Episodes
  • Miguel Zenón: Life, Sax & Jazz

    Jan 18 2021
    One of music’s leading jazz saxophonists Miguel Zenón joins Tim talk about his journey in music and life. Miguel has been nominated multiple times for Grammy Awards and has carved a place for himself among the elite jazz saxophonists and composers of our time. https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/shapingopinion/Miguel_Zenon_II_auphonic.mp3 Miguel was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. In high school, he found himself listening to the sounds of John Coltrane, but at that point, it was just an interest, not yet a passion. He didn’t get serious about actually making a career in jazz until he went to college at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. That’s where he met drummer Bob Moses, who asked him to join him with the Either/Orchestra. This gave Miguel his first taste of professional experience as a saxophonist. He would later earn awards and grants that allowed Miguel to continue his education, earning a master’s degree in 2001 from the Manhattan School of Music in New York City. But it all goes back to when he first discovered John Coltrane and other jazz legends, and it captivated him. Links Miguel Zenón (official website) Miguel Zenón (New England Conservatory) Gratitude Our thanks to Miguel Zenón for sharing some tracks from his latest album for this episode. You find it here: About this Episode’s Guest Miguel Zenón Multiple Grammy Nominee and Guggenheim and MacArthur Fellow Miguel Zenón represents a select group of musicians who have masterfully balanced and blended the often-contradictory poles of innovation and tradition. Widely considered as one of the most groundbreaking and influential saxophonists of his generation, he has also developed a unique voice as a composer and as a conceptualist, concentrating his efforts on perfecting a fine mix between Latin American Folkloric Music and Jazz. Born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Zenón has built a distinguished career as a leader, releasing twelve albums under his own name. In addition, he has crafted his artistic identity by dividing his time equally between working with older jazz masters and the music’s younger innovators –irrespective of styles and genres. The list of musicians Zenón has toured and/or recorded with includes: The SFJAZZ Collective, Charlie Haden, Fred Hersch, Kenny Werner, David Sánchez, Danilo Pérez, The Village Vanguard Orchestra, Kurt Elling, Guillermo Klein & Los Guachos, The Jeff Ballard Trio, Antonio Sánchez, David Gilmore, Paoli Mejías, Brian Lynch, Jason Lindner, Dan Tepfer, Miles Okazaki, Dan Weiss, Ray Barreto, Andy Montañez, Jerry Gonzalez & The Fort Apache Band, The Mingus Big Band, Bobby Hutcherson and Steve Coleman. As a composer he has been commissioned by SFJAZZ, The New York State Council for the Arts, Chamber Music America, NYO JAZZ , The Logan Center for The Arts, The Hyde Park Jazz Festival, The John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, MIT, Jazz Reach, Peak Performances, PRISM Quartet and many of his peers. Zenón has been featured in articles on publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, Bloomberg Pursuits, Jazz Times, Jazziz, Boston Globe, Billboard, Jazz Inside, Newsday and Details. In addition he topped both the Jazz Artist of the Year and Alto Saxophonist of the Year categories on the 2014 Jazz Times Critics Poll and was selected as the Alto Saxophonist of the Year by the Jazz Journalist Association in 2015, 2018, 2019 and 2020 (when he was also recognized as Arranger of The Year). His biography would not be complete without discussing his role as an educator. In 2003, he was chosen by the Kennedy Center to teach and perform in West Africa as part of their Jazz Ambassador program. Since then, he has given hundreds of lectures and master classes and has taught all over the world at institutions which include:  The Banff Centre, Berklee College of Music, Siena Jazz, Universidad Veracruzana,
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    42 mins
  • The Business of Death

