to my website!
I've joined cyberspace to tell you about my professional activities in music. This page starts with a short professional Resume, and continues with descriptions of Current Projects.
If you're looking for The Art of Freelancing, as advertised in Jazz Times and the IAJE Journal, please click the menu topic on the left, to see about my proposed clinic. New projects include www.jazzalliance.com and the LexValk Trio. See below for more information.
I'm a performing musician who plays jazz and classical music on string and electric bass. I've studied with jazz bassists Ron Carter and Richard Davis and such classical artists as Gary Karr, Warren Benfield and Homer Mensch. I've lived in Houston for the past decade and have played with Houston Grand Opera, Theatre Under the Stars, The American Pops Orchestra, the Houston Symphony and the Houston Ballet, performing with a wide range of notable artists, including Luciano Pavarotti, Toni Tenille, Debbie Reynolds, Robert Goulet, Joel Grey, Chita Rivera, Jerry Lewis, Garrison Keillor, and many others. I continue to play the national touring musicals that have come through town, as I have for the past ten years, including most recently the revival of Ragtime, which started its national tour in Houston, The Sound of Music, Fosse, and Titanic. I've also played with nationally known jazz artists Eddie Harris, Ernie Watts, and Eddie Daniels. Check out my music calendar for a more detailed summary of my recent activities.
I've taught college music for almost two decades. I obtained my doctorate from Ball State University, and have taught at Southern Illinois University, West Texas State, and Houston Community College. I've taught classes in jazz studies, music theory, music business, string bass, both jazz and rock music history, founded a medieval scholarly society, participated in-and won-national college jazz festivals, performed in an international string bass competition, written papers for various journals, authored music degree programs, and have been a music department head. My students include the likes of bassist Darryl Jones and Chicago guitarist John Moulder (www.johnmoulder.com).
I've been writing songs for several years now, in styles ranging from new age and jazz to latin instrumentals and boleros with Spanish words. I've included a separate song list with discography for your perusal.
For a more complete professional resume, check the linked file bio.
In addition to master classes on freelancing, I'm available to give clinics on a variety of topics based on my experience in college teaching and performing, including such diverse subjects as commercial music degree programs, building a jazz program, founding a 501c3, and preparing for orchestra auditions. To find out more, visit the clinics page.
I'm setting up a web site called "The Musician's Jazz Alliance" to promote noteworthy jazz artists with national and international music credentials, by enhancing access to their talents through cyberspace promotion. This page will be accessible and promoted both nationally and internationally. An ad for this site ran in the JazzWebSite issue of Jazz Times. The site's motto is "musicians working together...." To find out out more about these musicians and their talents while we organize the new site, look at the linked file jazz alliance.
The Lex Valk Trio
I've started working with my own trio-piano, bass and drums- to provide an experienced group that can play a variety of easy listening styles. Please check the linked file Lex Valk Trio for more information.
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