Q&A with Ben Hauptmann – 2007 NJA finalists

Ben Hauptman responds to the 2007 Jazz Australia Q&A, featuring finalists in the National Jazz Awards.

The National Jazz Awards are performed and announced at the TAC Wangaratta Festival of Jazz which will be held in 2007 from 2-5 November. This year the awards feature guitar.

Visit the website for program details.

When did you start playing guitar and why? For example, was there a ‘moment’ when it came to you as a calling or vocation?

I remember it was a Tommy Emmanuel tune called ‘Guitar Boogie’ played by a friend, Shannon Wind, I was thirteen years old.

Which musicians (jazz or otherwise) have been your greatest influences? What about them stood or stands out for you?
I have an older sister and younger brother, my dad played all kinds of music to us as we were growing up. From a very young age I remember listening to Miles Davis, Frank Zappa, Blood Sweat & Tears, all kinds of stuff. I have a love for music which comes from that experience. These days I find I’m influenced by everything and everyone.

When composing or arranging, where do you get your inspiration? For example, do you ever find that other art forms (painting, writing etc.) feed into your own creative process?
To be inspired is a great feeling that can be very contagious, I am surrounded by people who have this quality. I find in myself that there is always some inspiration there, I just try to tap into it.

What’s your favourite place to play or practise?
Anywhere, I love busking. I’ve been busking in London, Paris and here in Australia, it’s the most fun I’ve had playing music.

What does the Wangaratta festival of jazz represent for you?
It represents the strength and diversity of the Jazz scene, and improvised music in Australia.

What are you listening to now?
I listen mostly to 2MBS-FM and Eastside Radio.

Return to the main Q&A page…

These annual Q&As with National Jazz Awards finalists are coordinated by Miriam Zolin.