Month: January 2014

Mi Cultura

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Just today, on a normal school morning, as I was walking over to my friend Katelyn, where we usually hang out in the morning by the cafeteria, as I approached her I was singing under my breath one of my favorite songs in Spanish. When she heard me she said, “Oh E-man, you and your Spanish music”. I responded by telling her all the wonderful things that Spanish music has taught me. To be apart of my culture’s music (Mexican) makes me feel prideful and proud to be a Mexican, especially since I know 1 guy at school who is racist to me because I’m Mexican. But I use his insults to motivate myself to work harder because I know that stereotipically a person wouldn’t think of a Mexican in a rich, high end, smart job. I want to turn that idea around, because with smarts, a high end job, and a good education comes respect. My uncle, when he used to live in Guadalajara, Jalisco went to the Univerity of Guadalajara and majored in architecture. Now he works here in the U.S. doing his job for rich older folks. Anyways, me singing at school. So when Katelyn said this, right then and there I pulled out my ipod to show her why I enjoy it so much. First I showed her a traditional mariachi song that I really like by Alejandro Fernandez called “No Sé Olvidar”. She  wasn’t too fond if it. After that I decided to show her a Spanish pop song that I knew she would like, called “Hay Algo que me Gusta de tí” by Wisin y Yandel. Check them out! This reminds me of my project that I did for Mr. Therialt, since my group talked about a cultural perspective in the book Frankenstein. I am very proud of my culture, los Mexicanos, and our traditions. My family has always kept all of our traditions, for example when I talk to my dad I do my best to only talk to him in Spanish (besides he obviously knows and understands more Spanish than English). When I was six years old, and first learning how to play the trumpet, my parents put me in a mariachi group called R.I.T.H.Y.M.O. In it I expanded my Spanish vocabulary with the songs I would learn how to sing. It was the best, I can never forget the suit, so cool! As I grow up and live on my own I still intend to practice all the traditions that my parents taught me and raised me with.


“Let me show you what I can do”

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This last week of mid January I found out about this trumpeter named Christian Scott who won the 2013 Jazz Award in New Orleans. So immediately I went to YouTube to hear how great this guy plays; knowing me right? It turns out that he is, as I assumed, a great player and he even has his own line of new trumpets going! Dang! He has this one called a Siren trumpet, after that he has the Sirenette trumpet, then he even created a reverse flugelhorn of his own! This guy has it all! He’s an awesome player in a jazz band who has his own company of trumpets and he won a big jazz award. I applaud this man.  I too hope that someday I can be a lead trumpet player for a popular jazz band, get gigs at clubs, dives, and cafes. After the show go out with some friends all dressed up in my suit and tie to have a night on the town. That’s my idea of living the dream. But, just like Christian I need to practice a lot, a lot, if I want my name to be recognized in the jazz and trumpet world. Like my dad says, “Right now Emmanuel, since you’re young, and just beginning your life in the real world, you have all the doors open. It’s up to you to apply yourself to school and music to walk up to those doors saying, ‘let me show you what I can do'”.

How Deep is the Ocean

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I love the way Marvin Stamm plays his solos in Jazz. If you guys notice in this video he spends most of the time playing trumpet with his eyes closed even though he has a music stand right in front of him. Yesterday I had a great rehearsal with my Jazz group Operation Jazz. So far we have two songs solid Moondance by Van Morrison and Careless Whisper by Wham! After those two I have been looking around for other songs that we could play that sound great. In the “ideas pot” I have In the Mood, Portuguese Love, Begin to Beguine, and others. I hope that in the future I could play trumpet in a Jazz band that gets hired to a lot of gigs at clubs and hotels. So if anyone needs a Jazz band to play anywhere let me know. We have already played a short demonstration for the public songs from our set list before. One day when I was looking around YouTube for trumpet improvisation solos I found this video of Marvin Stamm with his Jazz group.  Speaking of “picking up the pieces”, you see what I did there, since in my English class I am reading Frankenstein who is made of human organs and body parts; “pieces”. Anyway in a Jazz group, we could think of it like this, each instrument is a body part that when put together bring life to black notes on a sheet music. I will post Operation Jazz’s recordings on here later so you guys could hear how we sound. In a month or two we will perform at the main bowl plaza of my school to present to the students and teachers what have been working on.

A New Beginning

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As 2013 comes to an end and we welcome the new year, I too will embrace this new “beginning” as a fresh start. What I mean is that I can get my mind straight to focus and perform better, in a different way, when I am in school or in my music studies. One of my New Year’s resolutions is to read more, whether it be the newspaper, a magazine of Popular Science, or a book. Also because I constantly assign myself long term goals throughout the year I don’t really acknowledge a New Year’s resolution; because I do it so often. “The music never stops”, and “The song remains the same”. This reminds me of when Mr. Therialt, my AP English teacher, showed us in class some videos of how everything is a remix of something already invented; just modified to look, sound, and feel different. In the videos they showed Led Zeppelin, movie directors, and authors make they works based off the ideas of previous works. However, in my world I like to call it, Jazz. (You guessed it, right?) The reason is that when I improvise, while the rhythm section is going with the flow, it’s all about melody. I take scales, songs, and random styles, mix them together with the way I’m feeling to get a bunch of little remixes that I made up right on the spot. “Hero’s get remembered, but legends never die. Follow your heart, and you will never go wrong”.