May 22, 2024

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Interview with Jay Lawrence: Music and art in general are both emotional and cerebral: Video

Jazz interview with drummer Jay Lawrence. An interview by email in writing. 

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

Jay Lawrence: – I grew up in Reno Nevada with ready access to a musical family members and a strong musical community.

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?

JL: – Drums appealed to me from my earliest exposure.  I was fortunate to study with fabulous local professionals in Reno.

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

JL: – Like most musicians, my sound is the result of the recordings that influenced my musical taste.

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

JL: – I practiced long hours when I was first beginning and now I squeeze it in around my work schedule at every opportunity.

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

JL: – My compositions are the result of harmonic progressions that appeal to me.  I collect harmonic moves that I like.

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

JL: – My new album Sonic Paragon is a collaboration with some of my favorite musicians.

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

JL: – Music and art in general are both emotional and cerebral.

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

JL: – I have toured professionally with Liberace, the Osmonds, James Moody, and Chris LeDoux.

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

JL: – Since Jazz is primarily improvised music, the goal is to teach a repertoire based on traditional Jazz standards, original compositions, the Great American Songbook, and new arrangements of contemporary tunes from all genres.

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

JL: – I believe that our duty is to emulate our Creator by taking elements that already exist and fashioning them into innovated organized art.

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

JL: – In a perfect world great musicians would be able to earn a great living.

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

JL: – Pedrito Martinez, Chick Corea, Joey Alexander, John Scofield, Chris Potter, Christian McBride, etc.

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

JL: – If I had a time machine I would go back to New Orleans at the inception of the drum set to witness the earliest stages of its development.

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

JL: – Who are your favorite Jazz composers and musicians?

JBN.S: – Thank you for answers. John Lovano, John Patitucci, Dave Holland, Cecil McLorin Selvent, Marc Copland, Tomasz Stanko, Dave Douglas, Chick Corea, Jack DeJohnette, Keith Jarrett, You and etc.

JL: – Thank you Simon!

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

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