Interview with as if contrabassist Michael Feinberg. 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?
Michael Feinberg: – I grew up in Atlanta, Ga. In the 90’s and early 2000’s the music around me influenced my love for music and inspired me to create. Georgia is home to great Hip hop, southern rock, blues, gospel, marching bands, it’s very eclectic and that really informs my music even today. I first realized that this could be a career when I joined Russell Gunn’s band at 17 years old. It my first real professional experience and illuminated what it is to be a jazz musician.
OUR US/EU Jazz and Blues Festivals 2023
JBN: – How has your sound evolved over time? What have you been doing to find and develop your own sound? What routine practices or exercises have you developed to maintain and improve your current musical proficiency, in terms of both rhythm and harmony?
MF: – The pandemic has influenced my practice routine and material recently. I have been spending a lot of time working on playing lyrical pieces on the bass like Bottesini, Bach, Mahler and Koussevitsky. I’m trying to execute with more precision and spirit so performing the great bass works form the past sheds light on making beautiful and intentional music.
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JBN: – In your opinion, what’s the balance in music between intellect and soul?
MF: – I strive to reach the balance between the two but where music fails is the imbalance of intellect and soul. There is an intelligence about soulful music and a soulfulness in intellect. often musicians try to fight against their true nature to be of the now, hip, too smart, etc. and it’s the phony intellectual or manufactured soul that I try to avoid. I think that’s where the ego is in music. When we negate the ego we can speak truth through the music.
JBN: – There’s a two-way relationship between audience and artist; are you okay with delivering people the emotion they long for?
MF: – I strive to make my honest expression through music. I understand that my expression might not be for everybody. I trust my taste and that of my band mates so if the musicians on stage feel like we delivered the audience tends to respond in kind.
JBN: – How can we get young people interested in jazz when most of standard tunes are half a century old?
MF: – Young people are really into jazz but the jazz community doesn’t really know it. Classics are classic, Beethoven still connects with people. Bach still connects. There’s always a place for the great American songbook, blues with swing, miles, trane, monk, bird etc. The mainstream jazz machine isn’t connected to where jazz has connected with young audiences.
JBN: – If you could change one single thing in the musical world and that would become reality, what would that be?
OUR US/EU Jazz and Blues Festivals 2023
MF: – I would change the standard pay rates for working musicians. Club gigs pay the same that they did 30 years ago. It makes it impossible to financially survive as an artist and we are forced to find other work like teaching to support our lifestyle.
JBN: – Whom do you find yourself listening to these days?
MF: – I’m in a searching phase right now looking for something to really connect with. I’ve been listening to Ryuichi Sakamoto, Hermeto Pascoal, Lee Morgan, Rosalia, Dom Kennedy. A little of this a little of that.
Interview by Simon Sarg
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/