Jason Passmore (b.1974) is an Atlanta based saxophonist and composer that specializes in jazz, acoustic and electro-acoustic music. As a composer/arranger, Jason has written or arranged music for various jazz groups and bands that he has been a member. The styles range from jazz to pop, salsa (Latin) and new age (neo—classical) groups. Jason has written original music for similar groups. As a performer, Jason has played in various ensemble and groups in Atlanta and around the country.
Happy New Year.....and new purpose
There has been a lot that went on in the last month.....I won't go into details, but I was happy when the holidays came. It was a time of refocus and setting my sights on new goals.
Now is 2013 and things to me are clearer than ever before. I know what I need to do and the direction I need to go to reach those goals. Here are some of them....
1. Pay debts
2. Write more music
3. More gigs
4. Sell more CDs
There are more of them....I'm just ready to get it done. Posted on Jan 13, 2013
After posting my blog of Friday.....within hours, something similar happened AGAIN. This time, we were outside and it was in front of students. I came REAL close to walking away and never going back, but with help I kept my cool. We talked after school and sort of resolved everything.
Let's just say the actions were forgiven but not forgotten...
At least I'm around the family this week....I couldn't take it at the other place.
GPC Jazz Ensemble has a concert tonight....8PM Cole Auditorium on the Clarkston campus.
TTYL Posted on Nov 19, 2012
The signs are getting obvious
Right now, there are some crazy things going on at where I'm currently employed as a teacher...
I'll give the short version of what happened to me:
1. My 4th/5th students (Not Chorus) had a program of music to perform. The person in charge knew how many students were expected to show up.
2.Not as many students showed up and we performed. The kids sounded great.
3. The person in charge said that things were fine...."Great Job, Mr. Passmore". Little did I know that I was in for a shock
4. Tuesday I got called to the office and was told that the chorus program is going down hill. Some things were mentioned from my 1st year and 2nd year at the school. BTW, I wanted to talk to him about ideas on how to get more parents and students involved. That's what I thought the meeting was about.
5. Basically It was the person in charge venting and looking for a fight. I kept my cool and vented to my mom and wife. I didn't want to say anything then because I knew I was upset and I saw that I (and the kids) was lied to on Thursday.
6. The next day, I get a letter summarizing the conversation and there was some items in there he didn't mention in the meeting about repertoire selection. IF that was a problem, that should have been said in this meeting.
7. Now I have to show all of this effort...not that I don't do anything. I just have to document.
I know that God has a plan...It's been on my heart to"find other employment" and do the things in my life that I wanted to do. I have been feeling like I'm getting stuck. I haven't been practicing my saxophone, clarinet or flute as much as I need to maintain professional status. No writing nor recording is happening. Those are the things I went to school for and those are the things I want to pursue.
3 years ago I felt the same way, but I got transferred. I thought "Maybe I'll give it a year or two, then I will decide". This is year 3 at where I'm employed and my feelings have not changed. I believe it is time for me to make some changes and it seems as though God is making it obvious for me.
Now...I'm on the hunt. I want to go back to school and I still love teaching, but I want to be in more control of what I teach, what I give to my students to prepare for performances, etc.. I don't need a politician or someone who knows nothing about what I do telling me when my students can perform and what they will be performing. That should be up to me... and in some cases, the students.
If you are reading this, just pray that regardless of what happens that I maintain a professional attitude and demeanor...There have been times where I just didn't care. I can't act that way..
I will keep everyone posted. TTYL.
Posted on Nov 16, 2012
I will be making updates to some of my webpages pretty soon....jasonpassmore.com : I will be transferring this site to a blog format (blogger, typepad, etc...). I will be a little bit cheaper and I can customize it more.Odysseymusicproject.com : same as abovesome will be closing due to lack of time.That's about it....Today I taught lessons and now getting work done....TTYLPosted on Nov 10, 2012
Here are a few updates in the life of Jason Passmore
1. Since I cannot find a way to go back to school for free and maintain the same level of income, I'm not worried about going back to school at this point. This may change, especially if I can get some sort of scholarship. I haven't said anything to my school yet, but I had applied to a cohort and realized that I want to go in another direction. I shouldn't have to keep going to school to earn more money. If I go back, it has to be in an area I want to study.
