Interviews
Category

  • Saxophonist Dezhawn Dumornay | Teen Jazz Artist

    Why did you begin studying music?

    I began playing the saxophone because music is fun. I grew a passion for music when i started listening to Jazz and the way soloist expressed themselves without using words.

    What are you doing with music right now?

    I currently arrange music for my Highschool pepe band and compose Jazz combo charts. I am working to improve my improvisational skills and preparing to apply to Berklee School of Music next year.

    Saxophonist Dezhawn Dumornay

    Located in the Annandale, VA

    • Saxophonist
    • Years Playing: 5 years

    Teen Jazz Artist Badge

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    Who are some of your influences?

    My main influences for jazz are Wayne Shorter, Eric MarienthalStan Getz, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, Charles Mingus, Dexter Gordon, John Coltrane, Chick Corea, and Dave Weckl.

    Who have you studied with?

    I met Paquito D’Rivera at a latin Jazz program over the summer at Berklee.

    What are some of your goals musically for the future?

    As of now I plan to study jazz and play around the world. I would like to spread music to younger generations so that jazz is not forgotten.


     

    Interested in having your profile featured on our site?

    Teen Jazz is also looking for young Jazz Artist features, so you could become a feature if you apply. You will be notified by email of the status of your application.

    Terms and Conditions:

    (A) You cannot submit one sentence answers to the Teen Jazz Artist Application form questions, they must be a short paragraph.

    (B) You must respond to the confirmation email that you receive from Shannon Kennedy after you submit your profile or your profile will not be published on Teen Jazz.

    (C) Pictures and Contact Information on your page are optional, but let us at Teen Jazz know if you would like to have both or either on your profile.

    Apply Here

    March 25, 2015 • Up and Coming Musicians • Views: 1212

  • Guitarist Zakk Jones | Teen Jazz Artist

    Why did you begin studying music?

    I always gravitated towards music, picking out melodies on my grandparents piano. I knew from an early age that I wanted to pursue music professionally for the rest of my life.

    Who are some of your influences?

    I am open to all styles of music: Moacir Santos, Olivier Messiaen, Sammy Nestico, Rob McConnell, Ben Monder, Gilad Hekselman, Ed Bickert, John Coltrane, Bud Powell, Brad Mehldau, Alex Sipiagin, The Faceless, Necrophagist, John Mayer, D’Angelo, Robert Glasper, and many, many more.

    Guitarist Zakk Jones

    Located in the Columbus, OH

    • Guitar
    • Years Playing: 10 years

    Zakk Jones | (510)-710-6709
    Zakkjonesguitar@gmail.com | Zakkjonesguitar.com


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    Setup/Gear/Instruments:

    Guitarist Zakk Jones | Teen Jazz ArtistGuitars: Eastman T185MX
    Fender TelecasterYamaha G-245s II

    NylonAmps: Roland Cube 80

    JazzkatPedals: MXR Chorus, EQ and Delay
    Wampler Sovereign Distortion
    BOSS Compression, Loop, and Distortion
    Cry Baby Wah Wah
    EP Booster
    Voodoo Lab Sparkle Drive
    Ernie Ball Volume Pedal

    JRStrings: Thomastik, Infeld, D’addario

    What are you doing with music right now?

    I lead a variety of groups, ranging from duo to octect formats. I frequently perform with my trio and my sextet “Screeching Owl”. I am in the middle of finishing an original album of 6 compositions, encompassing my career so far as a writer/arranger and performer. This will be released along side a professional video shoot of one of the tunes, and will aid me in booking a tour in August of 2015. I also frequently play solo guitar at farmer’s markets and art galleries.Aside from my own groups, I am involved in a professional wedding band call the “Blue Water Kings”, a pop/cover group “The Jordan Millisor Band” as well as various jazz groups in the central ohio area.I love composing and arranging, recently completing projects with big bands and larger ensembles.I also teach both privately and through a few different music studios in the Columbus, Ohio area.I’m always listening/seeing live music when I’m not performing or practicing myself!

    Who have you studied with?

    Stan Smith – Guitar/Composition
    Brett Burleson – Guitar
    Gilad Hekselman – Guitar
    Corey Christiansen – Guitar
    Rotem Sivan – Guitar
    Adam Rogers – Guitar
    Mark Flugge – Piano
    Dr. Lou Fischer – Arranging

    What are some of your goals musically for the future?

    I hope to continue gigging, both with my own groups as well as being an avid “sideman”. I have a vested interest in arranging, hoping to write for professional jazz big band/orchestras. I also enjoy teaching, and transcription/engraving services. Grad school will be in my future as well.

    Any addition information you would like to add?

