May 23, 2024

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Interview with Elisabetta Guido: My spirit of life is searching for the beauty: Video

Interview with singer and pianist Elisabetta Guido. An interview by email in writing. – First, let’s start out with where you grew up, and what got you interested in music.  How exactly did your adventure take off? 

Elisabetta Guido: – I was born and educated in Lecce, in southern Italy.  My mom says I’ve been singing perfectly in pitch since I was 2 years old.  I have been studying piano since I was 9 and have been professionally singing since I was 19.  My father was a musician and he made me listen a lot of music albums, especially jazz and blues albums.  I realized that I wanted to make a living out of music after graduating from law school, when I was already an adult, because I was about 25 years old

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

EG: – At first I loved every kind of Afroamerican music style, like jazz, soul, R&B, gospel, without distinction. But when I was about 35 years old I almost exclusively listened to jazz musicians Monk, Hancock, Mingus, Corea and singers like Gretchen Parlato (my favourite) and Esperanza Spalding. And these records have developed my current sound, I think.

OUR US/EU Jazz and Blues Festivals 2023

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

EG: – I love vocal trainings very much. I love discovering new vocal sounds and effects. Everyday I do vocal exercises, like scales and arpeggios. To improve my proficiency in harmony I usually do a lot of transcriptions of sheet music. And to improve my sense of rhythm I usually listen and try to sing African and Latin rhythms, above all.

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

EG: – As I said before, I’ve noticed an evolution in my singing since I start listening to the modern jazz authors’ records. First I sang in a mainstream way. Then I’ve started singing in a more rhythmically way and improvising using a lot of new effects.

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

EG: – In the jazz style this balance is very difficult to perceive at times, because musicians are usually asked to use their intellect a lot. But I think that the ideal author and musician is someone who writes and playes with intellect at the service of the soul, because this is the real reason for the existence of art.

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

EG: – This is a more valid concept for other music styles than for the jazz style, I think. Because the jazz musician usually writes and plays more for the pleasure of himselves than for the pleasure of the audience. However I think that the audience can understand the passion we feel for this music style while playing it, because they can feel our energy.

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

EG: – Actually I think the only way to get young people interested in jazz music is to get them to listen to it in primary or secondary school.  Then those who usually love jazz are those who have a good culture, in general.  So school and culture are really, really important if we want young people to be interested in jazz, I think.

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

EG: – I agree with Coltrane. Music is also my spirit. When I sing I try to convey my spirit to the audience, and I feel my singing flowing like energy. My spirit of life is searching for the beauty, in the whole forms it can have. The meaning of my life is the search for emotions while singing and playing music, in general and giving my soul to the people I love.

OUR US/EU Jazz and Blues Festivals 2023

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

EG: – It would be that jazz is listened to by many people, because this could mean that there’s finally a higher musical culture in the world

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

EG: – My favourite author is always Monk. I adore “Carmen sings Monk”. I listen to it often, even these days.  If I have a gig, I prepare to improvise listening to Ella Fitzgerald. I think she is the best improviser of the history of jazz music and she always gives me a lot of musical ideas. During this time I also usually listen to Robert Glasper, Gretchen Parlato, Keith Jarrett etc.

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

EG: – I don’t wanna go into any other moment in our history. I love this moment in history because in the civilized Countries there is more freedom and respect of the human rights than first …

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.

Jazz in Duomo con Elisabetta Guido - Gazzetta della Lombardia

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