Victor L. Schermer
Former trombonist who now works as a psychologist.
I'm a former trombonist who now works as a psychologist. During my high school and college years in the '50's and '60's, I was a musician and jazz fan in New York City, studied trombone with Alan Raph and went to many jazz events at clubs and jazz festivals. I then decided to become a psychologist and attended the University of Pennsylvania. This explains my migration to Philadelphia, where I have practiced psychology in recent years. In the '90's my jazz fever returned, and, through my friend, jazz pianist Tom Lawton, I met many of the jazz musicians in the Philadelphia area. I especially recall conversations with the great bassist, the late Al Stouffer, which stirred my interest in the lives and fortunes of the musicians themselves. Meanwhile, I listened intensely to jazz on CD, mostly the icons, like Trane and Miles. When I started looking on the web, I reviewed one of the great J.J. Johnson's recent CD's on his own website, run by trombonist Matt Calvert. J.J. appreciated it very much, and was pleased to be interviewed by me.
I then made contact with Mike Ricci of All About Jazz, and began to interview local musicians like Tom, John Swana, and others. This led to my joyful association with All About Jazz and my exchanges with wonderful musicians like Dave Liebman, Uri Caine, and Pat Martino. I hope to continue my work with All About Jazz well into the future.
Recently, I co-founded The Philadelphia Jazz Heritage Project, sponsored by the University of the Arts and All About Jazz. Our hope is to coordinate scholarly, archival, recording, and performance aspects of the Philadelphia jazz legacy, from its inception to the present. Our website, powered by AAJ, is www.phillyjazzheritage.org