We start with four musicians turned teachers:
Steven Kirby: a Harmony professor at Berklee College of music who teaches guitar at four institutions including Brandeis University.
Ed Lucie: A professor in the bass department at Berklee who like his colleague teaches private lessons whenever he can.
John Funkhouser: A pianist and ear training teacher at Berklee. It should be no surprise that he too teaches private lessons.
Mike Connors: The busiest of the group, Mike was unavailable for interview due to his performance schedule. This is unsurprising when considering his last year’s gig total of 383.
Here the three available members talking about why they choose to play with one another.
While playing together satisfies these musicians’ desire to play creative, experimental music, A musician in the modern world cannot sustain a career only on playing.
All four members of this combo engage in a variety of work to stay fulfilled and keep afloat. According to the members of the group, this is common for jazz musicians in the modern music landscape. Here, Ed and Steve talk about how they have had to organize their lives around their music to stay successful.
There are infinite ways for a musician to survive in today’s modern playing environment. The thing that ties these three musicians together is not just their playing, but their teaching.
Mike is the only member of the group who does not work at Berklee, but he makes up for it with four other institutions and his mile long gig list.
As important as performing is to these players, they all have a love for passing on what they know to the next generation.
Watch below to see how the Steve, Ed, and John balance their time as teacher’s and performers, and what they hope to pass on to their students.