May 24, 2024

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Interview with Tiago Lageira: Focus on the beautiful: Video, new CD cover, Photos

Photo by Govert Driessen

Jazz interview with jazz guitarist Tiago Lageira. An interview by email in writing. – 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?

Tiago Lageira: – I grew up in Sines, a coastal town in the southwest of Portugal. At the age of 15 my mother decided to make the adventure of emigrating to Amsterdam in Holland after losing her job due to the financial crisis of 2007 which hit our country pretty hard. Actually I got started on the trombone at my school in Portugal and learned to read music immediately before moving but we couldn’t afford to buy the instrument. In Amsterdam I luckily got offered a guitar by a family friend to help with the boredom and I got absolutely obsessed with it, I still am actually! My family was completely not involved nor interested in music or arts and I grew up with no affinity for music but I was so obsessed with learning guitar that I decided that I wanted to just keep playing guitar for the rest of my life and somehow find a way to make a living out of it just so I could spend my time getting better at it.

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

TL: – There’s always been an idolized sound that I wanted to make on the guitar. This changed a lot trough the years just by changing the music that I listen to so checking out new music and musicians helps me move forward. Writing music or etudes over changes is also a great way of putting down what you actually want to hear and developing your taste.

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

TL: – I do a lot of exercises with the displacement of the metronome and trying to hear the click on different beats and upbeats or once every 4 bars. Something that I’m also currently doing more is hearing the changes without playing and feeling the points where the chords actually have to be played and what can I leave out or reinterpret. This depends a lot on the tune and composer but in the end your taste and ear will dictate how the music should sound.

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

TL: – I’ve become more conscious of the importance of living a healthy life and how important it is to feel good when playing music, specially if you want to do it for as long as you possible can!

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

TL: – Sleep is very important so I make sure to sleep 8 hours everyday, morning practice with an espresso has become a ritual for me at this point. Being active and eating well is also indispensable, not just for your body but for your mind as well.

JBN: – What do you love most about your new album 2022: Tiago Lageira – Maré Noturna, how it was formed and what you are working on today.

TL: – I’m pretty proud of it and enjoy listening to it still! The contrast between the songs  and listening to how Matheus and Kiko play on it is what I love the most about it for sure. Right now I’m working on my second album and another album from another project to release next year while touring Holland with the trio for this CD release.

JBN: – How did you select the musicians who play on the album?

TL: – Matheus Nicolaiewsky is a great Brazilian bass player that lives here in Holland and he plays amazingly on both double bass and electric bass and his swing feel for jazz and samba is phenomenal! Trough him I got in contact with Kiko Freitas who’s the drummer of João Bosco and the Nosso Trio, I’ve listened to him probably more then a thousand times on records and just love everything about how he plays and sounds!

New CD – 2022 – Buy from here

Maré Noturna". Album of Tiago Lageira, Kiko Freitas, Matheus Nicolaiewsky buy or stream. | HIGHRESAUDIO

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

TL: – This balance is reflected on many things in life, I think good music is music where people instinctively recognize this balance on it. It’s much harder then it sounds though, the balance is always there it’s just not necessarily perfectly equal. I think it’s crucial to be aware of this as a musician.

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

TL: – I’m more then okay with it, it’s essential for the music itself!

JBN: – Can you share any memories from gigs, jams, open acts and studio sessions over the years?

TL: – What immediately comes to mind was when I got to play with the great fado singer Mariza in Portugal live on TV, that was a great moment for me and my family in Portugal!

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

TL: – Writing new tunes and inserting new modern sounds or influences on the old standards might catch younger ears. Long-term, believing in what you’re doing a putting your heart and soul in it will always stand the test of time. The older people of now were the younger people back then.

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

TL: – I believe that you can get to know someone on a very deep level by listening to their music and how they play, in a way that we can’t really explain or perhaps even understand.

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

TL: – Learning how to listen or play music should be part of any school’s program.

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

TL: – Luiz Bonfá’s ‘Introspections’ and a lot of Tom Harrel recently!

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

TL: – We waste too much time on unimportant things, focus on the beautiful.

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

TL: – I would love to go back to 1998 and make myself start learning guitar then, I would be so much better now…

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

TL: – What’s something unexpected that you’ve learned after interviewing so many different musicians from different places?

JBN: – I have met a lot of unqualified and stupid musicians, which of course is painful for jazz, because jazz is my life and I take every such case very hard.

JBN: – Have you ever given a free concert during your entire concert career? At the bottom line, what are your expectations from our interview?

TL: – Yes, that’s part of the process of getting started on learning the music (specially jazz). I have absolutely no expectations but loved spending time on your questions, thank you for taking the time reading my answers!

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

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