Issue December 10, 2013

B-sides

Business, school, cool

Craig Tweddell plays a mean jazz trumpet, leads a band, teaches music, composes, has organized weekly jam sessions … and is a talented and hardworking photographer. Hailing from Ashland, Ky., Tweddell graduated from the University of Louisville School of Music. His first album, Away With Words, is getting good national press. His band and that of fellow U of L alumnus, guitarist Brandon Coleman, celebrate the release of their new recordings with a show at Willis Music in Jeffersontown on Sunday at 2 p.m. ($5).

Overall, his style leans toward post-bop. Among today’s players, Tweddell says, “I especially dig Scott Wendholt, Alex Norris and Alex Sipiagin. In fact, from a compositional standpoint, the influence of these three musicians was paramount when writing the music for my new album.” The recording features Todd Hildreth on Fender Rhodes, bassist Luke McIntosh and drummer Zack Kennedy, with Ohio saxophonist Dave Kana. McIntosh returned to his native Australia, so the lineup for the upcoming shows includes saxophonist Jacob Duncan and bassist Jose Oreta with Hildreth and Kennedy. While no arrangements have been made for jamming with Coleman, Tweddell says, “I have a feeling there might be a group mash-up.”

Tweddell must balance his artistic side with the business side — producing and promoting his album and concert appearances. “It’s true, the business side takes up a lot of time,” he admits. “Luckily, I’ve always been an early morning person. I try to do my practicing and writing as early as possible, then I have the rest of the day to work on the other stuff.”

His teaching and playing roles feed off each other, as well. “I am currently teaching at seven different schools and I have 12 private students. Every student I work with is unique, and I love the challenge of finding out what makes each student tick, so I am constantly searching for new ways to give students an ‘aha’ moment. This process requires a lot of research and self-analysis. In turn, I end up learning as much — if not more — than the students, which definitely complements my playing.”