May 27, 2024

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Interview with Lori Williams: The music is magical and reaches the masses in a powerful way: Photos, Videos

Jazz interview with jazz singer Lori Williams. An interview by email in writing. 

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

Lori Williams: – I grew up in Washington, DC. I started singing at an early age in the church choir. I came from a musical family.

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

LW: – As a college student attending Hampton University, I became a member of the Jazz and Jazz Program and worked as the Jazz Program Director / On-Air DJ for our college radio station: WHOV-FM. I had two music professors (Mr. Bob Ransom and Dr. Effie Gardner) who nurtured me in the field of Jazz and helped me develop my talent.

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

LW: – Like most young vocalists, I was influenced by popular singers. Whitney Houston and Anita Baker. The more you practice and perform, the more you determine the sound that best suits you. You create a style … your own voice … and mine has thankfully matured over the years.

JBN.S: – What practice do you have to learn or maintain?

LW: – I’m a high school vocal music teacher. I instruct my students on vocal health, warm up exercises and sight reading daily. So while practicing with them, I enhance my vocal skills. We all must continue to practice – especially with rhythm exercises.

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

LW: – I love counter melodies and utilize this technique when recording. I also love minor keys because of their dark and mysterious tones.

JBN.S: – What do you like? What are you doing?

LW: – I love the creative process in which it was developed. Working with pianist / producer / Radio Host Bob Baldwin is always a fun and exciting. He musicianship is extraordinary and he hears intricate harmonies that enrich the melodies. We’re working on new music and continuing to perform music from our CDs.

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

LW: – I do not have all of the answers. However, balance is key. Following your soul / heart is a passionate action. Listening to your mind / intellect. When you put both together, with a prayerful focus, the music is magical and reaches the masses in a powerful way. Your experiences can be shared through the lyrics.

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

LW: – Bobby McFerrin:

This is one of my most memorable moments shared with the incredibly talented musical genius Bobby McFerrin:

I have beautiful memories every time I go on stage. I enjoy traveling the world meeting new people at my shows and sharing the music.

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

LW: – As a music teacher, I celebrate Jazz throughout the year (especially during the April for the Jazz Appreciation Month) and I teach my students about my musical heritage (my parents are from Louisiana). The Jazz standards are our foundation; but the music has the chance to evolve and reach the young crowds through other genres or sub-genres of Jazz. When I travel to Europe and teach Jazz workshops, I meet a lot of young people who love Jazz. And I enjoy sharing my love for this great art form every year when the school year begins. I’m scheduled to teach a Masterclass with high school students later this year in Norfolk, Virginia. The interest is still there among young people.

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

LW: – I believe that all good music comes from GOD. HE is the ultimate Spirit who knows all. Jazz is a spiritual music that has the power to affect emotions. I believe that if we follow in GOD’s way and purpose, our lives will be fulfilled.

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

LW: – I wish more schools (middle and high schools specifically) would allow music to be taught (not cutting funding for music education); and professional artists would offer their time to visit.

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

LW: – I listen to Dianne Reeves, Michael Franks, Bobby McFerrin, Bob Baldwin, Erykah Badu, Sarah Vaughan and CDs from my musician friends in Europe.

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

LW: – I’d like to go back to the venue in Tokyo, Japan where I met Abbey Lincoln (early 90s) and remain in touch with her. I regret losing contact. I believe mentoring is important and I missed out on a wonderful opportunity.

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

LW: – Who is in your audience? Which venue would be the preferred place to enjoy my show? (The first person to respond to you will receive a signed CD from me.)

JBN.S: – Thank you for answers. Our website audience in the general the age 18 – 70 a persons, and a concrete, a lot read the age 40-70 people grow up, most of them women.

From readers, the first place we have from the US, in bulk from Italy, UK, France, Germany, Canada, Spain, Russia, Poland, Czech, Brazil and etc.

Celebrating jazz 24/7 since 2007. Editorial offices in Boston – MA – USA, Paris – France and in Yerevan – Armenia, the website is read all over the world. It has 38,759 followers and it is every day visited by more than 59,000 readers by visitor counter Google Analitics. Yesterday: 08/27/2018 for example 59, 452 Views – Evaluating Google Analytics traffic by Day!!!

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

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