Thanks For Sitting In Podcast
Ep. 12: Amanda Maldonado & Pup Package

Ep. 12: Amanda Maldonado & Pup Package

June 5, 2019

(Originally released on 09.04.18. See ThanksForSittingIn.com for complete show notes & photos)

San Diego, California is known for many things. Beautiful beaches, perfect weather and now, Pup Package! What is ‘Pup Package’?

“Pup Package is a San Diego based, 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that donates basic essentials to foster and rescue dog groups to help reduce out of pocket expenses and increase rate of adoptions! Our mission is to donate 500 Signature Pup Packages this year as part of #Mission500. A $5 donation can provide a pup package to a rescue in need!”

Founder Amanda Maldonado is a dynamic, committed advocate who partners with shelters, community organizations and local businesses to provide gift wrapped packages for dogs in need. Pup Package is celebrating their second year anniversary this month. Amanda has been able to scale her passion project and double the amount of packages from last year! Her plans include expanded community involvement, a pet education awareness program for schools and Pup Package chapters throughout the country.

SHOW NOTES:

  • It all started….
  • “Impacting one puppy at a time.”
  • Local Community Involvement
  • Giving Penny the pitbull a ‘voice’
  • The Tony Robbins experience
  • “How To Talk Dog!”
  • The Homeless and Their Dogs
  • Donations and Sponsorships
  • Puppy Abuse and Puppy Farms
  • Pet Education Awareness in Schools
  • Music Therapy For Dogs
  • RAPID FIRE!
  • Favorite breed of dog
  • Favorite Hollywood dog
  • Favorite dog walk location in San Diego
  • Favorite dog toy (*Involving Brett Michaels of Poison!)
  • Thoughts on social media
  • FUTURE!
  • Releasing Stress With Pets
  • “Make more better than there is worse!”Amanda Maldonado

Visit the Pup Package website

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Ep. 11: Producer / Musician Bjorgvin Benediktsson

Ep. 11: Producer / Musician Bjorgvin Benediktsson

June 5, 2019

(Originally released on 07.13.18. See ThanksForSittingIn.com for complete show notes & photos)

Björgvin Benediktsson is an audio engineer, musician, and entrepreneur from Iceland currently living in Tucson, Arizona. He helps home studio musicians make better sounding music by teaching them how to record and produce themselves. Since 2009, he’s run www.audio-issues.com where he teaches thousands of engineers how to make a bigger impact with their music production. He’s the author of the best-selling Amazon book, Step By Step Mixing – How to Create Great Mixes With Only 5 Plug-insas well as the creator of other audio production courses and tutorials. He produces and records local bands and mixes musicians all over the world through his home studio, Icelandic Embassy Studios. He also writes about creativity, entrepreneurship and other random work/life balance topics on Medium. 

SHOW NOTES:

  • Bjorgvin’s start from Iceland to Madrid to Tucson
  • The start of Audio-Issues and his writing career and courses
  • Playing with Tucson bands and Tales From the Homeland Podcast
  • Setting Up a Home Studio
  • Tip #1: Have some kind of song structure before you record!
  • Software and plug in choices
  • Studio Monitors
  • File Transfers (Dropbox)
  • Live Sound Techniques
  • Tips #2 & 3: Communication and a positive attitude
  • Being a musician
  • The Tucson Music Scene
  • The State of Today’s Music
  • The “1,000 Fans” Theory
  • RAPID FIRE
  • Analog or Digital
  • Who are you listening to
  • Favorite Microphone
  • Legacy or Money
  • Worst Recording Experience
  • FUTURE

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Ep. 10: Journalist ‘Neto’ Portillo Jr.

Ep. 10: Journalist ‘Neto’ Portillo Jr.

June 5, 2019

(Originally released on 07.03.18. See ThanksForSittingIn.com for complete show notes & photos)

Ernesto ‘Neto’ Portillo Jr. is a proud Tucsonian who prides himself as ‘An advocate for the unheard voices’. He is a respected journalist and columnist for the Arizona Daily Star and the editor of the Spanish language version of the paper, ‘La Estrella de Tucson.’

