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Take Five With...

Take Five With Dave Schiff

By Published: May 28, 2011
I was lucky enough to be involved in jazz workshops as as young musician, and have the guidance of some of the jazz greats. I have a picture on my studio wall of Pepper Adams, Sir Roland Hannah, Wayne Andre, my brother Don, and me on stage. While I was already off playing professionally in the Navy Show Band, I had returned home to help with the jazz workshop, which my father had been responsible for starting. Each year, beginning in my early teens, during those two week-long workshops, these jazz greats, including Thad Jones, Mel Lewis and Bobby Timmons
Bobby Timmons
Bobby Timmons
1935 - 1974
piano
were staying at my house, and I would stay up all night listening to their stories.

CDs you are listening to now: Pete Christlieb
Pete Christlieb
Pete Christlieb
b.1945
saxophone
, For Heaven's Sake (Bosco); Sonny Rollins, Volume One (Blue Note); Harry Connick, Jr.
Harry Connick, Jr.
Harry Connick, Jr.
b.1967
piano
, Songs I Heard (Columbia).

How would you describe the state of jazz today? Diverse. It's going in a lot of directions, which is good. Jazz is about exploration and looking forward.

What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing? Jazz has so much to offer. But the venues for jazz are shrinking. I think club owners underestimate its far reaching appeal. But ultimately, high schools and colleges need the resources to do more creative music making, something moves beyond musical imitation, challenging students to be the creators of music.

What is in the near future? Getting Schiff Brother—Express out there is first on the list. Along with that we're looking for touring and jazz festival opportunities. I have two other projects simmering on the back burner: one with a friend who is a keyboard play—my wife calls him the Robin Williams of the keyboard—the other is with my wife, who is also a musician.

If I weren't a jazz musician, I would be a: dead man. Really. I was raised to play music—jazz in particular. But, then again, I love working with my hands. I got that from my Grandfather.


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