May 22, 2024

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Interview with Dan Berkson: Many gigs available as great musicians to play…

Interview with pianist Dan Berkson. 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.

JazzBluesNews.com: – First, 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?

Dan Berkson: I grew up in Chicago and played piano from quite a young age. I think by the time I was 6 or 7 I was pretty sure I wanted to be a musician. My Dad played piano so I think that was my first influence. When I was about 13 or 14 I started playing piano for a theatre show in Chicago which turned out to be an amazing experience and definitely planted the seed…

OUR US/EU Jazz and Blues Festivals 2024

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?

DB: – Hopefully as improvising musicians we are always trying to develop and improve our sound. Whether you-re 16 or 86 there is always something new to check out and learn.

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

DB: – My practice sessions on my instrument vary quite a bit, especially as someone with a young family there isn’t quite the time as there was in music school to shed all day. Having said that, I think a lot of players that are busy with family, or touring, or anything tend to really learn over time how to make the most of more limited time on the instrument. In terms of Rhythm, I’ve done some Konnokol work (Indian rhythm method) which has opened up a lot for me.

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

DB: – I’ve certainly been involved in a lot of different types of music over the years. For years I took a break from piano and focused more on music production and electronic music. I’m recently starting to begin some of these influences back together with the jazz and improvised music.

There could be talk or advertising about your CD

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

JBN: – Such an empty-headed person who doesn’t communicate with the press, that he didn’t even realize that our interview was entirely about this question, for which perhaps his intellect was not enough to answer.

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

DB: – Like any conversation, both people are important or it ceases to be a conversation. Music needs an audience.

JBN: – Can you share any memories from gigs, jams, open acts and studio sessions over the years?

JBN: – He probably doesn’t play with anyone, only at home for his family. This interview is 2 years old, at that time this cute boy released a new CD, I wonder for whom.

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

DB: – To me it seems like we are in a period in time where young people are really digging jazz and so any are trying to play it which is amazing! Hopefully one day there can be as many gigs available as great musicians to play…

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

DB: – Do what you love.

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

JBN: – What does he understand about wonderful music like jazz, to understand what can be changed?

OUR US/EU Jazz and Blues Association 2023

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

DB: – I’m always listening to tons of different stuff at the same time… I think the pianist Micah Thomas is amazing – really dig his playing on his own album as well as with Immanuel Wilkins. Always listening to 1960’s Miles records… I’ve been listening to Jamie branch a lot this week after her passing, such a strong musical voice.

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

DB: – The performance of Cannonball Adderely Quintet Live In person 1967 Hollywood with Nancy Wilson, Lou Rawls sitting in. One of my favorite musical moments.

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Interview by Simon Sarg

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