May 28, 2024

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Interview with Monica Vasconcelos: I wouldn’t recommend anywone to get into jazz for the money: Video

Jazz Interview with jazz singer Monica Vasconcelos. An interview by email in writing.

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

Monica Vasconcelos: – I grew up in São Paulo, Brazil. The music became my refuge since my adolescence. I don’t think you choose music. It is a body thing. Your body reacts to it and that’s it, you are hooked.

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

Monica: The sound. I just love the sound.

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

Monica: My teachers are the great singers the world has given me. From Elis Regina, in Brazil, to Ella Fitzgerald, SArah Vaughan, KD Lnng, Prince, Stevie Wonder … so many.

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

Monica: I’ve been lucky to work with some of the finest jazz musicians in the London jazz scene. That has shaped my sound, I guess. Also, I’ve recorded eight albums. When you record yourself, you then listen to your sound. And the natural thing is to want to shape it, and change it… refine it.

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

Monica: I do vocal warm ups to keep the voice healthy. For rhythm… working with great musicians help. But to be honest, I don’t know how you can improve rhythm. Again, I think rhythm is in your body, you know? The body knows.

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

Monica: I like the bossa nova approach to harmony. But as well as Jobim, I would recommend composers like Ivan Lins, Edu Lobo, Francis HIme… they are masters of harmony and melody.

Картинки по запросу Monica Vasconcelos The São Paulo Tapes

JBN.S: – What do you love most about your new album: <The São Paulo Tapes>, how it was formed and what you are working on today. Next year your fans like we can wait for a new album?

Monica: The Saou Paulo Tapes is a selection of songs written in Brazil during the military dictatorship years (1964/ 1985). These songs helped Brazil resist the oppression of the regime. I wanted to celebrate this music. When I decided to record this album, I didn’t know these songs would become again so necessary and relevant. I am now working with composers and a poet to create the resistance music of the 21st century.

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?

Monica: well, I don’t see music as a way of earning a living. Music to me is a need, a vocation. Like any art. If you can live off your art, good. But if not, you will still make it because it is what defines you, it is what you need, like you need food and water, you need art.

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

Monica: At its origin, jazz is the music of the excluded. Again, if you can live from it, make money from it, good for you. But I wouldn’t recommend anywone to get into jazz for the money. There are other professions that will give you that… 🙂 but you could perhaps try to be versatile. You could be a jazz musicians AND teach jazz, or become an arranger, a record producer… so you have some more sources of income.

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

Monica: well, there is a lot of great jazz being made today. The standards are there as a reference. Like in literature, you have all the great masters of all times available to you. You read them and then you go and write your own books… the same applies to jazz. Or to painting, design, any other art. The classics are there as a reference. You start with them and then go your own way.

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

Monica: Thank you, Coltrane. You have made me cry many many times with your spirit. I think I will borrow your beautiful idea. My music is my spirit too. It is me, it is who I am. And I am a happy person when I sing. I don’t know what life means. But when I sing I just am. I just exist. And it feels good.

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

Monica: As long as I feel connected to people, I am ok.

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

Monica: I am writing resistance music for the 21st century. We are a team of musicians working with a spoken word artist to create this music. It is a new experience for me and I look forward to hearing the results.

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

Monica? Jazz uses World and folk and classical and everything as raw materials. It is all inspiration. A dialogue.

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

Monica: I am in love with an album called Bassheartmantra, a solo album by British bass player Dudley Phillips.

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

Картинки по запросу Monica Vasconcelos

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