Music, Mayhem and Motivation

Music is the destination of a journey that begins with Mayhem and requires Motivation. It became obvious that the focus on Jazz specifically was too narrow. Though I love to play and still plan to create opportunities to bring students and professionals together in my "Live Sessions," I can now also talk with students and educators, about music programs at all levels, and with adult players from amateurs to professionals. The thing they all have in common is learning to manage time, organize and coordinate, and even make the best of a bad situation. These are some serious life skills. A good friend once told me that if you want music to stay fun, don't ever try to make your living at it. As a result, my "side" career has been amazing. I have friends that are some of the best musicians in the world. I’ve performed with amazing people, including jazz and pop recording artists, stars from Broadway, television and film – composed music for video games, commercials, award winning documentary films, television, marching bands and now even podcasts. It's a blessing I hope to never take for granted. If you have a comment or story to share, please find me on face book at Brent Laidler, or
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Music, Mayhem and Motivation


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Apr 23, 2017

Sorry for the delay.  Not only did we follow the students through the summer band program, but the concert music you hear near the end of the podcast is their spring Concerto Concert in April.

These students sure have come a long way!  Thank you Ellie Boyer for letting us follow along.

Jun 28, 2016

Ever wonder how all those amazing musicians you see in concerts and on television got started?  Here's a closer look into the process...
We thank Ellie Boyer for letting us sit in and observe the 2016 Sunnyside School Band from their first few notes to their first concert!

Some of the students share their thoughts as well...

May 31, 2016

Mike and I have been friends for almost twenty years.
He's worn many hats, had some different jobs and plenty of life experiences, but Music ties it all together.

Music teacher, family man, car salesman, "tubadoor," and all around good guy.
Hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did.

Apr 24, 2016

In part two, Randy talks about his father's dementia and how a song brought him back from a non-responsive state.  There are other issues as well, but music and friendship has made the journey possible.
It's simply amazing.

This is what it's all about, folks.
It's why we play.

Apr 18, 2016

There are memes online that say something like, "Be nice to people. You never know what they are going through."  True Dat!

I've known Randy and Jared for years and never really knew that impact that music and playing trombone was making in Randy's life until recently.
The story is compelling and amazing, tragic and uplifting.
It's also our first two part podcast.

The friendship and teacher/student relationship between these two musicians is beyond my ability to articulate.  I'm humbled and thankful he let me tell the story.
I hope you are touched by it as well...

Part One

Apr 10, 2016

Ed and I have been friends and played together for a number of years.  I knew he was in the Indiana National Guard and that he participated in some of the musical ensembles, but it wasn't until we sat down and talked about it specifically that I realized how extensive the program was.

We celebrate Ed's recent retirement and thank him for his service.  This is some cool stuff...

Apr 1, 2016

No matter what age, musicians play because it comes from somewhere deep inside.  Above and beyond the challenges of high school and being a "Modern American Teenager," Sam and Christopher find ways to juggle their schedule to fit everything in.

2016 is the first annual Tony Zamora Jazz Scholarship Award.
I hosted a live event and put together a great house band with special guests Randy Salman and John Spiknall to showcase all the student finalists.  Afterward, I got a chance to sit down and chat with some of them.

Mar 30, 2016

Richard and I chat about the Indianapolis music scene.  He has great advice about how to introduce yourself into a new situation, how to find mentors, and about how being respectful goes a very long way.

Griffin Dole (age 1) has a few things to add.

Mar 24, 2016

Scott and I talk about JAM Sessions, Jazz Appreciation Month, and the amazing surprises that happen when you meet new musicians...
He is an extraordinary talent, a veteran performer, a supportive teacher, and has some great stories and advice.
Oh yeah - he's also a Dad, and manages to keep it all in balance.

Mar 17, 2016

I met Sleepy last October when he came up to play some JAM Sessions.  Man, he was great and we had instant chemistry playing together.
I knew I had to interview him.
What I found out was very cool - not only did we have many friends in common, but his #1 band had a viral video last summer.

Check out Native Sun on You Tube!

Mar 16, 2016

Dr. Will and I discuss "The Neighborhood" and the exciting things coming in the future...

Mar 15, 2016

Musicians are in constant state of flux - it's a career killer to become static!  But many will take time off from actively performing to raise a family or to cope with life changes...

Meet Ebony Barrett Kennedy - a beautiful person with amazing talent and a story to tell...  How does a mom and a singer keep it together?

Mar 13, 2016

Roger is a veteran performer and entertainer - he's had once a week gigs at various clubs and restaurants that ran for eight to ten years.

A true "Kansas City" style bar-walking sax player and singer, he's old school - been there, done that - and I've learned more from performing with him than I can ever explain or recount.

This is valuable information if you'd like to be a player!

Mar 12, 2016

After graduating from Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, Mitch has spent the last few years making a living as a drummer, percussionist, and "vibraphonist...?"
He's also a composer, arranger, and all around hip musician.  Please check out his stuff - including the big band cd "Fly" at

Mitch earned a spot on The Dream Team by being in the right place at the right time.  He was in the house band when we premiered the title song to my next project and just killed it.

I can't imagine the song now without him!

Mar 12, 2016

Bruce and I chat about Jazz Improvisation from his early experiences up to what he teaches in high school today - and we laugh a lot, he's a fun interview!

Mar 6, 2016

Meet Gail Biss - life long singer and musician.  She's found way to continue in music even after Spasmodic Dysphonia made it impossible to keep singing.  An extraordinary and dedicated person, she keeps "The Big Swing Band" going and books dozens of gigs a year.