    Zakk Jones is a Columbus based guitarist, composer/arranger and teacher, currently finishing his Bachelor’s degree in Jazz Studies at Capital University. Originally from Portland, Oregon, his musical studies started at the age of 6, when he began playing piano and composing original music. His involvement in the Fear No Music project led to a National Award in composition at the age of 11.Around the same time, Zakk picked up the guitar, first being influenced by rock and metal. He now regularly plays Jazz, Classical, Fusion, Pop and Brazilian styles among others. In his three years on the Columbus scene he has performed at Dick’s Den, Worthington Inn, Brother’s Drake Meadery, Rumba Cafe, Park St. Tavern, Natalie’s Coal Fired Pizza, Columbus Performing Arts Center, Columbus Jazz & Ribs Festival, farmer’s markets, art galleries, weddings and corporate events. Opportunities have taken him all across the Midwest, with summer gigs in Port Clinton, OH and even further to Atlanta, Dallas, and San Diego for the Jazz Education Network Conference where he has been both a performer and stage manager.Zakk regularly performs with the Jordan Millisor Band, Chase Potter, Bluewater Kings Band, Wake Fold and many other groups/artists. As a bandleader, Zakk has groups ranging from duo to octet formats, currently focusing on his sextet, “Screeching Owl”. At Capital he has studied with Stan Smith and Brett Burleson, additionally having the opportunities to take lessons with Corey Christiansen, Adam Rogers, Gilad Hekselman and Rotem Sivan. Besides performing, Zakk Jones is an avid composer/arranger, private teacher, and provides transcription services.


     

    Interested in having your profile featured on our site?

    Teen Jazz is also looking for young Jazz Artist features, so you could become a feature if you apply. You will be notified by email of the status of your application.

    Terms and Conditions:

    (A) You cannot submit one sentence answers to the Teen Jazz Artist Application form questions, they must be a short paragraph.

    (B) You must respond to the confirmation email that you receive from Shannon Kennedy after you submit your profile or your profile will not be published on Teen Jazz.

    (C) Pictures and Contact Information on your page are optional, but let us at Teen Jazz know if you would like to have both or either on your profile.

    Apply Here

    March 18, 2015 • Up and Coming Musicians • Views: 1366

  • Composer Cole Porter | Teen Jazz Legend

    Best know for his work as an American composer and songwriter, pianist Cole Porter led a life filled with both scandal and luxury amidst his successful career as a musician.

    Born into a wealthy family on June 9, 1891, Cole was doted on by his mother. He began the violin at 6 and the piano at 8, and even wrote his first operetta at the age of 10. He attended Yale University in 1909 where he majored in English, minored in music and studied French.

    While a student at Yale, Porter wrote over 300 songs and joined the Glee club as well as several other music clubs. He also composed the music for several comedy skits put on by his fraternity brothers, preparing him for his future career in Broadway.

    Upon graduating from Yale, Cole Porter enrolled at Harvard Law School in 1913 but it was not long before he switched to the music program under the suggestion of the dean.

    His first Broadway tune appeared in the revue “Hands Up” in 1915. It was quickly followed by his first Broadway production which was a failure compared to the success of his debut, closing after only 15 shows. It was the first of many failures for Cole Porter.

    In 1917, after a move to Paris and his marriage in 1923, Porter finally ended his streak of failed works with the success of “(Let’s Do It) Let’s Fall in Love”. His next work, Fifty Million Frenchmen (1929) was also a success and established Porter as a talented lyricist and musician.

    The 1930s saw the addition of many more successful titles to Cole’s repertoire including “Night and Day,” “I Get a Kick Out of You,” and more. In 1937, he was involved in a riding accident and lost one of his legs. He would live in constant pain for the rest of his life. Although this led to Porter withdrawing from his previously extravagant social life, it did not hinder his success as a composer.

    After the passing of his wife in 1954, Porter suffered the loss of his other leg. In 1958 he stopped composing entirely and withdrew into seclusion for the remainder of his life. He passed away due to kidney failure on October 15, 1964 at the age of 73.

    Throughout his career, Porter wrote more than 800 songs. His production “Kiss Me Kate” was the first to win a Tony Award for the category of “best musical”.

    February 25, 2015 • Interviews • Views: 1231

  • Saxophonist Adrian Crutchfield

    Hey all, I wanted to take a moment to introduce you to a fellow up and coming saxophonist, Mr. Adrian Crutchfield. I had the pleasure of meeting Adrian at NAMM a couple years back. He was hanging out at the Antigua Saxophones booth and introduced himself when I stopped by. I later got to know him and his playing better at the BG France/Legere/Theo Wanne artist jam and he’s definitely an artist you should check out. His vibrant and outgoing personality is something that definitely carries over into his music and has certainly played a huge part in his success as an artist.

    We hope you enjoy reading through our interview with Adrian Crutchfield below.

    The Interview

    When did you first begin seriously studying your instrument?

    I started playing Sax in school in the 5th grade.

    Who are your greatest influences? Who did you study with?

    My greatest influences are anyone I spend time making music with. There are too many to name, and they’re ALL great! I learn from each and everyone of them.

