May 20, 2024

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Interview with Anders Osborne: Everyday, gig and session is magical: Video

Jazz interview with jazz singer and guitarist Anders Osborne. An interview by email in writing. – When you improvise, you know where you’re going. It’s a matter of taking certain paths and certain directions?

Anders Osborne: – I usually don’t know where I’m going, I try to respond to what the other musicians are doing, sometimes I lead, sometimes I follow. If it’s more of a traditional solo, then I’ll make sure it starts somewhere interesting and ends with the feeling/ emotion I hope the audience to experience.

JBN: – Do you ever get the feeling that music majors, and particularly people who are going into jazz, are being cranked out much like business majors? That they are not really able to express themselves as jazz musicians?

AO: – It’s not really my place to say who’s able to express themselves or not. But I do think that if a musician works on self discovery and self acceptance as much as his or her technique, I believe you will become a better and truer artist and make a deeper impact.

JBN: – What about somebody who is really gifted and puts together a band and just gets upset to the point of quitting because of the business aspects-the agents and the clubs?

AO: – Challenges are part of the journey, if you never have the opportunity to overcome spiritual, physical, mental and/or practical difficulties you will not grow, learn nor find out what you are made of. Suffering can teach an artist and musician what their true gift is, and their weakness. The gift is what you give to others in need and your weakness is where you need to learn and receive from others. It’s a beautiful and perfect arrangement.

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

AO: – Why is that a bad thing? I think listen to the whispers of your soul and you’ll be fine.

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

AO: – They should try to dance! Taking turns leading.

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

AO: – I think we give each other what is needed in order to reach the desired experience. A live show is a true zen moment and it requires a ton of focus and devotion from both artists and audience.

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

AO: – Too many too share in this interview. Stories are meant to be told in person. Everyday, gig and session is magical.

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

AO: – That is a very good question. I’m not really sure. Maybe stop calling it a specific genre. Just invite young musicians to express themselves.

JBN: – And lastly, being a teacher, do you find it difficult to write music yourself?

AO: – No, I find it very easy. It’s my favorite thing to do.

JBN: – How important is it to you to have an original approach? Can you comment on the bridge between being a musician and being a composer?

AO: – I don’t think it’s important to be original unless that is what you are striving to be. I believe, like I said earlier, listen to the whispers of your soul and you will become a giant.

JBN: – Do you have an idea of what it is you’re trying to say or get across? Is it an idea or is it just something that we feel?

AO: – It varies from moment to moment and day to day. Sometimes I know exactly what I’m trying to create and some days it’s a total crapshoot. I just follow the muse wherever she goes.

JBN: – What do you see for your extended future? You know what you have going on? You have life?If you could change one thing in the musical world and it would become a reality, what would that be?

AO: – My long term vision is to be in the moment. Love my life and everyone in it. Do good and true work, authentically and honestly experience all the joy, blessings and learning challenges that my life will conjure up before I die.

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

AO: – Charlie Parker in Paris, Coleman Hawkins, Bach piano sonatas.

JBN: – What is the message you choose to bring through your music?

AO: – I don’t really have a message. I’m just trying to express my emotions and connect with other people.

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

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