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Take Five With...

Take Five With Celine Berman

By Published: January 11, 2008
How do you use the internet to help your career? Fan-based email and e-marketing have helped me reach my audience and would-be fans readily. It's good for them to know where I perform and what project(s) I'm involved in.

CDs you are listening to now: It just happens to be Dexter Gordon, actually - Ballads is the title. I happen to love Stacy Kent also. I think she has tremendous pitch and phrasing. In Love Again, the music of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein - great for a show tune lover like me.

Desert Island picks: Ella Fitzgerald Dexter Gordon Stacy Kent Mel Tormé Donald Fagen (yeah! I love him a great deal too, especially with Steely Dan).

How would you describe the state of jazz today? We jazz artists are disappearing. I think we're being diluted with the various labels such as Pop Jazz, Smooth Jazz, etc. I think most young people are not introduced to it. The music of today in other genres sounds so cookie cutter, most of it unpleasant to listen to.

Though they have become big machines, I love that Diana Krall, Harry Connick or John Pizzarelli are reintroducing a lot of it, thank goodness. I think that artists like Rod Stewart and Carly Simon should stay away from it as they really don't interpret it well.

I wish radio and especially TV would produce more shows concerning Jazz but it's no longer selling. I feel very much that it's hard to sell it in my area too, though the Carolinas are not bad for a musician - less fish in the pond, so to speak.

What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing? Educating the young generation to not be so rushed and take time to listen and appreciate various forms of music. It feels like students are rushed through a process for the results (honor student) and not for the learning experience (jazz appreciation).

Also, the young generation concert-attending etiquette, rather the lack of, is so offensive, and their ignorance of what is jazz is so dismaying. Why aren't parents taking notice?

What is in the near future? A CD with more originals and radical arrangements of music, not necessarily originating in jazz. A Holiday compilation. Perhaps something else ... who knows?

By Day: When not perfecting my singing art, and marketing my band, I utilize my French skills and tutor, teach/coach, interpret and translate. It makes for a busy, but varied and satisfying life doing what I love. What do they say: "The left brain, right brain thing"... Truly I'm privileged to lead this life and to have the support of so many, so generously.

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