    Saxophonist Adrian Crutchfield

    Located Worldwide

    • Saxophone, Flute, Ewi, Music Production
    • Years Playing: 15 years professionally
    • School/Major/Degree: Florida State University – Jazz Studies, Contemporary Media, and Commercial Music

    Teen Jazz Artist Badge

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    Who or what gave you the confidence to pursue music as a career?

    Kenny G gave me a horn when I was 4 years old. After that, everyone said I’d be a performer of some sort. I didn’t take it seriously until middle school, when i realized 2 things -I could make money doing something i love AND girls love musicians!

    What are your thoughts on what it takes to be successful as a performer? Do you think any other skills are needed aside from the ability to play your instrument well?

    To be a successful performer it takes way more than raw talent or ability. A successful performer is well rounded. They are confident but NOT arrogant! Successful performers play to their audience and not just to themselves. Also, a successful performer knows how to play their role and compliment the other members of an ensemble. I could go on for hours about what makes a successful performer.

    What are some of the things you did before your career as a performer became as successful as it is today?

    I played at EVERY jam session I could get into. I made as many musical friends as I could. I just wanted to be playing, no matter the style of music or the crowd. At one point I was a member of EVERY major band in my city.

    What are some of your goals musically for the future?

    My goals are simple… 1. to be remembered, to make an impact…. 2. to provide a comfortable living for my family… and 3. to show the generations that watch me that you can be successful at ANYTHING if you approach it with respect.

    What inspires you to continue to pursue music? Have you ever come close to giving up and if you did, how did you overcome it?

    What inspires me to pursue music is passion plain and simple. Music is a part of me and the satisfaction i get from performing and creating with other people can’t be compared to anything else… If i couldn’t do this, I would die. Art is Passion!

    What are some of the things you enjoy most about your career as a performer/recording artist?

    What I enjoy most about my career is the traveling and meeting new people.

    Do you write music? Where do you get your inspiration?

    I write music, my inspiration comes from life, stress, love, friends, family, anything!

    What was your lamest gig and how did you learn from it? What was the best?

    We all have gigs that we would rather not do. But I don’t know that I would call it lame. Any opportunity to play music is GREAT! I’ve had my share of not so awesome gigs, but I can’t think of one in particular at the moment.

    Hobbies other than Music:

    I have a slight addiction to video games and cartoons. What can I say, I refuse to grow up.

    What would your advice be for an up and coming, young musician?

    Stay hungry and humble! Always be thankful for opportunities but never get comfortable! Always be on the lookout for the next accomplishment!

    Endorsements:

    Antigua Saxophones
    Theo Wanne Mouthpieces
    Legere Reeds
    Gator Cases
    Akai EWI

    Where can we find more information?

    www.ILOVEGOODSAX.com

    New releases and projects coming up:

    Currently I’m working on my 2nd full length Album… stay tuned to my website for more! Note from Shannon: You can check out his debut album Private Party on Amazon.


     

    Interested in having your profile featured on our site?

    Teen Jazz is also looking for young Jazz Artist features, so you could become a feature if you apply. You will be notified by email of the status of your application.

    Terms and Conditions:

    (A) You cannot submit one sentence answers to the Teen Jazz Artist Application form questions, they must be a short paragraph.

    (B) You must respond to the confirmation email that you receive from Shannon Kennedy after you submit your profile or your profile will not be published on Teen Jazz.

    (C) Pictures and Contact Information on your page are optional, but let us at Teen Jazz know if you would like to have both or either on your profile.

    Apply Here

    February 16, 2015 • Interviews • Views: 1350

  • Saxophonist Greg Chambers Interview

    Name: G​reg Chambers
    Location: S​an Francisco, CA
    Profession: S​axophonist and Music Teacher
    Years Playing: 2​0
    School/Major/Degree: U​CLA, Master of Music in Saxophone

    When did you first begin seriously studying your instrument?

    I began really listening to jazz, practicing regularly, and taking lessons when I was 14 years old. In middle school, I rotated between first and second chair in the band depending on the results of each seating test, but I didn’t practice regularly or often (I still don’t even know how I ended up sitting in those chairs!). It wasn’t really until high school and getting the rejection letter from the honor band I tried out for during my freshman year that I really decided to dedicate myself and put an honest effort into practicing and studying.

    Who are your greatest influences? Who did you study with?

    I like to say I “studied” with Charlie Parker, Grover Washington, Gerald Albright and Warren Hill. I used to put on CDs of theirs and play alongside them for hours during my teenage years. I’d learn tunes out of the Omnibook and work them up to full speed with the recordings and, for the other saxophonists, would find transcriptions (or try to create them myself) for the tunes I wanted to learn. I grew up in Gilroy, which is a really small town in northern CA. I would drive to Santa Cruz to take actual lessons with Bill Trimble, who was one of the most respected classical saxophonists in the Bay Area and certainly the reason I developed a love for classical saxophone. I did take a couple jazz lessons with a local pro names Les Pierce as well (who was the saxophonist for just about every rock, blues, country, oldies, or Top 40 band in the South Bay), although it wasn’t until college and the experience of being in Los Angeles that I really had the chance to explore the jazz scene and also take some lessons with one of my idols­ Eric Marienthal.

