Interview with jazz acoustic bassist Harvie S. 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?
Harvie S: – Since I could walk I was interested in doing music. I started on the piano and could play it before I ever took a lesson. I was playing the tunes I heard on the radio. My parents didn’t that was anything special. I really had no interest in reading music or playing classical music so I basically floundered on that instrument. I had a very bad record player and could never hear the bass.
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When I got Waltz for Debby Bill Evans record I heard Scott laFaro and felt that this could be the way to go. I went to Berklee as a piano major but picked up a bass and started playing it and right away I was gigging and realized this was my instrument. I had to stay as a composition / piano major because there were no good bass teachers there at the time. That of course is not the case now. In my senior year I took George Mraz’s place in the recording band and that was a big thing for me. George was my idol. He was definitely one of the greatest of all time.
JBN: – How has your sound evolved over time? What have you been doing to find and develop your own sound?
HS: – I am so into sound and trying to get the best acoustic sound possible. It is a combination of technique combined with the best equipment.
JBN: – What routine practices or exercises have you developed to maintain and improve your current musical proficiency, in terms of both rhythm and harmony?
HS: – When I was younger since I didn’t have a teacher I practiced scales, arpeggios, and anything I could get my hands on. I also tried to play as much as possible with as many people as I could. Later I worked on metronome exercises because that became so necessary.
JBN: – Have you changed through the years? Any charges or overall evolution? And if so why?
HS: – I am constantly changing and growing and always learning something new. In the 90’s I kind of abandoned Jazz and was so into Afro-Cuban music. I studied in Cuba and made 4 Cds in that style and played in Salsa bands and Latin jazz bands.
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JBN: – In your opinion, what’s the balance in music between intellect and soul?
HS: – It all comes down to self expression whatever you have to do to make it work.
JBN: – There’s a two-way relationship between audience and artist; are you okay with delivering people the emotion they long for?
HS: – I play music from my heart and soul and hope I can uplift someone’s spirit who experiences it.
JBN: – How can we get young people interested in jazz when most of standard tunes are half a century old?
HS: – Jazz keeps going. Can’t stop it. I am amazed at how many young people really want to learn and experience Jazz. The Jazz scene in NY is booming now.
JBN: – John Coltrane once said that music was his spirit. How do you perceive the spirit and the meaning of life?
HS: – Music is how I express my feelings. Other people may do it with painting, dance, writing. It’s all about sharing your spirit with the world in a positive way. At least that is what I do and what I believe in. I can’t change the world but I can do my part.
JBN: – If you could change one single thing in the musical world and that would become reality, what would that be?
HS: – Find a way at least in America to give more money to artists and not organizations. Now everything is done ion a corporate way and the individual isn’t in control. I don’t get grants anymore. It’s a game you have to play.
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JBN: – Whom do you find yourself listening to these days?
HS: – A wide variety of music. Too wide to say.
JBN: – Let’s take a trip with a time machine: where and why would you really want to go?
HS: – Wow!!!!! I am happy here. People talk about “The good ole days” to me the Good ole days are now. I am Living my life to the fullest I can. I guess I wouldn’t mind being at the Vangaurd watching Bill Evans Trio. I would love to have a chance to see Scott laFaro play live. There is one video but not enough.
JBN: – Do You like our questions?
HS: – Thank you. You asked some probing questions and I appreciate you including me in your world.
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/