Interview with trumpeter Martti Vesala. 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?
Martti Vesala: – I grew up in a small town in central Finland, Jyväskylä. I started my musical activities around the age 8 with piano lessons. At 10 I felt I needed a change and decided that the trumpet should be my instrument. I remember getting a nice sound out of the instrument right away and enjoying it a lot!
Growing up in Jyväskylä in the 1990’s was great musically speaking, since many of my classmates also had musical hobbies. Many of them also turned out to become professional musicians. Especially rewarding were the big band concerts we played in High School, all the diﬀerent small band activities and jam sessions.
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We had a great scene in Jyväskylä: a jazz bar with great gigs every week. The best players used to tour Finland and they also came to Jyväskylä and that’s when me and my friends had the change to hear them. At 16 I was sure that I want to be a musician.
Later I studied in the prestigious Sibelius Academy. They had started a new training program called Nordic Master In Jazz. While attending this program I got the chance to study in Denmark and Sweden which was a big deal. I got so many new friends, contacts and a ton of experience.
JBN: – How has your sound evolved over time? What have you been doing to find and develop your own sound?
MV: – I have listened to a lot of diﬀerent types of music. Jazz, rock, pop, folk, anything soulful will work. I have analyzed numerous jazz solos of my favourite players, trumpeters, piano players, saxophonists etc. Just by listening to great music one will develop one’s personal taste.
Like with all musicians, one’s personal sound develops over time, hopefully gaining more depth.
JBN: – What routine practices or exercises have you developed to maintain and improve your current musical proficiency, in terms of both rhythm and harmony?
MV: – I play a lot of piano, experimenting with sounds. I listen to a lot of music and analyze it, finding out why something sounds good while something else might not appeal to me.
Having the chance to play and perform rhythmically very challenging music for example with Umo Helsinki Jazz Orchestra, has helped in developing my proficiency very much.
JBN: – Have you changed through the years? Any charges or overall evolution? And if so why?
MV: – I get inspiration from hearing new music and performing with great bands, ensembles and individuals. Also, enjoying great art, be it music, sculpture, paintings or photographs is very inspirational.
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JBN: – In your opinion, what’s the balance in music between intellect and soul?
MV: – You really can’t have one without the other in my opinion.
JBN: – There’s a two-way relationship between audience and artist; are you okay with delivering people the emotion they long for?
MV: – I love the feeling of performing in front of a live audience that is willing to shake oﬀ the dust of everyday life and experience something together, being transformed by the moment simply by listening to music.
JBN: – How can we get young people interested in jazz when most of standard tunes are half a century old?
MV: – Musicians such as Brad Mehldau are really pushing the boundaries in this field, coming up with adventurous and fresh ways of presenting these familiar tunes to modern day audiences. I think it is a matter of being creative and coming up with fresh solutions to make the material interesting to the younger audiences.
There are also many great artist, who make adventurous and fresh jazz interpretations of modern pop and rock music.
JBN: – John Coltrane once said that music was his spirit. How do you perceive the spirit and the meaning of life?
MV: – Music has a great power to heal the human soul. This is something I find very comforting, especially during these challenging times we are living.
JBN: – If you could change one single thing in the musical world and that would become reality, what would that be?
MV: – I would like to see the day when all the diﬀerent musical genres are being equally supported by the media and the diﬀerent institutions.
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JBN: – Whom do you find yourself listening to these days?
MV: – I listen to a lot of diﬀerent types of music. Recently, British trumpeter/composer Laura Jurd has been an influence. I also enjoy very much listening to the newly released album, ”Miles Davis Bootleg series vol 7”.
JBN: – Let’s take a trip with a time machine: where and why would you really want to go?
MV: – I would like to witness the great Miles Davis Quintet perform their legendary Plugged Nickel concerts in 1965.
JBN: – Do You like our questions? So far, it’s been me asking you questions, now may I have a question from yourself…
MV: – As a journalist, how do you promote equality and make sure everyone’s voice gets to be heard?
JBN: – I’m sorry, but what can I tell you when you don’t have the intelligence and wisdom to cooperate with our site with thousands of readers, which also organizes Jazz and Blues festivals in major capital cities in Europe. I can say: one hand does not clap.
US/EU Jazz & Blues association – We, who have our specific interests in the field of Jazz and Blues, it is natural that not all musicians can be equal for us, we have to pave the way for our musicians who cooperate with us, we buy more stages and festivals, organize and represent them, soon we will also have a very technically equipped and powerful recording studio.
Interview by Simon Sargsyan
Note: https://jazzbluesnews.com/2023/03/19/useu-jazz-blues-association-festivals/ You can express your consent and join our association, which will give you the opportunity to perform at our Jazz and Blues festivals, 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/useujba/