Where Music Comes From, According to Kurt Bestor


On today’s episode, I sit down for a few drinks with composer, pianist, and trumpet player Kurt Bestor. This episode has been a long time in the making.  I mean, Kurt and I have been talking about getting together over mixology and mics for a long time, and life just kept on happening – but it goes further back, for me.

During my LDS Mission to Philadelphia, we were under very strict rules of conduct. Some were obvious: no dating, no rowdy conduct… others less obvious: Be in bed by 10:30pm. Pray before any kind of traveling. Only listen to approved music.

This was the hard one for me. Music is my LIFE! It was my salvation growing up as a kid. My favorite band in the world, RUSH, wrote songs about philosophy and intellectual topics that made me a better person – and yet – I was not allowed to listen to them. We were given a short list of parameters of music we could listen to. Instrumental piano music was one of them. Despite my dedication to the cause, I still needed something in my life besides the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  Kurt’s records became some of my favorites.

If only I could go back in time and find the 20 yr old version of me on the streets of Philadelphia, and tell him that 20 years later, I’d be sitting in a cozy tavern, drinking beer with Kurt Bestor and interviewing him for my show…  Nah. It’s pointless. 20 year old me would have blown off the 40 yr old me as some crazy cracked out conspiracy theorist nut job.

In today’s interview, we find Bestor in preparation for his upcoming Christmas production that he’s famous for in SLC. True to a  jazz theme that pops up part way through the interview – thought I knew what I wanted to talk with Kurt about, and the conversation took on a life of it’s own and became far better than I had planned for.  Kurt is an understated, affable dude with an musical palate that spans several continents.

To all you creatives out there – I hope you find something in this conversation that inspires you to take the next step in creating your next big piece of work. I certainly did.


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