Neto has written extensively on the culture and music of the Chicano culture in Tucson as well as stories that no one else would cover. He has his opinions on a variety of topics and not afraid to share them. His storytelling technique is heartfelt.

His love for music started with his father’s influence thru his work on radio. Neto continues the tradition by programming a Bi-Lingual radio program on KXCI-FM in Tucson.

Neto loves to work for the Daily Star and La Estrella. He enjoys showing the culture in Tucson because he believes the culture is vital in today’s society.
​In addition to being a columnist, he loves his chickens and turtles. Neto also enjoys doing CrossFit with his wife. He hopes to inspire people and give them ganas or “moxy” when they read his columns. ​

Ernesto ‘Neto’ Portillo Jr is a respected journalist and columnist. An advocate for the unheard voices. He also has a love for the diverse music and cultural scene in Tucson and Southern Arizona. Unafraid to share his opinions on any subject makes this episode one that you’ll enjoy from start to finish.

SHOW NOTES:

  • Neto’s start in journalism and education
  • Chicano Cultural Cocoon to a diverse community
  • Neto’s fathers influence as a ‘locutor’
  • Programming Bi-Lingual local radio (KXCI)
  • Tucson’s different cultural diversity
  • The writing / storytelling process
  • Advice to aspiring journalists
  • Tejano Music / New York Salsa Music
  • Rapid Fire
  • Favorite Music Genre
  • Definition of the word ‘Spanglish’
  • Lalo Guerrero
  • Favorite Column He’s written
  • The Habitat For Humanity Story
  • The ‘La Frontera’ Story
  • Money or Legacy
  • Chicano, Hispanic or Latino
  • FUTURE

Read Neto's stories here

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Ep. 9: Gina Gillis of AFSP.org

Ep. 9: Gina Gillis of AFSP.org

June 5, 2019

(Originally released on 05.31.18. See ThanksForSittingIn.com for complete show notes & photos)

Suicide among musicians and creatives is a growing issue. The stress of the industry, the lack of a support system and other factors add to the problem.Gina Gillis is the Southern Arizona Ambassador for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. This interview talks about how to get involved and where to seek solutions to mental health issues.

Established in 1987, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) is a voluntary health organization that gives those affected by suicide a nationwide community empowered by research, education and advocacy to take action against this leading cause of death.

AFSP is dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide. 

Since its founding in 1987, AFSP has:

  • Mobilized and connected tens of thousands of people who have lost a family member, loved one, or friend to suicide
  • Reached thousands of individuals who are at risk for suicide, as well as those who love and care for them
  • Attracted the participation of members of the scientific and clinical communities, who conduct groundbreaking research on suicide and its prevention with support from AFSP
  • Established local chapters in all 50 states
  • Educated hundreds of local communities about suicide and how to prevent it
  • Created a public policy and lobbying arm by merging successfully with an existing national policy organization, thus enabling AFSP to press for legislation and policies at the federal, state and local levels that advance the goal of preventing suicide
  • Substantially increased our funding from individual donors, including the thousands of highly motivated individuals who participate in our Out of the Darkness Walks
  • Educated reporters and the media about how to best cover suicide
  • Communicated with hundreds of thousands of individuals through our website, social media, brochures, speakers and efforts to generate press coverage

SHOW NOTES:

  • What is the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention?
  • The ‘mental health’ stigma
  • Community Involvement & Connectivity
  • Suicide in the music community
  • Gina’s personal experience
  • Suicide is the not the answer – other oprions
  • Gina’s top 5 punk bands
  • Support from local leaders
  • Rapid Fire:
  • What’s been your best experience promoting AFSP?
  • Legacy or Money
  • FUTURE
  • Advise for young people
  • “Every feeling you have is temporary.”
  • Reaching out is a sign of strength, not weakness

The National Suicide Prevention Hotline: Call 1-800-273-8255.

