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January/February 2006

Sheila E. Anderson
How to Grow as a Musician

A common perception is that, in the past, all a jazz musician needed to know in order to succeed was how to play extraordinarily well, create appealing compositions and lead an intriguing band. But the truth is, then and especially now, a performer also has be an entrepreneur, engineer, psychologist, accountant, social worker and paralegal. Sheila E. Anderson, a host on jazz radio (WBGO), a TV personality (MNN) and a manager of public programs for the Newark Museum, interviews a number of people to get a clear understanding of how all these facets interconnect.

Among the interviewees are managers, label executives, broadcast talent and many well-known artists, such as Ruth Brown, Ron Carter, Al Jarreau, Dr. Billy Taylor and Michael Wolff. Anderson often asks the musicians and key behind-the-scenes people the same questions about development, composing and recording, personal growth, performance and business. The shared experiences and accompanying comments formulate exemplary advice that can enhance any upcoming or seasoned musician's awareness, especially in regard to being an "a player."

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