Brass Chats Episode 29: Jim Pandolfi

Jim Pandolfi is one of the most sought after trumpet teachers in the country and a retired third trumpet with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.  

In our interview, he offered us the 'Red Pill' of trumpet pedagogy.  You might think that you know the correct technique for breathing, tone production, embouchure setup, intonation, etc... but after you hear what Mr. Pandolfi has to say, you might start to question EVERYTHING you've been taught before.  

Watch the interview and see how deep the rabbit hole goes.


Highlights from our Interview with Jim Pandolfi

Let's start off with David Krauss. We interviewed him a while back, and he calls you the Yoda of the trumpet. What types of things did you guys work on together? Why does he say that?

When I first met Dave, he wasn't playing very well, and I evaluated him in a lesson and I told him, "Dave, if you want to study with me, you have to turn around 180 degrees and go exactly the opposite direction."

He was breathing down low, he was trying to make a big sound, he was doing everything wrong. Basically, I got him to change everything, and to his credit, he took it and he made it his own, and he figured out how to do it for himself, and it was just terrific. 


When Dave came to me, he was floundering, and so we got him just to play more efficiently - to find the sweet spot in the sound. That is where most people are completely clueless. They're clueless because of the vocabulary that people use, and the vocabulary is not good.

Take, for instance, the word "Centered." 

It's a really nice word. It denotes certain good things, but I believe that the sweet spot in the sound for all the instruments, not just the trumpet, is on top of the sound. 

The people who have "It," are one half of one percent of the best players in the world. They all have that beautiful, ringing, resonant tone that just lights up - that's always perfectly in-tune... and it's the most musical thing you ever heard. 


Who are a couple of examples of trumpet players who would fall into that category?

Wynton's old recordings of the Haydn and the Hummel are absolutely fantastic.

James Galway has "It." It's a big, fat sound, but how he gets it is through precise precision, right on top of the sound, and if you hear anything go out of tune ever with Galway, it's always just maybe two cents sharp, which is great, because, like Dennis Brain said, "I'd rather play a little sharp than play out of tune." 


So you find that people play too low? 

Always. Absolutely always. There's never a person who comes here to come play for me that just makes a sound that rings.

Playing well is loaded with paradox. It's a world of opposites. For instance, if you want to get a big sound, you have to aim small. As soon as you aim for a big sound, it goes away and you've lost it. You've gone past the sweet spot. If you want a big sound, aim small. 

Playing well is loaded with paradox. It’s a world of opposites.

Another thing is... the only way you can get control, is to let go. It's opposite all the time, so what it really boils down to, is to play where the note tapers itself. Play in the taper zone. 

So, how do you find the taper zone? Everybody comes in here and I get them to play a second line G. They'll play a G, and I'll say, "Okay, now float it.  Let it go.  Let it go where it wants to go without manipulating it." And undoubtedly, by the end of the note, as they're tapering it, the pitch of the G goes up and up and up and up, and then it settles and tapers beautifully by itself. 

I'll say, "So, do you feel where that note is when you just let it go, and you let it taper? When you let it go all the way to the taper zone?" 

"Well, start the note there."

And it's a very small place. The sound should come from the taper, and go to the taper. But most people play open-ended notes.  And so it's open on both ends and it sounds harsh. It's pressed down, and it loses the beauty of the sound.

See, that's the most important thing... the beauty of the sound. 


What causes people to do that? Why are they all doing that?

They listen to people who tell them things, and they continue to do things even if they don't work.


What are some of these misconceptions you talk about? The most common ones that are being incorrectly taught? 

The first thing is - breathe down low. That's the first thing that will prevent you from doing making a good sound.


That's a controversial one. There are a lot of people who strongly disagree with that, and a lot of people who strongly agree with it. Where's this come from?

Where does it come from? It comes from how the body works naturally.

First of all, you should be sitting up straight, and pick up your chest before you begin playing. It's a whole bunch of little stuff that makes a big difference. If you actually pick up your chest before you start playing, then the air can just flow in there. If you take a breath, and pick up your chest, and breathe in through your nose. All the way. It starts down here, doesn't it? But that's not where it ends up.

That's just natural. That's the way it works. But, to play the trumpet, a lot of people say we have to breathe a certain way.  But when I breathe like that there's a lot of tension.  Then the only way to get the air out is to push it out. But pushing the air out drives the tone down, and ruins the sound. It also pounds on your lip - it just beats the hell out of your lip. 


