I’m most looking forward to seeing the other pianists play in the competition. They are all exceptional players and are extremely varied in their approaches, which should make for interesting listening.
Each year since 2005, in the month leading up to the jazz festival in Wangaratta, Miriam Zolin interviews the finalists in the National Jazz Awards. The awards are decided at Wangaratta in a series of heats culminating in a finals performance on the Sunday of the festival. Wangaratta Jazz Festival in 2013 runs from Friday …
‘I absolutely LOVE Carmen McCrae. She shows us that singing jazz doesn’t always have to be ‘pretty’. Jazz can be raw and gutsy sometimes too.’
I think Joni Mitchell’s music is the epitome of raw emotional honesty expressed in sound, and I was always pretty blown away by that. I remember when I was little almost feeling confronted by how deep and beautiful it all was – and then as I got older that turned into awe and affinity and appreciation.
‘Maybe you could say my ‘moment’ or calling came with my discovery of composition! Writing music is now what drives me the most as a musician.’
I don’t think it was ever a conscious choice. I just sort of knew that’s what I loved to do. I think I love jazz specifically because it can be such an interactive musical medium. The coolest things can happen totally by accident and with the right combination of musicians it is heaps of fun!
‘…it was a bribe from my music teacher that got me singing jazz, as he said I could only sing with the Jazz Combo if I played sax in it too…’
“I also think that the best inspiration comes from experimentation and the element of surprise, which is why I like arranging songs on the spot with a band.”
‘…what I really loved about the musicals was the songs. I fell in love with all the Gershwin, Berlin, Porter, tunes from those movies and stumbled across an Ella Fitzgerald CD somehow, recognised all the songs from the musicals, and after hearing Ella sing them, I just fell in love with the songs even more…’
Joshua Kyle answers our Q&A as part of our regular feature with finalists in the National Jazz Awards at Wangaratta Jazz Festival