Newsletter - Spring 2020

Hello!

 

I hope everybody has been staying healthy, practicing social distancing, and above all adjusting to life during this pandemic. For my own part, I've been focusing on staying productive and maintaining a positive attitude. It hasn't been easy to witness practically all March & April live performances evaporate, but I've found plenty of other things to focus my energies on. 

 

As many may already know, I do a lot of transcribing and arranging. Not just for bands I'm in, but also for numerous others. Over the past decade, I've written well over a thousand arrangements; usually for horn sections, but also for string sections, rhythm sections, and choirs (among other instrumentation). Original and cover songs; for live performance and studio production. I recently updated my Library of Arrangements. If you or anybody you know needs a piece of music transcribed and or arranged, please pass me along.

 

I've been developing my next solo album. Its current working title is Adult Children. It'll be an full length instrumental album, loosely jazz, inspired by Highlife music. At the initial recording session, I brought together 3 percussionists (Alec Meltzer, Ben Diamond, Corey Mark) and 1 bassist (Ben Basile) to record improvised grooves. Then I overdubbed rhythm guitar tracks - including very prominent 12-string electric guitar. Now I'm in the process of composing trumpet melodies which I will later record myself playing. Adult Children will also feature some guest guitarists. Not exactly the traditional method of producing a jazz album, but it's been an experience! 

 

You Do You released a follow up to "Live it Up," titled "Ours." Both tracks are inspired by the Philly Soul of the 60s and 70s, with lush instrumentals and a smooth, dreamy sound" (, The Key). My contributions to "Ours" include trumpet, flugelhorn, mellophone, percussion, background vocals, horn arrangements, and some audio engineering. Make sure you listen for Gabe Preston's rippin' flute solo. The band has been working on Funky Dinos since we released our last EP, Political Party. We're releasing another single this Saturday. "The Script" is the album opener, so be sure to be on the look out!

 

York Street Hustle also released our first recorded music! Cruelty is a 4-track E.P. created in conjunction with Brewerytown Beats. "The four-track set opens with the slinky, self-penned title tune, followed by a horn-fired workout called “All Beak” and a sweet version of the Magic Tones’ 1968 rarity “There’s Nothing Better Than Love,” in instrumental and vocal versions." (Dan DeLucaThe Philadelphia Inquirer). My contributions include trumpet, flugelhorn, percussion, horn arrangements, and some audio engineering. We plan to develop and record more material for an eventual full length release. 

 

I'd like to share when my next gig is, but I must leave you in suspense. I'm hopeful that live performances will resume in May, but that all depends the world's health. We can only truly be responsible for ourselves. In lieu of live performances, artists have been getting extra creative. Perhaps take a listen through or purchase some my solo albums. Browse my discography to (re)discover other music I've been involved with. Now might be a good time to take some music lessons (online of course); I offer those too. Tune into other artists' live streams (I'm considering doing one of those as well) and contribute if you can. We're all in this together. 

 

VT

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