May 23, 2024

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Interview with Takuya Kuroda: Playing music, thinking of the music, creating music everyday more than 26 years: Video

Jazz interview with jazz trumpeter J-Squad group Takuya Kuroda. An interview by email in writing. 

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

Takuya Kuroda: – Grew up in Kobe Japan, my big brother used to play the trombone at Jazz Band, that’s my first influence.

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

TK: – My brother’s friend from the Jazz Band, actually he forced me to play trumpet since less trumpet players at the rim in the band lol. I cheated once, switched to Sax but I didn’t like it cuz it was much easier to make sound with sax than trumpet. I have two mentors, one Takashi Shimamoto in Japan, and Laurie Frink in New York (she passed away 5 years ago)

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

TK: – Focused on good tone and playing good melodies while my New School friends were busy trying to play slick shit, high shit, fast shit. that helped me to know who I am and what I wanted to be and have been doing same thing everyday.

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

TK: – Rhythmically, being best friends with metronome. long tone, basic stuff everyday. Don’t get to harmonic practice that much. If I have time, I practice Jazz Standards to develop my melodic ideas.

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?

TK: – Thank you for the deep look. I appreciate it. I always think of the balance between my strong simple melodic direction and what’s going on around me. I hate when everyone going to same direction because it means there is no rubbing in the music, so I often put dissonance intentionally when I got bored but it can be harmonically, rhythmically, volume or doing nothing.

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

TK: – Been patient, I guess.

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

TK: – Depends on ppl, and depends on the audiences think which one is more appearing from your music.

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

TK: – Used to dislike give what they want,,, you know the time you wanted to be the artist, the deep artist. Hahaha, now I think its depends on your level in the market. In the other word, if you can fill up big venue with your truly pure fans, you can do anything but if not, make them have good time is one of musician’s jobs I believe.

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

TK: – Can’t think of it now, sorry.

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

TK: – Collaborations with more artists would help open up doors to young people I guess.  Also, need to change the common image of Jazz a little bit if you really want to get young ppl get involved. Like, what to wear, where to play, how much it cost etc…

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

TK: – I like to say I do, but I don’t know. Playing music, thinking of the music, creating music everyday more than 26 years now and I will continue it till I die. That’s it. Word is world, music is music.

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

TK: – Can’t think of it now.

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

TK: – Freddie, Monk, Everything But the Girl, Isley Brothers etc…

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

TK: – I don’t wanna go back, they gonna kick my ass

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

TK: – Where are you?

JBN.S: – Thank you for answers. In the my first letter I writed: Boston – USA, Paris – France, Yerevan – Armenia.

JBN.S: – So putting that all together, how are you able to harness that now?

TK: – Sorry, I don’t know the word harness.

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

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