13th Annual Funk/Fusion/Jam Song Winner
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Record Label: Self-Released
Home Base: Las Vegas, NV
Genres: Jazz, Latin, Fusion
Categories Entered: Funk/Fusion/Jam Song
Work Submitted: “3-41”
Artists Featured: Uli Geissendoerfer and Colors
Label: Black Coffee Music (self)
Who are your influences?: Oscar Peterson, Joe Zawinul, Yellowjackets, Gonzalo Rubalcaba
Describe your nominated work: Brazilian backbeat Fusion Jazz with a Reggae bridge or simply World Jazz
Did you use any unusual effects or instruments in this recording?: Rhodes Suitcase piano (not really unusual), Quica (Brazilian percussion instrument)
Were there any happy accidents while in the studio, or did everything go as planned?: The vocal solo came about by lucky happenstance. The arrangement changed in the studio in several ways.
How did you raise the funds for this project? How long do you expect it will take to recoup your out-of-pocket recording expenses?: Through playing – minimum three years.
Why did you choose to submit this work to The 13th IMAs?: I submitted this work for it’s infectious groove unusual vocal solo and accessible melody
What’s your definition of success and how will you know when you’ve achieved it?: Success is no one point but rather being able to keep growing as artist while making a living at it.
How will you leverage your IMA honors to achieve your career goals?: Every recognition helps and is a stepping stone to wider acclaim and the next project. I am looking forward to stay part of the IMA family and use this platform for new projects. I also am looking forward to eventually meet some of the panelists.
Who’s sitting in your audience and what makes your fans unique?: Jazz fans young and old, World Music fans, Blues fans and music fans that love to experience music as a spontaneous momentarily life changing event. My music tends to have no specific demographic, but rather is enjoyed by anyone with an open heart. Maybe what makes my fans special is that a lot of them understand music in more than way and on more than one level.
What is your guilty pleasure on the road? Any close calls or mishaps while on tour?: Good Food, trips into nature if there’s time, local culinary specialties. And especially local music and instruments. I tend to bring always and instrument along from every trip even if it’s just a new shaker.
Who are your musical heroes & influences?: My first heroes were: Little Richard, Lynard Skynard, the Allman brothers, Dixie Dregs, Oscar Peterson, Rob Hoeke (a dutch Boogie Pianist), then came Zawinul, Michel Camilo, Chucho Valdes (a big mentor for me), Mike Longo (a guru for sure), Billy Childs and many of the musician I had and have the privilege to play with. At the end you learn it on stage. Also Sergio Mendez and Tom Jobim … it’s a pretty long list
Are there any songs you wish you wrote and why?: Horace Silver “Peace” and “Song for my Father”, Zawinul “Birdland” and “Shadow and Light”, Skriabin “Prelude in F#min” op.42 #4”, Debussy “Girl with flaxen hair”, Stevie Wonder “I wish , Sir Duke etc etc..” … Theses pieces seem to live in me. But there a several (many) others like that I could list. But I am not sure that I wish I wrote them. I am simply happy that they were indeed written, otherwise I had to do it 🙂
What artists are you listening to that would surprise your fans?: Sugar Hill Gang and older Rap, Klezmer and indigenous music from around the world.
How do you discover new music? Do you buy music or are you content with streaming?: Students, friends, colleagues, browsing the net. Yes I buy music. These days you preview a lot. I miss the sight unseen as I used to do with albums. The constant previews take away a bit of the magic …
How will musicians make a living if fans continue to expect music to be free?: It’s a conundrum. Playing live should always be the center, yet there are still many avenues to create revenue in music. Especially writing is one. But I believe recorded music shouldn’t be free and I don’t think that fans expect that. Sadly free often equates in value free (in people’s mind) as well. A painting sells for double digit millions yet a symphony is free?
What don’t fans/audiences understand about the music industry today?: Probably as much as musicians. It’s such a whirlwind at the moment. But maybe the biggest misconception lingering form decades past, is that a recording contract will be the way to fame and fortune. A musician today is about half artist, half businessman/woman. And I feel much musical talent is wasted and/or stifled in it’s development by having to wear too many hats at the same time.
Are digital singles/EPs vs. full albums the future?: I don’t know. Short story vs full length book. We need all of it. It may present an artist in a different way. But the long form should always be present. As a matter of fact I advocate writing longer pieces again. We need to give our audiences more credit.
Finish this sentence: The music industry is…becoming very scattered and like an ocean, a myriad of levels and it takes all skills and a great boat and swimming skills and diving gear to maneuver it.
What do you have in the works for the upcoming year?: There are four recordings coming out this year. Three earlier projects will be finished and a brand new one. A duo with my long time buddy Saxophonist and flutist extraordinaire, Premik Russell Tubbs. A collaboration with the amazing Alicia Svigals, one, if not the foremost Klezmer virtuoso. This deals with recently rediscovered music and will surprise a lot of people.. A Jazz trio record and a rather commercial idea … sorry you simply have to wait and see/hear for that one.