June 15, 2024

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Interview with Joe McCarthy: Jazz is a timeless artform

Interview with Jazz drummer Joe McCarthy. 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 of? When did you realize that this was a passion you could make a living out of?

Joe McCarthy: – I am from Meriden Connecticut. I became serious about music towards the end of high school through the teaching of Art Perretta, a great jazz drummer and educator. He prepared me for a successful audition that led me to attending The Hartt School of Music and then The University of North Texas, studying with Alexander Lepak and Ed Soph. The passion for music was always there, the reality of making a living came later after I had developed the confidence and ability be competitive.

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?

JM: – My sound continues to change. I am constantly experimenting to find ways to make the music sound the best it can through my drumming. I am inspired by many different things, all of which help me to better my sound.

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

JM: – I practice and exercise every day. I am studying a vast amount of material, both rhythmically and harmonically to develop my mind, body, and soul to better understand the nuance and intricacies of music to continually elevate my level of performance.

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

JM: – I’m still trying to figure this out…. I believe they are in balance when each is feeding the process together, in other words, not getting too heady or not focusing enough on minute detail. For me, it is a lifelong process.

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

JM: – My wife has a mantra she states almost daily, “let the music do the talking”. I live by this and feel the only way to connect with an audience is through sincerity. People sense this and can feel when musicians play from their heart.

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

JM: – Jazz is a timeless artform. I believe this question isn’t only for jazz, but for music in general. My answer is inspiration. Discovering how a master musician can play something with passion, knowledge and intensity is something that must happen to light the fire in anyone, regardless of their age. It is from there that the journey begins.

OUR US/EU Jazz and Blues Association 2023

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

JM: – Making it less difficult to sustain a life as a professional musician.

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

JM: – I am inspired by informed musicians who continue to move their music forward and are not afraid of risk.

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/

Joe McCarthy | Zildjian Drum Set Artist

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