE, Washington D.C. If you’re in town, swing on by, it will be awesome! The Loft starts around 7pm and there is a $15 cover charge. Sponsored by CapitalBop.

Mentioned in this podcast (more links to come later):

  • Bobby Jasinski
  • Joe Herrera
  • John Kocur
  • Tom Anderson
  • Corey Wallace
  • Gena Sobel
  • Lena Seikaly
  • Kris Funn
  • Lydia Lewis
  • Shenandoah Conservatory
  • Rocket Jackson
  • Robert Glasper
  • Marcin Wasilewski
  • http://foodforthepoor.org
  • CapitalBop
  • Gio Russonello
  • Luke Stewart

 

JazzCast Ep. 25: Donal Fox

Donal FOX(Lou Jones)_slider

Welcome back to the JazzCast! Today we have an interview with jazz pianist Donal Fox! He will be performing this Friday, April 10th, 2015, at AMP by Strathmore, located at 11810 Grand Park Avenue North Bethesda, MD 20852. Show starts at 8 pm.

With an encyclopedic ear and ravishing technique, Donal Fox draws on a vast repertoire in this solo piano concert that includes works by and based on J.S. Bach, Thelonious Monk, George Frideric Handel, John Coltrane, Frédéric Chopin, Radiohead, Robert Schumann, Ornette Coleman, John Dowland, Horace Silver and more.

Here are some additional questions that we didn’t get a chance to look at:

SG: Do you have any projects you’re working on, or any upcoming concerts or releases?

DF: Touring with my Inventions Trio this year with the great Cuban drummer, percussionist Dafnis Prieto in the drum chair.  Lot’s of solo piano concerts and special duet concerts with cellist Maya Beiser and the Fox Wolf Duo with Warren Wolf on vibraphone.

Donal Fox Inventions Trio

Newman Center for the Performing Arts

Cal Performances, Zellerbach Hall

Chautauqua Institute Amphitheater

Fox Wolf Duo
Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts

 

SG: Any good books you recommend?

DF: The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander

Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original by Robin Kelley

 

SG: What apps do you use?

Fitbit

Yelp

Opentable

Delta Airlines

Photo credit by Lou Jones

Mentioned in this podcast:

(coming soon…)

Bullettes Little Big Band to Perform March 13 at Westminster!

square_500Many thanks to Amy Bormet for having us back again for the Washington Women in Jazz Festival! I love this particular time of year because we get to see so many fantastic and talented women come out to perform. Amy has really built the WWJF into an amazing and high quality festival that everyone is still talking about throughout the year. I’m very thankful to get to play for the amazing audience at Westminster Church, one of the best venues in town. This year it will be the Bullettes Little Big Band with guests! I’m taking this opportunity to bring to light some of the amazing composition and arranging talent we have in this town. I’m also interested in promoting large ensemble music; too often, budget constraints keep people from putting large instrumental groups together. We’ll be premiering my arrangement of “Knives Out” (woo hoo Radiohead fans!) as well as the United States Premiere of “Wine Glass Perspective” by the great Australian composer Mace Francis. We’ll also be playing new original tunes by Todd Simon as well as Doug Pierce, and band members Anita Thomas,Leigh Pilzer, and Amy Bormet. We’ll be featuring Jessica Boykin-Settles on vocals as well. Rumor has it we may do something from her Abbey Lincoln library… stay tuned and see!

Shannon Gunn and the Bullettes
Little Big Band (LBB)
As part of Amy K. Bormet’s Washington Women in Jazz Festival
Westminster Church
400 I St SW, WDC
Friday, March 13, 2015
6 – 9 PM
$5 at the door
Personnel…
Michelle Acton, Bari
Savannah Harris, Drums
Angel Bethea, Congas and Percussion
Special Guest: Nicole Connelly, trombone
Possible additional special guests, possible additional originals from local composers
We will play some Ellington mixed in with our own original and new arrangements, including music from Australia and beyond! We will also feature local up-and-coming female jazz talent.
To jazz!
Shannon Gunn and the Bullettes

 

The State of Estates On the Web

wwwThis post is about the internet and clicks and how people are making money off of a jazz master’s name.

This post may seem a bit non-artistic to those that know me. I just feel the need to get this out there, and it goes in line with my JTTB Records 2015 Vision of creating a non-profit record label that promotes a sustainable music industry. More info about website services coming soon…. look for it summer 2015.

Dear jazz friends,

I am writing to try to bring attention to an issue that I have noticed, over and over again, regarding the internet and the names of the great jazz musicians. Basically, every time someone searches for something on Google and then clicks on a link, someone makes money off of that click.

