‘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.”
‘I grew up in a musical household, with Dad who is a professional jazz saxophonist. I was exposed to jazz music as well as R&B, soul and folk music from a very young age and I took a real liking to all of it. I picked up the saxophone a couple of years later and I was also singing along to every recording I heard.’
‘…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
French singer Cyrille Aimée answers our Q&A as part of our regular feature with finalists in the National Jazz Awards at Wangaratta Jazz Festival