I try to keep my eye on up and coming Harrelson Clients. We have so many people all over the globe doing great things in music and life in general. Angel Rodgers is one of those that has caught my eye for some time. I finally had a chance to interview her and learn a little bit more about this talented young woman. She is truly a inspiration... ~Jennifer Sandquist
For her full bio please follow this link: http://about.me/trumpetessmusic
What horn do you play on? What leadpipe and bell? Why did you choose this set up?
I play on a Bravura leadpipe and bell 4. I selected this set up because I wanted a rich, warm sound, but not overly rich and warm. I love the horn and I think it suits me and my style of playing extremely well. Jason really out did himself. .
Do you have any advice for young musicians just starting out on the instrument?
My advice to young musicians would be to have fun. In life, we all go through various stages of growth and development. Younger kids learn by association and things that appeal to their senses. So I would encourage them to enjoy music and their instrument. I would also encourage them to keep at it. Nothing just falls in your lap, you have to work to make things happen.
How long have you been playing trumpet?
I have been playing the trumpet for 17 years now. Wow, sometimes it’s hard to believe it’s been that long. I started playing at the age of 8. My family has always be music lovers. I was raised in a strictly Christian household so we listened to gospel music a lot, but I was exposed to oldies as well, such as Motown, the Temptations, Miracles, Stevie Wonder, Smokie Robinson, James Brown, etc. When I was 8, my little brother and I went with my grandparents and church family to the national Church of God in Christ Convention in Memphis TN. It was the Friday night musical service and Vernard Johnson a gospel/jazz saxophonist was up performing. I was so excited and dancing around. Shortly after an older lady got on the stage and played the song “I’ll Fly Away” on the trumpet. I was SO CAPTURED by her performance and immediately I fell in love with the trumpet. I had been messing around with the piano and even tried to sing a little bit, but in that moment I KNEW the trumpet was for me. I told my papa that I wanted a trumpet and I would do anything to get one. He just smiled and kept enjoying the program. A few months later I wanted to join the school band, so my mom approved but said she didn’t know how I would get an instrument. I came home from school the next day and my papa handed me a trumpet case. I was the happiest kid on two feet. Lol. Turns out both of my uncles played the trumpet, so papa had the horn fixed up and passed it along to me. (I actually still have that horn, it’s a conn) That day I made a promise to my papa, I told him that no matter what I would never put down the trumpet and I promised to make him proud. I didn’t know how I was going to get there, or what I would have to go through to accomplish it, but I was determined to be a musician even at 8 yrs old.
If you could ask the seasoned pros out there anything what would it be?
I would want to know their story… how they started in music, how they stuck with it, and how they became who they are. It is easy to have a dream, but hard to work towards making that dream come true. So I would ask the great how they accomplished what they did.
Who are some of your musical influences?
Hmmmm… influences would be Miles Davis, Louis Armstrong, Freddie Hubbard, Wynton Marsalis, Clifford Brown, Blue Mitchell, and Clora Bryant. I also, learn a lot from gospel artist such as Kirk Whalum, Donnie McClurkin, Donald Hayes, Yolanda Adams, Douglas Miller, Kirk Franklin, Tye Tribbett, Fred Hammond. I just love music of all kinds.
After years of working at Harrelson Trumpets... it's easy for me to see that the Trumpet as an instrument is generally a "boys club" ... what does it feel like being one of the few leading ladies in the trumpet world?
It feels awesome. I love being a woman, and I love playing the trumpet and being a musician. I remember when I was younger, I would get kicks out of walking into a room full of trumpet players with my horn in hand, and just watching the faces and hear the bickering and snide comments, then when I put the horn to my face watch those same people hang their mouths open in disbelief. ! Those are the moments that I still draw from and use as motivation. I started working on my master’s degree in Jazz Studies in Aug of 2010, and one of the biggest challenges for me were the sexist attitudes, opinions, and comments that were thrown my direction. I was so shocked and even hurt, but I had to realize quickly that just because some “bullies” threw a few rocks, I didn’t have to stand still and allow them to hit me, I have the right to dance around, duck and dodge to keep them from hitting me. I thank God for my journey though, I really do. I feel that a musician is a musician and black, white, male, or female should not matter… the only thing that should matter is can an individual speak the language… the language of music. Can they use pitches, tone, and rhythms to convey messages, touch lives, and heal themselves and others. Ultimately, that is what music is about.
Tell me about the national association of negro musicians.... what will your role be at the conference? when is it? is it open to the public?
The National Association of Negro Musicians, founded in 1919 in Chicago Illinois, is an organization dedicated to the preservation, encouragement, and advocacy of music of African Americans. The organization is also a platform for performers, historians, and music educators.
This year’s conference will be held in Dallas, TX July 29-Aug 2 at Love Field. I will be participating as a lecturer and performer. My lecture will be a portion of my thesis work on ‘Trumpetiste’ Clora Bryant, a female trumpeter of the 1940s that performed with several big named jazz musicians, but did not receive the proper recognition. My performance will be portions of Ms. Bryant’s songs from her lone album ‘Gal With the Horn’. The conference is open to the public and I encourage all who are in the Dallas area to come check it out. I am very excited about the opportunity.
I'm curious... what's playing on your stereo most days?
