Hello Kurt and everyone,
I am a young guitarist who's looking to make a career as a musician (like so many of us) and wanted to know what you feel about location in regards to getting the best education and experience. I am 24, got a degree in Marketing mainly to have a "safety net" if making a career in music didn't work out (ha ha). Little did I know the economy would crash and finding a job atleast in North Carolina would be REALLY tough. Music is my life and passion, I've been playing for 16 years - although I've only just begun to study jazz players. I mainly came from the Hendrix/SRV side of things but you're playing, story, and writing is hugely inspiring to me. In North Carolina I find that the scene is mostly comprised of Gospel Music and Cover Bands. I've spent a while on the gospel scene, and learned a lot through it, the cover band thing is not for me, and now Jazz is my goal. I want to be able to be a Musician, and not just a guitarist.
The question posed to you, and anyone else who has input, should I pack my bags and go to Philly/NYC? Or study at Berkelee? I want to be among other people like myself who are really hungry, dedicated, professional, and demand excellence from themselves. On one hand I'm a bit scared to take out big loans to do the Berkelee thing, especially considering I might come out on the other side majorly in debt and no way to pay it off. On the other hand I'm desperate to be among great musicians, to be able to go out and get my ass kicked and learn like crazy.
I posed the same question to Tal Wilkenfeld on twitter - her response was that she felt it doesn't matter where you live to get your name and music out there, but she also said that NYC has some of the best jazz clubs to get out and learn from others. I trust it does, but half of me feels she would've never gotten known and find opportunities to play with Jeff Beck, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Frank Gambale - etc etc if she just stayed in her home town in Australia.
Sorry this post is getting a little long. Any advice for basically a young unexperienced guy is greatly appreciated. Thats open for anybody who wants to respond (even if its music to check out, ideas to work on, etc. I'm really grateful for any help) Oh and a little shoutout to my buddy Carl Morner. He's the one who turned me onto Kurt Rosenwinkel Music!!! He lives in Berlin and apparently had a lesson with you once. Everybody check Carl Morner if you're unfamiliar with him.
Here is where my playing/style is currently at (I know I've got a long way to go but I'm hungry as ever)
Thank you for the music Kurt, you're an inspiration, and thanks for having a forum like this for the musicians community!