May 28, 2024

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Interview with Sazz Leonore: I want to “touch” people with my music: Video

Jazz interview with jazz singer Sazz Leonore. An interview by email in writing. 

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

Sazz Leonore: – I grew up in Tilburg which is in the South of the Netherlands. When I was a little girl I was always singing. We had a big swing in the backyard and I loved to sit on the swing and sing  haha. I remember one day while I was doing my usual act on the swing my mother popped her head out of the kitchen window and asked me if I would like to sing in a group or take lessons and learn more about music. From that moment on I never stopped. My parents always listen to Jazz at home and we had this tradition of dancing in the living room after dinner. So music was always around me and I learned from a young age to listen to Jazz and understand what it is about.

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

SL: – My parents had a big love for music and especially Jazz. They had a large cabinet with drawers full of cd’s in the living room. Often I took one of those cd’s and went to my room to listen to it. That’s where my love for vocal jazz started. When you hear the female legends like Ella Fitzgerald or Sarah Vaughan sing, you feel what they have been through and what their message is. Not only in the words but in the way they sing as well.

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

SL: – I had a really good teacher who showed me what I could do with my voice. And he let me discover my sound at a very young age. I never had the urge to develop a really “loud” voice so I focused on the soft en sensitive part of my sound.

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

SL: – The bass is the most important instrument when it comes to rhythm for me. So I always make sure I am standing right next to it. So I can really feel the rhythm. One of the things I do at home is dancing. For me that’s the perfect way to practice my musical ability and rhythm.

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

SL: – I love to sing jazz from the 1940s and 50s.

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

SL: – Stacy Kent – I Know I Dream: The Orchestral Sessions. Melody Gardot – Live in Europe. And this one makes me just extremely happy: Jazz Loves Disney 2 – A Kind Of Magic.

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

SL: – One of my biggest inspirations is Ella Fitzgerald. The way she tells her stories is something I want to pursue. You can hear her soul in the music. I think that is the most important thing in music. It doesn’t matter how your music is created as long it comes from the soul. I want to “touch” people with my music. Happy or sad feelings.

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

SL: – There are a lot of memories that I would love to share with you. But there is one that really stuck with me. We have an important festival in August in Amsterdam where new upcoming artist get a stage. I was invited to perform my new album. It was a really warm day and there where a lot of people. It is aways exciting to let people hear your music for the first time. So when I did the first few songs people where just standing and listening. But after 10 minutes the hole audience was going crazy and singing along with me. It was the first time that “strange” people in the crowd sang along with me and it was a mind-blowing feeling.

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?

SL: – I was 19 when I first recorded music in a studio. Now I am 28 and I’ve been thru ups and downs on how to keep on going. But one thing I never ever thought of was quitting. And I think that the most important thing to remember is that it takes time. And also to be aware of what you learn along the way. A few weeks back I went to an exhibition from the anonymous street artist Banksy and there was this quote on the wall that really got to me. It said; “ Winners are not those who fail, but those who never quit” So my advice would be to never quit..

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

SL: – Can be? I think it already is. Jazz is all around an elevator or even now in 2018 in a sold out concert of Gregory Porter or Norah Jones.

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

SL: – I worked for three years on my album with Pete Souer. He is 68 years old and very experienced in the music industry and he taught me everything he knows. I am very blessed that I got to work and create a jazz album with him. I’m also lucky to have an amazing manager named Marijke who is always there for me and never gives up. It is very important to have warm, trustworthy people around you. And I had the luck to work with amazing people.

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

SL: – Jazz is one of the foundations of the music we hear today. And I think a lot of young people don’t even realize they are listening to Jazz when they hear a sample of an old jazz tune in a new song. But young people like me are also always looking for new music. As long as we keep on making jazz, young people all around the world will find us.

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

SL: – I am a very intuitive person, so with almost everything I do and decide rely on my intuition. We all have one road to travel in this life and if you know which path is yours you just have to try to stay on it.

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

SL: – I hope to come to the States and spread my music and energy. Just thinking about getting off that plane.. that gives me anxiety!

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

SL: – That Jazz would be just as populair as it was back in the 50s.

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

SL: – I am working on a tour with a Big Band through Belgium.

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

SL: – Yes a lot! Jazz is the foundation of lots of different music styles.

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

SL: – When I was 15 is listened every day for a year to the album: Chet Baker Sings and now I am doing it again haha! I love this album.

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

SL: – I think all Jazz artist would like to go back in time. Because that’s where the most beautiful genre started. I would love to go to back in time as well to the moment when Marilyn Monroe reserved a table for Ella Fitzgerald’s show in Moacambo Club in 1954. I would make sure to sit next to her and enjoy Ella’s show and have an cocktail with Marilyn.

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

SL: – I loved this interview. Lots of creative questions! I have one. If you could be any Jazz artist for one day, who would you be and why?

JBN.S: – Thank you for answers. I would be saxophonist to express my emotions on music too. Although as a jazz critic I mainly exhibit them.

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

Картинки по запросу Sazz Leonore

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