Jazz interview with jazz pianist Rémi Panossian. An interview by email in writing.
JazzBluesNews.Space: – First let’s start with where you grew up, and what got you interested in music?
Rémi Panossian: – I was born in Montpellier, south of France, my parents have always been interested in Art. So they introduce me to music dance, paintings … when i was young.
JBN.S: – What got you interested in picking up the piano? What teacher or teachers helped you progress to the level of playing you have today? What made you choose the piano?
RP: – My mother brought back the piano she used to play when she was a child in our home when i was Six. so i started to play on it.
At 7 I met a teacher Dunny Truong who was amazing and gave me the love of piano and music. I learned classical music and at the same time some boogie, rag time … etc.
she was an open minded teacher. I worked a lot on technique in a fun way.
JBN.S: – How did your sound evolve over time? What did you do to find and develop your sound?
RP: – It’s difficult to answer, everything is feeding my sound, people i met, music, movies, food…
JBN.S: – What practice routine or exercise have you developed to maintain and improve your current musical ability especially pertaining to rhythm?
RP: – I used to practice a lot of scales and different patterns, now i mostly play and improvise, and sometimes i’m working on technical stuff.
JBN.S: – Which harmonies and harmonic patterns do you prefer now?
RP: – That really depends on the mood of the day, i can’t really say.
JBN.S: – Which are the best jazz albums for you of 2017 year?
RP: – Morning Smile my album with my trio! 🙂 just kidding, i don’t really know there are so many wonderful musicians and albums … and i haven’t listen to all of them yet!
JBN.S: – What’s the balance in music between intellect and soul?
RP: – I would say intellect is for practicing and soul for playing.
JBN.S: – Please any memories from gigs, jams, open acts and studio sessions which you’d like to share with us?
RP: – During our first tour in Asia, we had the chance to play in Taichung Jazz festival facing 12 000 people, it was crazy and the day after we travelled for 12 hours to play in hotel facing 20 people with bad instruments :). It was a great experience. we’ve played with same envy!
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?
RP: – In my opinion the best advice is to Do things by yourself. You have to find gigs, organize concerts, sessions, recording … etc and things will happen!
JBN.S: – Аnd furthermore, can jazz be a business today or someday?
RP: – I don’t think it’s the most lucrative business in the world but it seems that some producers or artists are doing well.
JBN.S: – Which collaboration have been the most important experiences for you?
RP: – I ‘ve played with great musicians sometimes just for one gig sometimes more often and it was always a great experience for example with Francesco bearzatti , Aldo Romano, Damon Brown, Pierrick Pedron, Rick Margitza … etc.
The most important is with my partners in my trio, Maime Delporte and Frederic Petitprez, we’re working together and touring for 9 years! They’re a part of what i am now.
JBN.S: – How can we get young people interested in jazz when most of the standard tunes are half a century old?
RP: – Jazz is huge. There is a lot of way to do it and many musicians (like i do with my trio) are doing some cross over music which is a great way to enter the world of jazz. There is Jazz in the music of Hip Hop artists like Kendrick Lamar or The Roots. It’s a good way.
Some artists like Brad Mehldau, Avishai Cohen or before Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis, built bridge between Jazz and others music and audience …
JBN.S: – John Coltrane said that music was his spirit. How do you understand the spirit and the meaning of life?
RP: – I don’t understand it and i’m trying to deal with it.
JBN.S: – What are your expectations of the future? What brings you fear or anxiety?
RP: – I would like to continue playing around the world, sharing music with a lot of people, meeting new cultures, exchanging …
Fear and anxiety come from politics, company, lobbies , who are playing with our lives and the earth .
JBN.S: – If you could change one thing in the musical world and it would become a reality, what would that be?
RP: – More musical education for the child, of course by puting an instrument in their hands, but also offering them the possibility to listen to all kind of music, going to concerts … etc
JBN.S: – What’s the next musical frontier for you?
RP: – The alien’s music somewhere in the universe!
JBN.S: – Are there any similarities between jazz and world music, including folk music?
RP: – Yes, jazz has been fed by world and folk music and conversely, Music is in movement and that’s one of the reason it’s so universal and exciting.
JBN.S: – Who do you find yourself listening to these days?
RP: – TV On The Radio, Keith Jarrett ‘s After The Fall, Abdullah Ibrahim, Velvet undergound, the Roots …
JBN.S: – Let’s take a trip with a time machine, so where and why would you really wanna go?
RP: – Maybe in 2300 just to have a quick to see if we are still there, or on Mars 🙂
JBN.S: – I have been asking you so far, now may I have a question from yourself…
RP: – Sure, how, where did you get into jazz music?
JBN.S: – Thank you for answers. At the beginning of 2003, although before that I heard a lot of jazz and blues musicians, but not profesionalno level …
Interview by Simon Sargsyan