It’s been about two decades since Shane Endsley left the University of Colorado and his home state to attend the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. After graduating from there, he spent most of his time living in New York City, but now the musician is moving back home to teach at Metropolitan State University’s Jazz and American Improvised Music program, according to the Denver news source Westword.com.
The trumpeter hasn’t done much in the time in between, aside from co-founding the Grammy-nominated group, Kneebody, touring with Ani DiFranco, and performing with various other notable jazz artists like Steve Coleman, Ravi Coltrane, and David Murray. Oh, and he also once sat in with the legendary rock band Pearl Jam.
The main reason it took him so long to finally move back home was not because of any kind of aversion to Colorado, but rather the uncertainty of leaving arguably the best place in the world for his profession. The city life is essential to virtually every musician, and there’s really no bigger than the Big Apple.
“It felt like, ‘Well, I can’t leave here,” Endsley says. “But then all of a sudden I said, ‘Look, I could totally leave here.’ I could just leave here and have a great life in Denver. There are all these great musicians. This would be cool. And then New York’s not going anywhere. I’ll go back there and just be there to play and enjoy the city instead of kind of battle against it.”
The average American moves about 12 times in a lifetime. In one survey, family-related reasons were the second most common reason to move between 2012 and 2013, with 30.3% of survey respondents saying so. Certainly his roots being from the Denver-area played a large part in Endsley filling boxes and packing supplies and moving back home.
One of the other reasons is his desire to work on a new project, the Rugged Road, with a couple of musicians also in the area. While Kneebody took a more technical approach, Rugged Road aims to be more emotional and draw off of musicians from the 1960s and ’70s like Neil Young, Nick Drake, and Joni Mitchell.
“I want to get back to that thing where I’m really more singing through the horn,” Endsley said. “You know, singing a song through the horn, kind of telling a more lyrical, emotional story than a technical one.”