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New Album from Music Prof Brian Seeger's Band Makes U.S. Radio Jazz Top 10
By Carol Lunn (on 2/16/2017 @ 15:53:09, in ORSP Announcements, read 850 times)
Brian Seeger once called his old guitar teacher to tell her thank you. She’d given him lessons for six months when he was 11. When she found out her former student had become a professional guitarist she was, in his words, “distraught.” It just didn’t seem like a suitable profession, she told him. Seeger, associate professor of music at the University of New Orleans and noted jazz guitarist, now laughs about the conversation—and, of course, he begs to differ.

At 56, Seeger has carved out a life packed with teaching, recording, playing, touring and helping others find their way in the changing world of music. His band, Organic Trio, last week charted No. 7 on the U.S. Jazz Radio Charts with its second album, Saturn’s Spell. It’s an exciting development, especially for an album that was only released Jan. 27. At the same time it charted No. 7, it also was the “most reported,” according to Jazz Week. That means that more stations reported playing the album than any other album. “People I know who have been in the business for a while are somewhat in shock,” he said. “It is pretty unheard of for a band that mostly tours in Europe to chart in the US so high and so quickly … I’m just super thrilled to know folks are hearing it.”

Made with the help a $5,000 grant from the University of New Orleans Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, Saturn’s Spell features the smooth musicianship of Jean-Yves Jung of France on Hammond organ and Paul Wiltgen of New York on drums—a three-person combo that started eight years ago thanks, in part, to connections made through the University of New Orleans.

Seeger said the internal grant provided the flexibility the band needed to afford high-end mastering. It also gave him leverage to seek additional grant money for the project, including from the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation and the Society of Authors, Composers and Publishers of Music. “I’m proud to have the University of New Orleans logo on the back of that CD,” he said. “I’m proud of where I work and what I do. We’re a vital, contemporary program.”