    Jan 11 2021
    Ed Michael Reggie joins Tim to talk about the business of death, or more to the point, how the funeral business makes its money and what you can do about it. Ed is the creator of a new website designed to take the mystery out of funeral planning and make the whole process less painful. The site is called Funeralocity.com. https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/shapingopinion/Business_of_Death_auphonic.mp3 If you’ve ever had to plan a funeral, you already know it’s a perfect storm of emotion, confusion and pain. Most often, you have to make decisions involving thousands of dollars in a short period of time. The decisions you make are permanent. They don’t get any more permanent. And yet, you have no idea what you’re doing. You don’t know how the funeral home, or the cemetery make their money. You don’t know when they’re trying to upsell you to make more from you, or when they have your best interest at heart. You’re usually in pain and grieving. The last thing you want to do is negotiate price at a time when money seems so unimportant. So, you go along. You nod your head when the funeral director points to the designer casket, the deluxe flower arrangements, and all of those mementos he says you need in order to remember your loved one. This is the business of death. And it is a business. Funeral homes get few chances to get your business, and once they do, grow that profit margin. Ed Michael Reggie has become an expert on that business as he built a website designed to take the mystery out of the funeral business so that you can navigate the process with a little less pain and confusion. Links Funeralocity.com FutureFactory National Funeral Directors Association Funeralocity.com Allows Grieving Consumers to Look at Prices and Reviews, New York Post About this Episode’s Guest Ed Michael Reggie Ed Michael Reggie is the managing director of Future Factory. He oversees the strategic direction of the company and manages its portfolio of businesses. Ed Michael is the CEO of Future Factory’s latest venture — Funeralocity.com, the first comparison website of funeral homes and cremation providers. Previously, he served as chairman of the board of another Future Factory company, GuideStar Research. He was founder and chairman of American LIFECARE, a regional managed healthcare company. He served as chief executive officer of Regent Health Systems, appointed to administer the rural hospital chain’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy. He also led Healing Arts Network, a complementary and alternative medicine company. Earlier in his career, he was a commercial bank president. Ed Michael’s passion for business drives his community and charitable efforts where he focuses on encouraging innovation, business growth and financial inclusion. He serves on the board of trustees of Grameen Foundation, a nonprofit that brings innovative and sustainable self-help programs to the fight against chronic hunger and poverty. He was a guarantor and founding board member of MCE Social Capital. He has served on the board of directors of the New Orleans BioInnovation Center, a wet lab incubator, as well as a delegate to trade missions in Rome and Hong Kong held by the Academy of International Health Studies. Ed Michael earned an MBA from Tulane University. He has been recognized for his business achievements and commitment to supporting local communities. He was lauded by Tulane University’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine with the Champion of Public Health Award in 2004 and was honored by Williston Northampton School in 2016 with the Robert A. Ward medal, the school’s highest humanitarian award.
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    31 mins
  • What They Won’t Tell You About Socialism

    Jan 4 2021
    Economist, professor and author Paul Rubin joins Tim to talk about the impact of socialism on the future, particularly among young people who tend to be the most supportive of it, but who stand to lose the most because of it. This is the focus of his new book called, “A Student’s Guide to Socialism: How it will trash your lives.” https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/shapingopinion/Socialism_Rubin_auphonic.mp3 If you want to see where socialism has been tried and failed, you don’t have to look far. Venezuela is one current-day example. The country sits on one of the world’s largest deposits of oil, yet people in that country have to wait in long lines for gas, the prices for gas are high and the quality of life is among the lowest in the world. Or, you could look toward history, from the Soviet Union, to Cuba, to countries from Eastern Europe to South America and Africa. The examples of socialist failure are many.  But if you look for examples of where socialism has been successful, you can look, but you won’t find many if any. The effects of socialism aren’t just a poor standard of living, but massive human misery, that history has shown, has led to the establishment of dictators and small rich oligarchies who rule the masses under the thumb of socialism. At the same time, the concepts of socialism have long had a certain appeal to young people and oppressed peoples. Socialism has a certain seductive quality for some. Paul Rubin has spent decades teaching young generations about basic economic principles, and has spent no small amount of time educating young people on the risks of socialism. Links A Student’s Guide to Socialism: How it will trash your lives, by Paul Rubin (Amazon) Paul Rubin, The Independent Institute How are socialism and communism different?, History.com Capitalism v. Socialism, PragerU.com About this Episode’s Guest Paul Rubin Paul H. Rubin is the Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Economics Emeritus in the Economics Department of Emory University and a former Professor of Law and Economics at the School of Law. He served as editor-in-chief of Managerial and Decision Economics. In addition, he is associated with the Mont Peleron Society, the Independent Institute, and the American Enterprise Institute, and a Fellow of the Public Choice Society and former President of the Southern Economics Association. Professor Rubin was Senior Economist at the Council of Economic Advisers under President Reagan, Chief Economist at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Director of Advertising Economics at the Federal Trade Commission, and Vice-President of Glassman-Oliver Economic Consultants, Inc., a litigation consulting firm in Washington. He has taught economics at the University of Georgia, City University of New York, VPI, and law and economics at George Washington University Law School. Professor Rubin has written or edited several books, and has published over one hundred articles and chapters on economics, law, and regulation. Much of Professor Rubin's writing is in law and economics, with a focus on tort, crime and contract issues. His areas of research interest include law and economics, industrial organization, transaction cost economics, government and business, public choice, regulation and price theory, and evolution and economics. His work has been cited in the professional literature over 11,100 times. He has consulted widely on litigation related matters, and has addressed numerous business, professional, policy and academic audiences. He has testified three times before Congress, and has served as an advisor on tort issues to the Congressional Budget Office. Professor Rubin is the author of the well-known paper "Why Is the Common Law efficient?" Journal of Legal Studies, 1977, which has been reprinted eight times, in English, Spanish and French. B.A. 1963, University of Cincinnati Ph.D., 1970, Purdue University  
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    33 mins

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