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Take Five With...

Take Five With Stockton Helbing

By Published: December 27, 2011
How would you describe the state of jazz today?
I think that jazz today is still vibrant and growing. I believe that there are still jazz musicians who maintain a healthy understanding and respect for the history of music while pushing the boundaries of what jazz currently is. The problem is that with each passing year, jazz is less and less popular and accessible. jazz, if it's not careful, may end up being a thing of the past, only viewed in museums.

What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing?
Jazz musicians need to remember that we must entertain our audiences if we desire their patronage. We are not entitled to records sales or popularity. Those are things we earn by entertaining, uplifting, encouraging and energizing our audiences. Now, more then ever, us jazz musicians need to inspire non-jazz aficionados into taking an interest in the rich past, present, and future of jazz by musically inviting them into our world, rather than ignoring them or acting as if they are privileged to hear our music and watch us perform.

What is in the near future?
I'm very exciting of a lot of upcoming projects that are being released. First, I'm really excited and proud of my new album, Battlestations and Escape Plans. I have received great feedback from fans and critics so far and I'm really excited on where that will lead. I'm also proud to be on a few current/soon-to-be releases that I'm playing on including The Whirl, by tenor saxophonist giant Chip McNeill; The Colour of Space, by guitarist Anthony Plant; and two big band albums—one, by composer/arranger/bassist Kristian Bergheim. I also am already starting to work on post-production for a new album that I recorded last summer with some amazing musicians from across North America. It features ten of my original, more straight-ahead compositions. I'm excited to get that project ready for a summer 2012 release.

If I weren't a jazz musician, I would be a:
Definitely a professional video gamer...if that even exists.

Photo Credit
Courtesy of Stockton Helbing
Stockton Helbing
Stockton Helbing

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Download jazz mp3 “Keslier” by Stockton Helbing
  • Keslier
  • Stockton Helbing
  • Battlestations & Escape Plans