Take Five With Jaiman Crunk
Meet Jaiman Crunk:
Jaiman was born into a musical family in the San Francisco Bay Area. His great grandparents were vaudeville performers-one grandfather was a singer and the other one was a guitarist. He was given his first guitar at the age of five. He remembers his grandfather playing and teaching him many other songs of his era as a child.
He also remembers his grandfather taking him to hear the fabulous Duke Ellington Orchestra, (with Johnny Hodges, Paul Gonsalves, Cootie Williams, etc.), in San Francisco at the age of 12, which left a lasting impression on him of the enormous spiritual power that Ellington's music has. His aunt played the organ at the local church and at family gatherings where the family would play and sing together. Jaiman's parents regularly held jam sessions at their home where he got to meet and play with many great Bay Area musicians when he was growing up.
Jaiman studied music both formally and informally with a number of great Bay Area artists. In fact, he takes a lesson from everything that he hears. One influence from his youth that he remembers in particular was one of his grandfather's close friends-guitarist extraordinaire, George Cordoba, with whom Jaiman studied for years. Jaiman vividly remembers George's version of Rimsky-Korsakov's "Flight of the Bumblebee," which completely took him away.
Jaiman spent a lot of time in his youth playing in the Bay Area jazz, R&B and blues scenes in numerous groups and venues and had the fortune to play with many great local artists-some known, others unknown, but equally as talented.
Jaiman moved to Europe later in his life where he had the opportunity to play with many great American ex- pat jazz artists, (some known, others unknown but equally talented), as well as a number of European jazz musicians and groups from West Africa and South America playing in Europe.
Jaiman has spent most of his musical life playing music composed by others in small clubs. In October 2012, he decided to release a CD of his original compositions entitled Encounters, on Seattle-based label Origin Records.
Jaiman's music reflects everything he's experienced in his life, everyone he's met, everything he's heard and everywhere he's been-it's just that simple. Jaiman recently moved to Seattle from Europe. The single largest influence on his music today is the beautiful, but not always serene, nature in the area.
Teachers and/or influences?
Jaiman's music is the result of everything he's heard, all that he's experienced and everyone he's met in life. There is no one teacher or predominant influence on his music. He prefers music that has a spiritual and emotional connection.
I knew I wanted to be a musician when...
Jaiman knew that music would be a driving force in his life from the moment he first heard music as a child. For him, involvement with music was a natural, evolutionary and inherent part of life and had little to do with any conscious decision to become involved with it.
Your sound and approach to music:
Jaiman believes that music is omnipresent and that we just need to open our ears and souls in order to experience it. Music is a constantly changing force in the universe. His approach to guitar sounds is to attempt to find an appropriate sound (tone color) and the appropriate notes to fit any specific musical context.
Your teaching approach:
Jaiman recognized at an early age that he does not have the necessary skills to be a teacher of music in any conventional sense.
Your dream band:
Jaiman recognizes that, given the fluidity of music and the constantly changing nature of humans, he's more focused on dream moments in music rather than any specific musical artists, (individually or in a group context).
Road story: Your best or worst experience:
Jaiman learned early on that what he initially thought to be "bad musical experiences," actually turned out to be some of the best musical experiences in terms of learning and moving forward.
Jaiman believes that music (particularly jazz music) is precious and that every venue should be treated with the highest respect-even if there is only one person in that venue listening.
Your favorite recording in your discography and why?
Jaiman has been influenced by music from many parts of the world. One of his favorite recordings of strictly Western music is J.S. Bach's St. John's Passion. That picture would be incomplete, however, without the enormously powerful and spiritual rhythms of traditional African music.
The first Jazz album I bought was:
Duke Ellington, Live At Newport 1956.
What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically?
Jaiman hopes that his music will contribute to a better and happier state of human consciousness-at any level.
CDs you are listening to now:
Jaiman listens to just about everything these days, unless it's so loud (live) that he'd lose his hearing from listening too long.