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jazz singer

Kenny Aronoff's 7 tips for success as a musician (or in anything you do)

I recently attended the NAMM convention in Los Angeles. Ever since I was 10 years old, I've been watching and following pro drummers and idolizing them for their incredible skill. The chance to meet a few of my drum heroes this weekend made attending the convention a really special experience. I got to meet Kenny Aronoff, known as one of the very best drummers in the world. He has shared the stage with countless A-List artists like Adele, The Smashing Pumpkins, Celine Dion, Bob Dylan, Elton John, and the list goes on and on. He has played on albums that have collectively sold 300 Million copies. I had the chance to attend a lecture by Kenny that gave a brief synopsis of the book that he just had published. I've heard it is getting rave reviews. In his lecture Kenny explained the 7 keys to success in life or in any pursuit. He was also completely hilarious- so full of vitality, humor, and positivity. I think his advice is really fantastic for any musician who is serious about their craft, or for anyone who wants to be successful in their career.

Kenny Aronoff's 7 tips to be successful and stay successful in your career:

  1. Self-discipline: make yourself do something you don't necessarily want to do. Put in the work to be great. Once you learn self-discipline in one thing you can apply it to everything else in life. Stay on it. You will get further. 
  2. Hard work fueled by passion and dedication, keep learning and educating yourself. This is the gasoline to drive you forward. 
  3. Create a plan that you execute to reach your goal. Lots of people have ideas but don't do anything with them. 0=0. If you haven't applied yourself and put the time in you're not gonna make/sustain it. Think like a running back. You're gonna get hit, you need to focus on getting to the end zone. Don't feel you have to make it in one day or week or year. There are no shortcuts.
  4. Teamwork/Communication skills: make the sessions or the work better that you're involved with, it's about the attitude that you bring. 
  5. RPS: Repetition of anything you do is the Preparation for Success. He does 30 min warm up techniques for every show before and after. He's always so vigilant to repeat his warm-ups and prepare to play his absolute best at every gig.
  6. A healthy life is a wealthy life. Mentally physically and emotionally. Even if you just regularly do Push-ups or Planks, you need to stay physically strong and fit. It keeps your hormone levels up. This fights off cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Cardio- it exercises the most important muscle in your body- your heart. Stretching. Diet is about what you DON'T eat. Stay away from sugar and processed foods. Eat fruit, more veggies, less meat. Multivitamin. Vitamin D are great for immune system. Fish oil. B complex. Water. You should drink ounces of water every day that are equal to half of your weight. So if you weigh 160 pounds, you should drink 80 ounces of water per day. Get enough sleep. Practice meditation- it reduces stress.
  7. Today: Stay focused to be relevant. Don't worry about what you've done in the past. 
    The past is the past. Focus on what you're working on today. Always focus to the future.

I hope these tips are helpful to you. They have clearly worked incredibly well for Kenny. 

-Bart

Me with the great Kenny Aronoff. Such an incredible musician.

Me with the great Kenny Aronoff. Such an incredible musician.

-Bart

Jazz Music and the Civil Rights Movement

Jazz music’s popular rise during the early half of the 20th century helped pave the way for the civil rights movement of the 60s. The music’s appeal was universally enjoyed by people regardless of race or political belief. 

As early as the 1920s, black and white jazz musicians would play together secretly in after-hours jam sessions.  Benny Goodman in 1935 was the first to hire a black musician to be part of his group, contrary to segregation laws and social norms.   By the 1940s more and more bands were performing publicly with both black and white musicians.  And it wasn't just the bands that were getting along, it was the audience:

Louis Armstrong wrote about one of his "most inspiring moments" in a 1941 letter to a jazz critic: "I was playing a concert date in a Miami auditorium. I walked on stage and there I saw something I’d never seen. I saw thousands of people, colored and white, on the main floor. Not segregated in one row of whites and another row of Negroes. Just all together naturally. I thought I was in the wrong state. When you see things like that, you know you’re going forward.” 

