May 22, 2024

Website about Jazz and Blues

Interview with Alex Grenier: … an artist feel the world in a different way and it’s difficult sometimes

Interview with guitarist Alex Grenier. An interview by email in writing.

Dear readers, get to know more about our US/EU Jazz – Blues Festivals and the activities of our US/EU Jazz – Blues Association in the capitals of Europe, we will soon publish program for 2024, enjoy in the July – August – Brussels, Berlin, Prague, Warsaw, Sofia, new addreses this year, also in Amsterdam, Budapest and Liverpool. – Please explain your creative process …

Alex Grenier: – Sometimes a song is 2 years old when I record it. This allows me to play these new songs in concert and arrive at the studio with peace of mind. I constantly think about music, sometimes it’s tiring but it’s what allows me to create things.

OUR US/EU Jazz and Blues Festivals 2023

JBN: – What are your main impulses to write music?

AG: – I’ll try to listen all the new jazz scene and also the classics. It’s very inspiring

JBN: – Before we jump into anything historical, can you tell us about what we can expect musically this evening?

AG: – I want to share good times with the audience. What a pleasure to meet people who come to see me and my band.

JBN: – Are there sub-genres within the jazz field that you tend to stay away from or focus on?

AG: – It’s not really something I care about, I love jazz guitar in all its forms. I always juggle with latin jazz, electro jazz, blues etc. There are so many beautiful things , it’s endless!

JBN: – When your first desire to become involved in the music was & what do you learn about yourself from music?

AG: – I have learned patience and self-control. A good thing for improvisation. I notice a lot of similarities between the personality of a jazz musician and his improvisations. You have to try to be a good person in life, that helps a lot for music.

There could be talk or advertising about your CD

JBN: – How would you describe and rate the music scene you are currently living?

AG: – I have been going to concerts since I was a teenager, I had the chance to see legendary musicians like Martial Solal, Pat Martino or John Scofield several times… I go as often as possible to the New Morning, Paris to discover the new jazz scene (like Julian Lage or Kamaal Williams more recently for example). There are a lot of wonderful artists , that’s so cool! Right now, i discover Butcher Brown or the new Lettuce album

JBN: – When you improvise, you know where you’re going. It’s a matter of taking certain paths and certain directions?

AG: – If I am sufficiently prepared, it usually goes well. My daily life can also change things. i’ll try to put my problems aside. It’s always a new adventure. I like to take risks to surprise myself and my band, it’s a great challenge

JBN: – Do you ever get the feeling that music majors, and particularly people who are going into jazz, are being cranked out much like business majors? That they are not really able to express themselves as jazz musicians?

AG: – An artist can work without Majors and succeed in his career. You can find your audience with time and perseverance. The best thing is never to make any concessions, it’s a whole life to devote to jazz.

JBN: – What about somebody who is really gifted and puts together a band and just gets upset to the point of quitting because of the business aspects-the agents and the clubs?

AG: – I think, an artist feel the world in a different way and it’s difficult sometimes. If it doesn’t work, you have to question yourself. You also have to be lucky enough to be surrounded by good helps a lot.

JBN: – And lastly, do you find it difficult to write music yourself?

AG: – No, I think you have to work to get inspiration. There is so much music around the world. There is always something new to listen and discover, it’s very inspiring for write music. You have to devote a lot of energy and time to it and sometimes it works. There is no recipe, just work.

JBN: – What has given you the most satisfaction musically?

AG: – The most beautiful thing for me is that my band existe for almost 10 years and my musicians have become my friends. I believe that human relationships are more important than success. At my last concert at the Sunset in Paris, 2 people from the public came to tell me that they were going to get back to the guitar. It was satisfying.

OUR US/EU Jazz and Blues Association 2023

JBN: – From the musical and feeling point of view is there any difference between a old and great jazzmans and young?

AG: – To be taken seriously, you have to play even harder when you are a young. I always try to encourage young musicians.

JBN: – What advice would you give to aspiring musicians thinking of pursuing a career?

AG: – You have to cultivate your sensitivity and stay yourself. The family and your team are primordial. I didn’t go to school or study music. Today and with more hindsight, I believe that it would have helped me to discover things more quickly and especially to meet more musicians. I was the only one to play jazz when I was a teenager in a very small town in the west of France. I listened to Wes Montgomery and Mike Stern at 12 years old. I would have liked to meet people with the same passion as me. Jazz schools probably have to allow this. Music is my second language, I can express myself freely with music. I encourage all young musicians to experience this magical freedom.


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Interview by Simon Sarg

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