This one can sure lay down some Sweet music

I am told that Jacob took up the sax 8 years ago.

But considering the way their paths are now connected,  you have to wonder: was it he that took it up – or –  the sax that took him?

Whatever the case, it is quite apparent that they have really grown on one another.  I suspect this will be a life long relationship.  Forever partners in the pursuit of their passion for jazz.

Through out his career at Homestead, Jacob was able to balance a gig on the boy’s volleyball team with several musical commitments and opportunities,  as well as a job at Sendiks.  A well orchestrated use of his time I would say.

And what a wonderful world it turned out to be for Jacob this spring.

A dedication to his craft, a commitment to effort and a relentless pursuit of excellence earned him The Louis Armstrong Award.  Each year, this accolade is presented to a deserving member of our school district’s outstanding jazz program at Homestead.

And if you go here,  you will hear exactly why:

http://youtu.be/oO5kHED3KXM

Going forward in college, he plans to remain active in music.  This fall, Jacob intends to lay the foundation for a double major in music and business at UWM.  His hopes;  to pursue a career in the music-business, in a music rich city.  Like New Orleans. Or Nashville.

Until then,  Jacob employs his musical chops with a group called “Mac and the Boys”, a six piece jazz combo.

Jacob, Max Woody, Will Kammerait, Sarah McCarthy, Peter Behlmer, and Matt Heilmann all came together about a year ago.  Drawn by a love of music.  And together as Mac and the Boys, they have been active in the community playing for various fundraisers, with an occasional local dinner performance thrown in for good measure.

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This summer, they began to hit their stride,  playing at Joey Gerard’s and at the HHS Hall of fame induction ceremony.

Though he has written some music in the past, at least for now, Jacob is intent on honing another aspect of his skill set.

Not to say that he isn’t into creating music. But rather that his needs lean more towards the creative aspects of being a musician.

He just prefers to let it flow.

To do it as he is playing it.

Totally in the moment.

Improvisation.

Jazz.

To get the rush that can only happen when you make it all come together  on the fly.

When the performance stakes are at their very highest.

You know.

Embracing risk, jumping off and building those wings on the way down.

Improvisation is quite possibly  the most difficult creative process to learn and master.  And despite what one might think,  it isn’t about  doing what you want, when you want to.

Because if you really think about it, in reality, improvisation is a very disciplined approach to music – or – art and acting for that matter.

For you see, one must have a very high level of technical expertise to execute it.  Timing is of the essence.  And believe it or not, there must always be a rhyme and a reason for everything you do from an improvisational standpoint

If not, then it would all just be noise, or squiggles, or random words.

To aspire to be a jazz musician is to be called to one of the highest levels of creative musical performance there is. To be in some rare company.

Like Jacob said:

“That’s one of my favorite things about jazz. It’s so impromptu and on the spot and it’s really exciting.”

Just you and your sax, flying like  a “Bird”.

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