AAJ: That's some of the best advice that I've heard, to focus on your vision and find others who can help realize it. That's great advice for all the young jazz musicians who are trying to find their way in the world.
VM: Not only jazz musicians, but classical musicians and composers as well. It's quite difficult today to get into a symphony orchestra today because of all the competition. And when you do, that's going to be your community. But I know a lot of classical musicians today who are forming smaller groups based upon their own visions of the future of music. I heard recently a fantastic chamber group called "yMusic," an incredible group that formed from people playing concerts together, but they also can groove! (ymusicensemble.com). They play on recordings sessions for pop performers, and then in the evening, they're playing new music, commissions by top shelf composers. That's the new construct of a musician: embracing their community and their ideas. The idea of not expecting your phone to ring with great jobs is not a new one, and it's getting even harder than in the past to find a record label or an agent who will give you a ticket to a great career. But when you come from your ideas and your community, people will notice you.