Frequently Asked Questions
Why do you play the ukulele and how long have you been playing?
I was given a ukulele in 2003 and decided it might be a good idea to really learn it. I bought a beginner ukulele book and immediately was inspired by it's sweet tone and rhythmic potential. I practiced at home, but never played it publicly. One day my mom suggested that I play it at my shows (which I played the guitar). After giving every excuse in the book of why I shouldn't, she then bought me a uke (with a pick-up for amplification) and there was nothing else I could say. I began permorming 2 - 3 ukulele songs during my set. From the first strum, the room would lighten up and everyone was smiling. Eventually, people started asking about a ukulele album. I recorded my first uke album in 2005: Victoria Vox and her Jumping Flea.
What is the Mouth-Trumpet?
The Mouth Trumpet is a vocal "instrument" in which the singer emulates the sound of a trumpet.
I started "playing" the mouth trumpet in 2005, while I was driving my car and writing the song, "My Darlin' Beau". It's a jazzy tune with room for a solo. Since I often perform SOLO, I began to think of sounds that I could possibly make that were interesting or believable. I talked myself into trying something, anything, as I was alone in the car. I happened to gently close my mouth, sing, and "blow" the note out of the corner of my mouth. I surprised myself and figured I was on to something. I played the real trumpet in high school, so I figured it might work!
I began practicing my mouth trumpet to Chet Baker, memorizing his solos and licks. When I listened to the radio, I focused on what the horns were doing. At a Mexican restaurant, I'd get lost in the trumpets and their staccato notes. My tone got better and my phrasing improved over time. In 2009, other performers started asking me to play my "mouth-trumpet" during their song (on stage) and take a "solo". That's when I knew I reached a new level of mouth-trumpeting.
I was then discovered by the producers at the Jay Leno Show. That was pretty awesome to mouth trumpet to the masses... and I got to meet John Travolta backstage :) It was quirky little talent that started getting some attention and I stuck with it.
I continued to perfom mouth trumpet during shows at the solo breaks, and also record them in studios for the album. In the recording studio, I also rediscoverd the real trumpet too. On my record KEY (2013), I played all REAL trumpet.. However, when I play those tunes live, I replace the real trumpet with my mouth trumpet.
Fast forward to 2015 when I was discovered by the Wall Street Journal! They did a GREAT article on the history of the mouth trumpet and featured me and music, as a current performer excelling at it! To this day, I love taking solos during the solo break. It's my way of improvising, using my voice, but not getting wrapped up in words. It's kind of like scatting, but cooler.