June 22, 2024


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Interview with Kristen Lee Sergeant: The soul powering and guiding the intellect: Video

Interview with a bad musician, as if vocalist, ungrateful person Kristen Lee Sergeant. 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.

Kristen Lee Sergeant։ – I grew up in a little town called Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts – I would say music has always been a part of me, but I became more committed to it as I uncovered its ability to tell stories.

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

KLS: – For a long time I was working on achieving different skills and stylistic abilities in music for classical and musical theater purposes. Once I began devoting myself to jazz I then became dedicated to finding out what my sound was, not just what I could do.

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

KLS: – I recently worked on rhythm with my drummer, Jay Sawyer, which has made me a much better composer and musician. Ted Nash is my partner and that puts me at an unfair advantage when I find myself with a harmonic or arranging question, and I continue with regular lessons with Susan Ormont, my voice teacher of more than 15 years to this day. It’s important for me to always be studying, but also to let my creative vision dictate what I study.

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

KLS: – At one time when I was really diving into jazz for the first time, it was important for me to listen to nothing else. Now, although I am careful about what I listen to (we are what we listen to!) I embrace any and all music I love. I hear stray musical influence in my composition all the time and I love it — I just wrote a passage where I was like, yep this is totally Pink Floyd. It doesn’t serve me to starve my ears from anything they want to hear.

There could be talk or advertising about your CD

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

KLS: – The soul is paramount. I’ve found that the soul powering and guiding the intellect is the only way to create meaningful music that truly moves people. When my mind is in charge, I never feel like I know enough and constantly undercut myself. My soul is far more sure-footed.

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

KLS: – I don’t think of performing as delivering an emotion, as much as it is a mutual emotional revelation. The audience gives me their attention and openness, which allows me to have my own experience of the music, which in turn gives them an experience — its a beautiful feedback loop.

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

KLS: – Young people respond to music that’s exciting. I haven’t seen the age of a song really making a difference on that score. Music education is vitally important to jazz music’s survival and also our culture in this country. It embodies the joy, the struggle, creativity of black Americans and has radiated outwards to all people. It is the great gift that has been born out of much suffering and injustice – we must celebrate it and teach it.

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

KLS: – What a great question! On one level, My life has the purpose I give it each day, the meaning I create through my actions and how I direct my energy. In that way we all have a different meaning of life, since we’re each creating it every day. We never know when our time is up, or how those actions will tally up in the end, but we can do the best we can to live meaningfully. Past that, the meaning of life on a cosmic level is in God’s purview, well past mine!:)

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

KLS: – That all children would have access to a cross cultural musical education and any instruments they might need to pursue music for pleasure or profession. That will be the key to developing respect and value for music in the marketplace, support for our cultural institutions, and developing new artists from many backgrounds, and making our lives more rich in sound and feeling for the future.

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

KLS: – Last month was Ben Webster paired with Pinot Noir, and I’ve loved getting to know his sound. And drinking the wine of course.

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

KLS: – If I am a white male with some money, I’d like to bop around the second republic/ second empire time in Paris (around 1840-1870.) Some of my favorite poets and writers and artists were there then, I hope we’d get along. It was a fascinating time to be an artist. If I’m me, I think I had better stay here — I would like for the future trip in the time machine to be a pleasant one and that starts here.

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/

Kristen Lee Sergeant Archives - Talent In Borders

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