Take Five With Jay Vonada
Desert Island picks:
Carl Fontana, The Great Fontana (Uptown Records);
Conrad Herwig, Hieroglyphica (Criss Cross);
Wayne Shorter, Night Dreamer (Blue Note);
Sonny Rollins, Tenor Madness (OJC);
Jackie McLean, Swing Swang Swingin' (Blue Note).
How would you describe the state of jazz today?
I don't know how to answer this.
I am from a very rural area in PA and my goal is to try and bring this art form to an area that is steeped in country & western and rock 'n' roll. There are some very inspirational jazz artists living in this area and if this is the case for every other region in the US then I think it is a good state.
What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing?
You have to expose it to young people. I am playing for the elder folks who do appreciate this music. Now granted I'm not going in there and playing "Giant Steps." You have to know your audience and do realize that a major part of your job is entertaining. You can find a balance between the creative and entertaining. It is a challenge but can be done.
What is in the near future?
I just finished my new album, Red Pajamas, and was recently featured on a local TV show. In the late summer/early fall I will be recording a one-hour radio broadcast of jazz musicians, celebrating the 40th anniversary of The Palmer Museum on the campus of Penn State University.
Hopefully and round of summer concerts in the park and various festivals in Pennsylvania will be part of the schedule as well.
If I weren't a jazz musician, I would be a:
I worked in a factory for 11 years full-time so probably something in that field. I worked in shipping and receiving for a majority of that time.
Courtesy of Jay T. Vonada