Interview with Richard Bonnet: Soul is about music: Video

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Jazz interview with jazz guitarist and banjoist Richard Bonnet. An interview by email in writing. 

JazzBluesNews.com: – First let’s start with where you grew up, and what got you interested in music?

Richard Bonnet: – I grow up in Champagne (France), then move to Paris area at 17. I begun my music life at 11 with a bass!

JBN: – How did your sound evolve over time? What did you do to find and develop your sound?

RB: – I learned the music by myself, a long long path in the jungle, desert, ocean with many dangerous creatures … that’s what look like my music treek! I played heavy metal first, then jazz standards, modern and contemporary jazz, then root blues, then a mix of all of that, I called it improvisation!

JBN: – What practice routine or exercise have you developed to maintain and improve your current musical ability especially pertaining to rhythm?

RB: – My practice routine are especially about rhythm, and harmonic and melodic motivic development. I just released an album “Etudes”(music and sheet music), available on my Bandcamp page.

JBN: – How to prevent disparate influences from coloring what you’re doing?

RB: – I like to listen many kind of music, from classical to rock, improve, jazz, pop. So I not asked myself to much questions when I compose, I try to play something organic.

JBN: – How do you prepare before your performances to help you maintain both spiritual and musical stamina?

RB: – I just try to be open mind to be connected immediately with the music.

JBN: – Ism is culled from a variety of lives dates with various performers over the course of a few years. Did your sound evolve during that time? And how did you select the musicians who play on the album?

RB: – I am so lucky to perform with my favorite musician, in France and USA. They of course change my sound and playing, perform on stage with master such Tony Malaby or Tom Rainey is a sacred experience!!

JBN: – What’s the balance in music between intellect and soul?

RB: – The Intellect is for practicing new exercice concept …. Soul is about music.

JBN: – There’s a two-way relationship between audience and artist; you’re okay with giving the people what they want?

RB: – I always give what I feel, never what the audience expect … I guess.

JBN: – Please any memories from gigs, jams, open acts and studio sessions which you’d like to share with us?

RB: – Every concert with Tom Rainey, always a dream!

JBN: – How can we get young people interested in jazz when most of the standard tunes are half a century old?

RB: – Only live music could help. In my city, I organize montly a improve class in some venues (bar, library, cinema), that’s a good way to make people interested in different music.

JBN: – John Coltrane said that music was his spirit. How do you understand the spirit and the meaning of life?

RB: – When I play music, my feeling can be close to meditation.

JBN: – If you could change one thing in the musical world and it would become a reality, what would that be?

RB: – To have more gig.

JBN: – Who do you find yourself listening to these days?

RB: – Henry Threadgill!!!

JBN: – What is the message you choose to bring through your music?

RB: – Any message … sorry.

JBN: – Let’s take a trip with a time machine, so where and why would you really wanna go?

RB: – Difficult to choose, maybe the 70’s.

JBN: – I have been asking you so far, now may I have a question from yourself…

RB: – How can we help musicians during this hard time?

JBN: – … with applause 🙂

JBN: – So putting that all together, how are you able to harness that now?

RB: – Play more, with many musicians, keep mind open.

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

Cours / Teaching – Richard Bonnet

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