tag/tuba

from July 20, 2021

FB "this day" (7 years ago, 2014) came up with this shot.

I have other shots with a similar bell decoration, but usually with blue tape. (Tape-on-bell is more classic than my current use of covers, but of course hard to change between bands.)

from May 25, 2021

Been fooling around with a mobile app "Prisma", high-powered, sometimes AI-backed filters.

from May 7, 2021

Happy International Tuba Day

(via Andrew Huang)

from babam backs extinction rebellion #2050istoolate

January 14, 2021








from January 5, 2021

I put together a photo slide show to go with a recording of JP Honk's gig Saturday night:
Pretty pleased with how it all came out!

from December 4, 2020

School of HONK! Friendsgiving Dance Party, I'm in the "miniband".

Man, it looks so much better when I'm dancing a little than just standing stiff.

from October 26, 2020

Folks from my band BABAM has been participating in a weekly vigil in West Roxbury to support Black Lives Matter. Here's the crew that was there last week along with a bonus glitch-y photo of other participants.













Photos by Stewart Ting Chong

from October 24, 2020

my look for Extinction Rebellion's funeral for a sustaining climate ...



from TUBA from Eucuyo'90

September 12, 2020
An essay I wrote about playing tuba that was published in Euclid High Schools literary magazine "Eucuyo" - kind of a high cringe level for me now, so read at your own risk...

I play the tuba. It's a rather pleasant way I have of passing time. In this world there are few instruments in which the very playing of the said instrument is in itself a physical endeavor. The tuba is one of them. "I am a tuba player," states my philosophy, "therefore I can do anything." I consider the tuba the penultimate instrument. First God created the tuba, then with the material remaining He/She created the other instruments. The ultimate instrument, of course, is the kazoo. But the the tuba is a close second.

I started playing brass in third grade. I started on a baritone, which is like a premature tuba. I look back with fond memories on the days when I could only play two notes, F and G, and those not very well. Then things became "sorta interesting," to quote myself again. Well, actually, not all that interesting. Sigh.

Most of my musical training has been at school or at the Salvation Amy. The Salvation Army is a church, besides being a public service operation. So for three whole years, I happily, badly tooted away. Then, fate stepped in.

A trumpet player in my sixth grade band decided to switch from high pressure, high competition, world of trumpeteering to laid back, no competition land of Baritoneering. This upset me. I've always liked being the only player of an instrument in at least one of the bands I'm in. It's an ego kick to see your name as the only name listed under the heading "baritones." So when this trumpet player switched, a thought popped into my head. 'Right now, no one is playing TUBA! I can switch and voila, I'm a one man section again!'

So the powers-that-be of the Glens Falls Middle School music program (Mr. Antolini) locked me in a practice room with the scales of both instruments and told me to "learn 'em". So I did. My tooting continued, just as bad (if not worse) but in a lower octave.

Then I moved from Glens Falls (as immortalized in 'The Last of the Mohicans' and home of Glens Falls Middle School), New York to Cleveland Heights, Ohio. There I went to Monticello Middle School. Mrs. Beale, the music director there, was a major influence on my Tubaing. She taught me quite a lot about style and technique. I also continued playing in the Salvation Army corps band.

Around Christmas time of my second and last year at Monticello, I was informed about an event called Tuba Christmas by Mrs. Beale. I decided to try it out. 250+ tubas, euphoniums, and baritones gathered together in a large music hall and played, appropriately enough, Christmas carols. It was such a pure, mellow sound. It was enough to drive a man insane, so consider what it did to me!

Euclid, Ohio became my next home. I then joined the NEOSA (North Eastern Ohio Salvation Army) Divisional Youth Band. A trip to Mexico with the Youth Band highlighted my freshman year. Mexico was an experience that completely blew my mind. The people there had nothing like we have in the States, yet their spirit and appreciation was completely overwhelming. I also managed not to get Montezuma's Revenge.

One experience that I have neglected to mention is playing for the Salvation Army Christmas Kettle effort. This involves playing eighteen Christmas carols over and over for hours on end as your lips begin to stick to your metal mouthpiece and you pray that your valves will remain moving throughout the day. I returned to the lighter weight baritone for this chilly thrill. It is not easy to perfect your vibrato as your teeth chatter uncontrollably.

