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Take Five with Black Tie Brass

Ryan McNulty By

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DANCE! Groove! Connect! Don't expect people to sit there while you apply the Coltrane matrix to five choruses of "Autumn Leaves"! NO ONE CARES! Make it relevant to their life and yours! You listened to hip hop all the way into the jam session then you call a 12 bar blues? Play what is in your heart! There is an audience for straight ahead "classic" jazz. But that is not the only audience for jazz. Look at the jam band community, 30 minutes of improvisation with hip licks and people LOVE IT. CONNECT! Meet people half way.

What is in the near future?

We are going back into the studio in the next few months with new songs. We will record a couple and put them out soon. We also are going to be touring extensively in the summer. By May we should have a brand new show ready for everyone!

What's your greatest fear when you perform?

That we won't connect with the audience. Even if we are having fun on stage but it doesn't hit home for the audience, we aren't doing our job. That can happen in so many ways. Song choice, interaction, solo length, volume of performance.

What song would you like played at your funeral?

"Moonlight Sonata" all three movements or J Dilla's "Donuts." Beethoven knew how to bring out true melancholy in his compositions and Dilla wrote his amazing masterwork while he was sick and dying. He asks the existential questions to a boom bap beat especially "Stop," It is beautiful.

What is your favorite song to whistle or sing in the shower?

Oh man it really changes all the time. I actually write most of my music in the shower. All of the melodies I have every written were made in the shower except for one which was written while I was driving.

By Day:

I am a full time musician. I teach private lessons but the rest of the band is about half music teachers and one IT professional! We want to play music we love instead of worrying about a paycheck.

If I weren't a jazz musician, I would be a:

I would be an auto mechanic. I have always loved cars and making things work. I worked on heavy machinery for a few years such as tractors and forklifts. I love making things with my hands. It also is very calming to do something so formulaic like changing a tire or putting in a new starter. You just follow the steps and get the result you want, most of the time. Music is rarely like that.

If I could have dinner with anyone from history, who would it be and why?

Benjamin Franklin. That dude was brilliant. He wrote so many world changing documents and invented so many things we still use today. I would love to hang out with him. Definitely Mr. $100 bill.

If I had one superpower, what would it be?

Definitely teleport. But without the limits of Nightcrawler. More like the instant transmission of Goku. You know? Late for a meeting, boom, not anymore. Want to grab a snack from the fridge, boom, you won't miss any of the game. Forgot your mouthpiece while at a gig an hour away, kablam, got it. Best superpower ever.

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