Matt Waldman’s RSP Cast Ep. 19: Darren Kramer And Football As Performance Craft


Matt Waldman and Darren Kramer — a professional musician, instructor, and football fan — discuss the amazingly relevant links between football and improvised music. 

Now for something completely different…Most of you who read my work know that I’m a former musician and I link a lot of what I see in my work as a football analyst and evaluator of talent to my past careers — especially the craft of jazz improvisation. The deeper I dive into football, the more links I discover between practice, teamwork, technique development, performance, and evaluation. This week, I invited Darren Kramer to join me for a conversation about football as a performance craft.

Darren is a freelance trombonist, composer, arranger, producer, and educator throughout the United States. He’s performed with a diverse range of acts, including Matchbox Twenty, Tom Jones, Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies, Michael Brecker, The Four Tops, and the Temptations. The Darren Kramer Organization is a world-class horn band that performs Funk, Soul, Latin Music, and Jazz Fusion.

Darren and I discuss the nature of talent; the dynamics of performance; the value of practice; teamwork; and confidence as the root of good performance. As we do, we discover how much football has a balance of craft-to-science that’s similar to that of jazz performance.

We discover how easy it is to connect the dots between musical and football development; on-stage and in-game performance, and evaluating the skills of performers and groups in both spheres.

It’s one of those podcasts where you’ll discover how much it opens you to a new word while also validating what you might have already known.

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