You once told me in a lesson, I had a lesson with you many years ago, you once told me that. You had a front-row seat at the Met and you got to see the world's greatest singers, and you saw them breathing from their chest.


And you can hear it. You hear it. They pick up their chest.

If you take a breath with your chest up, and you fill up naturally.  (Actually I've been having much success lately with having guys make a little hissing sound in their breath). It does a couple of things. It engages the corners. Most people play with a very floppy embouchure, because they're making the big sound and they're using a lot of air, they play with a floppy embouchure. It doesn't work.


What do you mean by a "floppy" embouchure? 

Soft. Mushy. Instead of together. 

When you hear Dokschitzer recordings, you can hear every breath he takes. He's like, "Hssss." Every single one. And he's right on top of the sound. Right on top. So, he has his voice.

When you play on top of the sound - once you figure out how to play there...  if you stay in that taper zone, where the taper lives, where the note really is alive and lives, you can brutalize the note and not have it come apart. It turns to flame, it turns to burn. And when it turns to burn, that's a green light. That's awesome. 

I used to play as loud as I could sometimes, and it was just right, because the tone was still beautiful.


What are some of these other misconceptions that are commonly taught. You just mentioned the breathing.

There are three things. One - Breathe down low.  Two - say "Ah" or "Oh" inside your mouth. "Ohh, ahh!" - as you're setting your embouchure. When you're producing the tones say, "Ah, oh," to make big sound. Three - use more air.

We have teaching for years and years that says, "Breathe down low, say 'Ah' or 'Oh,' and when you run into problems, use more air." 

It's all wrong. All of it. You've gotta breathe naturally, and you have to say "Yeee! Yeee!" All the time. You have to say "Eee" all the time. You know, in the Arban book, it says the pronunciation, right? It says "To to to to to." 

Well, Dave Gordon in Seattle, the principal trumpet of Seattle, reminded me that it's a French book. The Arban's book is a French book, and indeed, the pronunciation for "To" is "Tew, tew, tew." 

"Tew, tew, tew." And what happens is, it creates a V in your tongue, doesn't it?

"Tew." And the tip of your tongue goes down behind your bottom teeth, and your tongue turns into a V, and it goes forward. Tongue forward. That's what everyone has to do. That's where high notes come, that's where efficiency comes from.

So, again, breathe down low, say "Ah" or "Oh," and use more air. Wrong, wrong, and wrong. You do one of them, you can't play. You do all three of them, the trifecta, you're a complete basket case. 

It's what most people do. I've had people tell me, "I would've never, ever, in a million years thought to look on top of the sound to find the sweet spot. I wouldn't have thought in a million years, because everyone says 'centered.'" 

And then some people say that the sweet spot is on the bottom of the sound, so you get a "Raaaah!" But that's not the trumpet. The trumpet should be sounding like a trumpet. It's gotta be brilliant, you gotta come in on a white horse and take some heads, swinging the sword once in a while.

You see, when I was at the Met, I would always, especially when I had something that was important for me to play that I was nervous about, I would always finish my breaths through my nose. 

It was an insurance policy for me, that I would have the proper set-up, the right resistance, and the support. It gave me time to get my lip in the mouthpiece and that's what I would do. 

More and more, I'm trying to get guys to breathe through their face. The whole thing. Breathe through your nose, breathe through the corners of your mouth. 

So what your going for is you want the inhale to be roughly the same as the exhale.

I'll ask guys when they come here, "Do you have a physical sensation of air leaving your body when you're playing?" They're like, "Yeah." No you shouldn't. You shouldn't. Do you have a physical sensation of air leaving your body when you're speaking? No.  Do I feel it going out as I'm speaking? No. The only way that the air comes out of your body is through the resonance and the ring of your tone of your voice. 

Another thing is - people like to breathe in rhythm, also. They love to go, "One, two, (breathe)."  And I'm like, "Wow.  That is really not good."  Why? Because it reinforces the "suck-blow."  I like to tell my guys, once I get to know them and once they start understanding what I'm talking about, "If you blow you suck!"

My job when someone comes to see me is to get any semblance of "blow" out of their playing and replace it with sing, and with musicality, and artistry, as opposed to note processing.


So you want to work with the resistance of the instrument. 


You need to play in the taper zone where the note lives - where it is alive.  That's on top of the sound.  We can argue about that 'till the cows come home, but it's on top of the sound for singers.  It's on top of the sound for the best fiddle players in the world.  On top of the sound for best flute players... the clarinet players... 

