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Jazz

How to Pitch a Story About a Virtuoso Jazz Violinist to D Magazine

Keep it short and to the point, and tell me something I didn't know. (Attaching a good photo helps.)
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Scott Tixier prepares for a pandemic performance. Briscoe Burnett

We editors get pitched story ideas from writers and publicists all the time. But you’d be surprised at how ineffective most of the pitches are. They are long-winded. Or they contain next to no information. Or they include links and attachments without any sort of enticing summary about what might be found there. Nobody’s got time for that.

And then, every once in a while, we get a pitch delivered on our doorstep prettily wrapped and tied with a bow. The one that makes you go, “I want to know more about that guy.”

Dallas-based author Alex Temblador sent me one such pitch at the end of last year. It started like this:

“Sometimes the most talented of people are hidden right under your nose — that’s the case with Scott Tixier. Born in France, Tixier is a Grammy Award-winning jazz violinist who teaches at UNT’s renowned jazz program.” She want on to (briefly) note that he has performed with the likes of Stevie Wonder and John Legend, has contributed to the soundtracks of The Lion King and John Wick, and has performed in house bands on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon and America’s Got Talent.

She closed with: “I’d like to guide the conversation toward a few points that are timely right now — like how he continues to record during a pandemic, his perspective as a Frenchman on the DFW music scene, and what it’s like to be a successful Black man in the classical music industry, which is still not as diverse as it could be (his perspective as a young Black man in America during the Black Lives Matter resurgence could be an interesting take, too!).”

She didn’t even have to mention that he looks like a young Lenny Kravitz, has an identical twin jazz pianist brother, and is related to royalty. I was in. You can read her resulting profile here. It’s online today.

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