June 18, 2024

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Interview with Camilla George: I think in London that isn’t so much of a problem: Video

Jazz interview with jazz modern saxophonist and composer Camilla George. An interview by email in writing. 

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

Camilla George: – I was born in Eket in Nigeria but came to the UK when I was a young child and have lived in West London ever since. I have always loved music but my Dad used to play me jazz records from his extensive vinyl collection every Sunday and I feel that is where I started to get serious about my love for music!

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

CG: – I first tried a saxophone when I was 8 years old at a family friend’s house. I wanted to play the saxophone from then but it wasn’t until I was 11 and at secondary school where I won a musical competition and got music lessons, that I had my first saxophone lesson. My main teacher was Jean Toussaint of Art Blakey fame and he has been my mentor throughout my career.

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

CG: – My sound has evolved through transcription and sound exercises and being mindful about creating a personal sound.

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

CG: – I have several practice routines in place to keep my saxophone chops together- I have routines for when I am short on time and only have a couple of hours and practice routines for when I can practise for longer.

JBN.S: – Which harmonies and harmonic patterns do you prefer now? You’re playing is very sensitive, deft, it’s smooth, and I’d say you drift more toward harmony than dissonance. There is some dissonance there, but you use it judiciously. Is that a conscious decision or again, is it just an output of what goes in?

CG: – Well that’s a hard one- I suppose it’s a judgment call.

JBN.S: – How to prevent disparate influences from coloring what you’re doing?

CG: – I think all influneces are great and in my experience even if they are different to the project that I am working on, they enrich it nonetheless.

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

CG: – I think that’s a very personal balance, which is different for each musician and creator.

JBN.S: – There’s a two-way relationship between audience and artist; you’re okay with giving the people what they want?

CG: – I think the balance between the audience and the artist is important- I always strive to respect my audience as well as the music.

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

CG: – I have many fond memories of the jam sessions at the Late Show at Ronnie Scott’s, which I don’t get to go to as often now. It’s a great place to learn and to hear some amazing musicians of all backgrounds and ages.

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

CG: – I think in London that isn’t so much of a problem when you have organizations like Tomorrows Warriors run by Gary Crosby and Janine Irons. They are at the forefront of the jazz educational scene providing inspiring sessions for young people and nurturing them throughout their early careers. A lot of the young musicians dominating the London and International scene have come from The Warriors!

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

CG: – I would get rid of the huge tuition fees for some of the conservatoires as it means that only a small selection of people who have the money or are successful in getting funding can study.

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

CG: – Lots of things – probably too many to mention but right now I’m digging albums by some of my friends on the UK jazz scene such as Zara McFarlane and Joe Armon-Jones.

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

CG: – I would probably like to go back to 2010 which would have been the last year I spent with my Dad before he passed away in 2011. We had such a lovely year and that Christmas was one of my best Christmases’ ever so I would love the chance to experience that one more time.

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

CG: – What’s the most memorable gig you have been to?

JBN.S: – Thank you for answers. Esperanza Spalding live concert in Istanbul jazz festival 2012.

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

Картинки по запросу Camilla George

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