According to Michael Verity (jazz historian), jazz “provided a culture in which the collective and the individual were inextricable, and in which one was judged by his ability alone, and not by race or any other irrelevant factors."  

Jazz historian Stanley Crouch said, “Once the musicians who played it and the listeners who loved it began to balk at the limitations imposed by segregation, jazz became a futuristic social force in which one was finally judged purely on the basis of one’s individual ability. Jazz predicted the civil rights movement more than any other art in America.”

Enjoy this video showcasing the first integrated band, the Benny Goodman Quartet with Teddy Wilson, Lionel Hampton and Gene Krupa with "I Got A Heartful Of Music". 

Gold Standard featured in the Knot's Best 50 weddings across all 50 States

Gold Standard was happy to be featured in the Knot at this gorgeous Fuse destination wedding for their annual "Best 50 Weddings Across all 50 States."  Photos by Kendra Elise Photography.

utah jazz band

The wedding was an example of Gold Standard at its best, integrating live music throughout ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner, and dancing. 

Rob miked the officiant and groom with lightweight lavalier clip-on wireless microphones during the ceremony, to ensure that all guests could enjoy the ceremony and vows crystal clear over the state-of-the-art EV sound system.  Conn sang "Better Together" and other favorites as requested during the ceremony, then Bart and Rob joined in to perform jazz and popular classics to entertain guests as the couple and family took pictures.  

Conn and Rob Perform Jack Johnson's "Better Together" during the wedding ceremony.  

Conn and Rob Perform Jack Johnson's "Better Together" during the wedding ceremony.  

Gold Standard then moved inside the tent to invite guests to be seated for dinner with fun remixes and jazz remakes of current and past hits.  

The wedding dinner ambiance was set with remixes of current and past hits performed by Gold Standard. 

The wedding dinner ambiance was set with remixes of current and past hits performed by Gold Standard. 

Toasts and thank you's were given by the Bridal party and family, using the high-quality wireless hand held microphone which is available at any Gold Standard event.  A wireless mic allows guests to stand and give toasts anywhere in the room, rather than being restricted by a wired microphone near the band.  The wedding party sang the couple's Alma Mater theme song, and a few tears were shed as family and friends joined in to congratulate the newlyweds.

The couple's first dance was performed live by wedding jazz band Gold Standard.  

The couple's first dance was performed live by wedding jazz band Gold Standard.  

  After Gold Standard performed the couple's first and parent dances, it was time to party with DJ lights, electronic beats, and fun popular music.  After the guests had their fill of live music it was time to take it up a notch with EDM and old-school hip hop hits DJed by Rob, keeping the party going late into the night.  

A Brief History of Gold Standard

It all started back in about 1963 when Douglas Curran (Conn Curran's father) and Serge Benson (Rob Bennion's great uncle) sang together in a group in college called the "Intervals". (Doug Curran on the Left Serge Benson next to him on the right)

The Intervals (1963)

The Intervals (1963)

Much further down the road, Rob joined a group with Bart Olson, called "The Shriners of Ska". 

The Shriners of Ska

The Shriners of Ska

 

A little while later Rob joined a group with two of Conn's older brothers, Quinn and Shane Curran, known as "The Groove at Mikes Deli". Conn was just a little tike at the time, attending lots of their shows.

The Groove at Mike's Deli

The Groove at Mike's Deli

 

Then in 2006, Rob joined another Curran band. Another one of Conn's brothers, Sean Curran, started a hip hop band called "Wreck Room".

Wreck Room

Wreck Room

 

During this time Bart Olson was performing and touring around the country signed to Capitol Records with a band called Ryan Shupe and the RubberBand. 

Ryan Shupe & the RubberBand (2005) Colin Botts, Bart Olson, Ryan Shupe, Roger Archibald, Craig Miner

Ryan Shupe & the RubberBand (2005) Colin Botts, Bart Olson, Ryan Shupe, Roger Archibald, Craig Miner

 

Then in 2011 Rob, Conn, and Bart became the group "Gold Standard", blending elements of Jazz, Electronic, Dance, and Soul music. In the past 5 years they've performed across the globe from Japan to New York, as passionate as ever about sharing the gift of music.

