Sunday, February 15, 2009

Behind the Scenes: Jacob Yoffee Interview

Last Monday I had the pleasure of interviewing Jacob Yoffee, a film scoring student at NYU who is also an accomplished jazz musician. Unfortunately, due to the length of the piece, I was forced to omit a lot of things we talked about. Here are a few of them:

After graduating from the Peabody Conservatory, Yoffee spent four years in Pittsburg entrenching himself in the Midwest's jazz scene. He became such a regular at one club, the owner approached him and asked him to assemble a house band for the club, a sequence of events Yoffee described as "unheard of."

His first piano lessons, which were his idea, not imposed by his parents, were at 8 a.m. Saturday mornings. He was eight years old and his teacher was less than ideal. “She was a chain smoker, she would just blow smoke in my face,” he explained with a shake of his head. “I don’t think she was a very patient, positive person, and I didn’t enjoy my lessons very much.” After enduring a few lessons with the smokestack, Yoffee quit piano, and didn't start again until middle school, when his family moved to a new town.

He also talked about how, especially in jazz, they say that to be a good musician you have to go crazy for a while, and he suspects that maybe he did, because he "woke up one day at 23 and was like 'I miss my family!'" Yoffee's family lived in Japan while he was studying music in the States, and during that period he only saw them once a year, but he says he was so focused on music that he barely realized he had become so isolated.

While studying at Peabody, Yoffee had the privilege to learn from famed jazz saxophonist Gary Thomas. At 18 years old and an ocean away from his family, Yoffee looked to Thomas as something of a father figure. “Gary Thomas was my mentor & idol for many years," Yoffee said. "He’s given me a shining example of how to carry yourself as an adult."

It was through Thomas that Yoffee was introduced to Greg Osby an accomplished musician on the Blue Note label, who signed Yoffee to his own label, Inner Circle Music.

Jacob Yoffee's first CD with Inner Circle Music, "Dead Reckoning," is available now at CD Baby. You can also listen to some tunes at Jacob Yoffee's Official MySpace, and keep up to date with his latest happenings via

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Welcome to my web log. I am female living in New York City, and I have the shrink and the tiny apartment to prove it. I'm disgusted by people who think they're something special, yet my job is to write about that something special in anyone.

I grew up with a dog named Pippin, years before that brief period of time in 2004 when it was cool to like Lord of the Rings. I once drove from LA to Vegas and shared a hotel with a nudist mom. I love horror flicks for their comedic value. I think Brandon Boyd is living right. I am an omnivore. I have vivid dreams and will gladly recount them to the nearest unsuspecting victim who calls himself my friend. I often wonder where all my free time has gone, then I remember this thing called the Internet.

In 1995 I started an online zine all about the Red Hot Chili Peppers, called Funky Monks. I would spend hours each week writing news stories, collecting fan musings and photos, designing the layout and sending the digest out to my 600 subscribers.

While I was getting my AA in Communications and Media Arts at SUNY Westchester, I was the entertainment editor of the school paper and received a "community builders" award for helping to reshape the tone of the paper and for bringing new, exciting musical acts to the college. I have also held a number of internships in the music industry.

I thoroughly enjoy working as a freelance writer. Unless you've got some Jim Halpert type looking for his Pam. Then I'd consider working in an office.