A Practical Approach: At Only 27, Bill Muter Writes the Book on Playing the Tuba | New Times Broward-Palm Beach


A Practical Approach: At Only 27, Bill Muter Writes the Book on Playing the Tuba

Anyone who has seen tuba player Bill Muter perform with eccentric local showman Mike Mineo will attest that, although Mineo is, for many, the main draw -- possessing a class A, captivating voice -- there are undoubtedly times when Muter steals the show. Muter emanates sounds out of his tuba that are otherworldly. 

During his solos, Muter somehow manages to beatbox through his enormous brass instrument. The sight and sound of someone producing rhythmic drumbeats out of a gigantic tuba leaves the crowd in awe.

Muter doesn't stop there. He also turns his instrument into a percussion tool, tapping that thing like a bass and adding another layer to the backbeat, all while not missing a bottom-register note when the duty calls. Dude is a showstopper, without question.
It should come as no surprise, then, that this Boca Raton native is a legitimate seasoned pro tuba player. He's featured on the homepage of this month's Brass Musician Magazine and performs with Tony- and Emmy-winning Broadway musical Blast! on national and international tours. 

Muter just returned from a seven-month stint with the company and will be leaving again later this month to perform in Blast! at the World's Fair in South Korea and then on to a four-month romp through Japan.

On top of all this, Muter still finds time to gig with Mineo -- performing as his tuba player for the past four years and appearing on Mineo's last two albums, Beach Season and Eccentricity. Mineo lucked out nabbing such a skilled musician as a sidekick.

Performance endeavors aside, Muter is also heavily involved in the music education scene. (When does this man rest?) Muter is an artist-in-residence at Delray Beach's Milagro Center and has just completed a tuba technique book called A Practical Approach. So, at only 27 years of age, Muter has already written the book on tuba playing. 

What's next for this tireless dynamo? Who knows -- an appearance on CBS's 60 Minutes perhaps? At this rate, he might go down as the tuba's answer to Sergei Rachmaninoff or Louis Armstrong.

Muter is throwing a virtual book launch on his website, billmuter.net, for A Practical Approach  next Thursday, May 17. Mark your calendars. There will be Twitter scavenger hunts, an interview on Blogtalkradio, and a exclusive "live" performance.

Can't wait till then to hear what this brass virtuoso is all about? You're in luck, because we just so happen to have a sample of Muter's genius. Muter and his tuba octet (arranged and produced by Mr. Muter himself) created this spastic rendition of Chicago hip-hop collective Crucial Conflict's 1996 homage to marijuana, "Hay." Regrettably, it came to us too late to be used in our 420 Chronic Cover Series mixtape, but rejoice! We still have it in its entirety for your listening pleasure. Get ready to hear the tuba played in ways you never would have imagined. That is the magic of Bill Muter.

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