February 29, 2024

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Interview with Jureesa McBride: My time to shine – everyone has a story to tell: Video, new CD cover

Interview with Blues Vicksburg-based vocalist Jureesa McBride – “The Duchess”. 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? 

Jureesa McBride: – I was born in Port Gibson, MS, and raised in a small town a few miles from there, Pattison, MS. I feel that it is truly a blessing to experience country living. Music was always a part of my everyday adventure, whether listening to my dad’s radio every Saturday morning while he worked on his car, performing skits at Mississippi Cultural Crossroads with PB&J Theater group, or singing in church and family gatherings, music has always been there. I’ve known all of my life that music was my passion and a huge part of who I am. I knew from the moment I saw how people reacted to me and my gift. Not to mention, there is a sense of freedom and peace that I get when I drown in my music.

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

JB: – When I first began to sing, my sound was everywhere, because I was trying to fit in musically where I could. Once I merged into the Blues, my sound and my own voice found their range, and development, and set a lane just for me. I feel that it is very important to find your own voice and sound that represents who you truly are.

The US/EU Jazz & Blues Association (US/EU JBA): Who we are 2012 – 2023! Photo

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

JB: – It’s very important to maintain and improve musical proficiency. I like to hum a lot to exercise my vocal cords and drink hot tea. I try my best to sing every day and try new chords just to see the extent of my vocal range. I find that dancing while singing helps with breathing as well.

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

JB: – When preparing for recordings and performances, I like to meditate, pray and focus on my show or studio recording. Even while in the studio, I see it as a performance in front of thousands of people. That mindset drives me.

JBN: – What do you love most about your new album 2023: ‘The Duchess’ Jureesa McBride – My Time to Shine, how it was formed, and what you are working on today?

JB: – I love absolutely everything about the new album. I am very proud of it because it shows who I truly am as an artist. I had been writing songs and compiling particular ones in preparation for my official Blues album. I am working on gaining more fans, and bookings, and pushing this album everywhere.

Buy from here – New CD 2023

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JBN: – How did you select the musicians who play on the album?

JB: – Let me start by saying that these musicians are just amazing. It was all the musician’s first time playing with each other. They played together as if they had been playing with each other for years. Grammy award winning, Paul Nelson, produced the album and played the lead guitar bringing magic to the album. Buzz Pickens played keys, did some arrangements, mixed, and mastered this entire project. Calvin Johnson played the bass, adding the funk that I needed for the tunes. Tommie Green is actually one of my band members and we have been working together for quite some time. He was the heartbeat to each song that kept the music flowing. I feel like I didn’t have to pick the musicians, but it was all in God’s plan to bring them all together.

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

JB: – I feel that the balance between intellect and soul has to be an equal balance. You definitely have to have soul that people feel through the music and what you feel creating it, but it is a must to have intellect in order to produce and protect the music and the art. Its an equal balance, but it a unique one for every individual. My balance of the two may not be the same balance for someone else.

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

JB: – Most definitely. I am certainly okay with delivering people emotion they long for. Music is cupposed to be relatable and build a connect between the entertainer and the audience. If I can connect with them through music and performing, I have done my job as an artist. It is like telling them a story and taking them on a journey through your experiences.

JBN: – Can you share any memories from gigs, jams, open acts, and studio sessions over the years?

JB: – I can share a great memory from my studio sessions. When creating this album, My Time to Shine, we recorded the entire album in two complee days. I thought that was really cool and we all had fun doing it. It was fun putting our creative minds together.

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

JB: – I feel once young people see just how much jazz plays a major role in the music that they listen to now, they would relate to it. Its just like when the rappers sample blues music and create hits. It’s all about showing them how classical works of art can create modern music that they can enoy. I had a few tunes on the the album that had a great jazz feel to them. Actually, I just became a fan of this new jazz artist tha is young. She has a classic sound and its just amazing. Not sure if I can mention her name in this interview, but it Samara Joy.

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

JB: – I could name a few things that I would changed in the musical world. The number one thing is wanting more people to see me, hear me, and experience my music on their stages. I know its coming, because I can feel it. Another thing that I would like to be changed is how the streaming services pay artist. There is a lot of money put into creating music and very little is given when people enjoy listening to your music on streaming services, therefore, if you aren’t performing regularly on stage, it can often be struggle.

Our US/EU Jazz-Blues Association Festivals 2023 with performances by international stars: Photos

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

JB: – Lately, I have been listening to a lot of Buddy Guy. He is an amazing legend, and I just feel good when I listen to his music. I can’t wait to meet him one day.

JBN: – What is the message you choose to bring through your music?

JB: – The message I like to bring through my music is that everyone has a story to tell that is relatable, and people experience what I write about. I want people to feel hope, laugh, have a good time, cry, shout, dance, relax, and that way, my message has been delivered like I’ve imagined it would.

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

JB: – These are some great questions and very detailed. They are actually make me think about some things that should have crossed my mind. Do you enjoy doing interviews?

JBN: – Yes, of course!

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

JB: – I have done my share of free shows earlier in my career. I think it varies, because there is an old saying, “choose your battles.” To me, that means to be careful of which you choose, because people will expect the ssame thing every time from you. My expectations from this interview is for more people to know who I am who may not have heard of me before in your area. I am sure it will be a great introduction to who I am. Who know, soon they will meet me in person.

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

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