    Who or what gave you the confidence to pursue music as a career?

    I believe that my parents, as well as my college saxophone teacher (Doug Masek), were certainly the most supportive and important people in terms of this decision. My parents were both part-­time musicians and understood the struggles of being a performer­ the hours and lifestyle, amount of dedication and personal entrepreneurial skills needed, etc. They had always encouraged me to make a living by combining performing and teaching (which they had done for many years out of college and most of the professional musicians they associated with had also done). I do believe it was my college teacher and the environment at UCLA that encouraged me to take lots of risks in my classical career­ I was lucky enough to audition and win orchestral stints with the Aspen Music Festival, New World Symphony in Miami, and Spoleto Festival in South Carolina. I definitely believe that the confidence I gained participating in these ensembles enabled me to apply that same risky spirit to my jazz career.

    What are your thoughts on what it takes to be successful as a performer?​D​o you think any other skills are needed aside from the ability to play ​y​our instrument well?

    Absolutely! There are a thousands of great saxophonists out there­ I do freelance in the Bay Area and work with some amazing players all the time. Also, being that you and I just returned from NAMM, we’re very aware of how many incredible and proficient sax players attend the convention to try out instruments and be heard­ many of whom don’t have household names. I believe that a lot of things contribute to becoming a successful performer­ branding, image, marketing/promotion, the ability to connect with an audience, and the ability to have your own “voice” (on your instrument, in your songwriting, and as a person).

    What are some of the things you did before your career as a performer ​b​ecame as successful as it is today?

    I’ve done everything from being a busboy at a Sushi restaurant to working at a theme park to working for a Police Station in their records department. In college, I worked for UCLA Live ushering and assistant house managing at the concert hall­ the great thing was I was actually getting paid to see all the shows! I lived in London for half a year as well and worked on a student visa. I ended up working for a catering company at the Natural History Museum and played saxophone at a nightclub with a DJ on weekends (usually from midnight until ­3am). After grad school, I took a job working for Mission Bell Manufacturing, which built specialty cabinets and did custom projects for companies all over the Bay Area­ had it not been for the economic crash in 2008 which prompted layoffs, I might not have been forced back into music full­-time.

    What are some of your goals musically for the future?

    I am very pleased and grateful for how everything is unfolding with this latest album. As far as the immediate future, I certainly want to tour, entertain and connect with new audiences, and promote this music as much as possible over the next year or two! At some point, I do look forward to getting to work on another album and certainly want to collaborate with some new friends/artists as well as continue working with many of the people I have thus far. I do love the creative process of writing, recording, building and layering parts, and exchanging ideas with other creative instrumentalists.

    What inspires you to continue to pursue music? Have you ever come close​ t​o ​g​iving up and if you did, how did you overcome it?

    Absolutely­ there are so many times where you feel like you just keep hitting the same roadblocks or just feel like can’t get ahead or that things are stagnant! For me, playing shows and hearing from fans about how much they love my music or how they discovered my music on Pandora or Music Choice or radio always reminds me of the fact that my reason for making music isn’t about personal success­ it’s about creating music that others enjoy and about putting the creative ideas I have to disc. I’ve taken time off from writing/recording every now and again, and always find that I’m drawn to starting another project at some point. It must be encoded in my DNA or something!

    What are some of the things you enjoy most about your career as a ​performer/recording artist?

    As a performer, I enjoy seeing people get up to dance, or smile and do the side­-to-­side neck bob, or put their head down and clap along, or just close their eyes and listen. For me, it’s about connecting with people and bringing them into the experience. I absolutely love chatting with people after the show. As a recording artist, I most enjoy the creative process of building drum patterns with sampled sounds and scratch tracks for other parts, writing and recording sax lines, and working with other instrumentalists­ it’s always exciting to see what other people come up with. Sometimes it’s exactly what you were thinking and other times it’s something better than you could have ever thought of!

    Do you write music? Where do you get your inspiration?

    I do­ it always varies. Sometimes I just get an idea for a tune in my head. On the title track of this CD, “Can’t Help Myself”, the keyboard figure and melody lines for basically the whole song came to me on a drive home from a day of teaching sax lessons. I got home and, within 30 or 45 min, had most of the tune committed to recording. Other times, I’ll build a tune up from a drum pattern I create. On “Come A Little Closer”, I started with the kick, snare, and thought up a sandpaper part (in place of a shaker or cabasa), and then sketched out some Fender Rhodes parts before passing it off to Matt Godina to get some input. On “Wait Awhile”, the bass line (played on an EWI) came first and was the grounding for everything else in the song. I listen to everything from smooth jazz to classical music (my wife is an orchestral clarinetist) to R&B so it seems like ideas come from anywhere and everywhere.
    KMPH FOX 26 | Central San Joaquin Valley News Source

    What was your lamest gig and how did you learn from it? What was the ​b​est?