2. The Georgia Perimeter College jazz ensemble is in the studio recording a demo of Greg Mclean's charts. Band sonunds really good
3.I'm currently working on 2 studio projects that should be coming out in 2013.. Samples coming soon
4. I'm working to start back on a regimented practice schedule for saxophone, clarinet and flute. I understand and realize that I'm doing too much and some things I need to give up on. I've been too stressed and on edge about everything. I need to focus on what's going to bring in more cash and bring my family together. At this point, going back to school will not bring us closer. If anything, we would be torn apart.
Gotta go TTYL Posted on Nov 1, 2012
This weekend, I had 3 gigs.....2 went well and the third one: let's say I should have stayed at home.
On Friday, the gig was with a group that I have played with before in a location I've played a bunch. I'm purposefully keeping everything ambiguous to not use names. The leader complained about my sound....granted I shouldn't use vibrato all the time, but dang dude, make your charts readable: it's called Finale. At the end, instead of saying thanks, it was more complaining and talking about how the music is tough. He should have just been happy that he found musicians at the last minute. The sad thing was nobody was listening the first set. We could have played hot cross buns and no one would have given a s&@! If i had known that the gig was going to be a pain, I would have stayed home and spent time with the family. I probably won't see him for a while. And I got a check that I can't cash until next week. Pay cash dude!!!
Last night was in Athens with a group of musicians I've played with before. Total opposite of Friday: got treated with respect,got paid in cash, and I got gas money for bringing musicians with me. The room was hard to play in but the gig still went well.
Today I played with the Drive By Big Band. Due to mis communication, we played outside on the patio.they provided heat and coffee. I didn't want to play in the cold but it really wasn't that bad. Band sounded great and everyone had fun.
That's my weekend....ttyl Posted on Oct 28, 2012
I have been playing more gigs lately....that's a good thing. I need the money.
I have been giving some consideration about playing more classical music. I did tons of classical saxophone playing in college and I want to return to some of that literature. Classical saxophone was never something I wanted to do exclusively, but part of the repertoire of music that I play.
1/2 of the semester is over. Kids are actually singing and playing well, I home it continues throughout the rest of the year.
Look for a new website pertaining to saxophone lessons and tips http:// www.dailysaxtips.com... It's no where near ready, but it will be up soon.
I'm currently working on a solo saxophone record with tracs with effects, and some with just me playing a tune. Samples coming soon
See you soon.... Posted on Oct 24, 2012
What a month
It has been a crazy last month....I went through a period of having 9 playing jobs in 11 days. Then a week of 6 playing jobs, with three last Saturday. All I can say is "God is good.."
I was looking for some of my classical repertoire for some music to work up for an audition. I've realized that majoring in education is KILLING my playing career. This has been an emotional roller coaster for me for years . I enjoy what I do as a teacher, but I want to stretch out and be more creative. Going to school for an education degree will not help me be more creative.
I just don't want to waste my time....I feel that I've been doing that for about 7 years. I'm not worried about the money...even though that has been wasted. I don't want to look back and realize that I did nothing that I wanted to or dream about accomplishing. If I stay in the education route, I have a feeling that I will look back with regret. This does not mean that I'm leaving education....maybe a change in direction.
Posted on Oct 10, 2012
Satin Alley Jazz gig
On Thursday, I performed with Satin Alley Jazz for Roswell's "Alive after 5". It is a really neat idea with food, live music and good sprits. The band sounded great tonight...I felt for me personally it was one of my worst nights performing. I was missing stuff that most high school players would get right.
My flute playing was terrible. I need to get that thing overhauled and get the leaks removed AND I need to practice more. I couldn't find a good reed on tenor. It just seemed like everything was going wrong. I just didn't feel line I was focused on the gig....I was thinking about everything else. I don't think I'm stressing out, but there has been "stuff" happening in the life of the Passmore family.
Regardless of what's going on, I need to keep my head in the game...or I won't have a gig.
On a good note, I got to play with Braves organist Matthew Kaminski. He was called to fill the piano chair for this gig. We had went to school together at Georgia State and I don't get to play with him much since the Atlanta Braves keep him busy.
TTYL... Posted on Sep 21, 2012
I'm always looking for performance opportunities....what musician isn't? I've just been thinking over everything lately and I hope to start my Doctorate back by summer 2013...no later than the fall.
I've spoken to my wife about audition for a couple of music schools for a DMA in Jazz...I would love to study in a different part of the country. I know my wife's issues would be finding work and leaving her mom here in Atlanta. Another issue would be any debt that's left at the time and selling the house.