Sabine Meyer. She plays on top of the sound.  Every note she plays on the clarinet is perfectly, perfectly in tune. I enjoy hearing her play. That's why I enjoy hearing her play - because she makes me smile. When performers are playing in this way, it gets an involuntary reaction from the listener. The listener breaks out into a smile.  When you hear someone with "It" who's playing in the orchestra, they get your full attention and you're like, "Wow" and it raises the hairs on the back of your neck. 

That's what I'm talking about.  A beautiful musical experience.  And that's only created if you produce a viable tone, a real tone, a specific thing.  A tone has resonance, it has ring, it's perfectly in tune, and it takes on a life of its own. 

I like to say that it's more like surfing than note processing, because once you have the resistance established, and the sound established, and it's ringing, and it's vibrant... then it's simply a matter of whether you can concentrate well enough to make it from the beginning all the way through your thing.  You play the phrase - you burn the music. You know what I'm saying? It's like you flip the switch.

Okay, here it comes. I'm gonna flip the switch now. I'm about to play.


    Still burning, still burning, still burning, still burning. 

    Done. Click.


How about articulation?

If you put your tone first, your articulations are going to be better. I've had experiences where guys come in here and they say, "Well, I've been working on my tonguing for a month, six weeks." I'm like,

"Really? Oh, okay. I didn't know you had trouble tonguing, but okay. Well, what have you been tonguing? What have you been practicing?"

"Oh, I've been doing the Goldman book and da da da da da da."

"Okay. Well, show me what you've been doing. Let's hear it." 

And so they start doing it, and I'm like, "That doesn't sound very good." And then I try to play it, and I can't play it either, and that doesn't sound very good. And in two minutes, I can't tongue anymore, and I yell at the kid, and I say, "Look what you did to me! Now I can't tongue either!"

So, tonguing is a thing- Okay. You've got to be able to tongue a whole bunch of different ways according to what you need to do musically.

It all comes back to, "Don't fuck up the tone." 

If all your energy is just put into the effort of making the most resonant, ringing tone you possibly can, then all is going to be well in the universe. All your physical ducks line up in a row because you're making the resonant, ringing sound.

It's the ring and the sound that makes your chops work great. And it's not the chops working great that puts the ring in the sound. You know what puts the ring in your sound? Will power.  If you can hear it,  you can do it.  If you can't hear it, you can't do it.  And that's where the different levels of talent come into play.


What about time?

I'm an anti-subdivision person. 

For me, the time is inside of me, and it just grooves, and a groove is better.  When something's in a fast four - I'll feel it in two. When something's in three - I'll feel it in one.

I'll feel the bigger picture rather than the "one-e-and-a, two-e-and-a, one-e-and-a, two-e-and-a."  Because I can't see the forest for the trees when I go "one-e-and-a, two-e-and-a."


What about pitch?

Pitch is completely taken care of when you make a beautiful ringing, resonant tone.  When we play this way, there's no manipulation involved. No manipulation of the lips.  No manipulation of the pitch. 

You let it go, and you let it sail to where it wants to go.


What's the proper way to use a tuner?

Throw it away.  It's useless.

I never owned one.  And occasionally, in the pit, somebody would be playing around with one and if I had to tune up my rotary trumpet or something, I'd tell him to take a look and see where I was - if I was in the ballpark. But that's about all it's useful for.

I've had people call me up two weeks after a lesson and say... 

"Jim. I'm doing great. It feels fantastic, we're having a lot of fun. My range is great, my endurance is great, but when I go up to a G on top of the staff, well, maybe it's just two cents sharp. What should I do?"

I say, "Sounds great, right?"


"Feels great, right?"


"Throw the fucking tuner out." Throw it out.



If you're making a beautiful tone, you can be a musician.  If you don't make a beautiful tone, you're a note processor, and you can play at the music as much as you want, but you're not going to be in it.  

When you make a beautiful tone, it's a transcendental experience. It changes everything. It's magic. 

It turns you from somebody who's trying to operate this thing. "Tuka tuka tuka tuka tu."  To this being a complete extension of you, part of you. It becomes you. 

It's no longer plumbing.  A trumpet is plumbing.  And if you make a beautiful, beautiful tone on it, then you become the instrument.  See you're the instrument.