    I’ve played on some pretty bad gigs in my time­ from sketchy bars to nightclubs to jazz quartet gigs where you are more or less expected to be “musical wallpaper” (although I still do weddings and corporate events from time to time, since the pay is usually hard to pass up). I will say that I’ve learned that my true passion isn’t playing background music for events or restaurants. I have definitely also learned not to play in places where the environment or ambiance isn’t appropriate for jazz. I don’t know if I could pinpoint a single best gig. I feel immense satisfaction every time I get the chance to perform my own music and feel the same excitement, enthusiasm, and connection with the audience at every show.

    Where can we find more information?

    My website is gregchambersmusic.com and I try to keep it as updated as possible­ for all the info on new releases and concert schedule, I’d suggest joining the mailing list on the homepage (I try to send 4­5 emails per year to keep people in the know). I am on Facebook as well with both a personal and an artist page.

    New releases and projects coming up

    Nothing yet since “Can’t Help Myself” just came out. I do have some ideas on paper (and some scratch recordings in Logic) already for the next project, but it’ll definitely be a while.

     

    February 9, 2015 • Interviews • Views: 2010

  • Vocalist Olivia Castle | Teen Jazz Artist

    Why did you begin studying music?

    I have always sung from a young age and first started attending singing lessons aged 13. I was a Choral singer for my teenage years, performing as finalist for the BBC Radio 2 Chorister of the Year competition held in St Paul’s Cathedral (London). I even intended to enter the Musical Theatre profession for a while. Therefore I only decided to pursue a career in Jazz when I was a little older, aged 18, and it is then that I started my training in the genre.

    Vocalist Olivia Castle

    Located in the UK

    • Jazz Vocalist
    • Years Playing: 9 years
    • School/Major/Degree: First Class Honours Degree in Theatre Studies from Royal Holloway, University of London

    Teen Jazz Artist Badge

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    Who are some of your influences? Who have you studied with?

    My greatest musical influences in the current music industry are Michael Buble, Jamie Cullum, Jane Monheit, John Mayer and many others. However I have a particular fondness for classic Jazz artists who are no longer with us; Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Sarah Vaughan, Sammy Davis Jr and Frank Sinatra to name a few. I learnt the skills of the genre under the expertise of Jazz pianist Laurie Holloway (MBE) who accompanied me on my debut album, Siren Song.

    Who or what gave you the confidence to pursue music as a career?

    I attended a summer course led by the Montgomery Holloway Music Trust and worked with esteemed professionals in the world of Jazz recording and performance. It was these individuals, the overall experience and the continued support of Laurie Holloway that encouraged me to pursue a professional career within the genre.

    What are your thoughts on what it takes to be successful as a performer? Do you think any other skills are needed aside from the ability to play your instrument well?

    Of course musical ability is key to achieving success in the music industry however I definitely feel there are other qualities that are essential. Being humble and open to working with other people and valuing their ideas will always make you nicer to work with. Being gracious when receiving input from others can be incredibly valuable as you never know how they will be able to help you improve your performance- as artists we should always be learning. I also think stage presence and etiquette are very important and for a singer that means trying not to use music, engaging with your audience, microphone technique and thanking your band properly.

    What are some of the things you did before your career as a performer became as successful as it is today?

    During my years as a Choral singer I was a runner up in the BBC Radio 2 Chorister of the Year final, performing to a panel of judges which included Hayley Westenra, and an audience of 1500 in addition to radio listeners. I was also part of the National Youth Choir of Great Britain which meant I performed for the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall with greats like Daniel Barenboim and Gustavo Dudamel for two consecutive years. In 2011 I was also awarded the Diploma in Musical Theatre (dipGSA) from the Guildford School of Acting and completed my Grade 8 in Singing. Finally I was a Choral Scholar for a little while at Royal Holloway University.
    Aside from those great experiences I have been gigging and performing to get as much experience as I possibly can, which includes taking part in theatrical shows. When I was 17 I played Dorothy in a production of The Wizard of Oz, which is where I first met the celebrated composer Denis King. This experience remains special to me and is a significant reason why Over the Rainbow features on my first album, Siren Song.

    What are some of your goals musically for the future?

    My long-term aim is to become an established recording artist. I treasure the process of putting together an album; choosing tracks, making arrangements, the meticulous recording procedure and then being able to distribute your sound around the world. I think it is a great joy of the modern era that creativity can be so easily shared nowadays.
    Through doing this I would love to bring Jazz back to a contemporary mainstream audience. I believe the genre has so much to offer and definitely deserves a more prominent place in the current music industry. I am a big fan of crossover Jazz artists and I think this approach is a great way to make the genre accessible for a wider listening audience.