Part of me...believe it or not, is just curious to know if I would even pass an audition for another performance degree. If I don't get accepted, that that's the end of that. That would mean that once I'm done with teaching, I'll pursue it then. It would be for my own satisfaction and inner peace.
However, if I got accepted and they offered money (a lot)...I would have to at least think about it. Don't ask why I'm obsessed about getting a Doctorate degree..for me (and maybe other black people), neither my parents went to school past the 8th grade. They lived in a time where family members had to work to provide for everyone in the family. Not that much different today, right? These days, a bachelors degree is very common. I want to prove to myself that I can accomplish something very difficult. Afterwards, I would purse full time college teaching or go back to a k-12 position.
Even though I want to perform as much as possible, I was never the type of musician that wanted to spend 10 out of 12 months of the year on the road playing someone else's music. There are other ways of performing and not being so stressed out and I can play my music. That is what I always wanted to do: play my own music.
That's it for now. In the next few days, I'm performing with a jazz choral group, a 10 piece top 40 band, and a jazz quartet....oh I forgot about the sunday gig with a trio. busy,busy... Posted on Sep 19, 2012
More Gig photos
Here are some random photos I took and various places I've been gigging.....
Posted on Sep 19, 2012
Pictures from Fiesta Latina Savannah GA
This past weekend, I play with Serenata Band in Savannah, GA for the annual Fiesta Latina. This is a festival that the band is played before and it's in one of my favorite cities, Savannah. Enjoy!!!
Posted on Sep 19, 2012
time to get it done
Things are starting to work out....I'm starting to build a studio of woodwind students again. I got hired to teach at Music and Arts teaching woodwinds. I taught there 15 years ago, but left to pursue graduate studies. I'm excited to be back there and I have students already. Looks like things are going in the positive direction.
Something that my family has always told me: You can only worry about the things you can control...the other stuff, you have to trust in God and believe.
Here's what I'm saying
1. I can do something about how I feel....
2. I can change my weight and looks
3. Kids will be kids...help the ones who want the help
4. I have to keep looking for gigs that pay....get my hustle on.
5. I don't have to keep doing the same thing. My feelings of being stuck is "old school thinking" according to Robert Kiyosaki. I can actually do something about it
So that's about it for now..
BTW, I had a gig in Peachtree City , GA with the FlyCats for the Wounded Warrior Project....lots of fun
Posted on Sep 9, 2012
I was supposed to be at a rehearsal tonight, but I haven't been feeling too well for the last couple of days. I think it's because of my diet the last 4-5 days and the constant temperature changes. I'll try to go to bed early tonight and get some rest for the rest of the week.
On the gig front, there are several performances coming up, including 2 trips to South Carolina and a trip to Savannah, GA, all gigs. Good times....it's good to be an employed individual in this economy. Actually, the rest of the year looks pretty good for gigs...I'm so ready for summer to be over. TOO MUCH DRAMA!!!
On the school note, things are starting to get busy. The kids are getting used to being back in school and so am I. That's what has been on my mind lately. I don't want to say much, but I know personally, I'm ready to search for other opportunities. Not because of anything that is going on. A colleague of mine once stated that she never stayed anywhere longer than 5 years in her career. She figured that if you stay in one place too long, there is no growth in your skills. Laziness sets in and before you know it, you're stuck in a rut.
I would love to move out of state...or at least out of Atlanta for a while. I've live in the same area all of my life. Don't get me wrong, I love Atlanta, but I want to experience other places and other situations. I don't know if these things will happen, but I don't want to sit around one day and say " I wish I would have.........." I don't want to live a life of regret.
I also understand that I have responsibilities, a wife and 2 kids. I also understand that a part of living is taking calculated risk. No risk: no reward. It's a juggling act I've been dealing with for 12 years. I'll just have to keep praying about it and see where God wants me to be. Posted on Sep 5, 2012
It looks like things are going in another direction..Here's how
1. I will not be teaching at GPC this semester. Due to "financial hardship" the college is going through, all departments had to scale back with staff and class offerings. The two classes I was scheduled to teach were dropped due to low enrollment (jazz history) or given to a full time professor (music appreciation). This is the second semester I'm not teaching there. We're at a point where I need to find other work. At least I'm still teaching public school.
2. I have started back teaching private lessons...with everything that I was doing in the last year, I really didn't have the time to devote to private students. Now seems to be the opportunity to get back in.
