February 29, 2024

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Interview with Håkan Broström: The album Cosmic Friends was kind of a documentation: Video, new CD cover, Photos

Jazz interview with saxophonist Håkan Broström. An interview by email in writing.

JazzBluesNews.com: – Please explain your creative process …

Håkan Broström: – It is difficult to describe but one thing that I have noticed is that I usually write more music when I am at home and not having listened to music for a while. Then I can start to hear music from the inside…

JBN: – What are your main impulses to write music?

HB: – I like to sit at the piano and just fool around and suddenly ideas pop up.

JBN: – What do you personally consider to be the incisive moments and pieces in your work and/or career?

HB: – There have been many but playing and meeting with Phil Woods was fantastic. It was with the Norrbotten Big Band and he was guesting . Playing quartet with Jeff ”Tain” Watts and Joey Calderazzo is another great memory.

JBN: – Are there sub-genres within the jazz field that you tend to stay away from or focus on?

HB: – I like blues a lot and also latin music for example. I am not good at traditional jazz but I wish I was.

JBN: – When your first desire to become involved in the music was & what do you learn about yourself from music?

HB: – I have learned to have a big portion of discipline. When I started I thought that I was talented enough to skip practicing, I soon discovered that that was not the case.

JBN: – How do you prepare before your performances to help you maintain both spiritual and musical stamina?

HB: – It is important for me to know what the music ”expect” from me and what I can expect from my fellow musicians. If I am comfortable with the context I can relax and concentrate in the right way on the music.

JBN: – What do you love most about your new album 2023: Hakan Brostrom, New Places Orchestra – Cosmic Friends, how it was formed and what you are working on today.

HB: – This album was kind of a documentation of what I have been into the last few years. Most of the songs on the album are compositions that I wrote for my quartet. It feels good to have put this on record and now I can go on with something new and maybe different.

Buy from here – New CD 2023

Cosmic Friends

JBN: – Did your sound evolve during that time? And how did you select the musicians who play on the album?

HB: – I think my sound is a little bit more relaxed now maybe. Well there are 17 musicians in the band and I picked them one by one. Seven of the musicians on the recording are women. I think that has a positive effect on the music.

JBN: – How would you describe and rate the music scene you are currently living?

HB: – It is good in many ways. There are a lot of young gifted musicians on the scene right now. For example the jazz scene in Stockholm is good in that there are a lot of clubs but the clubs can not pay the artists that much. Personally I would like to work more but I am not complaining.

JBN: – When you improvise, you know where you’re going. It’s a matter of taking certain paths and certain directions?

HB: – No, not really … I try to not repeat myself too often though. And also maybe challenge myself not to play too conventional.

JBN: – Do you ever get the feeling that music majors, and particularly people who are going into jazz, are being cranked out much like business majors? That they are not really able to express themselves as jazz musicians?

HB: – Yes, that can definitely happen.

JBN: – What about somebody who is really gifted and puts together a band and just gets upset to the point of quitting because of the business aspects-the agents and the clubs?

HB: – I think that happens a lot. It is very difficult if you don’t have a name that is well known.The agents are not interested then and most of the promoters from the clubs don’t book via the artists.

JBN: – And lastly, being a teacher, do you find it difficult to write music yourself?

HB: – Actually I don’t work as a teacher that much … and when I teach it is more about playing music.

JBN: – With such an illustrious career, what has given you the most satisfaction musically?

HB: – I think that is when I play my music with people who understand it and support it and the listeners like it. Simple as that.

JBN: – From the musical and feeling point of view is there any difference between a old and great jazzmans and young?

HB: – Maybe there are but I have not experienced that very much.

JBN: – What advice would you give to aspiring musicians thinking of pursuing a career?

HB: –  I would say that if he/she wants to make a lot of money very fast they are in the wrong business. It is good to marry someone who has a steady job … (kidding).

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

HB: – Yes … good questions!

JBN: – Do you play any instrument yourself? Have you ever given a free concert during your entire concert career? At the bottom line, what are your expectations from our interview?

HB: – Yes there have been a few free concerts .. I am glad if you think it is good enough to publish. ????

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

Håkan Broström Quartet

Håkan Broström on Spotify

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