years as a leader in software development
years as a leader in the performing arts
With over twenty-six years as a leader in software development and over ten years as a jazz musician, conductor, and bandleader, Adrian Cho has a unique perspective on leadership, collaboration, innovation and agility gained from managing two successful parallel careers and combining them into a third pursuit.
In software development, Adrian has extensive experience leading both small and large-scale, global, agile projects from concept to delivery. As part of IBM’s Cloud team Adrian is currently helping to deliver cloud services to offer capabilities to hybrid cloud developers across the BizDevOps pipeline, integrating with IBM’s Bluemix, Softlayer, and DevOps services, and other non-IBM and open source tools.
In previous roles in IBM’s Cloud and Smarter Infrastructure brand, Adrian helped deliver SaaS offerings of IBM service management products at the Service Engage portal while also leading a cross-organization project to deliver Collaborative Operations, a collaborative solution that integrates IBM and third-party service management solutions across the hybrid cloud. In previous roles in IBM’s Rational brand he was an evangelist for Continuous Delivery and DevOps; he led a strategic initiative across IBM software group brands to improve online engagement with developers; he managed a complex, globally distributed, agile software development project coordinating contributions from over four hundred people at twenty-five locations in ten countries; and, he managed intellectual property for IBM’s open source, Eclipse, and open commercial development, Jazz, initiatives, helping to establish new approaches to both open source and commercial software development.
A band leader and innovative artistic collaborator, he performs as a bassist and conductor, and is the founder and artistic director of the Ottawa Jazz Orchestra, a unique, critically acclaimed symphonic jazz ensemble that brings together an impressive array of professional jazz and symphony musicians. He works frequently as a bandleader, bassist, arranger, and teacher of jazz history, presenting concerts at Canada’s National Arts Centre and teaching at Carleton University. Alex Hutchinson of the Ottawa Citizen labelled Adrian “a cool guide to hot jazz” while Doug Fischer, also of the Ottawa Citizen, referred to him as “a musical missionary.” As a presenter and teacher his educational outreach efforts and teaching have earned rave reviews. John Kelman of All About Jazz wrote that “Cho’s intentions were clearly to educate as much as entertain, and he succeeded on both fronts.”
Combining his experiences in arts and business, Adrian developed The Jazz Process, an execution-oriented framework for collaboration, innovation, and agility that can help teams in any domain improve their performance. Adrian speaks and blogs about high-performance teamwork on a regular basis. His book, The Jazz Process: Collaboration, Innovation and Agility, published by Addison-Wesley in 2010, has been endorsed by a diverse collection of thought leaders. Reviewers have praised the book as “a huge payback for the time invested in reading it,” “a deep exploration of collaborative know-how,” “a concept of leadership and teamwork that’s well suited for the Google-age workplace” and “a top pick for any business collection!”
born in Sydney, Australia
living in Ottawa, Canada
working across the globe
Organizations which design systems are constrained to produce designs which are copies of the communication structures of these organizations.Melvin Conway
Adrian has worked in the software development industry for over twenty-five years. As a software development leader at IBM he has helped to lead some of the company’s most important initiatives, managing complex, globally-distributed, agile projects with as many as four hundred people working at twenty-five locations in ten countries. He has deep knowledge and extensive experience in collaborative software development tools, development communities, open development, and cloud delivery. The projects he has been involved in as a leader include:
- ENVY/Developer, a Smalltalk-based multi-user configuration management and version control system that was way ahead of its time
- VisualAge for Java, IBM’s award-winning Java Integrated Development Environment (IDE)
- Eclipse including the award-winning Eclipse IDE, Java Development Tooling, and many of the core Eclipse projects
- IBM’s Jazz platform and products including Rational Team Concert and IBM’s Collaborative Lifecycle Management solution
- IBM’s developerWorks developer network
- IBM’s Service Engage portal for SaaS delivery of IBM’s service management products
- IBM’s Collaborative Operations solution for integrating IBM and third-party service management solutions across the hybrid cloud
Before joining IBM through an acquisition Adrian worked as an independent consultant. During this time he built banking and financial trading systems for commercial banks in Australia and worked on research and development projects for a number of companies including Fujitsu and IBM.
For a more detailed résumé, see Adrian’s LinkedIn profile.
