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Take Five with Brad Myers

Brad Myers By

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Meet Brad Myers:
Brad Myers has spent his life in the pursuit of making music that is tasteful and driven by a deep connection to the soul, regardless of stylish trends or prognosis for financial success. Currently residing in Cincinnati, Ohio, he is an ever evolving improvising musician who has played the guitar since he was 10 years old. Along the way he has picked up considerable skills on electric bass, mandolin and vocals to help diversify his palate of available colors. Brad can be seen on any given night playing jazz, funk, rock, country or folk with some of the area's greatest artists, all with big smile on his face.

Myers is most well-known for his work with Ray's Music Exchange, a popular Cincinnati based funk jazz outfit with a penchant for long energetic improvisational grooves, where he was able to contribute as a guitarist, composer, and producer along with fellow CCM grads Paul Hogan, Michael Mavridoglou, and Joshua Quinlan.

After appearing on the local stop of the 1998 H.O.R.D.E. festival he and the band spent the next 8 years producing and releasing 5 CD's, traveling around the country, and developing a diverse yet unique and interactive approach to improvisation that incorporated equal elements from Miles Davis' electric period, Frank Zappa, John Zorn, The Meters, and Medeski, Martin & Wood.

Brad has shared the stage with Fareed Haque, Jeff Coffin, Oteil Burbridge, Kai Eckhardt, John Scofield, Victor Wooten, Umphrey's McGee, Stanley Jordan, Mickey Hart, Bela Fleck, Matt Wilson, Pernell Saturnini, Nancy James, Carmen DeLeone, The Cincinnati Pops, Steve Schmidt, John Von Ohlen, Mandy Gaines, Eugene Goss, Andrea Cefalo, Napoleon Maddox, Harold Kennedy, Brent Gallaher, Hank Mautner, Dan Dorff, David McDonnell, and many more.

Having been a full-time professional musician and teacher since studying at Cincinnati Conservatory of Music for his undergraduate degree, Brad Myers returned to CCM for his Master of Music in jazz studies (expected completion May, 2014). He is currently working on two major projects to be released within the next year. The first is an album with the Brad Myers Quintet, a full length recording of mostly original compositions. The second is a full length duo collaboration with legendary Cincinnati jazz bassist, Mike Sharfe.

He is also an active member of the Steve Schmidt Organ Trio, Jeremy Pinnell and the 55s, Wild Carrot, and the David McDonnell Group.

Instrument(s):
Guitar

Teachers and/or influences?
In chronological order, I have studied with Glen McCarthy, Pat Cavanaugh, Danny Leonard, James Smith (CCM) and a few random lessons with people like Mark Elf and Harold Kennedy. I've also learned a great deal from all of the professors at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music including Rick VanMatre, Pat Harvison, Phil DeGreg, Brad Goode, John Von Olen, Kim Pensyl, Scott Belk, and Tom Haines. Of course, I am always growing as a musician and learn from mentors with whom I am lucky enough to play with regularly such as Mike Sharfe and Steve Schmidt.

I knew I wanted to be a musician when...
I never had any doubt I would be a musician. The gift of my first guitar coincided with the release of the movie, Back to the Future, in 1985. Seeing that movie did a lot to motivate me to practice. In fact, the first tune I had my teacher show me was “Johnny B Goode” which I worked really hard at to learn for a school project for which I donned a tweed jacket and rocked for the class.

I was fortunate enough to play guitar in the school jazz band from 7th through 12th grade. But it was a two week jazz intensive summer camp where I was placed in a combo run by an incredible saxophonist from Boston named Dan Smitty Smith. It was that summer that the jazz improvisation bug took hold and the true meaning of the conversation, both between the audience and the musicians as well as between the musicians themselves really came into view. After that point, I decided I wanted to be a jazz musician and engage in that conversation as often as possible.

Your teaching approach:
I tend to be very goal oriented with my motivated students, trying to take them to the next level in their own journey on the instrument. The way I achieve that differs depending upon the student, their goals, and interests. Ultimately, I am trying to show them ways to teach themselves what they want to know by figuring out how they learn best, and adapting to those strengths. Patience, compassion, and a demonstration of my own passion for music and the guitar are key factors in my approach.

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