In Plain Air

by elizabeth | July 20th, 2011

Ever since I was a kid, I have always enjoyed being outside. I was an active child; I loved to run and play and was encouraged to “get dirty.” It seems that this has transferred to my playing as well. A 5th grade participant in one of my clinics recently asked me what was my favorite place to play. I’ve played in many beautiful and ornately decorated halls, in small rooms with character in their creaking floorboards, in Carnegie Hall and in coffee shops. But nothing beats the feeling of pushing air through my trombone and having it come out as sound to filter into the open air. Nothing beats playing outside.

Santa Cruz West Cliff

One of my favorite memories is of a sunny afternoon spent visiting my friend Gianni Staiano in Santa Cruz, California. We strapped on our gig bags and bicycled to the cliffs. On the rocks above crashing waves, Gianni and I improvised polkas – he on accordion and me on trombone. The wind and the salt and the sand (I really had to clean my slide later!) felt so harmonious with the spontaneous joy of creation. To top it all off, the sea lions on the neighboring rocks began to bark and howl back, contributing to our tune.

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elizabeth! is a vocalist, trombonist, and songwriter working in NYC and Los Angeles. Originally from Vermont, she studied neuroscience at Harvard before moving to NYC to play, tour, and record with jazz musicians, indie rockers, pop stars and more. Her new album of original jazzy pop tunes was just released on Canopy Jazz!

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