I’ve worked with Adrian for the last two years as he has led the development of Rational Team Concert to its successful release. Rational Team Concert is a very large, complex product with contributions from product teams across the globe — several locations in US and Canada, Europe, India, China. A key reason for the project’s success was Adrian’s attention to detail. Everyone on the project always knew the overall status of the project and which items required attention. Adrian was very hands-on, with intimate knowledge of how to build, deploy, and test the project. Adrian had personal relationships with all of the key contributors and made sure that the appropriate people were focused on resolving any blocking issues that came up throughout the course of the project. Adrian has a rare combination of project management skills along with intimate knowledge of what makes software development projects successful. For me, working with Adrian was both a learning experience and a pleasure.Peter Steinfeld
I have had the pleasure over the last couple of years of working as a team lead with Adrian as the development manager of Rational Team Concert. His job is one of the most difficult and challenging I’ve ever seen, coordinating the activities of development teams distributed around the world in different time zones to ship a single (and complex!) product, while also interacting with supporting groups and keeping at bay the bureaucracy inevitable in large organizations. Adrian has managed repeated successful, on-time product releases, handling all with grace, practicality, extreme dedication, open communications and an unfailing good humor. He is an extraordinary leader with a real understanding of what makes projects successful and what can derail them, a manager who easily gains the trust of those working with him by showing a deep commitment and concern not only for the product deliverables but also for the people who work on them. I am honored to continue to work with Adrian and hope to do so again in the future.Carol Yutkowitz
I’ve had the absolute pleasure of working with Adrian on the Collaborative Lifecycle Management and Rational Team Concert projects this past year. Both very large and complex projects with high visibility and high pressure. Yet through all the challenges, Adrian’s drive and passion, coupled with his calm demeanor and unwavering attention to process, kept the project focused and moving in the right direction. He practices what he preaches, and then backs it up with results. He has very strong and well-rounded leadership skills. He cares about the project, but also about the team. He earned my respect and trust almost immediately.Abe Batthish
I have worked for Adrian for the better part of 2014 and I can say without a doubt I have become a better employee because of him. Adrian has a unique ability to cut through the corporate chaos and focus only on what needs to get done. Adrian’s organizational skills and leadership allows his teams to excel and to be empowered to deliver truly exceptional results.
It has been a true pleasure working with Adrian.Mike McKay
I worked for Adrian until recently for almost 4+ years. He is one the best managers I had ever worked for, and I have very high respect for him. Adrian empowers his team to do the right thing, and help remove roadblocks for his team. He is also one of the most hard working person I have known. He always puts team interest ahead of individual needs, and builds significant trust with his team. He strongly believes and always tell us not to be afraid of challenging a process if it does not bring consistency or optimization in our execution. I have learned a lot from him and thankful for all his coaching. It has been a great pleasure and enjoyable experience working for Adrian.Sreedhar Rella
In the past year, I had the pleasure of working with Adrian on the Collaborative Lifecycle Management (CLM) project at IBM Rational. Adrian is one of only a handful of people I know who can deliver a project with such complexity. With drive, passion, integrity and tenacity, he gives his 200% everyday for the business. His motivation to deliver excellence is extremely contagious. I only have great respect for Adrian.Mathieu Lapensee
Adrian is one of the few individuals I know that can put a strategy into execution. He is persistent, tenacious and patient in achieving the strategic goals for the business. He has an amazing work ethic and is available to answer questions whether technical or non technical at any time. I have had the pleasure of working with Adrian as a team mate for the last 4 years (over this time we have switched roles in the team) and it has been an honor to work with someone like him. Adrian has the innate capability to look at a complex issues and try to figure out the small wins that can be achieved and usually with that attitude he ends up surmounting over all issue. It has been a great experience to part of the same team as Adrian.Kartik Kanakasabesan
I’ve been working with Adrian for a couple of years now through the RTC v2 and v3 releases. Adrian has been responsible for pulling together a very large number of people grouped into 20 odd teams who are scattered world wide. Over the last 2 years Adrian has proven himself more than capable of being able to comprehend from a technical and managerial aspect what these teams are working on, their current state and being able to react as necessary to keep these teams moving forward and delivering a product to the market. This product is extremely complex and having someone you can trust to keep it all straight and help lead in the right direction is a must to be successful. Adrian, in my opinion, has proved himself such a leader.Guy Slade
I have had the pleasure of working with Adrian at IBM for 11 years on the Eclipse Project and on Rational Team Concert. I believe these projects owe much of their success to Adrian’s attention to detail and commitment to delivering on the complex issues of meeting challenging business requirements, ensuring intellectual property due diligence, and fostering the maturing and talent of a large globally distributed team. With Adrian as my manager, my priorities were clear, I was empowered to lead and could work with efficiency, focus and creativity. He facilitated discussion across and within organizations to establish common goals and collaboration. I have Adrian to thank for much of my professional growth, through his understanding of my interests, his trust, and his support over the years. Adrian is a role model in many areas. A technological leader, an engaging speaker, a talented musician, Adrian creates ease with his good humor and positivity. He makes great things happen.Sonia Dimitrov
Adrian Cho is the most persistent and patient technical leader I’ve ever worked with. His ability to understand complex projects of a global nature is remarkable and to clearly explain these difficult projects is a rare gift. His confidence and competence are immediately obvious and creates an environment where people want to work with him to produce great results. His passion is obvious.