AFSP.org website

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Ep. 8: Mambo Master Tito Puente Jr.

Ep. 8: Mambo Master Tito Puente Jr.

June 2, 2019

(Originally released on 03.06.18. See ThanksForSittingIn.com for complete show notes & photos)

In Spanish, “puente” means bridge. Tito Jr, the son of the legendary Tito Puente has managed to “bridge” his fathers legacy of incredible music to a new generation of fans and musicians. From growing up playing drums in death metal bands to leading his own orchestra, Tito Jr. has traveled the world sharing the music and style of his father.

You can’t discuss Latin music or music in general without mentioning the great Tito Puente. After his passing, his son Tito Jr. decided to keep his fathers legacy of incredible music alive by forming his own orchestra and exposing his fathers music to a new generation. His remix of ‘”Oye Como Va” shot up the charts and won a Latin Grammy award. Tito Jr. has toured the world in front of sell out crowds as he continues to inspire and share his fathers music. Tito Jr. is working on a new album and his latest release “Mi Socio” became an instant hit. If you want to hear timeless music and dance a little, or a lot, go see Tito Puente Jr. when he comes to your town.

We recorded this episode as Tito Jr. relaxed at his South Florida home. This session was insightful, at times serious, at times hilarious. We think you’ll enjoy this episode and learn more about Latin music and the legacy of Tito, Tito Jr and their music.

SHOW NOTES:

  • Growing up with dad
  • Playing drums and listening to death metal
  • Latin drummers are Familia
  • Ricardo meeting Tito in concert
  • Being a bandleader
  • The Puente Sound
  • Advice for students and young musicians
  • You Gotta Learn to Read!!
  • Network with other musicians and you’ll always work
  • Latin Music today
  • Working with A.B. Quintanella
  • Re-recording “Oye Como Va”
  • The void Tito left and carrying on the legacy
  • Mexican Artists & Female Artists
  • Tito touring the world
  • The Power of Music: Jenn Kaye
  • Parkland Florida School Shooting
  • RAPID FIRE!
  • Willie Colon
  • Carlos Enriquez (one of many…)
  • Victor Manuelle
  • Celia Cruz
  • Santos Colon
  • Charlie & Eddie Palmieri
  • Machito
  • Dizzy Gillespie
  • Future (one of the best answers of any episode)

Follow Tito on his Facebook page

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Ep. 7: Guitarist Desiree Bassett

Ep. 7: Guitarist Desiree Bassett

June 2, 2019

(Originally released on 02.27.18. See ThanksForSittingIn.com for complete show notes & photos)

Imagine being asked to perform on a three year world tour with Cirque du Soleil as the featured guitarist for the Michael Jackson:Immortal tour. At the age of 17. Imagine sharing the stage with Sammy Hagar, Ted Nugent, the Marshall Tucker Band, Living Color, Foghat and many others.

Imagine releasing your first of three albums at age 16. Imagine having Joe Satriani (among others) as your guitar hero. Desiree Apolonio Bassett has done this and much more all before the age of 26! She is a talented musician, songwriter and producer and continues to gain respect and admiration from her fans and her musician peers.

Desiree’s parents recognized her talent and encouraged her to perform at age three. By age nine she was taking guitar and vocal lessons at the University of Connecticut music program. Desiree dove deep into listening to all music, continuing her training and began to write her own music. At age 12 Desiree won the Talent America’s Musician of Year in New York City.

She continued to perform in her teen years drawing rave reviews and respect from her peers. At 15, she recorded her first album, “Power & Force”. She also was invited to play with Sammy Hagar, Jimmie Vaughn and others. By 17, she was asked to be lead guitarist for the Michael Jackson:Immortal World Tour following in the footsteps of Jennifer Batten and Orianthi. The tour would last three years.

Since then Desiree has recorded two more albums of original music, toured the world, sat in with some of music’s best musicians and performs with her own band, Time Machine. During the Immortal tour, she also learned about doing her own face make up and you’ll see her at trade shows and performances wearing her unique style of designs.

