JM: I have a Bachelors and a Masters in Jazz Studies. I teach rock history, world music, jazz history, and lessons at a community college. I enjoy teaching and have learned a lot doing it. Teaching is a part of a many professional musicians' lives: teaching privately, at camps, doing clinics, etc. College jobs are the most coveted, but it seems even adjunct jobs are hard to get these days.
Being a musician is fun, but pretty hard professionally. I think college is too expensive in relationship to what your actual job prospects will be upon graduation: as a musician specifically, but really as anyone with any type of bachelor's degree. I think there should be more music business courses in jazz programs: sometimes jazz programs put too much emphasis on being creative and not enough on being a successful gigging musician.
Or, sometimes you'll be talking to someone with a jazz degree and you'll mention a player or a certain album, and you can tell that the person is only pretending to know what you're talking about: it's clear that they're not listening to classic albums or familiarizing themselves with important players. Not to that say that jazz musicians have to be neo-classicists, but it's good to know how this music developed. Plus, a lot of that older stuff is really good. It sometimes seems like a lot of people with jazz degrees don't actually want to play jazz, but jazz was their best degree option in order to play in a band. I wish that there was more music education in public schools so that there would be hope for more music appreciators, if nothing else.
GC: What's your next project?
JM: I'm always transcribing tunes to see if I like playing them. I try to look for tunes that aren't overplayed and/or have interesting forms. I like to arrange standards and try them out in performance: some of them stick and develop over time. I'd like to write some new original material, too. Once I compile a set of tunes that I think would make a good album, I'd like to make another recording: I'm already about halfway there.
GC: Any upcoming recordings or performances we should know about?
JM: I have a series of album release gigs with you on organ and Todd Strait or Randy Rollofson on drums. Randy plays on the Salem gig, and Todd plays on the rest.