May 22, 2024

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Interview with Gayelynn McKinney: I believe the spirit is Love and light and music is apart of that: Video

Jazz interview with jazz drummer Gayelynn McKinney. An interview by email in writing. 

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

Gayelynn McKinney: – I grew up in a musical household. My parents were Musicians. My father was a pianist and my mother was a vocalist and a pianist.

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?

GM: – I’m not sure why I chose the drums, I just know that I loved the Drums starting at 2 years old. Then I started learning the fundamentals and nuances of playing jazz from my dad, uncle, ( who was a bass player) and other musicians like, Marcus Belgrave. I learned how to play behind vocalist from my mother. Later on I started listening to drummers like Max Roach, Elvin Jones, Tony Williams, just to name a few. Max Roach was a huge influence on me because, he told me at 10 years old to remember the melodies of every song. I incorporate that approach to my playing.

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

GM: – My sound changed over time because, of how I interpreted the different drummers I heard. I started playing things according to how the music moved me.

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

GM: – I play rudiments to keep my speed and agility in tact. I listen to different styles of music and practice those styles to make sure I’m playing the rhythm or, language of the music correctly.

JBN.S: – What do you love most about your new album 2018: <McKinFolk: The New Beginning>, how it was formed and what you are working on today.

GM: – I love the fact that I am carrying on my father’s music. This is what he wanted me to do. In the fall I’ll be working on a cd of my own music, which will be released sometime in 2019.

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

GM: – You have to have the skills to execute what it is you want to play/say first ( that’s the intellect.) then, once you have the skill, you have to be able to let the music move you internally so you can put your feeling into it. That’s the soul part.

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

GM: – Touring with Aretha Franklin would be one of my favorite moments. Also performing the song, “Killer Joe” with Benny Golson, is top on my list.

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

GM: – Here in Detroit we have a program where jazz artists like myself, go into elementary and high schools to expose jazz to the kids. We teach them the history about jazz music and we have them listen to it and eventually we teach them how to play it. This has produced many young performers over the last 2 decades. I feel if you can get 10 kids out of 50 to gain an interest, then we’ve succeeded in keeping jazz alive.

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

GM: – I understand music as the connection that pulls people together and makes us groove as one. Music is universal. If people would be universal like music this world would probably be a very peaceful place. I believe the spirit is Love and light and music is apart of that.

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

GM: – I would love to see jazz have an equal place in AirPlay and notoriety along side R & B and pop music.

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

GM: – I Love all kinds of music. I listen to Robert Glasper, Vanessa Rubin, Snarky Puppy, Tia Fuller, Regina Carter and many others.

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

GM: – I’d like to travel back to a time when my parents were young to see what they were like as young musicians.

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

GM: – What makes you want to support jazz?

JBN.S: – Thank you for answers. Huge love in this musics: Jazz and Blues!!!

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

Картинки по запросу Gayelynn McKinney

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