June 24, 2024


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Interview with Ray Vanderby։ The spirit lines up through the musician: Video

Interview with jazz keyboardist Ray Vanderby. An interview by email in writing. After publishing the interview, I received this message. The interview took place in April last year. Hello Simon, This is Ray’s sister here, I’m sorry to have to tell you that Ray passed away in August last year.

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?

Ray Vanderby: – I was born in Apeldoorn, Holland in 1953. I migrated to Australia with my parents in 1959. I grew up in Orange NSW Australia and at 11yrs of age I was going to the Methodist Sunday school every Sunday morning. One day a girl was playing the piano there and I was fascinated as I watched her. When she finished I walked up to the piano and started playing by ear what she had played. I was instantly attracted to the keyboard. Word got back to my parents who organized organ lessons for me.

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

RV: – Through my teen years I was a sponge listening and studying the keyboard masters, on piano, organ and synth. Jimmy Smith, Keith Emerson, Oscar Peterson, Herbie Hancock, Dave Brubeck, Keith Jarret, Andre Previn. I developed my own sound and style based on the influences I listened to.

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

RV: – To keep up with the keyboard masters I realized I had to improve my technique. I did this by following Hanon’s regular finger exercises and scales.

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

RV: – Yes I am sometimes called a Chameleon: jazz, blues, world, pop, rock, progressive, soul, funk.

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

RV: – A song must have soul in order for the listener to feel it. A song can have the flashiest melodies and riffs but if you can’t feel it, it’s lacking soul and it won’t move the listener.

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

RV: – A successful gig is one where the band gives the audience what they want and in return the audience feeds back to the band and we are all on a natural high.

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

RV: – It really doesn’t matter when a jazz song was written and performed. Most of the Jazz Standards are timeless and good grounding for new players.

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

RV: – Musicians who play their own style of improvisation are a channel. When a musician is one with their instrument the spirit lines up through the musician.

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

RV: – There really are no short cuts but when a musician writes a magical piece, it would be wonderful to share it with the world.

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

RV: – I listen to what other writers, pianists and organists who are top shelf, Kendrik Lamar, Mike Nock, Joey DeFrancesco, Herbie Hancock, David Bowie, Maria Schneider.

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

RV: – From the 30’s to the 60’s, Duke Ellington, The Cotton Club, The New York scene, Miles Davis, The Chicago scene, Oscar Peterson, Thelonious Monk, smoke filled jazz barrooms where the joints were really jumpin’.

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/

File:Ray Vanderby at the Hammond SK1.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

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