May 22, 2024

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Interview with Gabriel Espinosa: Music should bring happiness, music should heal: Video

Jazz interview with jazz guitarist Gabriel Espinosa. An interview by email in writing. 

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

Gabriel Espinosa: – I am from Merida, Yucatan Mexico. My mother introduced me to music when I was six years old.

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

GE: – I started playing guitar but switched to bass guitar when I was 14.

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

GE: – I consider myself a composer first and then a bass player. I have spent the last 50 years writing and arranging music. That is my passion.

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

GE: – I also like the brazilian music specially the bossa nova and samba. I love the music of A.C Jobin and Ivan Lins as well as the music of Mexican composer Armando Manzanero. I am also influenced by the msuic of Burt Bacharach and Cole Porter as well as the Beatles and Dave Grusin. As you can see, I am a very hybrid musician.

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?

GE: – I love jazz and Brazilian harmonies, they are rich. I am very influenced by those two styles as well as the bolero.

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

GE: – I do have influences like everybody but I think than in the last 10 years I have created my own style.

JBN.S: – What do you love most about your new album 2018: <Nostalgias De Mi Vida – Nostalgia Of My Life>, how it was formed and what you are working on today.

GE: – I think that this is my favorite album so far. I am blessed by the members of the band, Kim Nazarian and the arrangers. It is a very happy album with some beautiful Nostalgia.

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

GE: – I think that the Nostalgia answers that questions.

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

GE: – I don’ t write for the audience in mind, I just write what comes to me and it is always very friendly for the audience.

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

GE: – The joy of being in the studio recording my music with fantastic musicians and singers like: Antonio Sanchez, Anat Cohen, Tierney Sutton, Kim Nazarian, Romero Lubambo, Claudio Roditi, Misha Tsiganov, Mauricio Zottarelli, Adriano Santos, Helio Alves, Jim Seeley, Alison Wedding and many others.

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

GE: – We got to expose them to the American Jazz song book and hopefully they will enjoy that music and start writing their own. I have a chance to do that because I have been teaching at a couple of colleges for many years and I see some of my students are discovering the beauty of jazz.

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

GE: – For me, music is my spirit and I am blessed to be able to share that spirit with my students.

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

GE: – Music should bring happiness, music should heal. Everybody is doing what they believe in, we are all in this together and I love the diversity in music.

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

GE: – Stacey Kent new album, Alyssa Allgood, Ivan Lins.

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

GE: – On the script I am living the time and place that corresponds me. I don’t want to live in the past or future.I am here to write my part of the story.

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

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