May 29, 2024

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Interview with Joachim Staudt: Jazz includes all areas of life and music is of course an important part of it: Video

Jazz interview with jazz saxophonist Joachim Staudt. An interview by email in writing. 

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

Joachim Staudt: – I grew up in a village near Stuttgart in Southern Germany. My parent s gave me the opportunity to learn instruments early in my life. I started playing the piano at the age of 6 and later at the age of 11 the saxophone . There where always some jazz records in my parents record collection. I remember Miles Davis’ “Kind of Blue” being the first jazz-album I consciously listened to. – So, I guess I was a lucky guy ;o)

Later on I went to a high school that supported music a lot. We had a good school-orchestra and a school-bigband. That helped me a lot to find a way into music, too.

JBN.S: – What got you interested in picking up the your musical instrument? What teacher or teachers helped you progress to the level of playing you have today? What made you choose the your musical instrument?

JS: – I remember listening to a big band on a jazz festival, when I was about 9 or ten years old. Especially the saxophone section caught my attention. I liked the sound a lot and I guess it was that experience that made me want to learn the saxophone.

On my musical journey I was lucky to meet many good teachers who help me a lot. Amongst them where Klaus Graf, John Ruocco, Ferdinand Povel, Jasper Blom and Dick Oatts.

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

JS: – Sound has a lot to do with being able to imagine what you are going to play, before you play it. If you have a strong “Vorstellungskraft” that has a big impact on your sound. And that is a skill that takes many years to develop and I feel like still having a lot to learn there.

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

JS: – I try to practice every day. Even if it is just for 15 or 20 minutes. The attitude of small steps helps a lot to stick to a daily routine over many years.

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

JS: – Well, that totally depends on the music being played and the emotional content that is aimed for. So I can’t answer that question in a few sentences.

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JBN.S: – What do you love most about your new album 2018: <Seven Wishes>, how it was formed and what you are working on today.

JS: – On my new album “Seven Wishes” I played all instruments – except bass – by myself. And I also recorded and produced the music by myself. So the creative process was very different to working with a band. I had the time and freedom to work on every song, atmosphere and arrangement-part till it was really how I wanted it to be. So this album is a really personal statement for me.

Now that the album is released I am working with my band again. It is a quartet and we are playing a program with new songs of mine. And in the coming year I am planing to do some new recordings with that band.

JBN.S: – Which are the best jazz albums for you of 2017 year?

JS: – I love that jazz in 2017 is so diverse and colourful. I can’t choose one best album though.

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?

JS: – Have as many skills as possible. Learn some Instruments on the side like piano, drums, flute or guitar. Learning about music production. Learn to arrange for big bands and orchestra. Learn about different musical styles outside of the jazz-world. And love what you are doing.

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

JS: – Well, jazz is a business. It is just a small one with little profit. But it is fun.

JBN.S: – Which collaboration have been the most important experiences for you?

JS: – It’s is not one specific collaboration that had a special impact on me. It is the continuing process of working together with different musicians that had and has an important role in developing as a musician.

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

JS: – It is already happening. Jazz is not so much about playing standards. It is about having an attitude towards music that is open-minded and gives some space for improvisation. And there are bands all around the world who create exciting new music that follows those principles and reach younger people.

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

JS: – For me the meaning of life is to keep on learning and developing as a human being. That includes all areas of life and music is of course an important part of it

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

JS: – Yes, in my opinion there are quite a few similarities. Some folk music traditions have improvised parts in it. Some scales you find in folk songs are similar to to scales used in jazz songs. And many more recent jazz artist get their inspiration from folk music all over the world.

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

JS: – I listen to a wide variety of music . Jazz is only a small part of it. I like listening to classical music as well as to folk music or electronic music. It is important to me to have diffent moods and energies to choose from, when listening to music.

JBN.S: – What’s your current setup?

JS: – I play a Selmer Mark 6 Alto Saxophone with a Vandoren mouthpiece (A 35) and Vandoren Redds (V16).

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

JS: – I would like to make a little time trip to Paris of the 1920s. Would be great to go to the cafes and meet all the artists and writers that used to hang out there.

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

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