Press-Republican

Local News

September 4, 2012

Carving out creative space

WESTPORT — One of Taylor Haskins’s favorite Westport perks is a hike up Coon Mountain with his 2-year-old son, Felix.

“We love Coon Mountain,” said Haskins, a New Hampshire native and Grammy Award-winning trumpeter who makes his home in Westport.

“We can see our house from up there. My son is getting old enough to climb. He’s doing everything.”

TECHNOLOGY

It took a while for Haskins himself to realize he could do everything — tour, sideman, compose music for theater, commercials and films — from anywhere.

His ah-ha moment surfaced during a three-year tour with Richard Bona, a jazz bassist and vocalist from Cameroon.

“We went to Siberia, an island off the coast of Madagascar, everywhere there are Bona fans,” Haskins said. “On the tour in Tunisia, I somehow never imagined I could be on a laptop writing music for a commercial some place in the States. It kind of blew me away. I had a guitar player come in my room and play. It felt really high tech.”

From that experience in North Africa, Haskins was able to creatively make the leap to the Adirondacks and relocate in November 2010.

DRAWN TO WHITEFACE

As a skier, Whiteface first drew him here where he made friends. For now, Westport works for himself and his family. There are not too many differences between the “Live Free or Die” and “Excelsior” states.

“I find there are a lot of similarities. The climate is the same. Eco-systems are the same. Seasonal changes are the same. Recreation activities are similar. It’s a lot like where I come from. Also, the people are really friendly.”

The past two decades, Haskins was based in New York City.

CHILD MUSICIAN

His music saga began in his native New Hampshire, where he began formal piano lessons at age 5. Five years later, he picked up the trumpet for school band and has never put it down.

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