June 22, 2024


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Interview with Yair loewenson: Jazz is not a business it’s a form of art: Video

Jazz Interview with jazz contrabassist, guitarist Yair loewenson. An interview by email in writing.

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

Yair loewenson: – I was born in Haifa Israel. I still live in that fairly small bay city. When I was seven years old I heard my cousin strumming on a nylon strings acoustic guitar. I fell in love with the sound, I still love it…

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

YI: – I learned with couple of teachers when I was a kid.I couldn’t master the guitar. Things changed for me when I was 20 years old and met a piano player that needed a bass player. He taught me how to play electric bass and introduced theory, harmony and some other useful stuff. For ten years I abandoned the guitar and learned elctric bass, piano and double bass.I started my career as a bass player. When I was 30 years old I took the guitar again,that time I knew what to look for.since than I play mainly guitar and double bass.

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

YI: – I had an interesting process with sound.I started with a classical guitar, than I played some other instruments like the bass and than the double bass.I played a lot of classical music using the bow. I guess that it changed the way I hear sound.After I got back to the guitar I was using a semi hollow guitar, than some electric archtops. After couple of years I took interest in acoustic archtops. These instruments are my main game today.

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

YI: – About practise: I’m practising every day. The practise is a part of my daily routine but I try to work on interesting stuff, not playing a lot of boring exercises and not much of technique.I focus on the music: groove,harmony and sound. For time keeping which is the most important part I worked very hard as a bass player. It gave me an advantage when I came back to play guitar.

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

YI: – I guess that voice leading as seen with Bach, Bill Evans is the most interesting for me. I was digging a a lot of years piano payers like Herbie Hancock and Mcoy Tyner. They are a big influence on me…

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?

YI: – Ok: be a good musician, learn and practise all the time. Try to do a good job with every gig or a student. Be friendly to others it’s not always easy but it helps. And the most important thing is:don’t give up even if it looks hopeless.

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

YI: – Jazz is not a business it’s a form of art. The business is playing and teaching music.

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

YI: – The tunes are only a platform for the contemporary player for expression and pouring his soul through them. They are so well composed that I believe that they’ll be usefull for many years.

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

YI: – John Coltrane was a genius artist with deep understanding and way of thinking of life. I’m not worthy adding to his words.

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

YI: – Well, I hope to find a way for making more productions.Music business changed,the technology made it very tough. I hope to find a way with it.

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

YI: – I guess it’s the music itself:trying to develop and finding new ways to express myself.

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

YI: – Jazz came from the Afro American music.It’s a world music. The fact that there are so many players from all over the world make it a world music. I’m from the middle east and Jazz is my only expression.

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

YI: – I guess that I listen to the great jazz players like Miles, Trane, Evans, Wes and some of the contemporary artists like Peter Bernstein, Vic Juris, Keith Jarrett and many more…

JBN.S: – What’s your current setup?

YI: – I use acoustic archtops(fully carved) that are amplified usually with De’Armond single coil. I use hand wired tube amps and fully carved double basses.

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