February 27, 2024

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An interview with Sarah Partridge: I’d like to be part of creating that next phase of jazz music … Video

Jazz interview with jazz singer Sarah Partridge. An interview by email in writing.

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

Sarah Partridge: – I grew up in Boston, MA until I was 15 years old. At that point my family moved to Birmingham, AL ….culture shock. My parents were huge jazz fans. My father, in particular, loved the female vocalists, so that’s where my interest was peaked…very early on.

JBN.S: – What got you interested in picking up the jazz vocal?

SP: – I would stand in front of the record player at about 6 years old singing along to Chris Connor, June Christy, Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan. I dreamed of being a singer one day.

JBN.S: – What teacher or teachers helped you progress to the level of playing you have today? What made you choose the jazz vocal?

SP: – Everyone I have ever played with has been a teacher who has helped me progress. The instrumentalists have played a key part. I really have learned everything from them. I am not formally trained so every one of those players have been part of my schooling.

I was a Theatre Major in college and pursued an acting career for many years. Some years I even made a living. But, I was never the first pick for a musical. I knew in my heart that singing jazz was something that came naturally to me and that if I really wanted to pursue singing it would be jazz. I loved the improvisational quality of it…the fact that a song could be sung differently each time.

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

SP: – I think that any musician, in the beginning of a career, tends to mimic those they listen to and admire. Your sound isn’t quite your own at that point. There was nothing that I consciously did to evolve. It just happened over time. It is a slow progression of finding one’s sound, and then knowing that you are there and can continue to develop autonomously ,and not dependent on anyone else’s style.

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

SP: – Through the years I have learned that just exercising  the voice with proper warm ups is key to maintaining sound and confidence. In terms of rhythm, I think I have become a much better listener to the rhythm section of a band. It keeps me in sync not only with the beat or tempo, but also with the feel.

JBN.S: – Which harmonies and harmonic patterns do you prefer now?

SP: – I don’t have any real preferences. They are all good and useful.

Картинки по запросу Bright Lights and Promises: Redefining Janis Ian

JBN.S: – What do you love most about your new album: <Bright Lights and Promises: Redefining Janis Lan>, how it was formed and what you are working on today. Next year your fans like we can wait for a new album?

SP: – I love the fact that I did it! I enjoy that I could take some music that lives very outside of my comfort zone and make it my own. Also, getting to know Janis and writing with her was a dream come true. I’m mulling around thoughts for my next project now. Nothing is really concrete. I expect a new album , most likely, in 2019.

JBN.S: – Many aspiring musicians are always looking for advice when navigating thru the music business. Is there any piece of advice you can offer to aspiring students or even your peers that you believe will help them succeed and stay positive in this business?

SP: – I think the best advice would be to just love the music and surround yourself with those who do the same. It’s really the only way to stay in the game. There is so much else that is wrong with the music business…negativity and naysayers, so staying true to what you love will keep you growing. Also, when it comes to band members, stick with those who are positive. I have played with some brilliant musicians and their vibe on the bandstand is indifferent or negative. I won’t play with them again..no matter how good they are. Surround yourself with positive talent.

JBN.S: – Аnd furthermore, can jazz be a business today or someday?

SP: – Well, it has to be. If you don’t treat it as a business, you won’t be able to survive doing it.

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

SP: – The only answer for me is music education, whether on a private teaching level or in the schools. I teach private voice lessons. Most young people haven’t heard of jazz standards or any of the great jazz musicians of the last century. Their parents don’t even know about them. So, I introduce each and every one of them to some standards, and guess what? They ALL enjoy this music. It’s old, but it’s GOOD, and they realize that. Every jazz musician has to pay it forward in some way. Elementary and middle schools should teach this music as a requirement. The Great American Songbook is a major part of our history as a country.

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

SP: – Playing/singing music is a spiritual experience. Nothing else exists when you are in the moment of it. You are transformed to pure energy. That is the meaning of life for me. Energy, whether we are in our physical bodies or departed from them, always exists. Music will always exist, therefore it is spiritual.

JBN.S: – What are your expectations of the future? What brings you fear or anxiety?

SP: – My expectations for the future are rooted in kindness and understanding. We are losing that as a planet and that brings me fear and anxiety.

JBN.S: – What’s the next musical frontier for you?

SP: – The next frontier for me is a continuation of evolving in songwriting and reaching beyond the Great American Songbook. I have been leaning toward these two ideas in the last two albums I’ve recorded. I will always interpret and sing the classics….and there are always more of those songs to discover, but there are new places to go as jazz evolves. I’d like to be part of creating that next phase of jazz music.

JBN.S: – Are there any similarities between jazz and world music, including folk music?

SP: – I believe there are similarities in all music. The thing that stands out is the ability to move people; either with a lyric or a melody or a sound. All music has that in common

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

SP: – Since working on the Janis Ian album, I have been listening to less jazz! At most points in my life, that is all I’d listen to. I think it’s important to listen to many genres, not only for enjoyment,  but to learn from them. I’ve been listening to Opera and Classical Music more. I’m also enjoying the classic rock from the seventies and eighties. Now I’m dating myself!!

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

Картинки по запросу Sarah Partridge

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