June 21, 2024


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Interview with Jeff Sipe: You grow to resemble that which you admire: Videos

Jazz interview with jazz drummer Jeff Sipe. An interview by email in writing. 

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

Jeff Sipe: – I was Born in Berlin Germany and raised in Southeast Asia. I always gravitated to music as a child finding it a wonderful universe of astounding beauty.

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

JS: – My 6th grade class offered lessons and membership in the school band. Drums were my choice because it sounded like fun.

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

JS: – Quite naturally. My sound is the result of that which I love the most. You grow to resemble that which you admire.

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

JS: – I always practice the basics because that’s where it all comes from. I’m writing a drum method book that can also be used by other musicians who are looking for new rhythm ideas. The book contains many of the very useful exercises that I work on to improve my vocabulary and to stay well oiled.

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

JS: – I’ve always liked tight harmonic motion and interesting voice leading. I enjoy the tension of 2nd’s and 7th’s and 9th’s. An unpredictable but inherently logical melody and harmony is what I enjoy.

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

JS: – I’m listening to so much different stuff. Gonzalo Rubalcabe, Kenny Barron, Dave Holland, Christian McBride, Mike Seal …

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

JS: – The heart space and proper intention is the balance to music and life.

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

JS: – Too many. I’ll start a podcast. haha!!

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: – Find your joy and share it. You’ll attract compatible people,

JBN.S: – Can jazz be a business today or someday?

JS: – Music is pure and business is ruthless. They are to be treated separately by the right people. Music is sacred. Business is about controlling markets. These two worlds are coming from different reasons of operation. It is said: “Art is not art. Selling art is art”.

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

JS: – Each collaboration is the most important and they all lead to self awareness.

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

JS: – A classic is classic for reasons. A beautiful melody is timeless. Styles are what are generationally different but the beauty of melody and harmony are undeniable. Maybe the old standards could be adapted to new rhythms and new sonic textures so that the current generation hears the song in a modern way. It then becomes like a new song.

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

JS: – I agree with the master. Music is the language of the human spirit. The laws of music are the same as the laws of the universe and the ways in which its shared is the balance of action and intention.

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

JS: – It’s all going to be Okay.

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

JS: – Artists and musicians should be revered and supported like we care for members of other industries. America has the most intriguing mix of people and styles in the world. As a national treasure, the music could be exported to the world in a way that benefits everyone involved. The income from such a policy could potentially rival many other exports.

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

JS: – I’m searching for those who are committed to love and understanding with a devotion to the sacred and magical world of sound and music.

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

JS: – I do believe that genres can overlap to bring about the birth of new styles. There are countless examples of music styles morphing into something new. Tradition is an attempt to capture a particular style that has evolved to perfection before it evolves into the next.

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

JS: – So Many …

JBN.S: – What’s your current setup?

JS: – Standard 4 piece kit.

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

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