There are a lot of really popular and amazing jazz musicians who don’t have websites, and thus lose all that traffic to a directory, which then makes money off their name.

Now, it might not be a lot of money, but it’s really easy money called passive income.  Once the site ranks #1 in google search results, people show up, click on ads, and you make an income without having to do anything.

I have nothing against directories, but when they rank #1 on Google in a search it bothers me. Why? Because they are making money off the name of the jazz master. Perhaps this money should go to the estate.

Let me illustrate.

Right now, if you go to the Google Keyword Planner Tool, you will see that there are between 300k and 500k searches a month for Louis Armstrong and related keyword strings. Now, don’t get me wrong, Google Keyword Planner is not super accurate, and is designed to give you a price for ads, but generally, you should know that it’s a good free way to see how many people are searching for something every month. Now, you might say, what’s the big deal? Half a mil searches? Ok? So What?

Well, put Louis Armstrong in the search bar on Google. What pops up? Wikipedia is number one. Then a PBS article. (no offense intended to PBS, sorry). Number 3 is a biography.com article. And then, what the heck? Smart Passive Income blog? Because someone with the last name Armstrong left a comment on a super strong site? I love that blog, but really??? Pat Flynn is getting traffic for a Louis Armstrong search??? OK so I love Pat Flynn (full disclosure – I’ve bought his course) but I’m not sure he should be ranking for Louis Armstrong. Ok then, finally, on number 7 in the search results is the Louis Armstrong charity.

OK, so the real Louis Armstrong is #7 in Google. What’s the big deal?

Well, 90% of people click on #1.

And for every 4,000 visits a month, you can easily make $40 in ad income for one little banner ad.

Therefore, with 90% of 400,000 visits a month, Wikipedia is getting 360,000 visits a month about Louis Armstrong. They monetize that by using that huge number of visits to try to get donations. Whether they use ads or donations, someone somewhere is making money off of Louis Armstrong’s name.

Imagine if you put up a site that ranked #1 on Google for Louis Armstrong. And on such site you put up 10 ads. For each ad you’d make $3,600 per month (360,000 / 4,000 = 90. Therefore 90 x $40 – $3,600.) Therefore, if you can create a site for Louis Armstrong that ranks #1 in Google you can easily make $36,000 per month in passive income from just a simple search for that name. That’s $432,000 per year.

Now do you see what I mean?

Off soapbox.

This is all perfectly legal. There’s nothing you can do, except to make a site as strong as Wikipedia and then SEO the heck out of it to get it ranked #1. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it’s a procedure you do to get your site ranked #1 on Google.

Now don’t go doing this at home, ladies and gents. Be careful with SEO. If you hire the wrong guy, you are putting yourself at risk of being ostracized by Google forever. You have to do it right.

Actually, someone could go ahead and do this without getting the estate’s permission, and they would get all that traffic completely legally. This has already happened to one jazz master who is still living, I can’t remember who – someone else made a website about him, and he can’t get his own site ranked against the fake one, and there’s nothing he can do. So, basically, if an estate doesn’t have a website up for their jazz master, they are essentially saying to the world that it’s ok to go ahead and take all that traffic.

This actually already happened to me for my Bullettes. I made a Yolasite and then dropped it. Someone else took that yola site domain name and turned it into a plumber site. It took almost a year to get that stupid Yola plumber site out of the rankings and have my own website rank #1 for the search, “Shannon Gunn and the Bullettes.” In the mean time, the #1 search result for Shannon Gunn and the Bullettes was a plumber site from San Fransisco that had nothing to do with my organization. I complained to Yola and they said there was nothing I could do, “ask nicely” for them to take down the plumber site. Thankfully now my own site (and all sites I have created or have control over) rank in the first page on Google. Lesson to musicians: don’t ever let go of your domain names, even the free ones through Yola or whatever.

Dear musicians, please make a website and get it ranked #1. Thank you. Let me know if you need help with that, especially the white hat SEO part, and especially if someone else is getting ranked for your name.

PLEASE NOTE:
1. please don’t come to me with dollar signs in your eyes asking for a website and expecting to get rich. It takes time, like 6 months to a year, to get ranked for your name sometimes. The income is negligible unless you have a large number of clicks.

2. I want to just say that I adore Pat Flynn, he has been an inspiration to me, and I know he will see this article because I’m pretty sure he has a google alert on his name. Thank you Pat for all you do and thank you for teaching me so much about the internet. This article is in no way meant to defame your name, or make you feel bad, it’s just an illustration of your amazing SEO and how you are ranked for Louis Armstrong. I feel like I know Pat well enough through listening to his podcasts and reading his blog posts that he wouldn’t be too upset at me for pointing this out, and for possibly eventually losing his ranking for Louis Armstrong.