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Nick Mainella: “You Can’t Hope to Be Fantastic if You Don’t Have Unique Sounds in Your Ears”


In this interview, saxophonist Nick Mainella reflects on his musical journey from his roots just north of Boston to his current roles as Professor of Saxophone and Jazz at Saint Anselm College. Influenced by saxophone greats like Bergonzi and Garzone, Mainella credits mentors such as Bill Jones for shaping his path. A prolific educator, he manages a private studio, founded jazz education podcasts, and teaches globally via Skype.

Mainella’s teaching philosophy centers on the reciprocal benefits of passing on tradition. He emphasizes aural comprehension, studying jazz masters, and mastering the saxophone. His daily routine includes essential elements like long tones, technique work, and vocabulary building.

Equipment-wise, Mainella opts for an Ishimori Wood Stone tenor saxophone, a Ted Klum Florida model mouthpiece, and D’Addario Jazz Select reeds. Teaching at Saint Anselm College and a studio near Boston, he offers personalized attention, expecting hard work and dedication from his students. Mainella underscores the importance of delving into jazz tradition as a common issue among young players today, emphasizing its role in artistic growth.

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ISSN: 2792-8349

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International Journal of Music