Take Five With Gordon Hazlewood
I knew I wanted to be a musician when... at a very early age, around five or so, I discovered that I had a natural ear for music. At that age I could hear songs on the radio and with little difficulty, play them on our piano. Regrettably, it took another 50 years or so for me to start dabbling in music.
Your sound and approach to music: Practice! practice!! practice!!! Because my instrument is new, I feel I have to honor this instrument by being as good as I can. Especially if I'd like to attract serious musicians to this new instrument, I cannot come out half-stepping.
Your teaching approach: I teach technique mainly since I am not a trained musician. I play by ear, for the most part. I am, however, now studying music seriously.
What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically? I am proud of the fact that I am introducing a new timbre to the world of music. Because of how it is made and the material with which it is made it effectively calls attention to environmental issues. I consider it a green instrument. It is affordable. It is also an excellent music training instrument.
How would you describe the state of jazz today? Not good. I look at the shrinking number of radio stations that play jazz and i feel somewhat alarmed that this American original art form is giving way to other music genre that require very little musical skill. I hope to be able to do my bit to contribute to the reversal of this trend. I am, however, heartened by the existence of the internet. This offers a potential outlet for jazz musicians.
What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing? Early exposure and awareness. Teach our children the history of jazz. Make it funthere are enough colorful characters and stories to engage their attention. And oh the music ... beautiful.
What is in the near future? Completion of my first CD of original compositions by Walter Bland.
If I weren't a jazz musician, I would be a: Wood Craftsman. Of course, all of this is after having a career in marketing, utility program management in the public sector, IT specialist in the public and private sectors.
Courtesy of Gordon Hazlewood