Of course there is always the wonder of Euclid High Marching Band. Marching across the field, playing as loudly as you can against eighty of everything else is not a favorable environment to hear the bass line, trying to remember where to march next, all while carrying a BIG white fiberglass tuba (sousaphone really) is not my idea of a Good Thing. Eventually football season ends, though, and symphonic band begins. Real music at last! Music that you can sit down for! Yippeeee!

Somewhere in this I became a fairly decent Tubaist. I'm not sure where, I'm not sure when, but it happened. So I'll continue making up bass lines (which is fun) and marching in marching band (which is not fun) and Life shall Trudge on.

Some thoughts, 30 years later: Kind of weird how I had a 15 year gap after college! It might be interesting for me to remake this sometime. But yeesh, I can't believe I thought I was hot stuff in English in high school...

from July 16, 2020



from March 27, 2020


Near-work photo from a more relaxed time, by Lloyd Park

(It's funny, at first I captioned this as 'from a simpler time', but the beauty of then was that it was more complex, but in enjoyable ways.)

from november 2019 new music playlist

December 2, 2019

from Salamanca Press and Gothic

November 22, 2019

from October 26, 2019

Two views from the Annual JP Dog Parade - JP honk was able to muster a quintet- the first is actually a screenshot from a video I took at the head --



Not sure who took the second, but they say it's #nofilter - lovely foliage and vibrant band outfits...

from October 20, 2019


Today I am marching in solidarity with the spooky skeletons that are inside us all, waiting to get out. #justwait

from jp honk @ pronk

October 14, 2019
JP Honk played PRONK!

from September 21, 2019

BABAM closing yesterday's climate strike at the Boston Statehouse:

from September 16, 2019

Saturday was a busy day for JP Honk... we started with the Augment parade- here's a close up of my favorite tuba accessory, the piles of cheap Mardi Gras style beads, $1 for about a dozen strands at Dollar Tree...

photo from Now+There's twitter feed that has some good photos. Also, see Donna Dodson's video of the band.


Oh and earlier that day I posted this, with my usual selfie joke "feeling cute, might delete later" which is two half-lies.

from group troop

May 19, 2019
Today at the Friendshipworks Walk to End Elder Isolation - a lesson in photographic perspective, and why you usually put the tuba player and the horn behind the arc not where it angles around... it kind of towers over everyone!

from Damp Tubas Whispering Secrets

April 26, 2019


from arts advocacy day

April 9, 2019
A few weeks ago BABAM supported Summer Street Brass Band in helping out MASSCreative's Arts Advocacy Day....

from December 31, 2018

nbd just jamming out the new year with Keytar Bear

from December 23, 2018


--Grinchy, wealthy universities have a change of heart and start making PILOT payments in City Hall Christmas fable

from babam!

December 7, 2018

BABAM Takes Music To The Streets from Julia Maruca on Vimeo.

from December 6, 2018

I was delighted by this mural inside the Rosebud near Davis Square-

"Al Cass FAST" was my favorite valve oil even back in Cleveland - the rocketship and the way it proudly displayed its hometown really appealed to me, along with the"ODORLESS / WEATHER CONSCIOUS / DOES NOT SEPARATE" copy on the bottle, from an era when products sold themselves as much as facts as feelings. According to Wikipedia
[Al Cass] was the manufacturer and creator of the "FAST" valve/slide/key oil combination for brass instruments, which has been considered the industry standard since inception. It was developed after 18 months of R&D at the request and final approval of Dizzy Gillespie.
which is super hip.

from melissa's birthday surprise!

November 18, 2018
Melissa's got a milestone birthday coming up, and I conspired with Anna H. and crew to have Anna's "Pre-Thanksgiving Cocktail Party" convert into a full-on surprise party once Melissa and I came over from seeing Patton Oswalt-- I sweet-talked a subset of JP Honk into lying in wait, and stashed my tuba there that afternoon...

