May 20, 2024

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Interview with Lupa Santiago: The intellect is super important to challenge to go for the new stuff, but the ear, the soul should drive the “car” always: Video

Jazz interview with jazz guitarist Lupa Santiago. An interview by email in writing. 

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

Lupa Santiago: – I grew up in Sao Paulo (Brasil) a very crazy big and fast city, and got very interested in Music since I was 7, when my mother ask me to learn acoustic guitar.

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?

LS: – As I said my mother put me into, and I loved, started playing Brazilian music of Caetano, Chico Buarque as well as Steve Wonder, when I was 13 I switched to electric guitar, started to listen more to rock and heavy metal, had a band opening for Sepultura on a quick tour. After the heavy metal era I went to a rock period till I was 18 and then into fusion and jazz 2 years later.

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

LS: – I had all this information coming from so many different styles that definetly stayed in my playing till today. But since I was 21 I got deeply into jazz and became a fan of Wes Montgomery and Jim Hall, I was trying to sound as acoustic as I could, loving hollow body guitars, but I never avoided any influence……… and contemporary players inspired me with effects so now I am a big mix of ideas into my sound.

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

LS: – I have a practice routine, I am very disciplined , I change the content of the routine sometimes, but always include repertoire (learning tunes), transcribing solos , and study focusing specifically on a musical genre or a genre inside jazz or a different period of jazz, trying to dive for a while into some different languages, including some close listening.

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

LS: – I do not have one favorite, I just keep including everything I am learning everyday as it fits in the music I am playing. I love tradional/ functional stuff that came from Bebop, looove be Bop and Hard Bop, but also like to look modern sounds

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

LS: – Simbiose by Daniel Santiago & Pedro Martins

The Time Verses by David Binney

Mobiles, Vol 1 by Trio Ciclos.

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

LS: – It should have both, the intellect is super important to challenge to go for the new stuff, but the ear, the soul should drive the “car” always, because that will keep the identity of the composer, and will touch the listener.

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

LS: – I have a great memory playing an recording with Jerry Bergonzi and Bill Pierce on the Bob Kaufman 4tet in 2008 in Boston . I remember Jerry send his tunes 1 month ahead, all very hard and fresh sounding, I practice like crazy, and when I get to Boston 1 day before the gigs and recording…….. he changes all tunes, was a challenge, but went great. The name of the cd is Worlds Together.

So many good memories in all gigs and all recordings,  also another album called Lisbon Sessions , Lupa Santiago & Anders Vestergard 5tet, with Ronan Guilfoyle bass, Gonçalo Marques trumpet and Michael Buckley sax, Anders on drums. This group got together musicians from Ireland, Brazil, Portugal and Sweden into one goal and in 10 hours we recorded the album. A group with a very strong sound, made by very different backgrounds, very proud of that too.

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?

LS: – Three things. First: music is a huge business, always be true to your music, but be open for listening and for different experiences inside the music you love, like composing, playing as leader or sideman, recording, teaching, do not stay only on one thing

Second, keep going forward, release cds, compose new stuff, practice new stuff, do not get it stuck, music is like a river, needs movement, when you stop you will be forgotten

Never forget that music is about being (playing and listening) together, about people, about love and growing up together.

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

LS: – I am a very optimistic person, I know we are not on the best business period for artists (less audience, less sales because of streaming), but everything is a cycle and I am sure we are about to start a new one, we just need to be prepared and look to the whole picture.

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

LS: – On the Last years Sergio Galvao, amazing saxophone player and great composer, has been a great musical partner sharing ideas and putting together nice projects, we always have easy conversation, which makes everything flow. Also Anders Vestergard, great swidish drummer, that I released 2 cds with, fantastic musician , he makes everything shine on the group.

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

LS: – New compositions are the future, I love the standards and they are the ground of everything, but you do not want to be in the ground forever, players must compose new stuff bringing new sounds

Also new arrengements also make a huge difference for a standard piece, they turn into new songs with a recognizable melody, is a good “marketing” way of thinking

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

LS: – Wow, that is a hard question. I think simple , life is about learning, sharing, being together and having fun. The rest are details.

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

LS: – Always want to play more, compose more and meet more musicians and people interested in music. I really want to see more audiences into live music and less youtube, More hugs and less text messages.

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

LS: – A bigger music scene, less portable music, more live music, more people in the streets.

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

LS: – So many good stuff happening, but the challenge (not only musical but business too)  is to make this good music for a greater audience.

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

LS: – Yes so many, the grooves were different decades ago, but now not even that, every musical style “got drunk” on other styles too. You cannot identify a music style anymore by types of Harmonies, grooves, improvisation, because they similarity and influences of each other, which is fantastic.

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

LS: – A lot of different stuff, but guitarists: Jesse Van Ruller, Romain Pilon, Fabio Gouvea and Lage Lund

But also listening close to Walter Smith III, David Binney, Trio Ciclos, Andre Marques Sexteto.

JBN.S: – What’s your current setup?

LS: – I use Sadowsky LS17 archtops, from USA, as well as Elfrink  (from Holland) and Adriano Guerra Archtops (from Brazil), all fantastic guitars with a very distinct sound. I use Vox amplifiers, I have a couple of them , but mostly Valvetronix 150w, La Bella strings 012, and some pedals from JL (Brazil) and Electroharmonix , always looking for new sounds.

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

LS: – I would love to be in the late 50’s and 60’s and  see live the great bands as John Coltrane 4tet, Miles 5tet, Lee Morgan, Wes Montgomery but also live the Bossa Nova years enjoying all that happening with Tom Jobim and the cats from Samba Jazz.

JBN.S: – I have been asking you so far, now may I have a question from yourself …

LS: – Yes Simon, how do you see the future of Jazz in terms of business? And what is the new sound for you?

JBN.S: – Thank you for answers. From the point of view of business, I do not see. A new sound for me is Kamasi Washington, William Parker, Eberhard Weber and others.

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

Картинки по запросу Lupa Santiago

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