June 17, 2024

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Interview with Simon Sieger: Music has become increasingly about business. Music is art: Video

Jazz interview with a bad musician, as if trombonist Simon Sieger. An interview by email in writing. 

JazzBluesNews.com: – First, let’s start out with where you grew up, and what got you interested in music. How exactly did your adventure take off? When did you realize that this was a passion you could make a living out of?

Simon Sieger: – I grew up in a small town, Beardstown, Illinois. Music is in my blood; my father was a musician too. Some of my earliest and fondest memories were of the Sunday jam sessions at the Glendale Tavern in Beardstown, IL. The Glendale was my parent’s business. Musicians came to the Glendale from all over the region to perform. Many genres were represented: blues, jazz, country, and big band. All these styles are represented in the music that I write and perform today. I remember, at the tender age of three, sitting on my dad’s lap, while he played drums in these jams. I would keep time on the ride cymbal while he played.

JBN: – How has your sound evolved over time? What have you been doing to find and develop your own sound?

SS: – I have evolved by just continuing to be true to myself, and not trying to fit any expectations put upon me to be something I am not. Be true to yourself is the best thing any artist can remember.

JBN: – What routine practices or exercises have you developed to maintain and improve your current musical proficiency, in terms of both rhythm and harmony?

SS: – I was taught tap dance at a young age, because my father felt it would serve me well if I wanted to pursue music. I did not understand at the time, but he was right. To this day, those lesson I learned in dance are used in my shows. It gave me a fantastic internal clock.

JBN: – Have you changed through the years? Any changes or overall evolution? And if so why?

SS: – I have evolved because throughout the years I have performed all styles of music, and this serves me well now in what I write and perform.

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

SS: – I am a fitness enthusiast. I work out at least 5 days a week to keep my body in shape, which is my instrument.

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JBN: – In your opinion, what is the balance in music between intellect and soul?

SS: – I believe music comes from your soul. There is a certain amount of learning and practicing your craft needed but performing for me is soul based.

JBN: – There is a two-way relationship between audience and artist; are you okay with delivering people the emotion they long for?

SS: – I feel like that is my job. I want to convey to audience the emotion that I feel when I sing. Getting that feeling and emotion back from them is my goal for every show.

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

SS: – Expose them to it, play the music for them. My parents’ musical influences are what set the stage for what I enjoy musically. They would tell me…” If you like so and so then go back, and listen to hear who their influences were”. This philosophy opened my mind to many artists.

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

SS: – I once wrote the lyric, “Music is my religion, my addiction. It gets me off every time.” I believe in God. God gave me the gift of music. It is deeply embedded in every fiber of my being.

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

SS: – I would change the fact music has become increasingly about business. Music is art. The “music business” is all about what sells, what’s new, and next. The art gets lost in the business.

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

SS: – I listen to many different genres. I listen to, the late great, Michael Ledbetter a lot. I learn so much from his amazing vocal style.

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

SS: – So many messages…hope, fun, resilience, and I could go on. I think each person pulls their own message based on how the music moves them.

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

SS: – I would go back to my childhood, and those amazing jam sessions at my parent’s tavern. I learned so much about music at those sessions. This is where my love of music started.

JBN: – So far, it’s been me asking you questions, now may I have a question from yourself…

SS: – If you could change one thing in the music world, what would you change and why?

JBN – S.Sarg: – Moreover, I would clean up the field of jazz and blues musics, and clean it from low-quality musicians, and for this I became the executive general manager the US/EU Jazz and Blues Association https://jazzbluesnews.com/2022/11/19/us-eu-jba/ , and every year I expand the scale of jazz and blues festivals in Europe. Especially those who have no mind and thought, playing fool robots, should leave jazz and blues. There are so many, have no idea, you are as full as mosquitoes and gnaw jazz and blues. When I love jazz and blues in a good way, it seems to me an angelic sphere, the deeper I dive, the more disgusting the homeless who turn their ass up. Fu!

JBN: – At the bottom line, what are your expectations from our interview?

SS: – I appreciate the opportunity to share my story and music. Much Love to you!

Interview by Simon Sarg

Urs Graf Consort - Gabriel Bristow et Simon Sieger · Action Jazz

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