Every musician has their interests away from music. For Eli Uttal-Veroff, there are two main outlets: coffee and sports.

Craft coffee bears many similarities to the pursuit of Jazz. For one, there is no finish line, it is an endless pursuit. No matter how well you make your coffee, there is always something to improve or try differently. Eli’s first exposure to great coffee was Just Coffee Cooperative in Madison, WI. During his time in Rochester, NY, Eli then discovered Joe Bean Coffee. This sparked an interest in not only interesting coffees, but also a wide variety of brew methods.

Eli now uses a three different brewing apparatuses, a Chemex, a French Press and an Aeropress. These brew methods allow endless exploration of coffee flavors and experimentation. As you might expect, this tinkering is both incredibly fun, but at times very frustrating.

Eli’s fascination with sports began during middle school. He lived across the street from a public park with a basketball court. He was always struck by how the court was meeting ground for people of all ethnicities, genders, and belief systems. Mr.Uttal-Veroff realized that complete strangers can come together around sports. His other favorite sports include soccer, football and tennis. These sports also carry the communal elements that basketball does.

For years, Uttal-Veroff has postulated about the similarities in pedagogy between basketball and Jazz. Drawing inspiration from The Inner Game of Music, he hopes to one day write a pedagogical text outlining the parallels between the two idioms.