I have learned more about leading a well-managed software development project working with Adrian in the last 6 months than I have in the last 2 years. His commitment to transparency, efficiency and practicality is something all projects need more of.
He is concerned for those who work with him, quick to identify talent and takes the time to find the right role for the individual and is always available to mentor and provide constructive feedback.Chuck Brant
I apply jazz to almost everything I do. Today’s world, especially the one in which modern businesses exist, is subject to constant change, confusion and chaos. The best way to be resilient and agile is to continuously innovate, improvise and iterate.Adrian Cho
Cho’s intentions were clearly to educate as much as entertain, and he succeeded on both fronts.John Kelman
Is it time that we start referring to Adrian as the Wynton Marsalis of Ottawa?Peter Hum
A musical missionary, Adrian Cho always seems to have his fingers in a dozen pies. This spring alone, the Ottawa jazz bassist and bandleader premiered a bass and piano work written by composer Eldon Rathburn, recorded a solo bass soundtrack for a dance film, will perform Jewish Sephardic folk music, improvise on the bass for a dance show, play at a wine-tasting dinner and present jazz vespers in a Lutheran church. That’s not a complete list. It does not include the activity for which Cho is best known — leading the Impressions in Jazz Orchestra (IJO), an ambitious repertory ensemble he founded in 2005 to perform a broad range of what he calls “jazz-centric music,” taken from sources as far back as the 1850s up to the present day.Doug Fischer
There is only one Wynton Marsalis, but Ottawa may have lucked out with its own individualist, Adrian Cho… Cho himself has more than little of the evangelist in him… It’s not hard to imagine him in a boardroom persuading business executives to let a little jazz into their deal-making, to feel the beat and let it carry them into more exhilarating commerce… One of Cho’s convictions is that jazz is humanizing, not only for business people. To that end, he believes in guiding his audiences towards deeper appreciation…Jack Chambers
His work is always well received. His aims and ideals are high and he consistently achieves them.Scott Florence
Adrian is both a visionary and true collaborator.Molly Lyons
A band leader and innovative artistic collaborator, Adrian performs as a bassist and conductor and is the founder and artistic director of the Ottawa Jazz Orchestra, a unique, critically acclaimed symphonic jazz ensemble that brings together an impressive array of professional jazz and symphony musicians. Under his leadership the orchestra has presented over thirty major concerts and premiered over ten seminal jazz works in the past seven years. Adrian performs regularly in the Ottawa area and travels throughout North America performing and speaking about jazz.