    What inspires you to continue to pursue music? Have you ever come close to giving up and if you did, how did you overcome it?

    The happiness I derive from music, singing in particular, is what keeps me going. However, although getting personal satisfaction is very important, it is also the enjoyment of an audience or a listener that is rewarding. Singing is something I absolutely love to do, more than anything in the world, and so in my opinion, you only live once and should use this precious life to do something you really enjoy.
    Since embarking on a career as a professional singer I have fortunately not been in a situation where I want to stop yet. However I was definitely dubious about starting such an unpredictable venture. It was the interest from a London music producer that gave me the confidence and the belief in myself that I could achieve my dream.

    What are some of the things you enjoy most about your career as a performer/recording artist?

    I love meeting and working with other talented musicians; it is amazing what you can create musically when you pool resources and individual ability. I also like the adrenaline rush of performing live and the accompanying delight in making an audience smile as a result of singing. It doesn’t get better than that.

    Do you write music? Where do you get your inspiration?

    I have not written any of my own repertoire yet but I have a great young Jazz pianist I am collaborating with soon and we intend to attempt writing some songs.

    What was your lamest gig and how did you learn from it? What was the best?

    I’m not sure I have ever had gigs that have completely flopped but I have no doubt that will come- it is a rite of passage for every performer. I have performed Jazz music in a couple of churches and as you can imagine, with large English stone churches, it didn’t sound right at all. My best gigs are always when I perform with Laurie Holloway and his trio. It is such a thrill to work with someone so breathtakingly talented.

    Hobbies other than Music:

    I have a qualification in Wedding Planning in addition to my degree, so I love everything to do with that industry. I also like reading, scrap-booking and I do charity work from time to time.

    What would your advice be for an up and coming, young musician?

    Give it your best shot while you can- don’t live with regrets. Also be gracious when people want to help you- some of my most valuable musical progressions have emerged from constructive criticism.

    Where can we find more information?

    You can find my website at www.oliviacastle.com which will link you to all my social media channels.  My username for twitter and Instagram is ocastle_music and my Facebook page address is: www.facebook.com/oliviacastlesinger

    New releases and projects coming up:

    I have just launched my debut album so no new recordings in the pipeline at this moment but give me a few more months and I’m sure I will be itching to get back in the studio. I am taking part in some music festivals in England this summer.

     

    Interested in having your profile featured on our site?

    Teen Jazz is also looking for young Jazz Artist features, so you could become a feature if you apply. You will be notified by email of the status of your application.

    Terms and Conditions:

    (A) You cannot submit one sentence answers to the Teen Jazz Artist Application form questions, they must be a short paragraph.

    (B) You must respond to the confirmation email that you receive from Shannon Kennedy after you submit your profile or your profile will not be published on Teen Jazz.

    (C) Pictures and Contact Information on your page are optional, but let us at Teen Jazz know if you would like to have both or either on your profile.

    Apply Here

    February 4, 2015 • Up and Coming Musicians • Views: 1309

  • Saxophonist Ahkeem Hopkins | Teen Jazz Artist

    Why did you begin studying music?

    Music has always been something that just “came to me.” Never had to study it, I just knew how to do it. I taught myself many instruments at a young age including piano, guitar, drums, bass, trumpet, and euphonium.

    What are you doing with music now?

    Right now, I have a jazz group and we are playing locally here in Florida.

    Saxophonist Akheem Hopkins

    Located in Pensacola, FL, USA

    • Saxophonist
    • 7 years of playing

    Teen Jazz Artist Badge

    [What’s this?]

    Who are some of your influences?

    Chick Corea is my biggest influence. I also like Bill Evans but Chick Corea has been the only person I have watched repeatedly and tried to imitate.

    Who have you studied with?

    Dr. Michael Coleman
    Dr. Sandy Spivey
    Dr. Joseph Spaniola

    What would you like to do with music in the future?

    Playing music, help others learn to play an instrument. Get others to see the joy in playing music.

     

    Interested in having your profile featured on our site?

    Teen Jazz is also looking for young Jazz Artist features, so you could become a feature if you apply. You will be notified by email of the status of your application.

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    (A) You cannot submit one sentence answers to the Teen Jazz Artist Application form questions, they must be a short paragraph.

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    January 26, 2015 • Up and Coming Musicians • Views: 1062

  • Saxophonist Richard Silva | Teen Jazz Artist

    Why did you begin studying music?

    I started playing saxophone because I wanted to continue the tradition of my grandpa. He played saxophone and so did one of his sons (Joe Silva). I basically was raised in a musical family, with my dad (Reggie Silva) being the guitarist, composer, vocalist, producer, and musical mentor.

    What is your instrument setup?

