“We need a better way of living for the music scene.” Axel Mueller
In this episode of MFM Speaks Out, Adam Reifsteck interviews German saxophonist and composer Axel Mueller about his work as a musician and activist which led to co-founding a new union in Germany called Pro Musik that supports freelance musicians. Topics discussed include the challenges gigging musicians face in Germany that has only been exacerbated by the pandemic and the importance of coming together as a community to enact social and political change that uplifts the livelihood of all professional musicians.
Saxophonist & multi-instrumentalist Axel Mueller enjoys a varied career as a composer, arranger, and sideman for top artists in Germany. A graduate of Mannheim University of Music, he started the brass band Blassportgruppe with 9 other wind colleagues and began touring Europe with the cabaret act The Les Clöchards. In addition to touring, Axel plays in the horn section of the TV show Sing mein Song with the band Grosch’s Eleven, now in its 5th season, with artists such as Xavier Naidoo, Roger Cicero, Sarah Connor, Yvonne Catterfeld and Samy Deluxe & South African Sunset. Together with his brass colleagues Johannes Goltz (trombone) and Christoph Moschberger (trumpet), Axel has led the horn section for renowned artists such as Nena, Wolfgang Niedecken, and Mark Forster, which has resulted in 8 Gold and Platinum releases.
Visit Axel Mueller at axelmuellermusic.com
“Music is service.” – David
This episode of MFM Speaks Out will be different from our usual format. Dawoud Kringle will be interviewing his guest; a professional musician and recovering drug addict and alcoholic. Out of respect to our guest and the tradition of Alcoholics Anonymous and other substance abuse recovery programs, we are protecting our guest’s anonymity and referring to him as Dave. Our discussion will center around alcoholism, drug abuse, and substance abuse recovery among musicians.
Topics discussed: How did substance abuse and music enter Dave’s life and how they intersected, the presence of drugs and alcohol, stigma of addiction among musicians, how it affected his life and career, the turning point where he decided he’d had enough, the difficulties of cleaning up and staying clean, and advice to musicians (and all others) who are suffering from drug and alcohol addiction.
Music featured on this episode:
“Success in music is not guaranteed, but as long as you are persevering and helping others along the way, you will reach your goals.”
In this episode of MFM Speaks Out, Adam Reifsteck interviews conductor and pianist Geraldine Anello about immigrating to the United States from France in her early 20s which ultimately led to a career as a Broadway musician. Topics discussed include how she created an online community and professional development resource called Theatre Music Directors, the issue of gender inequality on Broadway, and finding a new creative outlet as a writer and poet during the pandemic.
Geraldine Anello has conducted Kinky Boots and School of Rock on Broadway, The Fantasticks off-Broadway, and played in the orchestras of Broadway’s School of Rock, Bronx Tale, Aladdin, and On the Town. She has also worked on the Broadway productions SpongeBob the Musical, An American in Paris, On Your Feet, and Matilda. Anello served as music director of We Are the Tigers off-Broadway, and of Renascence for the Transport Group, Finian’s Rainbow at the Irish Repertory Theatre, and Children of Salt at the New York Musical Festival.
“Stay true to yourself, and stay true to the game. If you give music your all, and be honest with yourself, you will be rewarded.”
In this episode of MFM Speaks Out, Dawoud Kringle interviews Royal Bayyan. Royal is a Musician, Songwriter, Producer, Music Supervisor, Personal Manager, Executive Brand Consultant. He played with and was a founding member of Kool & the Gang.
The topics of the interview include Royal’s beginnings as an early member of Kool and the Gang, the problems and pitfalls of the music business, the art of record production, Bringing live hip hop concerts to Africa, the evolution of music production, surviving in the music business, an alternative perspective of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on the music business, and the spiritual aspects of life as a professional musician and as a Muslim.
“We’re operating under a significant cloud… it is important to not only take care of yourself but support your fellow musicians in any way that you can.” – Roger Blanc
In this episode of MFM Speaks Out, Adam Reifsteck interviews composer, guitarist, and MFM Board member Roger Blanc about navigating today’s music industry landscape, adapting and finding ways to work as a musician during the coronavirus pandemic, the importance of music rights advocacy, and his involvement with MFM.
The following music is featured in this episode: