May 20, 2024

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Interview with David Garfield: … more intellect in the preparation part and more soul in the performance part: Video

Jazz interview with jazz keyboardist, songwriter, and producer David Garfield. An interview by email in writing. 

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

David Garfield: – I grew up in St Louis, MO and New York (Jersey side). There was a piano in our house and we always listened to LP’s as well. I immediately liked the sound of music and how it made me feel.

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?

DG: – I wasn’t very much teacher driven until I was 21 and had already been on the road with Freddie Hubbard. After I came off the road with him, I started studying with Terry Trotter here in LA. Growing up, I had different musical influences and mentors – mostly band directors at school or various music camps and clinics

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

DG: – I listened to a lot of records and hung out wherever I could see more developed or professional musicians jamming or performing. I jammed with people a lot as well.

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

DG: – I try to practice every day and I always use a metronome for certain exercises to keep me honest and precise with the rhythm.

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

DG: – I’m very steeped in the modes, but I also really like to use symmetrical patterns as well that go in and out of a key center.

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

DG: – For me, it’s half and half, but more intellect in the preparation part and more soul in the performance part.

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

DG: – Once Eric Clapton came to see me play, but was turned away at the door because there was no room to get in. Another time, George Harrison came to see me and he did get in. He was very nice as well!   At one of my mixing sessions for “Outside the Box,” both Ringo Starr and Steve Perry walked in to see what I was up to. One night with Freddie Hubbard at the Village Gate in New York, we had Art Blakey sit in on drums. My first night with George Benson was at the Montreux Jazz Festival, and both Herbie Hancock and George Duke came out for the encore. I could go on forever…I’ve been very fortunate.

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

DG: – Definitely with George (Benson). We’ve collaborated on so much together – touring, recording, arranging, writing and producing. I’ve been fortunate to collaborate with many great people over the years. I’ve written a lot of great music with guitarists Michael Landau and Steve Lukather and have done a lot of great collaborations – both live and in the studio – with vocalist Alex Ligertwood over the years as well. I also enjoy collaborating with saxophonist Eric Marienthal on his gigs and mine.

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

DG: – Continue to play them at gigs and record them in an interesting and fresh way. That is exactly what I was trying to do with “Jazz Outside the Box”.

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

DG: – I think I caught that spirit listening to John Coltrane. To me, the meaning of life is to do good things that affect people and the world in a positive way. You can take that stuff with you, but you can’t take the material things after you leave this world. I believe we’re spiritual beings having a human experience. For me, creating and performing music seems to boost peoples’ spirits, including my own.

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

DG: – I try not to think about the future too much.

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

DG: – I’d have a government program that paid musicians to pursue quality music and be creative, and also subsidize live (music) venues educational programs and recording projects.

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

DG: – To finish my “Outside The Box” project – all five volumes – and then do a coffee table book with all the credits and photos.

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

DG: – Of course. There are similarities between ALL music. We’re basically working with twelve notes; some sound better than others at any particular time in a piece of music. Jazz really was born from a mixture of European and African influences and incorporates – in my opinion – elements of many musical elements from around the world.

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

DG: – I listen to a radio station here in LA that plays a lot of new music and artists that I’m not already familiar with. I also listen to an ambient program and an African program. In the car, I’ve been listening to SiriusXM’s jazz standards channel recently.

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

DG: – I’d like to go to the original Birdland to see Miles and Bird playing together.

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

DG: – I try very hard to be true to the songs yet do something new and fresh with them. I prefer to try to do new thing in music, but sometimes it goes beyond what people are used to.

JBN.S: – Thank you for answers.

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

Картинки по запросу David Garfield

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