We did "Space Cadet", "Mercy Mercy Mercy", and then a "Little Light of Mine" singalong:

Same close-in:


Here friends made up a photocake:



from November 17, 2018

Playing tuba with Veterans for Peace on Armistice Day:

from election night

November 7, 2018
My friend Hannah saw me and some folk entertaining at Elizabeth Warren's election night shindig:

from BASIC and the joy of little improvisational programs

October 31, 2018

from moment

October 29, 2018

--Shot at yesterday's rally for Transgender rights - If you live in MA Vote Yes on 3, please. If you know + like or love a TG person, or you don't but you're willing to believe the world is more complex than you mighta guessed, it's the humane thing to do.

from October 9, 2018


HONK portrait by Steve Jewett



PRONK portrait by Daniela G

from September 28, 2018


photo by Jason Victor Rosenman, on PARKing Day

from tuba pinwheel

August 19, 2018
Shaunalynn parade led a parade where brass sousaphones were in full effect ...


from anti-alt-right

August 18, 2018
Two shots from today's alt-right counterprotest-- Marie and my mom's old trombone, and then our merry little crew (not shown, Dave B who set it up at the last minute and then did his double slide whistle). Things were at a standstill, with the remainders of the 30-odd alt-righters standing there in their army helmets staring at the 300-odd counter-protestors chanting anti-Nazi thoughts at them, then the band (who had been doing a lot of chant backing and the odd song) stepped forward and backed a kind of chanting-crowd/honk-band duet, and then shortly thereafter the police said "enough" and shoo'd away the alt-righters. (I guess they try to spin it as they left the left there and went off to bunker hill, but it was clearly not a victory for them.) Anyway, timing might've been a coincidence but maybe not! I believe both Antifa and the alt-right-folk were prohibited from amplified music by the police, which means HONK! style groups like BABAM give the left a current asymmetrical advantage.

Marie and my mom's old trombone!

from August 12, 2018

with BABAM at a Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence fundraiser cabaret at Club Cafe:

from can it fit a sousaphone?

August 3, 2018
There's a new Facebook page, Can It Fit a Sousaphone? talking about what horns can fit into what cars. They did some outreach to my company CarGurus, and we did some cross-promotion with them.


Very flattering lens. Also last night we were reminded my car can fit TWO tubas...



On my devblog, the crushing equalizing of modern social mediums.
The Best TV Episodes of the past century. I liked the UI of this, with nicely sized clips starting as they scroll into view.
I always love lists of hard to translate words - this one has some especially important-to-that-culture ones.

from jp honk at jp porchfest

July 11, 2018
JP Honk @ JP Porchfest 2018 doing Mercy Mercy Mercy -

from a playlist of six videos from new member Sam

from July 8, 2018


Photo by Jonathan Richmond
More photos here (on FB, but works even in an incognito window)

from June 25, 2018

Got on page B7 of the Boston Globe, reporting on a Cosecha anti-family-separation rally that BABAM! backed.

Had I know I'd'a worn a better T-shirt than Rick and Morty.

from June 14, 2018

Happy Flag Day Dedham

from me and wally down by the school yard

June 9, 2018
BABAM ran into Wally before marching Boston Pride

from school of honkin'

April 18, 2018

--An old shot, but not sure it ever got on the site. A relatively rare tuba shot from the last few years in that I'm not playing Scheiny - trying out one of the School of Honk's polka dot horns.

from February 24, 2018

from February 23, 2018

The Harvard Crimson did a short article on BABAM

from February 20, 2018

Greg Cook took photos of BABAM! and Second Line and Boycott playing for HONK! volunteers at Aeronaut.

from November 26, 2017

Good day for the middle aged tubist getting ready for the Quincy Christmas Parade

from November 12, 2017

The Globe had a reverse angle from yesterday's shot, where BABAM! marched with Veterans for Peace

from glug glug

October 22, 2017
JP Honk played the wedding of Lilia + Jason yesterday at the arboretum...

from September 21, 2017

Scenes from the Revels RiverSing:

from September 18, 2017

After a long beautiful 4 gig weekend - Mill City Grows in Lowell, Prospect Hill block party, Boston Makers at the Children's Museum, and the Revels RiverSing parade.

from August 27, 2017

can i get a little squee for my super-niece cora and my tuba scheiny?

from August 23, 2017

My horn "Scheiny" and a little friend, Matt M's pocket trumpet:

from August 20, 2017

I can't say enough that the folks playing in the protest band today were HEROES, going (nearly) nonstop for a good 4 hours, elevating and uplifting the entire event, sounding like a million bucks. Anyone who knows any of these Honkers, feel free to pass along my heartfelt thanks.