Auditioning.  And maybe along the terms of how it relates to nerves, or stage fright.

You have to claim the job for yourself in your mind before you even show up. 

You have to know you're going to be the best guy, you have to go in there and say, "Check this shit out.  This is how I'm going to play, and if you don't like it, that's fine." It depends on your personality, but for me, I knew I was going to win before I went, in my mind.

Before I won the job at the Met, I was principal trumpet in the Oklahoma Symphony Orchestra.  In my fourth year there we went on strike and the orchestra folded, so I was out of work for something like 10 months living in Oklahoma, going blind, wearing a telescopic device to read my music. I had a baby about to turn four.

I was under a lot of pressure. 


How did you deal with that? 

I don't know. I'd been to so many auditions. I mean I'd been runner up six times. 

Every time the screen comes down, they would see my telescope... and the alarm bells went off.

So I never got hired. The Met had a screen all the way through the finals, and that's why they hired me - because they had no idea.  And then the personnel manager said, "Well, what's up?" And I said, "Just give me two years like everyone else, then decide whether you want to keep me on or not." And he was agreeable to that, so I eked out 15 years.

It's a miracle I had any of them.


I want to get to my favorite question for all these interviews. How did you 'get good' at the trumpet?

I really worked hard once I got out of college.  I went to University of Connecticut for two years, and I went to Juilliard for three years.

I was okay in high school, but I had an amazing transformation after my freshman year in college.

I went down to Eastern Music Festival down in Greensboro, North Carolina.  It was the summer of 1977.  I was 19.  I met Wynton Marsalis there.  He was 15 at the time.

And the trumpet teacher was a guy named John McElroy.  He plays first trumpet in Alabama.  He's a terrific player. I was playing on a 5C all through high school. And I had no range, no tone, no endurance. I was not doing well. 

John McElroy had all the trumpet students for the camp - about eight of us, I guess - in his room, and you know what his audition was?  His audition was, "Okay, everybody get out your horns. Just play a high C as loud as you can. You, play a high C.  And you, play a high C.  And you, high C."  He gets to Wynton and Wynton goes "Pshhhhhhh!" I was like, "Wow! Wow, this kid's awesome!"

But anyway, the point of this story is that I was having a lesson with Big John, and he was looking at my mouthpiece. He grabbed it and pulled it out of the horn, and he stuck it in his pocket.  Then he took out a 1C and he plugged it in the horn.  When I started looking at it, and he berated me, called me a pussy, and told me that I was going to be playing that mouthpiece for the rest of the summer.

And I said, "Oh, really?" Because I felt like a toilet bowl. 

But I went from a 5C to a 1C, and within five days, my range went up five or six notes, my endurance got better, and my sound went from "Ehh!" to "Bshhhhhh!" 

So yeah. So, my message is...

Play the largest mouthpiece that you can handle.  My 5C was too small and my lip didn't have enough room to flap around in the mouthpiece - especially when you start pounding on it.  You get tired, you swell up.  Everything cuts off. With a big mouthpiece, you got room for your lip to swell up and you can just keep playing. 

I used the mouthpiece that McElroy put in for all my auditions, and for my first five or six years at the Met. 

And the only reason I changed it is because I hit it with a six iron, swinging a golf club in my apartment in New York.

(Interviewers Note:  You'll have to watch the interview to hear the entire story!)



After college, you said was when you had a real transformation. What happened then? After college.

I was having "Poor me" issues.  "Was I playing for me or was I playing for my father?  Did I really want to be a trumpet player?"

All this psychobabble bullshit.

I didn't know that I wanted to. 

Once I decided that I actually wanted to play trumpet - for me, that's when it took off. 


That's some heavy stuff. So it was within you, it wasn't something that happened, it wasn't a teacher you saw, or anything.  It was just deciding that you wanted to do it for yourself.

Yeah.  After Juilliard, I went to Mexico City for a year, played associate principal down in the Mexico City Philharmonic. And after that we had to leave because everything was in chaos.

So the year following that, I pretty much didn't play for quite a long time. I was a sales clerk at thrifty drugstore.

Yeah. Thrifty - employee of the month.  About 10 months, I worked there. 


How long did you take off the trumpet?

Almost a year. 

My wife sat me down one day and said, "You're miserable. I can't stand seeing you like this and you gotta play."

And at that point principal trumpet for the Rhode Island Philharmonic was open.  And that's not a job but...

