A Month in the Life of a New York Saxophonist

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