I’ve Moved!!!

You can now find me at For those of you who might be confused (“but that’s where I though I was!”), previously redirected you to That’s where you are right now.

If you don’t mind, just mosey on over and we’ll keep things moving along over there.

a small favor from my rss readers

FBI have apparently just joined the 21st Century and discovered FeedBurner. My Google Analytics stats have not accurately reflected my readership to this point because GA cannot (to my knowledge) analyze feed traffic. Enter FeedBurner. If you like me enough to care about my self-esteem, please click here to re-subscribe to my feed. It’s now set up through FeedBurner and will give me access to RSS statistics. Just another way to make this website better.


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what’s in a name?

This website has been known as “104 weeks” for almost 104 weeks. My first post was on 25 June 2006. It was planned as a chronicle of two years (not quite 104 weeks, actually) for Graduate school. I’m near the end of my schooling and things have evolved here. While I’m still hosting at USF’s servers, many readers reach this site from a redirect at

This page is an opportunity for people to get to know me. People who may want to study with me, book me (and my band) for an event, other bassists and jazz musicians who may actually be interested in my perspective, Polk county locals looking for a good restaurant. 104 weeks no longer reflects the purpose of this website, which is why I’ve renamed the heading of this blog: “matthew wengerd|bassist.”

Stay tuned. Things are only getting bigger and better.

an open call for response

SethSeth Godin wrote a great post about not needing a resume.

A resume is an excuse to reject you. Once you send me your resume, I can say, “oh, they’re missing this or they’re missing that,” and boom, you’re out.


If you don’t have a resume, what do you have?

How about three extraordinary letters of recommendation from people the employer knows or respects?
Or a sophisticated project they can see or touch?
Or a reputation that precedes you?
Or a blog that is so compelling and insightful that they have no choice but to follow up?

Some say, “well, that’s fine, but I don’t have those.”

Yeah, that’s my point. If you don’t have those, why do you think you are remarkable, amazing or just plain spectacular? It sounds to me like if you don’t have those, you’ve been brainwashed into acting like you’re sort of ordinary.

Great jobs, world class jobs, jobs people kill for… those jobs don’t get filled by people emailing in resumes. Ever.

Here’s what I want from you, dear reader:
What does Seth’s vision look like for professional musicians and music educators. As a soon-to-be graduate of a Masters program, how do I apply these principals (aside from playing like Christian McBride tomorrow)? I think this is a powerful notion and I’d like to unlock it for my own career. Thoughts?

it’s not just a precious stone

Marc Geelhoed (Deceptively Simple) recently transitioned from Classical Music Journalist to “CSO Resound Coordinator.” Here, he writes a post I would consider a must-read for anyone who’s ever found themselves in a situation such as mine: about to graduate with some sort of music degree (mine happens to be an MM in Jazz Studies) with the financial obligations of the average adult but not the circumstance to meet those obligations playing full time.

When I was nearing the end of my undergraduate program (in Music Education), my teacher let me in on a little secret: in the competitive world of orchestra musicians, some musicians with a modicum of left-brain activity go into administration for their “target orchestra” in order to be in town with that section – those players – and learn what they want from a section mate. Taking lessons from the principal and any other section member who will spare the time gives you an edge when it’s time to fill a spot. So, off I went into my illustriousshort career as an orchestra management-er.

Because of budget issues (this was an early-post 9-11 world and hurricanes had just ripped through Florida, taking Foundation and Individuals’ money with them), I didn’t even last a whole season. They created the position for me and, as they say, “Last one hired, first one fired.” The position closed and I was jobless. I also spent a year teaching public school. I had spent a lot of time thinking I could straddle this Classical-Jazz bassplaying fence. It wasn’t working.

I came back to school and am here now, wondering what next. I’m still not prepared to make a living carting my bass around. I’m a good teacher and a functional bass player. I’ve spent my entire Graduate life to-date in “arts management” and, while it afforded me the finances to go to school, it stole (and continues to steal) my time and focus from playing. I’m starting to think I can’t have it both ways (go figure).

