June 13, 2024


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Interview with Adi the Monk: The right music will be discovered by the right people: Video

Jazz interview with jazz guitarist Adi the Monk. An interview by email in writing. 

JazzBluesNews.com: – When you improvise, you know where you’re going. It’s a matter of taking certain paths and certain directions?

Adi the Monk: – I really try to stay out of the way and let it flow. I believe that the melodies – the music – appear as a natural gift. My musical offerings are based more on soulful self expression than on intellect or music theory. Of course, we have to have some knowledge of music and of our instrument to make it all work and to open up different possibilities for expression.

JBN: – How do you prepare before your performances to help you maintain both spiritual and musical stamina?

AtM: – I devote plenty of time every day to spiritual, mental and physical well being. I do this for overall wellness and progress, not specifically for musical performance – but that’s the answer. Daily yoga, meditation, scriptural study, physical conditioning and a clean, healthy diet. I value putting these things first, it’s self care.

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

AtM: – I focus on expressing myself in an entertaining and appealing way. Basically, I do what I feel and hope that the people will relate to it and love it. I’m all for giving the people what they want as long as they want what I have to give.

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

AtM: – Music is timeless and as long as it is accessible the right music will be discovered by the right people. I don’t see any need to worry about pushing or preserving a particular genre or body of songs. If the music is loveable it will be loved, it will find its way into the right hands and the right hearts.

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?

AtM: – I think everyone is original and unique and that they are truest to themselves when they let that shine. Some people may feel that they can do that best when they play music that is already written or established for them. In my case, there has to be plenty of room for freedom of expression in the music, and I prefer to make my own rules. This may be one thing that seperates a composer from musicians in general – a composer is inspired to express his or her own world through music, and is taking the liberty to create their own program.

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?

AtM: – I just play the music that is already there inside me and naturally wants to come out. That’s pretty much the way its always been for me, and I’m very happy now that more and more people are able to hear and appreciate what I do!

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?

AtM: – Right now we are busy preparing for the release of the album Soul of the Earth on Aug.29th and preparing my new band -Himalaya Soul Trio- for our debut performance on that day. It will be a socially distanced lawn concert and we are very excited about it. After the release party, I will keep playing my solo performances but I am really excited about developing the band and lining up more performances. The only thing I want to change about the music world is to make my small contribution, my offering.

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

AtM: – I’m always on a wide variety of music – here are a few of my top picks this summer: Mary Lou Williams, Macie Gray, Esperanza Spalding, Mississippi John Hurt, The Mayapuris.

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

AtM: – I accept it all as a blessing, each day with it’s challenges and lessons.

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

Adi the Monk - Photos

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