Performing at the White Party in SLC

Performing at the White Party in SLC

Gold Standard in San Francisco

Gold Standard in San Francisco

The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards 2016

For the past 3 years, Gold Standard has had the opportunity of being a part of one of the most prestigious award ceremonies in the country. Ernst and Young is a global organization that is committed to building a better working world, with increased trust and confidence in business. We have been very fortunate to be an integral part of their annual Entrepreneur of the year ceremony. 

Each year it is held at the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah. It is such a beautiful setting. We provided music throughout the whole evening. Thank you for the many years of fun EY! 

Photos by D'Arcy Benincosa

Gold Standard performed for chart topping country duo Haley and Michaels' wedding

We have had the honor of performing for celebrities and fortune 500 companies across the country. Recently we performed for the popular Country duo Haley and Michaels at their wedding which made national headlines. The setting was breathtaking, nestled in the high hills of northern California wine country, we were able to perform for this incredibly talented couple. They were truly some of the nicest clients we've ever had. They saw us performing at the Sundance Film festival earlier in the year and just had to book us for their wedding. It was a real honor to be invited to sing for a musical group known for their incredible voices and striking harmonies. They told us that when they came across our performance at the Sundance Film Festival they thought they were listening to a recording- to their surprise they realized that it was a live band with live vocals. We thought that was such a huge compliment coming from such an amazingly talented vocal duo. 

The intimate setting was a perfect location for heartfelt toasts and an unforgettable first dance. Haley and Michaels actually debuted a new song at their wedding called Giving It All To You, which was played as they walked down the aisle during the ceremony. We felt honored to be present at the worldwide debut of this gorgeous song which they performed on national networks shortly after their honeymoon.

Haley and Michaels listening to toasts from guests.

Haley and Michaels listening to toasts from guests.

Their wedding was one to go down in the history books. The guests came from all over the US and the setting couldn't have been more beautiful. The weather was perfect and it was even more special to be located at one of their favorite venues. The duo has performed in the impressive amphitheater onsite several times over the years. You can see the amphitheater in the photo below.

Northern California Wine Country- Amphitheater 

Northern California Wine Country- Amphitheater 

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Holiday Party at Rice Eccles Stadium Tower

The holidays are a busy and special time for us. We had the pleasure of performing for several corporate holiday events around the nation in 2015, from New York to Salt Lake City, we performed for some of the best parties happening during the holiday season.. This event in particular was held at the Varsity Room on the 6th floor of the Rice Eccles Stadium Tower. It was an amazing experience to perform holiday music while watching the sun set behind downtown SLC. The Reliable Controls Corporation was a fantastic crowd! Thank you for having us!

The decor was top notch. We love working with such great party planners. They set a perfect vibe for crooning out jazz trio standards overlooking the Salt Lake skyline. (Photo credit: Really Photography, http://really.photography)

The decor was top notch. We love working with such great party planners. They set a perfect vibe for crooning out jazz trio standards overlooking the Salt Lake skyline. (Photo credit: Really Photography, http://really.photography)

Warming up to set the mood for the party. Live music overlooking Utah from the tops of the mountains, not a bad way to spend an evening.  (Photo credit: Really Photography, http://really.photography)

Warming up to set the mood for the party. Live music overlooking Utah from the tops of the mountains, not a bad way to spend an evening. (Photo credit: Really Photography, http://really.photography)

Conn added perfect percussion touches to his vocal performance. A truly multi-talented live jazz singer!  (Photo credit: Really Photography, http://really.photography)

Conn added perfect percussion touches to his vocal performance. A truly multi-talented live jazz singer! (Photo credit: Really Photography, http://really.photography)

We love working for such kind and gracious clients. What a party!  (Photo credit: Really Photography, http://really.photography)    

We love working for such kind and gracious clients. What a party! (Photo credit: Really Photography, http://really.photography)

 

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