Gregory's Open Road

GREGORY CARROLL

CEO
American Jazz Museum

“A real job that is a successful job for someone is a job that's driven by their passion and their love.”

INTERESTS:

Music Non-Profit Organizations

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Negativity Passion Character Desire Experience Focus Individualism Inspiration Opportunity Perseverance Pressure Success Struggle Talent Support & Encouragement

FOUNDATION:

Being Creative

BIOGRAPHY:

  • Growing up, his dad and friends were always listening to jazz out on the porch; Gregory was allowed to hang out with them one day.
  • First artists he heard were Ella Fitzgerald and Lionel Hampton; thought, "I want to play that instrument Lionel Hampton is playing."
  • Got a little keyboard and picked up the Lionel Hampton tune by ear; his parents realized he had to develop this talent.
  • Took piano lessons for free through public school; teacher introduced him to the vibraphone, which he recognized as Lionel Hampton's instrument.
  • Was working at a fast food restaurant in high school; quit, vowed it was the last time he'd ask, "Do you want fries with that?"
  • When he was teaching music, he was disheartened by parents telling talented kids, "You have to get a real job," felt that belittled his career.
  • Struggled with the idea that he wouldn't be a famous musician, eventually got over it, realized he'd be happy as an executive, a teacher, anything in music.
  • Says that at some point, you may realize, "getting it all may never be achievable...and that's okay!"

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