February 29, 2024

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Interview with Jonas Scheffler: The inequality in musical world. We need equality: Video

Interview with jazz trumpeter Jonas Scheffler. 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?

Jonas Scheffler: – I grew up in a small town in the northern part of Jutland in Denmark. It is a small coast town with around 9000 citizens. My whole family has been playing music always, and my dad also plays the trumpet, so in a way it was a very natural decision for me. We heard a lot of American funk and soul in our house. Still hasn’t happened.

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

JS: – I think that I have been struggling for a while finding my “own” sound. Listening to players like Chet, Miles and Wynton a lot, kind of made it hard to be satisfied with your sound. Over time I learned to accept my sound, and now I really admire myself in a way.

The most important thing I have done for myself is accepting that I am me, and my sound is mine. Sure, I have days where I sound like shit, but it is all about accepting, adapting and getting to know yourself. Your sound is yours.

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

JS: – I love playing long notes. It helps me focus on my tone and get my playing centered. I play a lot of Danish folksongs in all keys and flexibility exercises, and almost always to a metronome.

Another important exercise for me is to listen to all kinds of music and musicians. It really inspires me.

JBN: – How do you keep stray, or random, musical influences from diverting you from what you’re doing?

JS: – For me there are no random musical influences. I take it all in and honestly believe that all the music I listen to or/and play has made me the trumpeter I am today. I think it depends on how you process music.

There could be talk or advertising about your CD

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

JS: – Uh. I think you need some intellect or at least skill on your instrument to be able to play it with soul.

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

JS: – It depends on what kind of gig I’m playing, but mostly yes, I don’t mind. I mean, if I’m playing with one of my bands who plays original music, I can’t promise the audience the emotion they are longing for, but I invite them to experience and share their own emotions towards our music.

On the other hand, if I’m playing a dancing-gig or what-ever I’m ok with delivering people the emotion they long for. Otherwise, I would just say no to the gig.

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

JS: – Another good questions. I think we have to accept that not all jazz is standard jazz. For me jazz is much more, and I think we (on radio stations, tv-shows and so on …) as jazz lovers, has a responsibility to widen our perspective and show young people that jazz isn’t just “old” music.

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

JS: – That’s deep. I think for me Love is my spirit. And music is also love. Feelings as insecurity, greef, optimism and happiness plays a huge role in my “spirit”.

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

JS: – I would change the inequality in musical world. We need equality.

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

JS: – A lot of different artists! But I just checked my playlists: Chris Stapleton, Verneri Pohjola, Adrienne Lenker, Fleetwood Mac, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Guldimund and Chet Baker are some of my top artists right now.

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

JS: – Oh man. That’s a tough one. My biggest musical hero is Chet Baker, so I would love to go back to June 21, 1979, and sit in the studio when he recorded the album “The touch of your lips”. A total classic and a MUST listen for all!

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/

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