Artist Spotlight: Farnell Newton - Trumpeter, Educator, Recording Artist 0

Farnell Newton - Trumpet PlayerFarnell Newton is an incredibly versatile musical educator at Portland State University’s Jazz Department, where he teaches a variety of musical styles including, jazz, hip hop, funk, soul, rock, pop and Latin music. He’s also become one of the world’s most respected horn players, and a first choice for touring and recording for a host of major artists.

A never-ending list of artists that have benefited from Farnell’s playing includes Stevie Wonder, Bootsy Collins, Jill Scott, Earth, Wind and Fire, Gladys Knight and Cee Lo Green.

Time is tight for Farnell, but Fusion managed to catch up with him for an interview on a wet November afternoon in 2014.


How To Choose An Oboe 0

How does one select an oboe?

Despite my being an amateur, or perhaps precisely because of it, articles on my blog where I describe my impressions on the different oboe makers continually receive quite a lot of attention. Of course, personal opinions will vary, so I encourage each person to experiment and formulate their own assessments: the resulting contrast in tastes would make for a captivating conversation.


The 7 Step Online Strategy For Musicians 0

We live in an online world that’s so huge and all-encompassing that it’s easy to get swallowed up by it. This inevitably causes much confusion by the average artist or musician, since it’s easy to spend a lot much time online without ever having your fan base, music or merch sales increase. And let’s face it, it’s usually a lot less fun trying to constantly update your Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, and/or Google+ accounts when all you want to do is make some music.

One of the problems is that most musicians are online with no idea about how to use the various platforms for promotion. In my book Social Media Promotion For Musicians, I outline multiple ways to improve your online efficiency while increasing your fan engagement and music sales. Here’s a quick overview of the latest strategy designed specifically for anyone in the music business.

Step 1. You Need A Website
Unfortunately, a website many times gets overlooked as an integral piece of your digital promotional life because there are so many other platforms that you can use as your online focal point. Having only a Facebook page or Tumblr blog, or relying on another social network as your central focus, has a number of potential flaws, not the least is control of your message.

Your website is the only place online where you can totally control the look, feel, and content, and it’s the only place that you have multiple ways to display a wide range of content as well.

If you depend on a social network for your online presence, you’re ceding control to an unknown, unseen force that can change it’s will at any time with no regard to your online well-being. That's why it's imperative that you don’t count on a single social network for your total online presence or even your total social media presence. If you rely on an external network, sooner or later you're going to get burnt. It's the nature of the Internet to constantly change, and it's too early to get a feel for the life span of even of the largest sites and networks.



Tips For Flying With A Saxophone Or Other Musical Instrument 0

Flying With Instruments in the Era of the Sacred Overhead Bin

 Traveling on airplanes with musical instruments can be a challenging situation if you're not prepared. Airline company policies are designed for the average traveler, not musicians with  instruments. Fusion Bags decided to talk to a life-long road musician/bandleader who has become an expert in traveling with instruments on airplanes, saxophonist Deanna Bogart.

 She's a true road warrior having logged thousands of miles over the past 35 years.  She shares some tips that may be helpful whether you're a pro or part-timer, regardless of what instrument  you play. She travels so much, both days we talked with her she was at an airport flying to gig.

 Q: What are your major challenges when traveling by air with your instrument?
 I've been traveling domestically and internationally for over thirty years. Overall, airlines are less musician friendly these days than they used to be and commuters are trying to cram more and  more stuff into the overhead bins to avoid the extra baggage check in fees. 

 The days of the airplane closet are gone (except on some international flights) where many a horn, guitar etc., would fly happily amongst the first class garment bags. The sizes of the bins  vary  greatly from airplane to airplane so there's no consistency in the sizes of the overhead storage space. On top of that, airlines are trying to fill the seats with smaller planes and offer less  space.  
 Q: What are some things you can recommend to musicians traveling with their instruments?
 First off, the less bulky and more streamlined your case is the better. And what the case is made of - or reinforced with - needs to be protective but forgiving so as to allow other people's items to have some wiggle room for their luggage to slide against it or on top of it. If you bring a large flight case your less likely to find an open bin unless you are one of the first people on the plane. Even then, when gate agents see a large case they usually insist on hand-checking. 

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Fusion Is Taking Back Control 0

Fusion's success has been the result of plenty of hard work and some substantial risk taking - including taking back distribution and selling direct. MIN's Hannah Mc Adams speaks to Nicole Szekeres to find out more.The Fusionistas are taking back control

Since entering the market in 2008, Fusion has become one of the gig bag-makers of choice for musicians of every genre. Led by a trio of enterprising and creative professionals, Fusion has certainly proved itself a force to be reckoned with. With over 30 distributors worldwide and UK stores jumping on board, we were keen to find out the secrets of their success. We spoke to Fusion's director of marketing and sales Nicole Szekeres, who was happy to share the origins of the company.

"In 2008 one of the co-founders, Amanda Wheatley, was working as a freelance designer for one of UK's biggest MI bag manufacturers, who like so many businesses at the start of the recession, declared bankruptcy. It was at this time that Amanda, myself and two other co-founders - Wendy Caldwell and Theli Renwick - sat around a dining room table and created Fusion.


Fusion Joins Forces With The England Band 0

The England Football Supporters Band have followed the England Football Team  globally, having visited more than 60 countries and every World Cup and European  Finals, that England have competed in since its creation in 1996, playing many famous songs that have become historic, football anthems including, ‘The Great Escape’ theme tune. Read more