I was MOST impressed with the fabulous musicianship and of course your innovative ideas and leadership throughout. I truly think that you are a gifted teacherSandy Faux
He cares deeply about bringing jazz to the people, and seeks to entertain his audiences. He also cares a lot about the history of jazz, and educating the public about the range of jazz music. His energy and enthusiasm carry the message in an engaging way, and many audience members have told me that they enjoyed learning about the pieces they were about to hear because it greatly enhanced their listening experience. Adrian’s also one of the few organizers I’ve worked with who seems to excel both in preparing a large-scale event, and also in adapting to new developments with creativity and a smile.Byron Alley
I have always been struck by his innovativeness and deep commitment to excellence. Adrian regularly produces one-of-a-kind productions using only the top local talent and does so with the flair of a natural-born leader.Bryn Morin
Jazz is the ideal model for modern leadership.Adrian Cho
Adrian writes frequently about collaboration, agility, innovation, software development, jazz and the parallels between the worlds of business and the performing arts. His book, The Jazz Process: Collaboration, Innovation and Agility, published by Addison-Wesley in 2010, is a treatise on collaboration, innovation, and agility that can help teams in any domain improve their performance. The book has been endorsed by a diverse collection of thought leaders and praised by reviewers. Here are some other short forms of Adrian’s writing:
An insider’s guide to translating the creative techniques of jazz to the business world.Scott Berkun
The 14 fundamental principles found in this book are essential to any collaborative venture. Cho lays out a clear path to achieving elegant teamwork, goal-oriented project completion, and winning results.John Goldsby
Jazz demands cooperation, enterprise, creativity, measured risk, and so much more—and so does business. Adrian’s book is an entertaining guide for importing the jazz process into the world of business.Jack Chambers
This book has an important message: Effective collaborations are like jazz improvisations. Jazz succeeds because the group shares just the right kind of rules and structures; business teams also need to improvise within the right kind of structure. Cho has years of experience playing jazz and working in business teams, and in this book he applies this experience to analyze the ways that effective business teams balance structure and freedom.Dr. R. Keith Sawyer
In the Jazz Process, Adrian Cho weaves some unusual and interesting four-part harmony between jazz, business, sport, and information technology around an important theme… teamwork.Dr. Saul L. Miller
Adrian Cho’s insight into high-performance teams is drawn from his personal experiences in music, business and software engineering. Within the Eclipse community we have seen many of these ideas in action and they work. I highly recommend the Jazz Process to anyone seeking to learn how to build agile, effective teams—regardless of your field of endeavour.Mike Milinkovich
The Jazz Process will open your eyes to a different way of thinking about teams, business, and software development. It’s a huge payback for the time invested in reading it.Bill Wagner
Aside from appreciating the base metaphor, I also like the content a lot. It includes a number of insights that are common (hire good performers, enable them to lead as needed, watch the health of the team) and some that are not. The discussion of feedback loops and “hunting” is particularly rare. Even rarer, it discusses the good and bad points of its advice, instead of merely advocating One True Way.Elizabeth Zwicky
Teaches how to collaborate more effectively both within the team and with customers and outside interests. A top pick for any business collection!Midwest Book Review
The Jazz Process provides a very engaging discussion of innovation and innovation processes. Cho provides ample discussion of jazz to support his arguments and provides nine pages of excellent references for further examination. Cho’s examination of innovation and collaboration through the lens of music offers an interesting view of collaboration and creativity in innovation processes.Seetharam C. Deevi
I found the book useful because it made me more aware of how to be a good team member. For people who want to improve the performance of a team, this book may be particularly helpful. There is a lot to take in in this book, which is a credit to Cho’s experience and dedication to the Jazz Process which he has elaborated. Furthermore, as someone who works in both music and IT, it does make sense and fit in with my experience, unlike some business books I have read in the past. Overall it is very good.Jennifer Griffiths
A deep exploration of collaborative know-how…a concept of leadership and teamwork that’s well suited for the Google-age workplace. getAbstract recommends this innovative book to human resources professionals, executives and managers needing new harmonies, and employees who know they could make a better contribution if only someone would let them play a solo.Robert Dobelli
Both books on innovation address the subject passionately and informatively. The Jazz Process is about team building and collaboration; Innovate the Future is about targeting a market segment and implementing a product successfully. They are vastly different applications of innovation, but could be attractive to someone who is looking for that particular innovative niche.Carolyn Rodd Lincoln
It was with much joy that I jumped into Adrian Cho’s The Jazz Process and bought into his illustrative mental model for better understanding how collaborative performances should occur with diverse talent. As a management consultant and executive leadership coach, I have been able to expand my tool kit and framework through Cho’s fine work. What makes this book incredibly useful is Cho’s journalistic approach to expanding his solid credentials in the agile development space with in-depth stories concerning special moments in jazz history or professional basketball championships.Rodolfo F. Engmann
I really enjoy reading this book that propose a deep and interesting perspective on the team dimension of software development with multiple references to the jazz and sports domains…The flow of the book is very good, making it enjoyable to read and a recapitulation at the end of each chapter points out the main ideas conveyed in the text. I will recommend this book to every people involved in software development, especially at the management level. It is full of interesting thoughts on the topic that you will enjoy even more if you are in addition fan of jazz and sport.Franco Martinig
“Adrian was very sensitive to the differing knowledge and understanding levels of the students. He managed to hit the right level without talking down to those who knew a lot, or overwhelming those who knew a little. His breadth of knowledge is astonishing, and the fact that he plays jazz as well as teaching courses on jazz history enriches the course.”