I went from southern California, and I went back to my dad's house... and succumbed to his will.  I had three weeks to get in shape and win the audition for the Rhode Island Philharmonic.


So you prepared for three weeks for the audition after not having played for about a year?

Yeah. And I won the audition.  I had to beat Russell Devuyst - who's a really good trumpet player.  He just quit his job in Montreal, he was playing Montreal for years and years.  24 years.

So I actually had to beat a legitimate player.  After that, I moved back to Rhode Island from California, and that's when I found out I was going blind.  The doctor said... "Six months, you're not going to be able to read anything anymore." 

And he was right, and I was like, "Wow, what do I do now?"  I said, "Well shit. Let's just keep going."  So I just kept going.  I kept taking auditions.  I was runner up in Seattle for principal trumpet.  I think Charlie Butler got the job back then.


So these were all auditions where you were playing great, but when the screen went down - you would get axed?

Well yeah, but in Seattle I screwed the pooch on sight reading because I just couldn't read.

And then the next audition was the Oklahoma Symphony. And that took forever. That took, like, four trips out, and playing with the orchestra. So I finally got the Oklahoma Symphony job, and that was okay. The first year was okay. Second year was ... I had to find my telescope. Yeah.


Yeah. Well, I got a couple more questions before we go to the Monster Round. We did some homework. We talked to Mark Gould and Pete Bond. Pete wouldn't give us any info on you. I'm still mad at you, Pete. You could have given me some dirt.

But Mark Gould came through for us. I don't know what any of this means, but he gave me two things. He said, first of all, he says he saved your job after a stage performance of Pagliacci.

Absolutely true.

This is great. He did save my job. 

I played a Pagliacci on stage one Saturday night, and it was like the last show of the week. And I figured, "Well shit, after I'm done playing the call, I'm off." So, I like to act a lot when I'm on stage, because I was on stage. I used to used to bite the coin, you know, and call the chorus on stage and take money, you know, I was just doing the shtick. Jim the actor up there. 

So I finish it, I say, "Ah hell, I'm done." So I put the trumpet under my arm and I pull out a little bottle of Chivas from my sash, and I go pop. Glug glug glug glug glug. Put it back in my sash-

On stage?

On stage. Put it back in my sash. I walked off stage, and I'm happy, you know. 

The phone rings at nine o'clock next Sunday morning, it's like 9:15. Mark Gould is on the phone. He goes, "Jim?"



"Yeah? What's up?"

He goes, "Jim, were you drinking on stage last night?" I was like, "Uh, why?" "Well, I've gotten some phone calls." I was like, "Well, yeah." He goes, "Jesus Christ." He goes, "If anybody asks, deny it. There was tea in that bottle."

So it's true, he did save my job. 

But, I saved his life twice, though. 

The first time was when the trumpet section went down to Sammy's Romanian Steakhouse on the east side, and we had dinner. Gould ordered vodka, and so they bring out a bottle of vodka frozen in a block of ice, and put it on the table.

Well, we were so wrecked coming out of Sammy's Romanian, that Gould stepped right into the street into an oncoming car.

And the blind guy grabbed him by the back of the neck, and pulled him back, and the car went, "Whoosh!" 

That was the first time. The second time was on stage in Aida. The last time he ever played Aida. We're standing on stage on a box, and our feet, with no railing around or anything. Our feet are about 12 feet off the stage, 10 to 12 feet up in the air. So that's pretty high up there. And so the wall's coming down with the soldiers on top of it, and if you're not careful you can get vertigo.

So anyway, I told Gould, I said, "Listen, when the wall starts going down," I said, "Don't look at the wall. You've got to look at the crack in the floor where the wall's going down there, and if you just look at the crack of the wall, you're going to be cool. But if you look at the wall, you're gonna get weird, you're going to start doing that."

But what I didn't tell him is that when we bring the trumpets up in unison there, when you bring the herald trumpets up, you see the bells going up against the background of the of the Met, and the wall and everything. And Gould started going like ... like this, and he started ... and he started going over, and I grabbed him with my left hand, and I played the thing with my right hand, and he just stood there the whole time just going, "Ohhhh!" 

He didn't play a note?

Not a note.  I just grabbed him, just grabbed him, and held him in place, because he almost went ... He started doing this one.  

Yeah. And all the chorus girls were down below there, so it would have hurt them too. 

Those are the two times that I saved his life. 

Second one. Brandenberg in a pillow.