At age twenty five, guitarist, songwriter, producer, Desiree Apolonio Bassett has a very bright future ahead.

SHOW NOTES:

  • Starting to play guitar at age three!
  • Private lessons and performing live
  • The “A-ha” moment at age 12
  • Forming her band “Time Machine” at 15
  • Family and support system
  • The awesome Cirque du Soleil; Michael Jackson: Immortal Tour story
  • Getting the gig
  • Creating her make up / persona for the tour
  • Most memorable performance during the tour
  • The Legacy Tour with William Hall
  • Performing with Time Machine
  • Moving to Las Vegas?
  • Advice for young musicians
  • Dealing with anxiety and depression
  • Advice for male musicians working with female musicians
  • RAPID FIRE!
  • Michael Jackson
  • Desiree’s Favorite Guitarist (hint: Joe Satriani)
  • Favorite music to listen to (hint: Killswitch Engage)
  • What has changed most in the industry?
  • Desiree’s band – Time Machine
  • Pedals & effects
  • FUTURE
  • Mike Kerr & Brazilian musicians

“Stay true to yourself and have fun with what you’re doing!”

Desiree's website & merchandise

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Ep. 6: Veteran Drummer - John Lewis

Ep. 6: Veteran Drummer - John Lewis

June 2, 2019

(Originally released on 02.20.18. See ThanksForSittingIn.com for complete show notes & photos)

When two drummers get together, drums and drumming usually crawls into the conversation. Veteran drummer John Lewis and Ricardo met in a coffee shop in Scottsdale, AZ and talked percussion, the importance of reading music, respecting your fellow musicians and music in general.

John shares his experiences and knowledge of music in this episode. Note: On location sessions usually have background sounds. This episode has customers ordering and drinking coffee, conversations and emergency vehicles driving by. Just how we like it. Real.

John Lewis is a much in demand musician who has been drumming since age nine. He has recorded and toured with Melissa Manchester, Willie Nelson, The 5th Dimension, The Judds, Natalie Cole, Gary Puckett, Rick Braun, Michael McDonald, M.C. Ren, Gloria Trevi and tons more artists. Among his other projects include jingles, film and television recordings for Toyota, Pioneer stereos, Beverly Hills 90210, Melrose Place, and Disney shows.
John’s extensive experience in all genres, touring and studio work gives him the knowledge to offer advise to all musicians no matter their level of talent or experience. John is endorsed by DW Drums, Zidjian cymbals, Pro-Mark sticks, Rhythm Tech and Aquarian drum heads.

SHOW NOTES:

  • John’s roots and musical education
  • Electric drums & triggers
  • The importance of Networking & “Social” media for musicians
  • The importance of studying and reading music (MAIN TAKEAWAY #1)
  • Playing “musically”
  • How to keep working as a musician (Always keep learning)
  • What you need to know as a musician starting out (Hint: Be responsible!)
  • The chemistry of being a touring musician
  • Why music is like being a doctor (Make ’em feel good!)
  • Click tracks and sampling
  • Working with other percussionists (Stay in your lane!)
  • RAPID FIRE!
  • (including commentary on Steve Gadd, Dave Weckl, Chris Coleman and Jeff Porcaro & Toto)
  • Most memorable musical moment
  • Most disappointing gig
  • John’s “A-Ha” drum moment
  • The ultimate Jeff Porcaro tip if your snare drum head breaks
  • A song that John relentlessly practiced until he got it down
  • Favorite drummer per genre ( And a quick Google search…)
  • Future
  • An artist deserving more recognition (with John’s take on “Exposure”)
  • Gavin Harrison & Simon Phillips
  • “Some of the best stuff is hidden deep in the record”
  • PUT. DOWN. YOUR. CELLPHONE!!!!
  • The Pay, The Music , The Hang (Enjoy playing!)

More on John through his website

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