We had the good fortune of connecting with Jon Gauer and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jon, do you have a favorite quote or affirmation?
I’m a big fan of Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way.” A couple of gems: “In order to express yourself, you first need a self to express.” “By being willing to make bad art, I am free to make any art – and often, art that is very good.” “Serious art is born from serious play.”
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My fancy pieces of paper (degrees) officially say I’m a classical trombonist, but like many professional brass players, I find myself floating between three different musical worlds – classical, jazz, and popular music. Each has its own history, culture, traditions, and stylistic shadings, so I’m always working on learning more and expanding my knowledge base. We live in a time where audiences are more genre-fluid than ever, so it’s a great time to be a musician with broad interests. Music is often framed as being about individual excellence and work ethic, but no musician is an island – music takes community and teamwork. I’ve worked very, very hard and spent thousands of hours in the practice room building my own skills, but virtually every opportunity I’ve had in music has been a result of connections I’ve made with others – friends from high school band, friends from music school, friends-of-friends I’ve met along the way, former teachers, and the like. You might say it’s not about what you know, *or* who you know – it’s about who knows you know what you know. (Confused yet? Me too!)
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
In the past year, I’ve felt extremely fortunate to be in a city with so much to do outside – it really helps keep you from going crazy during social distancing. The hike trails in Boulder, Golden, and Morrison, all of the disc golf courses around town, the Botanical Gardens, etc. have been great. I’m looking forward to going to live music venues and bars with friends in the coming months as things become safer.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Where do I even begin? Music is inherently an extremely social field, so I have a big network of friends, colleagues, collaborators, and other fellow artists – too many to address in one paragraph. For right now I’d like to make a shoutout to the musicians I’ve had the opportunity to record and collaborate with in the past year, mostly remotely: jazz composers Drew Zaremba (Greeley, CO), Ben Markley (Laramie, WY), Eric Richards (Sheridan, WY), and Brett McDonald (NYC); local bands UmbrellaMan and The Dust Stompers (Golden, CO); the Castle Rock (CO) Trombone Quartet; “Recreational Americana” band The Dusty Pockets (Bozeman, MT); singer-songwriter Tina Scariano (NYC); and my dear saxophonist friend Tanner Fruit (Boulder, CO). It’s been a hard year without live performances, so having projects to record has been an important artistic outlet for us.
Lo Hunter and Jeffrey Neubauer