    Alto Saxophone – Julius Keilwerth SX90 / mouth piece S 90 / 3 reed Vandoren
    Tenor Sax – Collegiate / 3 Vandoren / mouth piece Dukoff D 5
    Flute – Pear PF -501
    Shure – cordless microphone
    Congas – LP Galaxy M. Cohen

    Saxophonist Richard Silva

    Located in Fresno, CA, USA

    • Saxophonist
    • Doubles on flute and congas
    • 19 years of playing

    Contact: 559-824-5170 | theblujz@yahoo.com
    www.theblujz.com | facebook.com/theblujz | twitter.com/theblujz


    Teen Jazz Artist Badge

    [What’s this?]

    What are you doing with music now?

    Currently I am still very active in playing my saxophone and other instruments I could put my hands on. Other than playing, since 2011 my dad has given me the responsibility to promote his band (The Blu J’z) that I am currently performing in. By promoting, I mean finding gigs and promoting his Cd “Feelin’ the Moment.” From then to now with God’s help The Blu J’z has been recognized by various smooth jazz media sources (magazine, airplay, interview, Cd review, and more) and have also been given the opportunity to open up for renowned smooth jazz artists such as Boney James, David Sanborn with Bob James, Brian Culbertson, Keiko Matsui, Fredric Yonnet, Patrick Lamb, Paul Taylor and Marion Meadows. To this day, I still promote my dad’s music because I strongly believe his music is very unique. Currently, we both are working on The Blu J’z second album, in which it is father and son collaboration.

    Who are some of your influences?

    My first influence comes from God, who has given me the gift of music to share to others. My dad plays a vital part as a father figure and musical mentor. A musician who made a strong impact on me is Maceo Parker (Saxophonist), in which I’ve transcribed many of his songs. His energetic funk style has awakened me as musician and performer, “I know now what I must do.” Also, I have come to find that, whatever influences me as a person is best expressed through my saxophone.

    Who have you studied with?

    In high school (Roosevelt High School) I received private lessons from saxophonist Gene Doi who is a highly respected and sought out musician. In college (California State University, Fresno) I received private lessons from Doctor Alan Durst, who is also highly respected and sought out musician and professor.

    What do you plan on doing with music in the future?

    My future plans are to finish the second Blu J’z album and to hopelly be an established band who performs at well known Jazz and Smooth Jazz related festivals, concerts, and venues.

    Where can we find your music?

    On CDBaby, iTunes, and Amazon.

    Album title: Feelin’ the Moment
    Artist: The Blu J’z
    Date: Released 2001
    Genre: Jazz, Latin, Funk, Pop, R & B
    Label: Independent

     

    Any additional information you would like to add?

    These words, “I will never give up” is what I told myself in first grade which continues to inspire me to this day in everything I do and experience, but it is ultimately the belief that through God anything is possible.

    Saxophonist Richard Silva | Teen Jazz Artist

    The family-originated band The Blu J’z began as the vision of Reggie Silva. He grew up in a family of musicians, so it’s no coincidence that he chose to make music his life. As a guitarist, composer, and vocalist, Reggie’s influences came from performing and listening to bands and artists of the seventy’s era, like Earth Wind Fire, Chicago, Carlos Santana, Wes Montgomery, George Benson, Stevie Wonder, James Brown, Tower Power, Andre Crouch, The Winans, and many others. In 1998 Reggie’s vision in creating The Blu J’z sound originated from a dream, a dream of hooky melodies that paved a way in creating their first Cd in 2001, “Feelin’ the moment.” Reggie felt a connection with the album’s title because “it came from the heart.”

    Originally starting out as a five piece band, his son Richard Silva (saxophonist) joined the band during his sophomore year in high school. Since then they became popular around Fresno’s jazz music scene, performing familiar cover tunes, and along with promoting their original material that overall gave a smooth jazz vibe. Their unique sound that attracted listeners consisted of styles of Funk, Rock, Jazz, Pop, Latin, and Rhythm and Blues.

    In 2000, a newspaper writer from the Fresno Bee stumbled upon one of their performances at an Indian Casino named Table Mountain. Afterwards, he was compelled to write an article in which he titled “Family Band,” which was a full front page article on the Life Section displayed on Thursday, April 20, 2000. The original band members included: Reggie Silva (Band leader, guitarist), Joe Silva (Saxophonist, vocalist, percussion, brother), Richard Silva (Saxophonist, percussion, son), Julian Molina (Bass), Ricky Gonzalez (Rhythm guitar), and Juan Chevalier (Drummer, vocalist).

    In addition to performing at Fresno’s hot spots, they got a chance to perform twice (2001 and 2002) at the Sacramento Jazz Festival, which in 2001 was the year The Blu J’z debut their first Cd. Another big event was in 2004 when they were asked to open for Fresno’s own Smooth Jazz Festival at Coombs Riverbend Ranch.