Posted by Sarah Darling on Saturday, August 19, 2017





These people are doing it right.

Violence allows Nazis to pretend to be victims.

Tubas just make them look like the dumbfucks they are.

from August 13, 2017


photo by Jason Victor Rosenman

from August 9, 2017

A tuba player holds a weighty object and breathes deeply.
The poet Donald Hall

from JP Honk @ JP Porchfest 2017

July 10, 2017
JP Honk @ JP Porchfest 2017, Photos and Video Courtesy Agustina M



@School of Honk's performance, photo by Tom H

Imma tryin' to help Ezequiel use his tuba powers only for good... but also thanks to Robert for locating a good size sousaphone for him!

from July 8, 2017

My horn and its rain shadow...

from June 11, 2017

Elizabeth Warren Pride Parade Video - BABAM! is playing in the background and then there's a shot of the band (with me bopping along with the weird left-hand style I sometimes use) at 0:39
I LOVE the Boston Pride Parade

I LOVE the Boston Pride Parade. It shows our Commonwealth and our country at its best.

Posted by U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren on Sunday, June 11, 2017

from June 10, 2017

BABAM! with Senator Elizabeth Warren...




from May 7, 2017

Stood in with Prone to Mischief today on the Vietnam Memorial Bridge in Western MA - photo by John Bell

from April 25, 2017

from April 23, 2017

Ezequiel playing in the March for Science in today's NY Times; Andrew, Dave, and me behind

from April 18, 2017

Bass Section of the School of Honk in Austin, TX, via The Book of Honk (prints available)

(The Ride 'Em Cowboy is my favorite from this batch - usually the tuba is riding me, nice to turn that around, though the "hero shot" might be even better than Franklin Marvel's Take at Figment.

from March 31, 2017

behind the scenes at HONK!TX

that's my horn Scheiny on the right

from March 29, 2017

Some of my lunch hour yesterday made it onto the front of the Globe!

(Click for a larger version - that's me and my tuba on the right, nice visual balance to the french horn, and showing the name of our metaband BABAM!)


Here's the photo from the web article

from February 27, 2017

From the Women's March a few weeks ago...

from February 26, 2017

More shots from yesterday's puppet action...

from February 22, 2017




--photos by Andrew Huang

from October 16, 2016

Three photos (from School of Honk's trip to Georges Island) by drummer Lilia Volodina





I love the sky in the first one.

from October 11, 2016

mid-Honk subway micro-jam; bassline is "Chas Jammer":

Quando pensei que o HONK tinha acabo, entro no trem pra ir embora e...pá!#honkneverends#honk2016#honk

A video posted by Rafaella Marinho (@rafabellam) on


from October 10, 2016

Such a busy weekend at Honk!

Photo by Candace Esslinger - this was the clear Saturday before the Drenched Sunday

from September 3, 2016

Aug 11 we had a repeat of playing with the Landmarks Orchestra at the Hatch Shell...



here I am front and center, both as we calmly played along with "Hall of the Mountain King" and then when we went into full on honkin' mode

from September 1, 2016

from 2008 photo bonus: scenes from japan!

July 30, 2016

After JP Honk played Figment, I got myself framed by artist Franklin Marval

from June 30, 2016

Last week with Porch-i-Oke at Make Music Boston...

from June 23, 2016

From last night's School of Honk @ Aeronaut...

via

from June 21, 2016

This was another shot from School of Honk at the Arlington Porchfest:

By Nobuko Ichikawa. I'm not soloing (I think Carlos on the metal clarinet is), just dancing, but still, I love how expressive my posture and hands are... it's more cluttered than my previous profile-able tuba shot but has more energy, and I like that it's my own horn ("Beauty") not a School of Honk one I was borrowing for kicks.

from time for pride

June 12, 2016

from May 22, 2016

Porch-i-oke by Sari w/ Rev Dave and the Reprobates was a lot of fun!

from May 15, 2016

Some nice footage from Joe Mac of JP Honk at the Jamaica Plain Open Studios juried exhibition last night:

JP Honk

A video posted by @jmceachern36 on


from May 9, 2016

Played tuba with my super niece yesterday...

from Chelsea Ruscio's Photos of School of Honk May Day Dance Party

May 2, 2016



Heh, Liz Ryan who throws together a marching group for Boston Pride asked me to record a little bassline I made up last year, to supplement the cadence the percussionists were doing.

