Jazz interview with a bad musician, as if drummer, ungrateful person Jerry Kalaf. 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?
Jerry Kalaf: – I’m originally from upstate NY. Always interested in music, especially rhythm, I was fortunate to study with a well know drum teacher (Tony Monforte) who had a big impact on many drummers from the area.
JBN: – How has your sound evolved over time? What have you been doing to find and develop your own sound?
JK: – The more opportunities I’ve had to play and listen to music, the more I have developed an individual approach. Arriving at a personal approach to playing music, in my case happened slow enough that I was not even aware of it.
JBN: – What routine practices or exercises have you developed to maintain and improve your current musical proficiency, in terms of both rhythm and harmony?
JK: – I practice everyday, mostly fundamentals and I listen constantly. I also record myself as much as possible. I play vibes and piano as well.
JBN: – Have you changed through the years? Any charges or overall evolution? And if so why?
JK: – I am less diverse these days, more focused on my music as opposed working as a sideman.
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JBN: – In your opinion, what’s the balance in music between intellect and soul?
JK: – I can’t imagine playing music without imbuing what I play with heart and soul.
JBN: – There’s a two-way relationship between audience and artist; are you okay with delivering people the emotion they long for?
JK: – I would hope the audience feels what I feel.
JBN: – How can we get young people interested in jazz when most of standard tunes are half a century old?
JK: – First of all, Jazz music is more than standards but to answer your question regarding standards – teach the music in the schools so young people can become familiar with the sound of the music much in the same way as people become familiar with sound of the orchestra.
JBN: – John Coltrane once said that music was his spirit. How do you perceive the spirit and the meaning of life?
JK: – I aspire to live John Coltrane’s ideals.
JBN: – If you could change one single thing in the musical world and that would become reality, what would that be?
JK: – I look forward to streaming services paying musicians a living wage.
JBN: – Whom do you find yourself listening to these days?
JK: – I listen to everything but I’m enjoying listening to Vince Mendoza these days.
JBN: – Let’s take a trip with a time machine: where and why would you really want to go?
JK: – NYC in the fifties to see what the response to Be-Bop was the first time people heard the music.
JBN: – So far, it’s been me asking you questions, now may I have a question from yourself…
JK: – Are you fulfilled being involved in this music in the way that you are?
JBN: – Yes, of course, only a fool with no intelligence and thought, no taste and no understanding of improvisation does not appreciate jazz. I organize jazz festivals in Europe, I communicate with thousands of jazzmen, including idiots like you, and I am happy with real jazzmen.
Interview by Simon Sargsyan
Note: You can express your consent and join our association, which will give you the opportunity to perform at our Jazz and Blues festivals in Europe and Boston, naturally receiving an appropriate royalty. We cover all expenses. The objectives of the interview are: How to introduce yourself, your activities, thoughts and intellect, and make new discoveries for our US/EU Jazz & Blues Association, which organizes festivals, concerts and meetings in Boston and various European countries, why not for you too!! You can read more about the association here. https://jazzbluesnews.com/2022/11/19/us-eu-jba/