Finding Musicians (and Keeping Them)
A Case Study in Band Dynamics

I cannot tell you how many times I've had someone come up to me after a show and say, "Where did you find that guy? He's amazing!" To tell you the truth, I don't know myself. I'd be lying if I said there was a formula for finding the right musicians. There really isn't. But they are out there, and you just have to be willing to put in the time and effort to find them. I started doing gigs in high school, which was a great introduction to learning how to be in a band. Then, I had the infamous college band experience-- mine was singing lead for an 11-piece funk band called MamaJoy. We just knew we were gonna be famous someday-- not. But it was an incredible experience anyhow, and I learned a great deal about creating, adjusting and acknowledging band dynamics. We played on campus (Columbia University) at all kinds of events, frat parties, local clubs, etc. We eventually began to build quite a large following and started playing in major New York City venues such as Wetlands, New Music Café, and the Lion's Den. It was fun, but it was really difficult to manage such a large unit. Eleven different musicians means 11 different personalities that don't always gel. We loved each other and hated each other, and eventually, the music was no longer enough. We broke up after a few years, and I formed my own R&B/Soul quartet, which is still currently one of my main projects. I will always cherish MamaJoy though, and it has definitely given me some leverage in opening doors for my solo project to perform at major venues in NYC. Forming The Rozz Nash Quartet was an easy decision. First, I decided what my musical concept was, then I looked around campus to find musicians who I liked, respected, and thought would contribute to my music, as well as be integral in creating new material. I started with word of mouth, because musicians know better than anyone how to refer each other for projects. I wanted my band to be good, but I wasn't against developing a unit with fresh players. So, I looked for people who were simply down to play and liked the concept that I was trying to create. I found my pianist/songwriting partner in the jazz band at my college. I really didn't know him at first, and had no idea if a partnership would materialize. But it turned out to be one of my most cherished co-writing experiences.
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