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How a Jazz Musician and Entrepreneur Spends His Sundays


The jazz bass player Matthew Garrison doesn’t wish to decelerate. “I’m all the time considering, doing,” he said.

As a performer, he has toured with Herbie Hancock and has upcoming shows with the pianist Jason Moran, the drummer Jack DeJohnette and others. But most days, he is concentrated on producing music events through ShapeShifter Lab and its nonprofit arm, ShapeShifter Plus. He also created the app Tunebend, which facilitates virtual collaborating and recording amongst musicians.

Mr. Garrison, who’s the son of Jimmy Garrison, the bassist for John Coltrane, seems to love pushing boundaries within the jazz world. “I’m really uninterested in the stagnant music scene, where this club only books a certain variety of band and that club only books musicians that play this genre,” he said.

For a decade, Mr. Garrison ran a performance space in Gowanus, Brooklyn, also called the ShapeShifter Lab, however it closed last yr. Soon, he’ll open a recent venue. “My recent space can be a spot for performers, those genius rejects, who wouldn’t otherwise give you the chance to play in town.”

Mr. Garrison, 52, lives in Park Slope together with his business partner, Fortuna Sung, 51.

DARK AND QUIET Time has been wonky post-pandemic. It sounds horrible, but sometimes I get up as early as 4 a.m. I get numerous work out of the way in which. I code for my apps, including Tunebend, and organize things on my computer for just a few hours because everyone seems to be asleep. There’s nobody around calling, texting or bugging you.

CAFFEINATED NAP I might need some coffee and a light-weight breakfast. I even have a weird relationship with coffee as of late. It doesn’t keep me awake. I now use coffee as a sleep aid. I don’t know the way that works. So after I work for just a few hours and drink some coffee, I often return to sleep.

WORKING WEEKEND I get up again around 9 or 10 a.m. and I’ll have one other cup of coffee. The music industry is a 24-hour thing. I communicate with folks in Europe and Japan on a regular basis, so my weekends don’t count as a time without work. I even have to divide my work hours and devote certain days to my three ventures to get all the pieces done. On Sundays, I attempt to get to the stuff I couldn’t do through the weekday. But I make a large number if I multitask an excessive amount of.

STEPS Then I would compose for several hours. Or I am going take a walk in Prospect Park or zigzag through neighborhood streets. Sometimes I enterprise out into Gowanus and Carroll Gardens. Fortuna says I walk too fast, but I would like to get my heart rate up. My body is telling me I would like it.

SONG LAYERS I hearken to music on Tunebend while I walk. I hearken to see how all of the bits and pieces that were recorded can develop into layers in a song. You may swap out different performers for a similar part, so I do numerous listening and rearranging. But I’m also interacting with the app as a user to see if anything must be tweaked. I comprehend it doesn’t look like it, but that is how I decompress.

PIECING IT TOGETHER Whenever you’re coding or composing music, you’re problem-solving. You’re in continuous research mode to determine why something is finished in a specific way. Within the jazz world, there’s a lot that you will have to know and give you the chance to play in a fraction of a second. In coding, you furthermore may should remember all these bits and pieces to construct something. The one difference between the 2 worlds is the pay!

NEW SPACE I finally got the keys to a recent performance space that we’ll open by the top of the yr. Up to now I’ve done a livestream workshop on easy methods to use the Tunebend app, but I’m gearing up for numerous fund-raising so we are able to placed on shows and events for every kind of musicians here.

SUSTENANCE We get our errands done within the neighborhood, including groceries from the Park Slope Food Co-op. Fortuna, whose family is from Hong Kong, is the higher cook. Her family owned and operated many restaurants, so she knows her way around a kitchen. After we eat out, it may be Japanese or Thai. Today we had dinner with my mom at Littleneck.

OLD-PEOPLE TIME After dinner, I’ll watch TV or read. I’m news-centric: There’s a lot stuff to maintain up with, which makes me understand how I could make this world a greater place. I also like tech stuff, like articles concerning the newest plug-ins for music software. My mom still scolds me that each one my reading is finished on a screen. Now I’m on old-people time: I’m in bed by 9 or 10 p.m.

Sunday Routine readers can follow Matthew Garrison on Instagram and Twitter @garrisonjazz.

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