    Within 4 years of the article, the band decided to break from the entertainment business. During this break many changes occurred in the structure of the band to include original members’ passing and moving away. Around mid-2010 Reggie was diagnosed with throat cancer. As a cancer survivor, in mid -2011 Reggie was ready for a comeback and this time his aspirations would lead him to rely on the abilities of his son Richard Silva. Richard Silva began to promote stronger for the Smooth Jazz sound that Fresno had slowly been lacking in the music scene since the departure of Smooth Jazz music from the local radio station 96.7.

    Since Richard Silva took over the promoting of the band they have gained national radio attention by way of internet and have been recently nominated for Best Indie Smooth Jazz Group from GHP from Texas. The promotion of our originals has helped us gain recognition worldwide not only through airplay but also interviews. The Blu J’z has since been recognized by major magazine companies both in California (Coffee Talk Jazz Network) and Texas (Jazz In M.E.E.) By the watchful eye of promoters and diligent hard work they had been asked to be an opening act for smooth jazz artist Boney James in concert at Woodward Park Fresno, California in 2012. It was this performance that has helped opened the door to many other opportunities including opening for other well-known smooth jazz artists to include Fred Yonnett, David Sanborn with Bob James, and Brian Culbertson, and Patrick Lamb. To this day Richard is very much determined in spreading the word about The Blu J’z. Recently from Jazz In M.E.E’s April Magazine (2014) they referenced our Cd and wrote this, “Buyer beware, the melodies will grab your attention and provide an intense form of musical expression. Watch out! This band is creating a buzz.

    “Our goal is to express what we feel, while giving the audience an entertaining experience.” Reggie Silva


     

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    (A) You cannot submit one sentence answers to the Teen Jazz Artist Application form questions, they must be a short paragraph.

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    January 21, 2015 • Up and Coming Musicians • Views: 1399

  • Saxophonist Tavis Yearwood | Teen Jazz Artist

    Why did you begin studying music?

    With me being a freshman in high school I can’t say that i’m studying music but its what i want to do with my life and I’m extremely serious about it. It is my favorite thing to do in the entire world and I look forward to being a music major once i reach college.

    What are you doing with music now?

    Right now I’m trying to get my name out in the music world in my area by playing at jam sessions, auditioning for every honor band and other audition entry band around, and school concerts.

    Saxophonist Tavis Yearwood

    Located in Orlando, FL, USA

    • Saxophonist
    • Doubles on Flute
    • 4 years of playing

    Teen Jazz Artist Badge

    [What’s this?]

    What is your instrument setup?

    Cannonball Big Bell Stone Series Black Nickel Tenor, Otto Link Super Tone Master 6, Rico Royal Blue Box 3

    Who are some of your influences?

    Kenny G, Dave Koz, Gerald Albright, Grover Washington Jr., Eric Marienthal, David Sanborn, Michael Brecker, Jeff Lorber, Brian Culbertson.

    Who have you studied with?

    Christina Hart, Kimberly Zipoli, Ryan Davenport, Corey Futrell, Billy Meether

    What would you like to do with music in the future?

    My dream is to become a professional musician creating my own solo studio albums and to share my music with the rest of the world.

     Any additional information you would like to add?

    I am a Soprano, Alto, Tenor saxophonist as well as a flutist. I’ve been apart of the All-County Honor Band twice and the All-County Honor Jazz Band once.

     

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    December 29, 2014 • Up and Coming Musicians • Views: 1090

  • Saxophonist Isaiah Moregrass | Teen Jazz Artist

    Why did you begin studying music?

    Music was something that grasped me for as long as I remember. I knew I wanted to study it because of the passion I had for the magic behind music.

    What are you doing with music now?

    I play in ensembles at my high school and gig around Philly with my school’s small band.

    Saxophonist Isaiah Moregrass

    Located in Philadelphia, PA, USA

    • Saxophonist
    • 7 years of playing

    Teen Jazz Artist Badge

    [What’s this?]

    What is your instrument setup?

    Premier by Hire mp
    Vandoreen 3s
    Bundy Sax

    Who are some of your influences?

    Johnny Hodges
    Pepper Adams
    Gerry Mulligan
    Billie Holiday
    Ella Fitzgerald

    Who have you studied with?

    Temple CMSP program
    CAPA high school

    What would you like to do with music in the future?

    Gigging in Manhattan and being a music teacher.

     


     

    Interested in having your profile featured on our site?

    Teen Jazz is also looking for young Jazz Artist features, so you could become a feature if you apply. You will be notified by email of the status of your application.

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    (A) You cannot submit one sentence answers to the Teen Jazz Artist Application form questions, they must be a short paragraph.

    (B) You must respond to the confirmation email that you receive from Shannon Kennedy after you submit your profile or your profile will not be published on Teen Jazz.

    (C) Pictures and Contact Information on your page are optional, but let us at Teen Jazz know if you would like to have both or either on your profile.

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    December 23, 2014 • Up and Coming Musicians • Views: 995