“The instructor explained things clearly, answered all questions, played wonderful Jazz, gave great handouts and really understood his material. All together it was a wonderful course.”
“He brought in musicians to play with him one class and we had a wonderful performance….with commentary from Adrian, and lots of Q&A time. Along with lots of knowledge he has a lovely humour, much appreciated.”
“Adrian’s love of Jazz was contagious. We all raved about the content, his choices of music; the live concert with his friends. Every week was a highlight. Can’t say enough ‐ Adrian gave so much, taught so much and my appreciation of the complexity and fun of Jazz has been greatly expanded. Hope he will be on the roster next year! Thank you.”
“Presented a very good introduction to jazz for someone new to the genre. Adrian was very engaging, had a great sense of humour and was very passionate about the subject.”
“The instructor was very good, an excellent teacher. All classes were interesting and they have encouraged me to learn more. Especially enjoyed the live performance in class. I really looked forward to the class and now that it has ended, will miss such an enjoyable and informative way to spend my Friday afternoons.”
“This was a wonderful course; content, instructor, format were all excellent. The instructor was always well prepared, informative, interesting and made the subject matter come to life. He obviously has a passion for the subject and his enthusiasm came through at all times. He has a knack for engaging the class and gave us the opportunity to participate without any of the participants taking over the conversation, which is a talent in itself! I hope a PART TWO will be considered next term.”
“Not only would I take a different course with the same instructor, but also I would take the same course with the same instructor again. He has so much material to give, I’m sure I would get even more out of it taking it again.”
“The History of Jazz with Adrian Cho was a superb lecture series. He was engaging, extremely knowledgeable about the subject and very open to everyone in the class, encouraging participation through questions. He is a very modest, yet confident musician and music historian. It is one of the best classes that I have ever taken.”
“This was definitely the best of the LinR series I’ve attended so far. All four have been good, but this was outstanding.”
“A great lecture series. I’ve recommended it to all my friends.”
“Adrian Cho is extremely knowledgeable in the concepts, structure and evolution of jazz and has a gift in sharing his knowledge in a very engaging manner. A wonderful lecture series.”
“Extremely interesting lecturer – very knowledgeable, organized and relaxed. Loved the live music class.”
“The knowledge of the lecturer was superb and ability to teach excellent. It was a wonderful experience as I learned a lot and will continue to explore the area.”
“Awesome…. Adrian Cho is a wonderful teacher.”
“Extremely knowledgeable and organized lecturer.”
“Every aspect of this series was stimulating. The lecturer’s mastery of and passion for the subject were evident. I feel fortunate to have participated.”
“Adrian provided a very interesting overview of many genres of jazz. He is very passionate about music.”
“I was most satisfied with the lecturer’s ability to communicate and demonstrate his subject matter, both in general and in detail. Adrian Cho has both a wide-ranging knowledge of jazz in its many varieties, and the musical skills and experience to demonstrate specific aspects of individual styles and compositions.”
“I was impressed with Adrian’s passion for the material. Very knowledgeable lecturer and engaging way of presenting information.”
“Loved the lecture series!”
“A really worthwhile learning experience!”
“I learned so much and came away from each class enthused and energized. Came home and listened to more jazz and bought lots of music from iTunes to add to our collection. Loved the class format. Best class ever!”
“I really enjoyed the lecturer. He was super knowledgeable and passionate about the subject.”
“He kept our interest all of the time. Extremely well spoken and good content.”
“Adrian was an enthusiastic lecturer. I enjoyed listening to the tracks.”
