Chats with Cats

Guitarist B. D. Lenz chats with today's industry experts about career advice and approaches for today's jazz professional.


The Jazz Entrepreneur: Charles Carlini

Read "The Jazz Entrepreneur: Charles Carlini" reviewed by B.D. Lenz

The music business is a chaotic place. Charles Carlini definitely underscores that point throughout our interview. Like many, he's worn a multitude of hats in the business. It's not uncommon to find people who do that. It seems that in order to survive in the modern jazz business, you have to be versatile and you have to be able to adapt to the ever-changing models and new technologies that come along every few years. Gone are the days when you ...


The Jazz Historian: John Edward Hasse

Read "The Jazz Historian: John Edward Hasse" reviewed by B.D. Lenz

Jazz is not simply a style of music; it is also a culture. The impact of this cultural force has had many ups and downs throughout the last century but, undeniably, has been felt worldwide across all nations and all languages. With such a storied past, it's important that an account of its beginnings and those who were its pioneers be told so that those contributions are not forgotten and are always kept in proper social and historical context. It ...


Jazz With A Purpose: Franco Nannucci

Read "Jazz With A Purpose: Franco Nannucci" reviewed by B.D. Lenz

Sometimes it takes someone from the outside to shake up an industry. The case could be made that Franco Nannucci is just that sort of person who could shake up the jazz business. With his background as a successful textile entrepreneur, he's somehow made his way into the music business rubbing shoulders with top musicians, producers, and executives. A self- described “Mr. Nobody," he's still been able to release albums and produce concerts that blend genres and styles that would ...


The Jazz Critic: Neil Tesser

Read "The Jazz Critic: Neil Tesser" reviewed by B.D. Lenz

For as long as there has been art and artists there have been critics to give their opinions about their work. There is even that famous joke about everyone having an opinion. But, clearly, some opinions are more informed than others and when it comes to being a competent jazz critic one needs to have a keen knowledge of music that few lay people possess as the music is often deep, abstract, and/or subtle. For this Chats with ...


The Record Store Owner: Jim Eigo

Read "The Record Store Owner: Jim Eigo" reviewed by B.D. Lenz

The last couple decades have brought a revolution in every aspect of the music-making process. Technology has transformed the creation of music, the promotion of music, and of course the distribution of music. At the very end of this delivery pipeline there has been a variety of formats that includes bulky vinyl records and clunky CDs, both of which were predicted to be dead once the immediacy and ease of streaming arrived. Curiously, while streaming is both immediate and easy, ...


The Musician / Entrepreneur: Eddie Roberts

Read "The Musician / Entrepreneur: Eddie Roberts" reviewed by B.D. Lenz

Throughout my Chats with Cats columns I've tried to seek out information and advice from professionals across the jazz spectrum to give musicians, like myself, the tools to forward their own careers. This is an unprecedented time where technology has put it all out there for the taking. I discuss all of this in my Mind Your Business columns as well. In this installment I interviewed a prime example of the musician/entrepreneur. Eddie Roberts, best known as the ...


The Festival Presenters: Rochester's John Nugent and Marc Iacona

Read "The Festival Presenters: Rochester's John Nugent and Marc Iacona" reviewed by B.D. Lenz

There are a multitude of ingredients needed to organize a successful music festival: good programming; proper funding; effective marketing; meticulous planning; and a clear vision. One particular festival in an outlying region of upstate New York seems to have dialled in this recipe just right. In speaking about their success, the festival directors often credit the team they have assembled over their nineteen seasons. But, as an outsider, it seems that what they have in Rochester is stronger than that. ...


The Series Presenter: Jon W. Poses

Read "The Series Presenter: Jon W. Poses" reviewed by B.D. Lenz

You know you're doing something right when it seems to only get stronger year after year. Such is the case for the “We Always Swing" Jazz Series which takes place in the heartland of America, jny: Columbia Missouri. Now in its 28th year, “We Always Swing" has grown from humble beginnings, even thriving during COVID, to a highly regarded jazz series that has presented hundreds of concerts over the years. It's so endeared itself to some of the musicians who ...


The Conference Producer: Peter Schulze

Read "The Conference Producer: Peter Schulze" reviewed by B.D. Lenz

Who would ever imagine that just being able to hold a professional conference would be a victory in itself? Post-Covid, that's true for all kinds of gatherings including one held every April in jny: Bremen Germany. Jazzahead is an international assembly of all facets of the jazz industry and a place for this niche community to meet face to face to conduct business, share ideas, and watch performances from bands that have traveled from across the globe. This small miracle ...


The Jazz Artist: Takao Fujioka

Read "The Jazz Artist: Takao Fujioka" reviewed by B.D. Lenz

Although music is an auditory art form, for some, there has always been a strong visual component to it, particularly when album covers were at a high point. It's hard to imagine some of the most famous albums without simultaneously visualizing their iconic covers. At their best, they contribute to the ambience of the experience and help set the stage for the music to follow. With that, it's important to not only acknowledge the musical artists who have made a ...

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