Interview with Konstantin Klashtorni: Take all from your soul when you go perform: Video

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Jazz interview with smooth jazz saxophonist Konstantin Klashtorni. An interview by email in writing. 

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

Konstantin Klashtorni: – I grew up in a small town called Malin about 100 kilometers west from Ukraine’s capital Kiev. At the age of 9 my mother brought me to the music school where I easily passed through test to be accepted on clarinet as a main instrument. In about 4 years I was already playing quite good and asked my teacher to allow me to switch to the saxophone (the only exemplair music school had then). So, at the age of 13 I started to play saxophone and year later entered to R. Glier Kyiv Institute of Music. During the study I aquaintanced myself with different Jazz and Smooth Jazz records – Cannonball Adderley, George Coltrane, Pat Metheny, Chick Corea, David Sanborn, Eric Marienthal, Al Jarreau, George Benson, Spyra Gira, Shakatak. That’s when I decided to dedicate me playing and making this kind  of music.

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

KK: – I mostly was influenced by such saxophonists as David Sanborn, Eric Marienthal and later Kirk Whalum, Gerald Albright and Dave Koz. Since my first record in 2004 called Downtown I smoothed my producing and composing towards adding to Smooth Jazz Lounge and Chill and Electronica elements, which resulted in birth of popular series Kool&Klean and Chillaxing Jazz Kollektion.

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

KK: – Quite easy – don’t practice what you already know, practice what you don’t know in order to broaden your skills possibilities and grow your vocabulary as much as possible.

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

KK: – I don’t think about influences that much, we all attract something alike. I strive to look for beauty while composing and playing music, not sport or competition.

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

KK: – Best preparation is to concentrate to the max on what you about to do and paractice, practice, practice to gain confidence – we shape our “today” with the past efforts.

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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?

KK: – There are many facets of jazz music, I’m consentrating on one I believe I’m doing the best. It might neighbor with easy listening or even elevator music, but it brings joy and happiness equally to me and my fans. I myself produce and play all instruments on my albums because I see the music palette exactly THIS way, and other musicians (even greatest ones) might distract from or change the sound I created over the years.

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

KK: – Use intellect during practicing hours and take all from your soul when you go perform.

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

KK: – I’m ok with that, can tell you more. Oftentimes we, jazz musicians, used to make music to impress other fellas musicians or to prove something for ourselfs. Instead, we got to give our art to the people and serve them using privilege to express ourself with the highest grade of human expression.

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

KK: – When I saw Lee Ritenour with Eric Mariental play live for the first time. Amazing playing, 100% control, you could record an abum without any single edit. That’s why those guys are amoung the most sought after studio cats.

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

KK: – You don’t have to play half-century-old-tunes all your life. Use it as an example or good school to develop your own style, write your own music.

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

KK: – Of course, it was the spirit telling him to develop musically something not known before, and in his case it was saxophone. It might have been other instrument in somebody’s hands. We all incarnate many times to develop our spirit skills, not body and everything related to our terrestrial life. Body is one of our means to build strong spirit and to understand better the laws of universe. And, the main reason we are here is to be able to give more each other, like our spirit teachers do, giving means receiving.

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

KK: – Equal possibility for everyone to share their creations among people. Many great musicians and artist deserve much more recognition and exposure, but big labels “quartet” is acting in their own artists interests, imposing what THEY think is good music.

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

KK: – I listen to everything except Jazz, it might be Country, Electronica or New Age, even some Classic Rock. There was a period in my life when I was constantly absorbing new jazz material, now is the time to give it all back to the world.

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

KK: – To bring peace, happiness and goodness to people lifes.

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

KK: – To the future of our planet with no wars, no hate, no crime, no desese, no suffering, where people live in happy and fare rights communities with much of respect to each other.

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

KK: – Are you a happy person, what makes your everyday happiness?

JBN: – Jazz, but no Smooth jazz …

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

KK: – After many years of gigging and learning as much as I could, I accumulated very broad experience and knowledge in different music fields, so that I can now choose freely where my knowledge can be used more efficiently. Personally, I feel I have to compose and produce much more at this stage of my life than just playing saxophone.

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

Konstantin Klashtorni - I Need You - YouTube

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