In grade 5, Jevon had a band director who spent a month trying each student on each instrument to see which one they had a natural affinity for. In between trying instruments, the students would study and do exercises in their workbooks so that before playing a note they had a grounding in music theory. Stereotypically, everyone thought it was gonna be the “fat kid” in the band who would play the tuba, but he got the tenor sax. Jevon played the tuba for the next 39 years. He followed this passion through Jr. and Sr. High School and then through university where he got a Bachelor of Music from the University of Calgary majoring in Tuba Performance (yes you did read that correctly) even performing as a dancing tuba player in a modern dance class! (Don’t laugh too hard, Luke joined him in that class as a dancing trumpet player.) After discovering that being a classical tubist in Alberta was not financially viable in supporting his or his family’s lifestyle to which he wanted to become accustomed (you know luxuries like food, clothing, and shelter) he pursued a career in IT. Throughout the years, he expressed his creativity in various and sundry ways including in Theatre, Stage Craft, and Software Development. Although he wanted to experience creative satisfaction, he found it challenging to temper his desire for musical “perfection” against musical “satisfaction.” Jevon found it difficult being satisfied with his playing without the perfectionism of striving to be the ‘absolute best player in the world’ – an impossible task if one can’t commit the time to practice at least 8 hours a day. Surprisingly, it was the merging of his software development philosophies with his artistic creativity that spawned Little Brown Jug Brass!
Jevon’s personal vision is to create a fun, co-creative, collaborative environment with others who were similarly not playing as regularly or had not found opportunities to play music at the quality that was satisfactory for them personally while balancing a day job, family obligations, etc. Jevon strongly believes that if you’re going to take time away from your family, the experience should feed your soul, your wallet, or preferably both.
After reaching out to a few contacts with fine arts degrees and/or post-secondary music training, Jevon recognized that many were as hungry for this type of experience as he was. It was exciting to talk to Software Developers, Engineers, school Band and Music Teachers (who spend most of their time mentoring younger students but don’t get a chance to play themselves) and others about coming back to the love of playing. So here we are, a fun group of ex-perfectionists, some of whom may have taken ourselves a little too seriously for a little too long, revisiting some the best gifts that music has to offer from a place of wisdom and reflection. And a whole lotta great beer!