We had the good fortune of connecting with Andrew Gould and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Andrew, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
I definitely think that the balance between work and life has changed and evolved over time. Right when I got out of school, I was just trying to hang out, go hear music, sit in at jam sessions and meet people in NYC. That was already a huge change from just locking myself in the practice room when I was in college (not having a life at all…. zero balance, haha). I think in time, as things started to get rolling and I started actually working more frequently, it took a little bit more planning in advance in order to fit in time to get work done, prepare for gigs, write music and practice, and balance that all out with spending time with friends and significant others, take care of “life” things, or just chill out. Now that my daughter is 2 years old though, and the pandemic hit when she was just a tiny baby, we’re getting adapted to what the new balance will be. It’s constantly changing because my schedule literally fluctuates from day to day and week to week! I’ve found the most important thing is to be flexible, adapt to the curveballs that inevitably come up, and just prioritize time each day to stay as productive as possible.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I think that sometimes artists can place too much thought into what sets them apart from others. Each individual has their own way of viewing the world, their own experiences to draw from, and their own personal approach to learning, growing and thinking about their craft. Individuality can happen almost by default, as long as the artist can stay honest and true to themself. Of course this is all still way easier said than done, but the learning process never stops either. The more I’ve learned, the more I realized I need to learn. I’ve just always been inspired to be working musician in NYC, and to play all sorts of music with great musicians here. Along the way I’ve met so many amazing people who have been generous with their time and knowledge, and who have become great friends and colleagues. A lot of the “success” or at least what I’d attribute to arriving at wherever I’m at now came from a combination of a few things – honest work and trying to always do the music that I’m playing justice, longevity – meaning just staying in the scene long enough to meet people and make friends and connections, and then just holding onto a positive, optimistic attitude. The music scene is super tough and it’s very competitive and it’s easy to drift into something else, but I think that if you can stay as a “glass is half full” kind of person, it can really help! I started off wanting to be a jazz saxophone soloist, and while that IS something I do a good amount of and will be developing way more towards in the future, I also fell in love with large ensemble playing, horn section playing, and all sorts of other styles of music that I didn’t initially know or think much about. NYC has all these different little music scenes, and scenes within scenes, and I think that each musician can sort of find themself in their own combination of what they like and what they gravitate to the most, artistically.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’d definitely start off the week by going to the Village Vanguard to catch the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra on Monday night. This has been one of my favorite things in the whole world…. one of the best and most legendary jazz orchestras ever plays every Monday night. The Vanguard is also a legendary club too, with tons of history behind it. It would basically be filled with an itinerary of different music every night though, places like the 55 Bar, Smalls, Nublu, Rockwood Music Hall, Birdland and way more. I also think that the best way to see the city is to just walk around. I used to go on epic walks with my good buddy and we’d just pick a neighborhood and walk there FROM our apartments. We walked down to Battery Park, from West Harlem and then all the way up the east side and back over, and everywhere in between. The same can be said for Brooklyn and Queens too. I also love taking the Ferries which are super cheap and really great ways to get around and see some great sights and skylines for tourists. The coolest thing about NYC though is that you can literally find anything and everything here and artistically the ceiling is just so high and so varied. If you look at the music schedule for who’s playing at each club every week, it’s a rotating cast of all the best stuff ever.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d have to give a huge shoutout to my parents!! Ioana Vintu! Sam Dillon! Jimmy O’Connell! Tons of incredible teachers that I’ve had over the years…. the list could go on and on. I really do think that we’re all a product of our surroundings in so many ways, and I’m lucky to be surrounded by some pretty awesome people!

Website: www.andrewgouldmusic.com

Instagram: @Andrew_Gould

Twitter: @AndyDGould

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/andrew.gould.188/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdo1nIqYiDN-YF2wDMo-kMQ

Image Credits
Lauren Desberg

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutSocal is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.