June 14, 2024

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Interview with Juan Ortiz: How jazz would sound in 5 or 6 hundred years

Interview with an ungrateful, impolite, dull, unhuman, drawn creature, as if pianist Juan Ortiz. 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? When did you realize that this was a passion you could make a living out of?

Juan Ortiz: – I grew up in a small town in the North of Spain called Bilbao. My father is a very big jazz lover and his +2000 cd collection helped me develop a lot of interest in Jazz at an early age.

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?

JO: – When I was younger I was interested in all kinds of music, I enjoyed playing funk, classical, blues, hip hop, reggae, etc. But as I aged I started getting more and more focus on jazz.

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

JO: – I practice some Bach for technique and I learn new songs (mostly jazz standards) to improve my rhythmic and harmonic skills.

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

JO: – I guess I like ballads more now than before. That’s my biggest change I guess.

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

JO: – This is always an interesting topic. For me music should always be a little bit challenging to the listener, otherwise music becomes boring. On the other hand, if it’s too complex it could be perceived as soul-less. Fortunately I have a lot of experience performing in front of people, and over the years I have noticed that certain formulas work better than others. At the end of the day, it’s an entertainment business. Both players and listeners need to have fun.

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

JO: – That’s the whole reason why people spend their hard earned money when they go watch a music concert. Our job as artists is to give emotional and intellectual satisfaction to the audience.

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

JO: – The music market nowadays is so big, there are so many different options and with much easier access than before. My approach to that is simple. I try to show them that jazz is fun. Some people will like it more than others.

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

JO: – Deep question. I try to find balance between what I like doing and with what I’m good at.

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

JO: – I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m not that old but I’m old enough to know that we have what we have for a reason, and changing it might end up being worse.

OUR US/EU Jazz and Blues Association 2023

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

JO: – I listen to a lot of music, but I always end up going back to Bud Powell, Oscar Peterson and Monty Alexander.

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

JO: – We are lucky to have many recordings from the past, so I would rather travel to the future. I’m curious about how jazz would sound in 5 or 6 hundred years.

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/

Juan Ortiz Official Website

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