Smooth Artist Interviews
I am the most proud of the fact that I am making the steps of becoming an artist. As a Berklee College Of Music graduate (2019) and a session musician, this is the real dream. What the music kid practicing in his bedroom dreams about and then suddenly this is real and so scary but simultaneously so exciting!
There are so many to chose from as I’m always trying to widen my sphere of influences. I do have to confess that smooth jazz musicians do rather dominate my personal streaming playlists especially players such as Jeff Kashiwa, (obviously, he has been my amazing mentor for over 12 years) as well as Steve Cole, Oli Silk and Candy Dulfer to name but a few.
Away from the smooth jazz genre but not too far afield, one of my favorite bands is Soulive, On paper they are just an organ jazz trio however they have such a unique sound and their groove is impeccable and infectious. I find it inspiring how they take influences from so many genres such as neo soul, funk, Hip-hop, jazz and blues and mould into their own sound.
Well apart from those magical moments, when I was lucky enough to sit-in with my smooth jazz musical heroes, a really standout moment thus far was performing with the Murray Head band in Alsace, France at the Colmar Festival to a crowd of over 10,000 people. It was so surreal and exhilarating to perform to such a large audience and to be able share the stage with such legendary and seasoned session musicians. I look forward to the day when I perform my own music to audiences of such magnitude.
I would love to work in the studio with some great smooth jazz producers such as Darren Rahn, Brian Culbertson, Paul Brown and Jeff Lorber amongst others. I am very musically open minded so there are many people out there I would love to work with. I would be open to all genres.
If someone came forward with a suggestion that I think could work then why not give it a go. I am not selfish with music and if I think another instrument would be suited on a piece, rather than sax I would quite happily step back and pass it on to the other player of that said instrument. I have done so before with my own compositions at my Berklee Senior Recital and to me it felt like the right thing to do.
I have been very lucky to visit some beautiful places in the world, and while thinking about this question, I have come to the realization that the places that were deemed extra special to me are because of the people that I have shared those moments with. Anywhere in the world can be beautiful with right group of friends around you.
In 2019 I was very privileged and honored to perform my original music to a group of Holocaust survivors organized by a UK charity called Milly Days. They were the oldest audience I have performed to but the joy in their faces was overwhelming.
Born Too Soon is another charity close to my heart as I am actually a graduate of their charity being born 3 months early and weighing just 1lb 6.5oz. Doctors predicted I would be highly unlikely to have the lung capacity to play saxophone, never mind be a professional but now even the doctors are thrilled that I proved them wrong.