When you work around something you enjoy, it’s easy to become jaded, and that was something I initially feared going into this job. It’s something I feared as a journalist, too, and I got to the point where a concert was work. I have a lot of respect for my former colleagues who’ve gone to concerts week in, week out, for upwards of 20 years, in some cases, and can still write about it with passion and insight. It’s easy to lose sight that several hundred or thousand people have bought tickets to the event and are greatly anticipating it, while you sit there wishing you could be somewhere else. That boredom seeps into your work, if you’re not careful.

I work with one of the greatest Big Bands in the country. A great group of musicians and a brilliant writer/leader. I pay host to numerous musical luminaries. And I lose my appreciation for it all.

Because I can see that future on the horizon, I vowed to continue going to CSO concerts every week, but I also started going to rehearsals. The CSO doesn’t have open rehearsals, and has a rule about barring press from them, so I’ve never had the chance before. . .I get a fresh reminder in the middle of the day about what’s going on that justifies my getting up and going to work every day.

I used to do this at the Orchestra. I can’t afford that luxury here; I’m at rehearsals, working to make sure everyone’s happy and can hear and has all their music and their check. People tell me I’m good at this and it’s helped me along the way.

Food loses its charm when you can’t ever leave the kitchen.

three things

1_The Bad Plus on Conan Friday 14 March 2008. I normally tape Conan, as I don’t tend to stay up that late, but this one was worth the loss of sleep. Pics and a post here.

2_Matt Heller’s adventures on Calgary’s public transportation system beat any bit of the 45 minute commute I’ve been doing for almost two years!

I certainly wasn’t happy about losing it, so I began frantically waving to stop the bus. No effect. It was heading down 9th Avenue, with only the perpetually red stoplights and rush-hour gridlock to slow it down. Now I was still carrying my bass, and I briefly considered popping on the wheel and chasing it down. You may recall my plan to write an action movie screenplay about an intelligence agent / musician, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to test out a chase sequence.

3_I’ve stayed silent on Dennis’ passing for reasons I don’t really understand. I was with two of his bandmates the weekend before he passed and hadn’t realized just how bad things had become. When people pass, their survivors often re-write history. It’s always bugged me that it becomes verboten to speak the truth about unpleasant people after they die. This doesn’t seem to be necessary with Dennis. I’ve never heard a mean thing about Dennis.

i get it – five!

My USF-sanctioned quintet, Ten Over Two, had our only USF-sanctioned concert last night at FAH 101, the recital hall. I have to say it was one of the most gratifying concerts I’ve ever done. It wasn’t without issues, but the turnout and results were quite gratifying.
300 Combo Concert
Bass Face
300 Combo Concert 071
300 Combo Concert 062
300 Combo Concert 057
300 Combo Concert 051

Ten Over Two

John Rodriguez|tenor saxophone
Ed Reid|trumpet
Daniel Joiner|piano
Paul Keesling|drums
Matthew Wengerd|double bass

There is audio evidence.
Doctone|Branford Marsalis
Moon Palace|Dave Morgan, arr. Wengerd
Deluge|Wayne Shorter
Rockit|Herbie Hancock, arr. Van Voorst
Blues for Sarka|George Mraz, trans. Wengerd
Bags’ Groove|Milt Jackson

Forgive the intonation, please.

can you believe it?!?!

Some people may not find this to be of any real significance, but a jazz artist just won Album of the Year at the GRAMMY’s! Herbie Hancock’s River:The Joni Letters received the nod after 44 years of jazz-absence in the category. Absolutely amazing!

brought to you by dark roasted blend

I present:

Robot Bass


give a man a microphone

MicrophoneFor those of you in the greater Tampa, Saint Petersburg, Sarasota area, wake up at the most unimaginable time possible Monday, 11 February 2008. To celebrate 26 years of living, I will host my first on-air shift of jazz programming at WUSF 89.7 from 1:00-5:00 am. It’s called Sunday Night Jazz, even though it’s Monday morning and, no, I will not be live in the studio. I’ve programmed the four hours and will be putting my breaks in the system tomorrow. It’s just a little exciting.

For those of you in other parts of the country, you can listen to live streaming of the broadcast as well. Bob Seymour, the Jazz Director at WUSF, and Gig Brown, Program Director for WUSF 89.7_2 (our HD channel) have been working with me on pacing, feel, and pronunciation (some of those names are hard) and have deemed me air-worthy. Check it out this Monday morning 1:00-5:00 am and let me know what you think.
Bob SeymourGig