“I thought this lecture series and, in particular, Adrian Cho was excellent. I always looked forward to attending every week. I feel I learned a huge amount about jazz in just six weeks and can now move ahead on my own with a good appreciation of what is involved. I would love to have him teach another jazz class perhaps more in-depth in a specific area (e.g. jazz singers) or with a specific artist (e.g. Miles Davis). I would urge you to ask Adrian if he would do so. Many thanks for organizing this lecture series.”
“Adrian is an excellent communicator – very knowledgeable, very articulate, lively and good sense of humour. I learned a great deal about jazz and how jazz musicians play within their groups.”
“Mr. Cho’s presentation style is friendly and humorous and he really knows his subject. He played well-selected music to illustrate various jazz styles.”
“Adrian was very good at keeping us on track with the large volume of material to be covered in the limited time available.”
“I enjoyed Adrian’s pacing, style and sense of humour.”
“Excellent lecturer, well prepared, deep knowledge.”
“Adrian is very personable and genuine, and very talented and knowledgeable. It’s a wonderful opportunity for people to be able to partake in his class, and I feel lucky and grateful that he has decided to offer them to us.”
“The lecturer was knowledgeable, talented and personable. I thoroughly enjoyed the live music performance by his jazz group. This was a special treat.”
Adrian loves to teach and is frequently requested as a keynote speaker at conferences, corporate events and universities. He speaks about jazz history and performance, corporate agility, personal productivity, team collaboration and software development.
“I learned a tremendous amount about how to listen to jazz, and the underlying rhythmic form of different jazz styles.”
“Adrian had the ability to convey important material in an interesting and lively manner.”
“Very knowledgeable and engaging lecturer; lots of fun.”
“The instructor’s knowledge of the subject matter was extensive and his ability to apply his real life experience to the subject matter made for a most enjoyable class. He accommodated all questions with respect. The live presentation was a key experience. Adrian’s ability to communicate so effectively is a real asset. I hope you will consider offering another lecture by the same lecturer. I liked the loose, non-linear structure of the course especially in the context of the subject matter. Very cool course! I would even consider taking it again!”
“Adrian is an amazing teacher and very knowledgeable about all aspects of Jazz. I would be really keen on taking a more advanced class with him.”
“Best course I’ve taken. Adrian was knowledgeable, pleasant, and had a love of his material and a lot of knowledge. I learned a lot.”
“Instructor’s friendly, conversational style of presentation with the right balance of “technical” info and anecdotal background comments, plus samples of jazz material from various artists. It was a large group for this kind of subject, but it was handled extremely well.”
“Excellent teacher, wonderful music, interesting information.”
“The instructor was very, very knowledgeable about the subject matter and presented the course in a very engaging and personable manner.”
“Virtuoso teaching performance by Adrian Cho. Bravo!”
“Everything about the course was fantastic. I do not have a musical background so this was extremely instructive but not overwhelming.”
“The instructor was fantastic! Total command of his subject, excellent presentation, amazing music collection to demonstrate what he was talking about. He and a colleague also demonstrated on their own musical instruments.”
“The instructor’s thorough knowledge and ability to bring an inside musician’s perspective to the material.”
“How well prepared Adrian was with the music and his knowledge of jazz and its history.”
“Adrian’s knowledge is phenomenal and his suggestions of what to buy were useful.”
“Adrian’s knowledge and his presentation of the course. It was excellent and he made the class interesting, informative, and fun.”
“The professional approach to teaching, the in depth knowledge of the instructor, the pace was perfect; everything about this course was wonderful. Adrian as a musician knows how to reach his audience, as a teacher he is also spot‐on!”
“Adrian Cho’s ability to present the course in a manner that was informative, engaging, based on expert knowledge, etc.”
“A superb course. The lecturer was knowledgeable, well organized and a fine musician. I learned a lot.”
“I have already recommended the course to my wife. If there was a continuation of the course, I would take it. It was excellent.”
“This class was full. I would take a Part 2 on the history of jazz if it was offered and I’m sure a lot of people feel the same.”
“Our instructor, Adrian Cho, provided interesting lectures and material, e.g. text and A/V notes, live music with a guest artist and recorded music. I feel it was a very pleasant way to spend a Friday afternoon.”
