My Life and Goals as a Young Artist

This is an essay I wrote in 2007 for lord knows what purpose. I think 22 year old me would be pretty happy with the outcome.

I received my first bass guitar for my birthday freshman year of high school and from that point on all I really wanted to do was play music. A few years later when it was time to apply to colleges I had a very narrow field of vision, so narrow in fact that I only applied to one school, Duquesne University. I passed my audition and was accepted in to the Music Technology program.

Now, I am rounding out my last year of undergrad studies and looking toward the future. During the past couple years I had lost sight of why I really came to Duquesne. I started taking graduate level Multimedia courses on top of my full load in the music program and was looking at other possibilities outside of the world of music. At this time I began J. Winslow Media ( as a web and multimedia development business which has since expanded into Straight Ahead Media ( and is still very active.

This year, though, my passion for music has been rekindled, and while I have some ground to make up, I am well on my way to the level of performance expected of a professional musician. I play bass with a respectable jazz trio as well as a four piece entertainment band ready to play lounge acts or even spend some time performing on cruise ships.

My plans for the future involve so many different possibilities that it is going to be exciting to see what unfolds. As I mentioned earlier I have been working toward a Masters Degree in Multimedia and I have been doing web development on the side for the past couple years so this is still something I want to explore. I feel web design is one of the last remaining places where art has not been corrupted by mainstream media and mass production.

As for music, it will always be my first love, the one thing that I just feel like I am doing exactly what I should be. It would be great to spend some time on cruise ships playing with my friend and pianist Brian Buckley. We have already found a way of interaction and communication with one another in jazz that can years to develop. In all, the future is looking bright and I know I am going to have a great time exploring more of what life has to offer.

The JWin Official Whiskey Sour

3 oz whiskey (preferably a good bourbon)
1/2 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 oz simple syrup
1 egg’s whites

Pour ingredients in shaker over ice and shake the hell out of it. Strain into lowball glass.

The JWin Official Old Fashioned

It’s taken 2 many years and a great deal of consumption experimentation to achieve old fashioned perfection but, I believe I’ve finally found it.

1/2 oz Simple
8 Shakes Angostura Bitters
3 oz Whiskey (preferably a good rye)

Pour ingredients into a mixing glass over ice. Stir. Strain into your favorite lowball glass – optionally adding an orange peal garnish.

Alabama Shakes

This is one of the most interesting new groups I’ve heard in a while and their song “I Found You” (included in this performance) is seriously one of the best contemporary pop songs my ears have encountered.

I identify with Soul Train more than any other show that’s been on television…

My Comments to Elephant Moving Regarding Their “Piano Moving” Services

After my experience I feel it would be best if you remove piano moving from your list of services. I don’t think the guys that came had ever even seen a piano before, much less moved one.

An appropriate piano moving dolly wasn’t used, they moved the piano from the house to the truck without any sort of protection for the piano and nearly dropped the instrument off the lift on the back of the truck because they didn’t have a secure handle on it.

I’m concerned that non-trivial stresses or damage may surface in the near future as a result of this move and I will have no recourse in the matter. I cannot blame the actual truck crew because they should have never been sent out by Elephant in the first place.

I hope this matter is taken seriously and addressed so that someone with more to lose doesn’t find themselves in the same position as I am now.


UPDATE 7/6/2012
A representative was kind enough to reach out to me:

What an absurd suggestion. Of course they have seen a piano. One of the men who moved your piano is one of our certified piano technicians, who disassembles and moves half a dozen grand and baby grand pianos each week, as well as many upright pianos of all sizes. There’s no such thing as a special piano dolly for upright pianos. We use padded 4 wheeled dollies to move upright pianos, and piano boards to move baby grand pianos. Our crews are professional movers and are experienced with moving all sizes and shapes of items.

My response:

This is how a piano should be moved: pianoMoving.jpg

Don’t tell me my suggestion is absurd when the internet can prove me correct in 15 seconds.

Michael Kiwanuka – Tell Me a Tale

The biggest surprise from SXSW this year was an emerging artist from the UK Uganda, Michael Kiwanuka. I was very fortunate to happen to stumble into him performing at Stubb’s and was absolutely blown away by his voice and the soulful vibe of his music.

Here is the album version of Tell Me a Tale:

The Jazz Trio live at the Holiday Inn

This past February we managed to get the original trio back together for a couple nights. The video and audio got out of sync somewhere in the process of ripping the DVD and uploading to YouTube. I will try to resolve this when I have time. In the mean time, here is the whole evening’s performance:

It’s 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark… and we’re wearing sunglasses


Brian and I as the Blues Brothers for Halloween 2006. Yes, we are that awesome.

Randy Newman – Losing You

It’s hard to believe that I’ve never posted any Randy Newman stuff but I can’t imagine a better way to start than Losing You, live with nothing but Randy and a piano – plus a foreword about the inception of the song.