From Valves to Touch Sensors: Trumpeter Taylor Haskins Geeks Out on The Checkout

May 2, 2018

Taylor Haskins admits he might be kind of cyborg. The trumpet player contracted a cyber-bug of sorts when he first discovered the music of Herbie Hancock. The dancing robots in the music video for "Rockit" haunted him for decades, until Haskins finally decided to put down his brass and plug in a rare wind instrument known as the EVI (Electronic Valve Instrument).


On this edition of My Music on The Checkout, Haskins takes us on his unique journey from being an acoustic brass player to becoming, musically speaking, part machine. He breaks down his unusual EVI synth wind instrument and identifies the first groundbreaking players of the instrument, from the bebop of John Swana to the space music of Marshall Allen from the Sun Ra Arkestra.

Haskins then tells us how his recent modifications to the EVI — with new advancements in technology — present an artist with infinite musical possibilities. His current ensemble, Green Empire, defies gravity in many senses. Not only does their latest album, The Point, sound like modern space jazz — it also takes the listener on floating, weightless journey.

Taylor Haskins gives a solo EVI performance at the Waking Windows festival in Winooski, Vermont this Sunday.

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