It's meant to be easy on my jaw, 'cause it's kind of a long parade!


From "The Book of Honk", the School of Honk bass section:

from April 30, 2016

Nice debut for BABAM! - the Boston Area Brigade of Activist Musicians, a loose affiliation of like minded players from various bands for last minute but worthy events and big umbrella gatherings.... today we supported the rally to get Somerville's Retirement fund divested from fossil fuels - a real loser investment these days no matter how you slice it.

(I was having a water bottle crisis where it somehow flooded by hip pack... I gotta stop carrying stuff during gigs :-) (local copy of video)

from March 18, 2016

I think I was googling "what to do with other hand when playing sousaphone"

from February 18, 2016

In 1990 my high school marching band travelled to Detroit for a band competition and the parade... jump to 27:50 for some fine tuba, cymbals, and majorette dancin' to "My Sharona".

Good for anyone who has a fetish for badly lit vintage shots of the Henry Ford Museum.

from February 8, 2016

My sousaphone roots, Euclid High School Panther Marching Band!

The 1991 Homecoming Game, by the looks of it.

from December 13, 2015

Melissa took this photo of my tuba in its Christmas lights doing Honk carolling Saturday night...

from December 11, 2015

Yesterday I learned that Scheiny (nee "Beauty"), my lovely Holton Collegiate Sousaphone, has a serial number that dates it to 1954...

from November 7, 2015

from October 11, 2015

On the escalator at Davis Square T, I have an epiphany: tubas are kind of ridiculous.


(that yellow strip is a cheat sheet to "Seven Nation Army" I put on a long time ago....)

from August 7, 2015

Some footage from the Hatch Shell HONK! Disorchestra gig... you can see my tuba bell whirling in the background

from July 10, 2015

Last Night The Jamaica Plain Honk Band​ did a gig in co-operation with the Hyde Square Task Force, and afterwards a few of us ducked in the formerly closed Blessed Sacrament church to encounter the acoustics of the empty sanctuary... this is before we put together some jams, Pachelbel Canon, and Toccata and Fugue...

from april 2015 new music playlist

May 3, 2015
A few photos by Joni L, from JP Honk at yesterday's "Wake Up The Earth" parade and festival in JP. It was a LONG haul up Centre St but the chance to do a set at Stony Brook, and really walk around and through the audience, was special




from November 16, 2014

So, a few weeks late, here's what the costume for me and my tuba looked like on Dunster Rd Halloween night... I'm not sure if my makeup actually looked "skull-like" as was its intention, but overall it kind of added to the effect. Or maybe the affect.

from spooooooky

October 31, 2014



This year my tuba gets a costume too:

from August 18, 2014

The jaded sousaphonist...

from tuba, front and off-center

July 21, 2014
Me at Saturday's JP Porchfest... I have to say the day was a smashing success! Awesome turn out for a first-year event and great enthusiasm and fun all around. As far as I could tell my lil' website for it (http://jpporchfest.org/) held up fine - in fact I've heard rumors some of the Somerville Porchfest Organizers (who were the (freely admitted!) inspiration for this event) might like to pinch some of our ideas to punch up their own site.



I swear I should consider moving to JP one of these years.

Also, later, I grabbed Leigh's percussion wearable, and my cousin Bill took a shot:

from tuba'ing at overlook ruins

October 27, 2013

from October 13, 2013

I've decided to nickname my tuba "Beauty"

Honk! Parade went well.

from July 29, 2013

"Sousaphonic Cityscape" from JP Honk Band @ Figment 2013

(Someone else's photo, but my horn!)

from tuba training

March 30, 2011

--via xoBruce. I guess that's a good warning for any hobos who might be asleep on the tracks!

from tuba weekend day 2

November 7, 2010

from tuba weekend day 1

(5 comments)
November 6, 2010
I declare this lazy weekend to be Tuba Weekend, thanks in part to this image from xoxoBruce... (he seems to be keeping an eye out for tuba-themed images for me.)



I would like to add that is about the first realisticly drawn sousaphone I've seen in this kind of thing.

from tubaday!

(1 comment)
June 2, 2010

--via xoxoxobruce... (who found it here) you know you don't see many sousaphones with the bell pointing up, though I'm not sure why not.