May 22, 2024

Website about Jazz and Blues

Interview with Felipe Salles: I still play with fire …

Interview with saxophonist Felipe Salles. 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. – Before we jump into anything historical, can you tell us about what we can expect musically this evening?

Felipe Salles: – I am not sure what you mean by evening … can we skip this question?

OUR US/EU Jazz and Blues Festivals 2024

Our US/EU Jazz-Blues Association Festivals 2024 with performances by international musicians

OUR US/EU Jazz and Blues Festivals 2023

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

FS: – I am open to playing, so I would be interested in most jazz genres, but maybe not too esthetically comfortable with Smooth jazz… I haven’t played much free jazz and avantgarde, but I am open to it. My work mixes jazz with Latin, African grooves, and modern classical harmonies. Hard to define as a sub-genre. Genres are labels that are only meant to help other people understand what they are listening to. Genres and labels don’t mean much to artists.

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

FS: – I picked up the saxophone at age 14 and it was clear to me that it was my path. Music is hard work, and it reflects your true personality, but as you mature and evolve, music should be less and less about you, and more and more about music itself.

JBN: – What happened when you first heard Bird? Did it make an immediate impact on you?

I would be lying if I would say yes. Bird was way too complex for me to understand at age 14. It took me years to “get him”. But he set the standard to all modern jazz that came after. That I eventually understood.

There could be talk or advertising about your CD

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

FS: – I don’t know about illustrious… but still, to this day, what gives me the most satisfaction is playing with people. Whether I am playing my horn or conducting my big band, making music with people is the most fun I can think of. Connecting with people through music is still my favorite thing to do.

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

FS: – I can’t really speak for others… for me, the older I get, the more mature I get. I still play with fire, which is a young player’s characteristic, but now I feel like I don’t have to prove anything, and I can play the way I want and feel like. Experience is a big part of that. People are different. Some are mature earlier; some always play with fire… hard to put all in one basket. Older players have more experience, it they stay in the game. Younger players tend to be fierier, but not always.

OUR US/EU Jazz and Blues Association 2023

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

FS: – Work hard, practice hard, connect with other musicians, be on time, be easy to work with, think of the music, not yourself. But do not sell yourself short.


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Interview by Simon Sarg

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