3. I have stopped my PH.D pursuit...right now I can't afford to travel to Athens on a regular basis for class. there were some other issues that I have already gone over in a previous post.
4. CD is out and I'm already working on another one....
Later.... Posted on Aug 19, 2012
Posted on Aug 7, 2012
A busy few months
It has been the busiest few months....I didn't even realize until last night that I haven't been blogging. Here's an update
1. I release another CD entitled "Beautiful Day". You can find it on iTunes, Amazon or you can click Here or here
2. I did not teach at Georgia Perimeter this summer. Due to some things I don't want to go into, I may not teach there in the fall (No, I didn't do anything wrong..financial stuff)
3. I basically spent my summer vacation hanging with the wife and kids. It was awesome...got to bond and spend some quality time together
4. There are other projects in the works.....I'll talk about that later
5. I stopped going to UGA....The commute was a bear on gas. The big reason was that I was not considered for an graduate assistantship and the person I wanted to study jazz with left the university. I also decided that if I'm going back to school, I'm going to study what I want to study. I don't need at PH.D to keep my teaching gig. I got more from an Orff workshop I participated in for two weeks than sitting in a classroom for a semester and my district paid for me to go to the workshop. This doesn't mean I won't start back.....I'm thinking of transferring to Georgia State; It will be cheaper and closer to home.
That's it for now....later I'll be posting photos from some of the gigs I had this summer. Posted on Aug 5, 2012
- spring break 2012 This semester has one of the most stressful semesters ever. I had to drop a class so that I can get everything done. I haven't been able to blog and keep everyone up to date as to what is going on. Some definite changes are going to be made. To focus on the most important aspects of my life, some things are going to have to go. I won't get into those now, but I will say that my family will need me more than ever starting this summer. Posted on Apr 3, 2012
End of the month
I have come to some conclusions about my life in general...
1. If I want to change my situation, I have to do something about it. I can't whine and cry when things don't happen the way I want them to happen. I have to work and be patient.
2. I believe a change in my musical situation is needed. I will leave it at that...you want more details, email me.
3. I want to spend more time with the family...we need to stick together. Otherwise we'll grow apart.
That's it for now...Starting in February, I will blog 3-4 times a week, so that people will be up to date...later Posted on Jan 30, 2012
End of the semester
It is here...the end of the semester. Grades are in (GPC) and I finished my 1st semester at UGA. It was rough...I hardly saw my wife and kids over the last two weeks because so much was going on, from school concerts to writing papers to grading. I'm just glad that its all over (until Jan. 9th 2012)
As I reflect over the year, there were some high and low moments. I do believe that 2011 was a good year and 2012 looks to be a better year. A few things that I will do.
1. Hunt for more gigs....can't wait for people to call me.
2. schedule a couple of short promo tours of my CD,release in March 2012
3. Look for more ways to bring the money in....I can't AND WON'T work 2 teaching jobs for too long. Jody will start Pre-K in the fall and hopefully there's a pre-k age 3 program for Joni.
4. Get myself together physically, mentally and spiritually
5. Blog more....everyday!!!
6. I see the Jason Passmore Big Band in my future...and a sax quartet.
Basically, I'm tired of waiting for things to happen. If I don't do the work, nothing happens. If I don't ask, I don't receive. Bottom Line. Life is too short to waste time. The older I get, the more I realize that. One thing that we all have in common is that we will all leave this earth. Everything that lives, dies. I want to spend my life reaching for the impossible, not settling for the mediocre.
That's about it...Merry Christmas and have a happy new year. Posted on Dec 24, 2011
I don't know if its worth it anymore
It's the day before my 37th birthday and the 3rd day of my Thanksgiving break. I should be enjoying the time with my family and kids. Instead. I'm getting stressed about how I going to get this school work done. My professors are saying that I should enjoy the process of getting a degree. Right now, it's turning into a chore and a drag.
In the last entry, I had said that I realize that I'm doing too much. I still feel that way. My professor also said to me that I shouldn't be gigging and trying to get another degree. It worked for my 1st two degrees. Also, she doesn't know the entire financial situation. The gigs help pay off debt and the bills. The way I feel now is that if I can't leave my job to pursue this degree, I just need to stop. I know I need to do something quickly when a colleague looks at me and says that I looked stressed and all of the happiness is gone.
