May 18, 2024

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Interview with Ester Quevedo: I try to be soul when I play live, and intellect when I study at home: Video

Jazz interview with jazz pianist and composer Ester Quevedo. An interview by email in writing. – First let’s start with where you grew up, and what got you interested in music?

Ester Quevedo: – I grew up in Madrid. My mother played the piano as a pastime, and both my parents love music. At the age of 4, my twin sister and I started taking music lessons, and I tried to play the violin.  After that, I decided that I wanted to play the piano . At the age of seven I started playing classical music at the Conservatory of El Escorial (Madrid) where I studied for 10 years. When I was a teenager i started finding out a lot of different records.

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

EQ: – I started with classical music when I was a child, but I began listening to Ahmad Jamal, Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Bud Powell, when I was a teenager. I think over time I have listened to  a lot of great live shows, and I have learnt about music. Playing with different people is a good way to learn. I like to compose to develop my sound.

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

EQ: – I try to play with people, listen as much as possible and interact with the rhythm section. I like to practice piano stride, and invent different exercises with that.

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

EQ: – I don’t want to avoid being influence in what I do. I like to listen to different types of music, and I learn a lot from listening to the musicians I admire. . I’m also influenced by things I’ve lived through, and that’s made me come up with certain ideas.

For me it’s essential to absorb a lot of music in order to evolve

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

EQ: – I breath  and I think about enjoying the music. I try not to think about other stuff, just focus on the music.

There could be talk or advertising about your CD

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

EQ: – I believe that by playing with different people and listening to music every day, the sound is guided towards different paths.

I have selected these musicians, because I have admired them for a long time. They are musicians who listen a lot to the rest of the band and have very good taste in interacting

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

EQ: – The balance between the intellect and the soul depends on the situation I am in. Normally I try to be soul when I play live, and intellect when I study at home, but it depends on the moment.

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

EQ: – I make the music by following my judgment and being honest with myself,  trying to get something across to people.

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

EQ: – This album is very special for me, because all the tunes are new compositions created for the event and with a new quintet line-up.

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

EQ: – I think that there are many young people interested in jazz, although I also think that the environment in which you develop and create your tastes has a lot of influence. Nowadays we have access to a lot of different information because of the internet, and that makes it more difficult to capture the attention of young people. I think it would help if culture and music were promoted more since we are children at school.

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

EQ: – This is a difficult question. For me music is something that makes life more meaningful. I try to play as honestly as possible and tell a story. The meaning of life is not clear to me.

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

EQ: – I wish the musicians had better working conditions. Sometimes it’s hard to find jobs as a musician that are properly valued financially.

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

EQ: – I listen to Duke Elligton, Wayne Shorter, Wheather Report, Ahmad Jamal, Bach, and many others.

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

EQ: – Depend of the moment, and the music that i am playing.

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


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

EQ: – What are the musicians who have conditioned your life?

JBN: – A lot: John Coltrane, Dave Holland, Chick Corea, Steve Gadd …

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

EQ: – I will try to share my music with as many people as possible. Keep listening to music every day, and playing.

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

Artist "Ester Quevedo Quintet" | HIGHRESAUDIO

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