The Professor Is IN

Inside the Musicians Brain

The Mind of the Jazz Musician

Jazz musicians are highly trained professionals, just as in any other skilled professional field. Whilst on stage, it may appear to the causal observer that

Sound Check Guy

The Sound Guy

Performing live cuts to the essence of what we do as jazz musicians. We love performing in intimate settings (because jazz is traditionally acoustic music)

Illustration by Frank Page www.bobthesquirrel.com

The Art of the Vibe

With the relatively recent advent of formal education in jazz, coupled with the endless resources provided by the internet, I am excited and heartened by

The War Between Trad and Modern Jazz

The War Between Trad and Modern Jazz

There is a long-standing battle between modern jazz fans and traditional jazz fans. It seems that the trad fans loathe modern jazz, and the modern

My Confession

My Confession

Folks, I’m a fairly private person. By now, most of you regular readers may have noticed that my monthly articles are somewhat cheeky observations of

The Misery of Jazz

The Misery of Jazz

I often recall a highlight from one of my first adventures as a young man, visiting the island of Zanzibar, off the coast of Tanzania

Staying in Jazz Shape

Staying in Jazz Shape

I’m sure the good readers of The Syncopated Times are well aware by now that jazz musicians are finely tuned creative artists. But are you

Do Jazz Musicians Practice?

Do Jazz Musicians Practice?

A common question that jazz musicians get asked is: do you still practice? And if so, then what do you practice? In jazz, don’t you

How To Get That Jazz Sound

How To Get That Jazz Sound

Jon Challoner, the trumpet player in my band, told me he recently cleaned out his trumpet, and what came out was “ungodly.” And as any

jazz famous

How to get Jazz Famous

There’s no denying it, it’s a struggle out there for musicians trying to get noticed on the jazz scene. Getting famous as a jazz musician

Living in the Moment

Living in the Moment

Jazz musicians, or any artists for that matter, strive to live in the moment. Living in the moment is a very vital part of making

Jazz Meets Classical

Jazz Meets Classical

At some point, some of you jazz cats might get called up to do a gig with a classical ensemble, or even a whole orchestra!

Handling Bad Reviews

Handling Bad Reviews

If you’re a working musician, like it or not—you’re also a performer. So it follows that a great part of your job involves being on

The Professor’s Guide to Scat Singing

The Professor’s Guide to Scat Singing

Jazz is a mysterious art form, full of many eccentricities, not the least of which is that elusive style of singing known as scat singing. Scatting

The Professor’s Guide to The Blues

The Professor’s Guide to The Blues

Ask any jazz musician worthy of their craft, and they’ll tell you “you can’t have jazz without the blues.” While I believe this to be

Preparing for the Count Off

Preparing for the Count Off

There’s a magic moment in jazz…a small window of time…between the musicians taking the stage and counting off the first tune. It may not seem

The Fame and Fortune of Jazz

The Fame and Fortune of Jazz

I don’t know if you’ve figured this out yet, but I’m a pretty big deal. It wouldn’t be a stretch to think of me as

How to Start a Traditional Jazz Band

How to Start a Traditional Jazz Band

The Professor’s Guide to Starting a Jazz Band If you’ve ever wanted to start your own traditional jazz band, but never learned how to play

The Hot Professor

The Hot Professor

I’m a pretty good looking guy. I don’t think that’s an outrageous statement. Don’t get me wrong, you’re not going to see me anytime soon

How to Be “That Guy”

How to Be “That Guy”

How to be “That Guy” You may have noticed last month’s issue of Syncopated Times being perhaps a little lighter in weight. Perhaps you felt

How to Be Cool

How to Be Cool

How to Be Cool Let’s be honest: jazz musicians are cool. Statistically speaking, cooler than you. Case in point: jazz musicians are far too cool

The Lineage of Jazz

The Lineage of Jazz

The Lineage of Jazz When I was 11, I started playing piano. Not by choice—my mum somehow got her hands on a crappy old termite-holed-musical-disaster

Jam Session Etiquette

Jam Session Etiquette

Have you ever watched one of those old gladiator movies from the golden age of Hollywood? Ben Hur, Spartacus…where two lethal warriors fight for their

How to Pack for a Tour

How to Pack for a Tour

As a working musician, a big part of the job involves travel. Out of town gigs, big tours, weekend festivals traveling by plane, train, gondola,

On Turning 40

On Turning 40

I’ll be 40 soon. I’m not shy to admit it. All things considered, things are going pretty well so far. For starters, I’ve outlived Hendrix,

The Professor on Jazz and Dancing

The Professor on Jazz and Dancing

As a bandleader performing for many swing dancers in recent years (in the US and worldwide), I’m inspired to see the reuniting of jazz and

The Professor's Guide to Jazz Fashion

The Professor’s Guide to Jazz Fashion

Anyone who’s been following the Trad Jazz scene may have noticed something interesting evolving in recent years. Have you seen a Trad Jazz record cover

How to Become a Jazz Bandleader

How to Become a Jazz Bandleader

I’m not gonna lie: being a bandleader has its rewards. The fame, the money, the women, the Nike endorsements. . . (Oh, hang on—those are

How to make it in New York

How to make it in New York

Like most musicians living in NYC, I am not from NYC. I am from elsewhere. Not elsewhere like the West Coast type of elsewhere; I

Adrian Cunningham: The Professor Swings

The Professor Arrives in New York

I came to NYC eight years ago from Sydney. With a clarinet in hand and a bag full of dreams (and reeds), I jumped the

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