June 24, 2024


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Interview with Steve Cardenas: I don’t care for categorizations and genre definitions: Video

Jazz interview with a bad musician, as if guitarist Steve Cardenas. An interview by email in writing.

JazzBluesNews.com: – Are there sub-genres within the jazz field that you tend to stay away from or focus on?

Steve Cardenas: – Honestly, it’s just all music to me. I don’t care for categorizations and genre definitions. I know those areas help to reference certain playing styles and can help, but I’ve found mostly they inhibit the broader scope of anyone just listening to music because they enjoy it rather than wondering if it fits into a category that they like or not.

JBN: – When was your first desire to become involved in music & what do you learn about yourself from music?

SC: – I’ve been listening to music since I was very small, as is likely the case with about anyone. I’ve always loved hearing music as far as I can remember. I took up guitar at age 14 and, well, here I am! What I’ve learned most about music is how it reflects all of the joys and sorrows of life, which to me is why it is so important to our well-being. It heals, it nourishes and it also provides questions and obstacles that challenge musicians, just like life does.

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

SC: – There is no particular preparation for me other than learning and knowing the music. If I can get to that point, I stand a greater chance of being inside the music without thinking about it consciously.

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JBN: – What happened when you first heard Bird? Did it make an immediate impact on you?

SC: – Probably what all musicians felt when they first heard Bird, which was beauty and awe! But I feel these things whenever I hear so much other amazing music too. It ultimately comes down to music as a collective source and energy as opposed to focusing on individuals. That’s not at all to lessen the importance of individual musicians or to not give respect where it’s due. But, in my humble opinion, I think any of the greats would say a similar thing, just in a more eloquent way.

JBN: – With such an illustrious career, what has given you the most satisfaction musically?

SC: – I don’t think of myself as having an illustrious career. I get the most satisfaction from playing music, it’s that simple for me.

JBN: – What advice would you give to aspiring musicians thinking of pursuing a career?

SC: – Just keep learning and putting yourself in musical situations that challenge you and help you grow. Keep your expectations low so that things that come your way are an unexpected positive instead of ruminating about things that didn’t come your way as a disappointment. It’s all about the music. If one can make a living being a musician, that’s great. But no one is a failure if they can’t pull it together financially as a musician. It’s all about the music! I can’t say it enough. And don’t forget to enjoy yourself too, it’s not all about being serious. Be serious in the practice room, have fun playing!

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

Steve Cardenas - Jazz Guitar Lessons 1, 2 & PDF - Masterclass Bundle

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