A Month in the Life of a New York Saxophonist
This guest post is from saxophone and multi-reed player, composer, recording artist, and educator Sam Sadigursky of SamSadigursky.com
It’s a mystery to most people how a musician cobbles together a living, or perhaps just some semblance of one. Often, after telling somebody that you’re a musician, their gut reaction is to reply, “Cool. Is that what you actually do for a living?”Even people who have known me for years often don’t know what my day-to-day life is like, and musicians are often hesitant to disclose the things they do to pay the rent, so it’s no wonder that this is the case.
For this reason, I thought it might be fun to go through my calendar and chronicle my musical activities for the month of March for the readers of this site – either for any aspiring musicians who might be reading, or amateurs who are curious what life is like on the other side. Except for a particularly special engagement (see March 11th) and the fact that I’ve been preparing to travel to Europe in April to record a new batch of my music with a group in Paris, this has been a relatively typical month work-wise. A lot of Metrocard swipes running around the city rehearsing and teaching, some precious days to myself to practice and write, some travel, and all sorts of different kinds of work.
Note: I didn’t include individual practice sessions here, but instead only listed professional activities. In other words, “day off” does not necessarily indicate dry martinis and lounge chairs – often, it’s anything but.
My Schedule for the Month of March 2011
March 1 – Taught individual lessons, 4.5 hours
March 2 – Taught 30-minute lesson, 2 hour rehearsal with Folklore Urbano
March 3 – Educational performance in Roosevelt Island with Folklore Urbano in the morning, taught 3 lessons at home in the evening
March 4 – Travel to Boston with Folklore Urbano, performance there at the Latino Arts Center
March 5 – Travel back from Boston, home recording with guitarist Sebastian Cruz
March 6 – Produced DSMC Family Concert, featuring Sebastian Cruz, Lucia Pulido, and Richie Barshay
March 7 – Rehearsal with vocalist Christine Correa for April recording, taught 3.5 hours in Brooklyn
March 8 – 4 hours teaching
March 9 – 3-hour rehearsal with Brad Mehldau for March 11th concert
March 10 – 2 hours teaching at home, 3-hour rehearsal with Brad Mehldau for March 11th concert
March 11 – Concert with Brad Mehldau at Carnegie Hall, also featuring Chris Potter, Chris Cheek, Greg Tardy, Joshua Redman, and Joris Roelafs
March 12 – Travel to Boston for concert at Sanders Theater with Brad Mehldau and friends
March 13 – Day off
March 14 – 5 hours teaching
March 15 – 5 hours teaching
March 16 – Day off
March 17 – Rehearsal and performance with Hector Martignon at Nuyorican Poets Cafe
March 18 – Day off
March 19 – Sub in the pit orchestra for the Broadway production of The Addams Family, 2pm and 8pm shows
March 20 – Addams Family, 3pm matinee
March 21 – 4 hours teaching, rehearsal for recording with Christine Correa
March 22 – 3 hours teaching
March 23 – Appointment with accountant :)
March 24 – 1.5 hours teaching
March 25 – Appointment with woodwind technician for bass clarinet repair, gig at synagogue in N.J. playing for Friday night services
March 26 – 1 hour teaching
March 27 – Addams Family, 3pm matinee
March 28 – Rehearsal with Christine Correa for upcoming recording, 4 hours teaching in Brooklyn
March 29 – 3 hours teaching
March 30 – 1 hour teaching
March 31 – Wedding job in Brooklyn, 4 hours
April 6, 2011 @ 5:15 am
Good stuff, Sam!
As I some times respond to folks when they ask me “what I do”: I don’t have a job — I have SEVEN jobs. (composer, performer, teacher, copyist…)
March 31, 2018 @ 11:51 am
Wow that’s great Sam …I just see the amount of teaching hours you put in …one has to pay the bills but I’m guessing students are fairly advanced which can be enjoyable !
December 13, 2022 @ 6:09 pm
Having a show at Dont tell mama
10/14/2023 at 4:00
11/14/2023 at 7:00
have piano, bass and drums… would love a sax….
show is 65-70 minutes….