What I will not do is give up playing my instrument to get a degree. I'd rather not have the degree than give up playing. I thought after not teaching privately would help and it has helped; not as much as I thought it would. In many ways, I miss it; it kept me connected to the band world.
What I want to do is perform, teach and write music, within a balanced schedule. Not 95% teaching, 4% playing and 1% writing. For what I want to do, I really DONT need the Ph.D.
When I look back on my decision, I was motivated by money. I figured if I'm going to be in the public school system, make all of the money. Now, I'm not sure if I really want to do that. I have other interest and goals. I have a family that I want to spend time with. This is the reason I'm working so much: I want to pay off debt so that I can have more choices in my profession.
Right now I feel stuck in a job; I REALLY HATE this feeling. I want to be able to leave if I want to. I don't see myself there for 20 more years.
That's it for now...gotta go. TTYL Posted on Nov 23, 2011
It has been 3 months since I've blogged...way too long. Here is an update of what's up
1. The 1st Odyssey Music Project CD is complete and Available through CD Baby, iTunes and many other distribution areas.
2. As of 2 weeks ago, the recording for the Jazz CD is complete. I think the title track will either be "Exodus" (To represent the journey from sideman to leader on a project) or "Beautiful Day". Now to schedule the photo sessions, pick a cover, liner notes,etc..
3.I have started my doctorate in music at UGA...it's definitely kicking my butt, but I will be better for it in the end.
4. I have come to the realization that I am doing too much...I knew it the whole time. I've been working a lot to get rid of some debt. What I don't want to do is miss my children growing up right in front of me. Therefore; some things will be eliminated from my schedule. I am grateful that I have a wife and family who support me in my endeavors. My wife just wants me to be happy..as long as bills are paid, she does not care what I do for income, as long as it's legal.
5. School (public school) is going well...definitely a lot better than last year. I still feel that I need to be there at least 4-5 years before I see the fruits of my labor. There are still remnants of the two previous music teachers. I don't feel that I've made my mark on the school yet.
6. I have been gigging 10-12 times a month for the last 3 months. I hope the gigs continue to come and maybe one of the many jobs I have I can leave.
7. I've stopped private teaching for this semester...I will probably pick it back up for 1 day a week. I wasn't sure If I could handle everything with going back to school.
That's all for now...TTYL Posted on Oct 26, 2011
- Back and forth I know what you're thinking...here we go again. My problem is the fiances. I want to go back to school, I don't want to take out student loans. I'm not 100% positive that our finances can handle it. The Passmore Family has a sizable amount of debt and I don't want to do anything to hurt anyone. Anything I do should be bringing money into the family, not costing the family money. That's the situation. Maybe I should wait some more and work on reducing our debt. That's what I'm thinking. I don't know, but I will continue to pray and meditate. Posted on Jul 17, 2011
Busy.....not a bad thing
At the beginning of July, the gig prospects were not good...now it looks pretty good. It's like that sometimes as a musician. It's all about being a "business owner". You have projected earnings, but nothing is guaranteed (I was reminded of that again in June of this year).
I have to be patient and hustle...not everyone will like what I have to offer, AND I can get upset when they reject me. I have to keep this in mind : SWSWSWN (Some will, some won't, so what, next). Posted on Jul 13, 2011
Why do we make music?
The title of this blog is a question that has been on my mind for while. Currently I am in the studio recording original jazz music for a live CD. There have been times during the process that I've asked myself "Do I put out what I like or what sells?"
I really shouldn't struggle with this....In my mind, a musician should write and arrange music that he likes. But what if it doesn't sell? Is it a waste of time and effort. I don't think so.
Here's another question: If an artist releases a CD of "watered-down" music, is the artist "selling out"? Kenny G, in some peoples minds, was a sellout, but his CDs have made him millions. I believe he was only doing what Arista Records told him to do. After a while, he got tired of doing the "let's remake a pop standard and have some artist sing and have Kenny G play solos behind him/her" thing and Arista eventually dropped him.
I like some of his stuff...I have had to play alot of it for weddings, private parties, etc.. Does that make me a sellout?
Here's what I'm saying: Make whatever music CD you want. If you do what the people want, it will sell. If you make a CD to impress your favorite musicians, you'll lose in the long run. I think the "trick" is to find the middle ground where people will like what you do and making music that's creative and artistic. I struggle with this everyday. Don't be afraid to comment. TTYL Posted on Jul 2, 2011