June 17, 2024

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Interview with Louise Dodds: I really developed a passion for singing jazz: Video

Jazz interview with jazz singer Louise Dodds. 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?

Louise Dodds: – I grew up in Edinburgh in Scotland. My mother is very musical and taught me how to read music and play piano from a very early age. I have 2 sisters and we all used to sing together in harmony. Once in school I learned guitar, clarinet and violin and was a member of windbands, orchestras and choirs. It wasn’t until my 20s that I really developed a passion for singing jazz, and once I started, I very quickly realized that this was what I wanted to do with my life.

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

LD: – I originally began my career performing jazz standards, a mix of songs from the Great American Songbook and bebop numbers. I was able to connect to these songs in a much deeper way. I listen to a lot of music by vocalists and instrumentalists in many difference styles and this helps to feed my musical imagination.

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

LD: – I really enjoy transcribing solos from recordings, this helps with my ear, my improvisational language and my time feel. I also get lessons from vocalists I admire, to keep learning and growing.

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

LD: – I think as an artist you are constantly growing and learning, and discovering new ideas and ways of performing and writing. It is an on going process for your entire career.

There could be talk or advertising about your CD

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

LD: – I think intellect comes into play when practicing, researching, planning, possibly arranging too but the soul kicks in when you are on stage. That’s the time to let the soul take over from the thinking brain and just go with what’s inside. I like to connect to my soul as much as possible when composing too, and try to not judge or overthink.

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

LD: – Being able to connect with an audience is one of the main reasons I perform, and it’s so important for me to provide a performance that allows the audience to feel something. There are times I do feel a bit emotionally drained after a show when it’s been particularly intense, but mostly I find it energizing. You can feel that connection in the air and it’s magical.

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

LD: – I think there are a lot of forms of jazz out there, and some of the more modern forms could appeal to a younger age group. Providing a platform, whether at festivals or online, for young people to discover different artists could help to interest them in jazz. Once they have an interest it may encourage them to delve deeper into the genre and discover some more artists.

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

LD: – A think this means different things to different people. We’re all on our own path. I think life is just one long exploration, trying to find what is meaningful to us and finding some connection with the universe at large. That helps to give us a sense of unity and purpose.

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

LD: – A better system for streaming music that would allow musicians to be played properly and fairly.

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

LD: – I absolutely love Cecile McLorin Salvant’s new album, and have also gone back to Gerald Clayton’s 2013 album Life Forum and Norma Winstone’s trio album Distances. I’m really excited to hear the new Avishai Cohen album this month too!

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

LD: – I mean, any Ella gig! I would also have loved to have been at the Pershing Lounge when Ahmad Jamal performed and recorded that amazing album. I never get tired of listening to it.

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

LD: – What would be your dream line up at a jazz gig, musicians can be past or present.

JBN: – Of course modern, but unfortunately not to you, because you do not appreciate the work of the media. Unfortunately!

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/

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

Under the Radar: Louise Dodds | The Scotsman

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