Curating events for this festival has been a very eye (and ear)- opening experience. One of the things that I dig the most about the position that I’m in is that it gives me a chance to help other trumpeter-composers present their visions to an audience that might not hear them otherwise.
This year, I was delighted that Paul Stache, the part owner and proprietor of Smoke agreed to open his doors to FONT. Smoke has long since been a place where I’ve presented my various ensembles and in my estimation, is one of the few clubs in NY that cares about the music. It is my guess that FONT and its participants will feel welcome and comfortable at the club. Because I’m so busy, routinely spreading myself thin trying to balance my work, other people’s work AND kids, I don’t have the type of time I had years ago to comb the scene looking for the new upstarts. FONT provides a worthy “excuse” for me to get out there and see who’s playing.
In the past, we’ve paid tribute to various legendary trumpeters by rehashing their music, however in recent years I’ve been quite vocal about the need for us to represent ourselves which is why I proudly accept the challenges that come with programming (in this year’s case) eight disparate trumpeter-led bands. The criteria for my choosing the performers is based off of my general feeling for their music and it’s inherent need to connect to the people.