Interview with Ignasi Terraza: The intellect is necessary to be interesting and hip: Video, new CD cover

- in INTERVIEWS, VIDEOS

Jazz interview with jazz pianist Ignasi Terraza. An interview by email in writing. 

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

Ignasi Terraza: – I was born in Barcelona (Catalonia) where I’m still living today.  I began my interest on  music a couple of years after loosing my sight at the age of 9. I began my piano lessons on the conservatory under a classical approach. From the very beginning I liked always variating and experimenting with the tunes I just learned. Then I knew the jazz and I feld in love with this music and started playing first with records, and soon with other musicians around at the age of 18.

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

IT: – I think I found my sound, or started to discover my own sound at the recording date of Let me tell you something”* (Swit Records 1999). Since then, I keep balancing that sound with other main influences.

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

IT: – In my approach to music, there is three things important in music: first is rhythm, second is rhythm, and third is… rhythm.

During my classical studies in the conservatory, rhythm was always the last guest being invited to our party. What I’ve learned from jazz, is that it is not a guest, it is the host.

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

IT: – I like drinking from other sources, the way to prevent disparate influences, is to keep focused on the color / ideas / groove / style you are developing during your musical speech, then administrate the new elements to get a new framework to keep you expressing yourself.

It is again a think of rhythm, how to build the form in a tune or a solo, how to administrate repetition and newness.

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

IT: – Each performance has something of a sacred ceremony. I don’t do any special ritual, but I keep the concert on mind during the day to stay relaxed, focused and ready  at the moment.

JBN: – What do you love most about your new album 2020: <Ignasi Terraza & Randy Greer – Around the Christmas Tree>, how it was formed and what you are working on today.

IT: – This album is our third one collaborating with singer Randy Greer made around Christmas music. After the success of our first album “Chrismtas swings in Barcelona” we have keep doing Christmas concerts for years during this season.

This time we decided to renew the repertoire adding originals and  new arrangements of classic carols.

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?

IT: – For this album I reflected my work during the last years approaching different settings of the classic piano trio.

As Randy and I  we are great funs of Nat Cole, I decided to make attribute to him with this album, and mix two different settings for the record, one with my regular trio with Steve Pi on drums and Horacio Fumero on bass, with other with a sound closer to Cole’s trios, with no drums, Josep Traver on guitar and sometimes Yonder de Jesús on congas,. Also for this project we invited to my friend Andrea Motis, with who I am collaborating intensively during the last 10 years, to sing for first time together in duet with Randy on a couple of tracks.

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

IT: – The intellect is necessary to be interesting and hip, soul is necessary to catch me and, feeling with rhythm, move my soul.

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

IT: – There is a balance between playing for people and been myself, if we       forget one side, it doesn’t work.

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

IT: – I  was once listening to Tete Montoliu in a jazz club for a informal session he was giving on occasion of his 60th birthday, and at the end, I was saying hello to him and he invited me to sit in and play, impressed for what I listened and for playing after him, I said, no thank you I prefer keep listening to. Then he told me: what do you think playing is about?

I couldn’t deny.

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

IT: – This is true, but the main thing is to transmit that jazz is an alive language that can express melodies from anytime. To attract young kits to jazz, I think that is more important for them to see how other kits can enjoy playing this music now, like for example, the project of Sant Andreu Jazz Band of Joan Chamorro, rather than wondering about what are they playing.

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

IT: – I believe there is something farther than material things. Lets call it energy, sprit, collective consciousness, God…

And for me, the music is a way to connect with it.

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

IT: – The relationship between music and business, I think nowadays is too much balanced to the money side.

The dissolution of the jazz festivals in “no matter what it is” festival.

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

IT: –  This week: Bach cello suites, David “Fathead” Newman with Ray Charles, Fred Hersch,…

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

IT: – Life its worth to be lived, and beauty is one of the best feed.

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

IT: – May be, New York in the late fifties.

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

IT: – How will the music market remain after this nightmare of the Covid?

JBN: – More than active!!!

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

IT: – Very easy, relax and enjoy the music, and let’s dream about sharing live music again and No More Lockdown For Ever More.

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

Grooving for Jaume - Ignasi Terraza, Pierre Boussague, Victor Jones - YouTube

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