072 – Staff Sgt. Wes Anderson: L.A. & Disneyland as Stepping Stones, Stepping Up His Game with Eric Reed, Touring with The Army Jazz Ambassadors
Wes Anderson recently became the drummer for the U.S. Army Jazz Ambassadors, the military’s premier touring jazz ensemble. Born and raised in Phoenix, AZ, Wes graduated from Arizona State University and marched drum corps with The Arizona Academy. In 2012, he landed a gig at Disneyland and moved to L.A. A few months after moving, he joined pianist Eric Reed‘s trio, with whom he continues to perform in his off-duty time. His on-duty time with the Jazz Ambassadors involves performances all over the country, bringing the American art form to a wide variety of audiences in towns and venues big and small.
In this podcast, Wes talks about:
His Disneyland audition, and how the Disney gig facilitated establishing himself in L.A.
Matching Eric Reed’s intensity, focus, and musicality on the bandstand
How being too territorial about a gig can deprive you of other experiences
The audition process for the Army Jazz Ambassadors, and how his audition tape was basically a full-length, professionally produced album
What life in a military band is like, and the similarities and differences it bears to working for Disney.
Click here for the Army Jazz Ambassadors touring schedule.