Meet outstanding Aussie trumpeter, Greg Spence!
We will be featuring some of his excellent teaching materials, and playing in the coming weeks, but for now, let’s welcome another great player’s contribution to BM!
Over to you, Greg!
I am very excited and honoured to be approached by brassmusician.com. I am a professional studio/commercial trumpeter based in Melbourne, Australia.
My first professional gig was playing with Shirley Bassey at the Melbourne Concert Hall. I will never forget the thrill of playing the lead line of “Gold Finger” at the very start of the concert which was followed by thunderous applause and a standing ovation that lasted for close to 3 minutes!
A short clip of Greg’s work, before we continue!
I originally wanted to play saxophone but there was a brass band down the road so I was encouraged to learn music on the cornet then swap to sax. The Swap never happened!!! The Conductor of the Wodonga Citizens Band, Bill Youngson, was a trumpeter. He was my first teacher, at age 13, and then I was self taught until University 10 years later.
James Morrison, Maynard Ferguson and Lee Morgan converted me from Brass Band cornet music to commercial/jazz trumpet playing.
I have two notable high school trumpet experiences, both involving nerves. Playing the last post, I almost fell over thanks to shaking knees and the other, walking off stage at an eisteddfod due to sheer panic.
Notable College experiences: Meeting Charlie Davis, Arturo Sandoval, Gary Grant, Lew Sollof and performing alongside James Morrison. Studying in Melbourne Australia, we didn’t often get the chance to meet big gun players.
My first professional gig was playing with Shirley Bassey at the Melbourne Concert Hall. I will never forget the thrill of playing the lead line of “Gold Finger” at the very start of the concert which was followed by thunderous applause and a standing ovation that lasted for close to 3 minutes! It was the first Melbourne gig my parents saw and they knew from that moment on that I was serious about being a professional musician. (I had started a double degree in accounting/computing which I dropped out of 18 months in!!!)
My next gig was a live television show for the Grand Final of Australia Rules Football in front of 12,000 people held at Rod Laver Arena (where the Australia Tennis Open is held).
I then started on a live TV show called “In Melbourne Tonight” a variety television show based on the Letterman format. This led to work on the high rating “Hey Hey it’s Saturday” live variety show.
I was doing regular Latin, Big Band and Corporate band work for a living and got to perform and record with some of Australia’s top artists like Human Nature, Renee Gayer, Ross Wilson, Joe Camaleri.
I did a National tour playing lead trumpet with Jerry Lewis which unfortunately got cut short when he was diagnosed with viral meningitis.
In 2004, after 2 ½ years of research, I completed and published a trumpet method book called “The Only No Mystery Guide to Trumpet Mastery”. That year also saw the first season as lead trumpet for “Dancing With the Stars”. I have now done all 10 seasons of this show (sometimes 2 a year!!!)
Recent career highlights include performing alongside Bobby Shew 2008 and Wayne Bergeron 2009 at the Melbourne International festival of Brass. I look forward to being a Guest artist this year (2011) and playing with Adam Rapa.
Feb 2007 I performed with Herbie Hancock and the Queensland Symphony
Feb 2008 Toured with James Morrison
Feb 2009 Played Carnegie Hall with the South Australian Symphony for “G’Day USA” Australia Week.
Feb 2010 Australasian Tour of the Motown Event, celebrating 50 years of Motown backing names such as “The Four Tops”, “The Temptations”, “The Supremes” and “Martha Reeves and the Vandellas”
I am currently playing a Bobby Shew 8310z Silver, Kanstul flugel Horn and Piccolo Trumpet. I am a Yamaha artist.
I am currently playing on “Tim Minchin vs The Orchestra” with the Western Australian and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras. Tim is an incredible comedian/singer/songwriter/pianist and all round performer.
I am heavily involved in an educational live music program run by Musica Viva called “Musica Viva in Schools” where I am a member of two groups Shrewd Brass (a brass quintet) and Amanska (a world music quartet). Shrewd Brass has done over 1000 concerts all over Australia and Internationally.
I am lead trumpet for the B# Big Band that works regularly in the corporate world and backed Wayne Bergeron and Wycliffe Gordon at the Melbourne International Festival of Brass.
I do a lot of roving/comedy costumed work for a company called Wacky Entertainment. We do meet and greet performances, run conferences (with a twist) for big companies and I have been seen dressed as Elvis at the Melbourne Cup to Having Lasers shooting out of trumpet in Laser Funk. Video on media/video page.
Approach to playing
Being self taught but then hearing Maynard and James made me realize how many technical flaws I had. I progressed quickly on the cornet but ran into huge brick walls when attempting to play like my idols. This set me on a journey of discovery!
Watch this space, folks, some great lessons are on their way! Cheers, Greg!
Find out more about Greg at: www.mysterytomastery.com