Yeah. This is classic.

I got to play the Brandenburg with Jamie at Carnegie Hall. And I guess it was -- the fault, goes to me. So anyway, we were rehearsing it and-

Mark played the Brandenburg. He said he won an audition to Hartford Symphony or something like that. Springfield Symphony at the Brandenburg.

Right. He wanted nothing to do with it. He was like, "It's yours, man."

So we're at the dress rehearsal and ... at Weill Recital hall at Carnegie, and Jimmy has the band over on the right hand side of the stage, and he's in the middle and I'm over on the left hand side of the stage, completely alone. And I played it from memory, because I couldn't see it anyway, and I was tired of pretending and I didn't want the stand in front of me, so I played it from memory. Didn't use any music. 

So we're rehearsing it, and Jimmy's conducting. And instead of pointing straight down into the hall I kind of did a little, you know, towards the middle, and Jimmy stops and he goes, "Dolf, be careful there, you're zigging me a bit."

And I looked at him, and I don't know why. I looked at him and I said, "Well, what are you going to do for the people in the first three rows? Have them sign a disclaimer before they come in?" And the whole freaking band just fell on floor laughing, and Jimmy's sitting there going, "Ahblah blah blah." Because it's not funny unless he says it right. 

"Blaha blaha blaha, okay." Well, we went on with the rehearsal, and then he asked me, "Do you want to do anything tomorrow before the show" And I was like, "No, let's just come in and do it." "Okay, fine." 

So the performance day comes up. It's in the morning. Ken Hunt calls, Ken is this guy who takes care of everything. And he says, "Jimmy needs to see you before before the performance." I said, "What, why?" I said, "He told me we're not doing anything." "No, he needs to see you." I was like, "Oh man." 

So I had to get dressed, take a shower, get dressed, go down there, go see him. He just finished rehearsing another one of the Brandenburgs. And he goes, "Oh, Dolf. Oh, I'm glad you came in. You know, I was thinking about, I was thinking about what you said the other day, and well, I was wondering if you would mind my playing into this?" And he had a stand with a velvet pillow taped to it.

And I looked at him and I said, "Absolutely not." I said, "Listen, it's good." And then I went in and went into the trumpet thing, and I said, "Listen, it's going to mess up the resistance, it's going to mess up my balance, and besides, I'm playing it from memory because I don't want anything in front of me." And he goes, "Oh, well, okay." And so, the performers went off, and I did really well, and he came up to me afterwards and said, "Dolf, you hot shit!" and he gave me a big hug, and that was it. 

So you told Jimmy Levine was up? You said "I'm gonna do it this way."

That's pretty much true. Yeah.

So Peter Bond, bless Peter. He gets this pillow with a hole in it, and he has the first page of the score to the Brandenburg 2 all burned off and singed at the corners and everything, and there's a big hole in the thing, and he and he goes up to Jimmy, he goes, "Hey, Jimmy, this is for Dolf. Would you sign it?" So Jimmy signed the pillow for me. 


All right. Well, those are all my questions. I've got one more segment we like to do for everybody, it's called the Monster Round. It's like a lightning round, so we just ask you rapid fire questions and you answer as quickly as you can, and concisely, that whole thing. So, this is the Monster Round, with Jim Pandolfi. 

What's the first thing you would do as president?

Ohh, increase the minimum wage should $20 an hour.

What do you miss most about the Met job?


What do you miss the least?

What do I miss least?  There were none. 

If you could put up a billboard in New York City, what would it say?

"All hail Emperor Trump!" 

Given the choice, would you rather build your own house or score a touchdown in the Super Bowl?

Build my own house.

What's your favorite all-time book?

"Golf in the Kingdom."

What's the most common mistake you heard at Met auditions?

Breathing bad.

Name three trumpet players you always wanted to sound like.

Andre ... Maynard Ferguson, Bill Chase. 

Favorite cartoon character.

Foghorn Leghorn.

Favorite jazz trumpet player. 


What's the most difficult trumpet technique to teach?

Making a tone. It's hard!

Best brass quintet of all time.

Oh, the old Canadian Brass was awesome, with Ronnie? Ronnie Romm and those guys.

What's your favorite opera?

To play it, it would be probably be "Othello."

And to listen to?

To listen to ... Oh, like, "Manon Lescaut."

Last question. If you could have a beer with anybody in history, who would it be?

Maurice Murphy. I'd love to go hang with Maurice.


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