“More courses with this caliber of lecturer please.”
“Course was well prepared and interestingly delivered.”
“Excellent course, most enjoyable and illuminating.”
“His sense of humour, his love of music, and his wide experience were all incredible pluses to the whole experience.”
“Adrian is an excellent lecturer: Well-organized, extremely knowledgeable and approachable. His handouts are superb and using one class for a performance was brilliant.”
“Adrian Cho has an engaging personality, and a very nice style, and his enthusiasm for his subject is hard to resist. As well as the historical context that Adrian’s lecture addressed, he provided us with the musical theory and practical aspects of jazz, which was a great bonus.”
“Adrian Cho was very informative and easy to understand. I appreciated his easy, pleasant style.”
“Adrian Cho is a fantastic lecturer – very knowledgeable and great presenter. Hope he will do more!”
“Adrian Cho was articulate and well prepared. A delightful lecture series.”
Collaboration, Innovation, and Agility in the Jazz Age
Tools of the Trade
People often ask me how I work so this is a little section on some of the essential tools that are part of my daily ways of working.
My main machine is a MacBook Pro Retina 13. On my desk it’s attached to a Landing Zone DOCK with almost every single port used. The essential part of this is that I drive two external monitors for a total of three displays. The centre display runs 2560 x 1400 in landscape and the display on the right runs 1080 x 1920 in portrait mode. I have my MacBook situated on my left and it is typically running the internal display at 1920 x 1200. The dock is fantastic as it makes it really easy to go mobile with my MacBook and then just re-attach everything again when I return.
For software I rely a lot on Microsoft Office, Slack for collaboration, and Unibox for personal e-mail. The rest of my software development toolset changes constantly depending on the project. For music I use Sibelius for music composition and arranging. I’ve used Sibelius since 1.0 and swear by it. I also rely a great deal on Google Play Music for both listening to tracks and researching. In fact I no longer own any CDs or records.
I use a standing desk although I try to change my work position throughout the day. I don’t have an adjustable height desk but I will often move to a sitting desk or sit on a sofa to change things up. Sometimes I’ll also sit on a fitness ball. People think standing desks are expensive but I put my desk together using just a tabletop and adjustable height legs all from IKEA for less than $100 and it works just fine.
When I’m mobile I am very reliant on my Samsung Galaxy Note 4. I often carry two Bluetooth headsets with me at all times and this super handy folding Bluetooth keyboard that fits in my pocket just in case I need to input a lot of text in e-mail or online chat. A non-essential tool but one I find really handy is my Moto 360 smartwatch. It’s great for dealing with notifications without having to reach for the phone all the time. On that note: I use Pushbullet to push specific notifications from my phone to my desktop.
Around the office or home I am often using my iPad Air 2 which I have teamed with a Logitech Type+ bluetooth keyboard. The iPad Air 2 has quite a lot of computing power for a tablet and the Type+ lets me use it as a laptop equivalent for many basic tasks including browsing, messaging, chat and calls.
I keep a “go bag” packed and ready to go. My trusty Everki Versa is great for toting everything I need around town or when I’m traveling through airports. I typically just throw my MacBook in there and I’m ready to go since I keep the bag full of chargers and other essential gear.
My main axe is a Shen Gemunder 7/8 willow flatback with a C extension. I currently have Innovation 140B strings on the top three strings. These are a steel string with nylon braided cores. I’m using a Pirastro Permanent on the bottom. I have been waiting a while to get a C extension 140B but the combination is working just fine. I’ve used all kinds of gut and gut-like strings in the past and I’m finding these strings to be great for all kinds of music without the tuning and breakage concerns that I’ve had in the past with natural core strings.
For sound reinforcement I’m using a Fishman Full Circle and a Fishman Platinum Pro-EQ Acoustic preamp going into a Mackie DLM-8 P.A. I’ve used all kinds of mics and other specialized bass heads and cabs in the past and this gear works just fine and there’s very little setup or fiddling around. The Mackie is not even a bass amp and only goes down to 65 Hz but it’s entirely sufficient for double bass amplification. You don’t want the sound booming at the very bottom as it’s totally unnatural. The bonus is that when I’m doing a duo gig with my wife, she can plug into the Mackie too and we just have one speaker to deal with.