June 21, 2024


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Interview with Nicola Buffa: The soul represents the creative fire: Video

Jazz interview with jazz guitarist Nicola Buffa. An interview by email in writing. 

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

Nicola Buffa: – I was born and raised in Rome. My parents, on my fourteenth birthday and my sister’s fifteenth, gave her a classical guitar. She reacted by saying: “Ah, nice…”

I touched it and never left it again and I am still in love with it, just as  I was in the beginning.

My father since I was born, made me listen only Jazz music (the most traditional version of Jazz), then growing up I learned to know the great artists and bands of rock and progressive of the 70s.

How could I not fall in love with them!?

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

NB: – The first album “Immagini di Roma” celebrated the eternal city. On a more strictly musical level, the development of my sound came about by listening to and welcoming the various types of music from ethnic groups all over the world, especially those related to the Mediterranean basin.

JBN: – What practice routine or exercise are you developed to maintain and improve your current music ability especially pertaining to rhythm? 

NB: – Thank you so much for this question because no one has ever asked me that question!

After having acquired the fundamental notions through the study of solfeggio, I realized that the development of one’s own rhythmic sense is not obtained by studying but by practicing, assigning to each instrument, even to each single element of the drums, a phoneme and learning to reproduce it perfectly with the voice.

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

NB: – We should not avoid welcoming positive influences if this means being inspired by our great role models.

Everything we create today is inspired by something from the past, it is important not to simply imitate.

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

NB: – In addition to doing the normal warm-up exercises for the two hands, I like to relax and joke with my beloved musicians.

JBN: – Ism is culled from a variety of lives dates whit various performers over the course of few years. Did your sound evolve during that time? And how did you select the musicians who play on the album? 

NB: – I went from a more acoustic sound, more linked to our tradition, to a more modern and lively sound, more universal, which recovers jazz and rock sounds.

I chose my collaborators because before being excellent musicians they are great men, always ready to communicate and empathize.

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

NB: – In all art forms the soul represents the creative fire that corresponds to our most instinctive part, the intellect corresponds to the rational part and must be used to organize the idea, never to block it.

JBN: – There’s a two way reationship between audience and artist, you’re okay whit giving the people what they want?

NB: – The true artist must fully express himself, but if he addresses the public he must do so with simplicity, without unnecessary and artificial complications.

It is not the one who speaks well who expresses himself in a complex way, but the one who arrives at the heart.

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

NB: – One evening I was playing at the “Mississippi Jazz Club” in Rome and in addition to our usual and good pianist Cinzia Gizzi, for the occasion we would have as a guest for some songs an excellent African pianist, Kalib Kalab.

At lunchtime at home, opening a can of tuna fish, I had cut off a finger that had started to bleed in abundance.

With a lot of effort in the end I was able to stop the bleeding with the help of a plaster. During the concert I almost immediately realized that I couldn’t play with the patch on my finger so I thought of taking it off.

Everything seemed to be going well, even musically speaking, when at the end of a song I thought of closing with one of those chords that surprise and that over time have made me famous.

Kalib, who was playing with his back to me, listening to the sound of that magic harmony rose up and came to congratulate me full of joy, shaking my hand and my bad finger.

My finger started bleeding again but I was so happy!

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

NB: – Making them heard in the family since they are in the belly of the mother and at school as a subject of study.

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

NB: – A person can evolve, emancipate and become a “man/woman” as long as he takes care of his inner self.

Beyond religion, the spirit takes care of itself by cultivating the land, practicing sport and art in its most varied forms.

Sport and music are teaching me how to live.

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

NB: – Music is a cultural object and I would like to make sure that it is no longer considered as something to be consumed.

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

NB: – All quality music regardless of genre.

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

NB: – Express yourself fully without unnecessary compromise.

JBN: – Let’s take a trip whit a time machine, so where and why would yuo really wanna go? 

NB: – I would like to go to ancient Greece to understand how in the times of the pre-Hellenic civilization the “Music Modes” were used.

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

NB: – I want to make my music known and play it all over the world with my Mediterranean Jazz Quartet.

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

Nostalgia - Nicola Buffa Mediterranean Jazz Quartet - YouTube

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