Well, currently I am preparing for my master’s recital so I have been listening to my selected tunes over and over and over again. Louis Armstrong, Roy Eldridge, Clifford Brown, Miles Davis, Clora Bryant… But I love all kinds of music. As I mentioned earlier, I grew up in a Christian household, so I love gospel music. I am also a fan on R&B and oldies. My friends pick on my all the time and say I am the oldest young person they know. Lol. I just really appreciate when music was music. Back in those days songs had meaning and substance.
When you're not playing trumpet... what do you do?
I am a very outgoing, yet laid back type of person. I like to have fun, watch movies, shop, spend time with family and I absolutely LOVE to travel. It is a goal of mine to visit at least 4 countries before I am 35…. So looks like I need to hurry up and get to it. Lol. Yeah, but I just like to have fun and enjoy life. I have seen people that I care about deeply be robbed of their life and the opportunity to live the life they wanted to live. Therefore, I strive to live each day to the fullest.
For more information about Angeleisha you can follow either of these links:
trumpetessmusic.wordpress.com (blog) or www.facebook.com/trumpetessmusic
Hello again friends!
I thought I would provide an update.
I picked up my completed Harrelson Summt Bb trumpet last night from Jason's shop around 6pm "North Star" time.
Wow, it is such an incredibly beautiful instrument! I would post some pictures but I don't have a great camera.
Perhaps I'll try later this week.
I had Jason build it with the #1 leadpipe and #10 gold brass bell. It's a great combination for me.
I added aluminim caps and finger buttons. It's raw brass...for now.
I just got done playing it for about 40 minutes comparing it with my epoxy and aluminum plastered Getzen and my
Carol Brass 658. Well, of course, the Summit is the best horn I have ever owned or played. It is significantly lighter
than my Getzen and maybe an ounce or so heavier than the CB658, it's almost not noticable.
I can tell already that this horn will do things that none of my previous horns could do - higher notes, and softer upper
range is possible, for one thing. Also the 10G bell gives a lovely tone. I don't play lead, so it's a great sound for me.
I'm sure as I get used to playing a Harrelson again it will become even more apparent how fine an instrument this is.
For as light as it is I am sure this is the most efficient horn you can buy.
Jason and I had a nice supper at a local Mexican place near his shop. We sat and talked about trumpets, players,
business and all sorts of things. It's always a treat to spend time chatting with someone as interesting as Jason.
He told me of some big name players that are buying horns from him and I was so pleased that he is now getting the
recognition he has deserved for years.
If anyone reading this is considering a Harrelson, I would highly recommend scheduling a visit in person to his shop in MN.
Meeting Jason and absorbing his knowledge of all things trumpet is worth almost as much as getting a new horn.
And, Jason is not like some builders who require you to pass an interview before they will sell you a horn.
You want a horn, he'll build you one.
You don't like it, he'll make you another one and give you a trade in value you won't believe - I know I didn't.
I know this won't be my last Harrelson trumpet. After hearing Jason's latest plans I know that in 2 to 3 years he will
be building some new horns that will truly be stunning in their unique design and playing characteristicks.
If you are a serious musician you cannot pass up the opportunity to buy a Harrelson, so start saving up now!
"Dean Oaks. A student of Judith Saxton, he played the first movement of
the Kennan Sonata and the first movement of the Neruda, and kept
everyone on the edge of their seats with his dark, full tone and musical interpretation.
It was refreshing to hear such high quality music from some superb musicians!"
~ITG Journal 2012
Nice Ride Minneapolis is a non-profit organization which allows subscribers in the Twin Cities to essentially rent a bicycle at multiple locations around the city... and return at any location... at any time.... it's a program that is spreading like wildfire across the cities... and "NICE RIDE" is something you hear kids on the streets saying ... almost like... "cool" or "rad" .... seriously... it's a great program....
Harrelson Trumpets is proud to announce that one of our clients Tim Martin will be performing in the first ever "Nice Night" with the Belfast Cowboys... here's more information on this great summer event!
As if the Twin Cities isn't bike-friendly enough as it is, we're putting on a series of Nice Nites, featuring bike-friendly locations, bike-friendly times (Thursday evenings as the sun sets), thirst-friendly offers from New Belgium Brewing (more on that below) and ear-friendly free live music.
This Thursday, July 12th, from 7:30-9:00pm will be the first of the summer. We're holding it on The Midtown Greenway at the Elliot Avenue bridge. Music provided by The Belfast Cowboys. Beer specials all night long courtesy of New Belgium, and for Nice Ride members, the first New Belgium of the night is on us.
We'll also be raffling: two tickets to the Cirque du Soleil show 'Dralion', as well as a pair ofJust Bare grill sets. Mmmm.
And mark your calendars... we'll be doing more raffles, more free live music, more beer specials, more Nice Nites all through summer. Next up: Thursday July 19th at the Red Stag Supper Club, featuring Leverage Models, In One Wind, Farewell Circuit, and Al Church and State.
Special thanks to New Belgium Brewing, The Current, and City Pages for supporting Nice Nites.
Jennifer Sandquist has been at Harrelson Trumpets since it's inception. Jen spends much of her time on marketing, photography and client spotlights. She has recently started CAD design and CNC machining for custom art on horns and trim. When she's not at Harrelson Trumpets... Jen loves to travel, see live music and follow creative pursuits of all kinds.