Take Five With Arturo Stable
The winds of change are blowing through the Latin jazz world. Increasingly, they are as fresh as they are strong, signaling the emergence of new stylistic directions for the venerable genre and the arrival of the idiom's next generation of innovators and leaders. In the vanguard of the movement's most talented young exponents is Arturo Stable, an energetic, resourceful and innovative free spirit whose broad range of talents defies easy categorization.
Stable has gained invaluable experience performing or recording with such illustrious leaders as Paquito D'Rivera, Dave Samuels, Terri Lyne Carrington, Esperanza Spalding, David Sanchez, Hector Martignon, Lionel Loueke and Miguel Zenon, as well as the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra. He has released five albums as a leader, all featuring his original compositions: 3rd Step (2004) , Notes on Canvas (2007), Call (2010), Dos y Mas (2012) and Cuban Crosshatching (2013). He serves as an endorser of and clinician for Ritmo Percussion and he is the chair of the Hand Percussion at the University of The Arts in Philadelphia.
Teachers and/or influences?
Aristides Soto "Tata guines," Jose Luis Quintana "Changuito," Jorge Felix, Elisa Escriba, Don Glanden, Rob Lusier and many of my friends, since performing with them is a constant learning experience.
I knew I wanted to be a musician when...
It was always there on me. I come from a very musical family and grow up in a town where music was part of the day by day. It was just the natural thing to do at the time.
Your sound and approach to music:
is constantly evolving, base on my experiences. I constantly challenge myself to new terrains and getting out of "comfort zones." I believe knowing the traditions is a very important aspect when building your own approach to music. That way you are coming from a solid foundation.
Your teaching approach:
School is more than just a place to learn facts and gain the knowledge necessary to function in life. It provides the opportunity to learn how to succeed in life socially, emotionally, intellectually, and in every other area. Music students have the capability of pushing themselves beyond the basic necessities of the scholastic experience and give themselves an edge by learning how to communicate through art and look at things in different ways. My goals for my class, then, include not only skill acquisition which will propel the students toward proficiency, but I also hope to instill in them skills which will help them succeed in life. I want each student to feel confident in his capability to accomplish anything he wants and his ability to find success.
The teacher should be a role model and a mentor who can enable each student to realize his/her individual potential. It is important to teach them to be independent thinkers and responsible for their own learning. The teacher acts as a facilitator to knowledge and discovery.
Your dream band:
Don't have one. Every musician will take you on a different ride and that is just great.
Road story: Your best or worst experience:
Worst: Driving in the middle of a tour (from Vermont to PA), I got involve in two major car accidents less than three hours apart ! (none of them my fault)one in Boston and another one in New York City. Thank god nobody got hurt, but still....
Best: Every time I play in Spain...Just love my friends over there...and the food..OMG!
Cotton Club, Tokyo, by far.
The first Jazz album I bought was:
Giovanni Hidalgo's Hands of Rhythm.
What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically?
Incorporating percussion into jazz in a fresh and personal way. Keeping the traditions but blending with the music from the inside of the tune out...Instead of just playing rhythms..
Did you know...
I did some TV acting when I was a kid :)
CDs you are listening to now:
Wayne Shorter, Schizophrenia (Blue Note);
David Virelles, Continuum (Pi Recordings);
Christian McBride, Kind of Brown (Mack Avenue).
How would you describe the state of jazz today?
From a creative point of view is better than ever in history. There are so many interesting projects coming up every month and jazz programs in schools are growing strong as well. Unfortunately we are going through an international economic crisis that, as always, has a strong negative impact on the arts.
What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing?
Be more considerate with the audience expectations. Create new industry models when it comes to artist development. More community outreach.
What is in the near future?
Currently working in two main projects as leader. The Dos y Mas duet with master pianist Elio Villafranca, and the Cuban Crosshatching project. Looking forward to touring and developing that music. We have a few commitments coming up in New York, Pennsylvania, Florida, Spain and Italy. Also as a side man I have ongoing collaboration with Paquito D'Rivera, Dave Samuels and Diane Monroe, among others. I'm very excited with those opportunities as well, because I keep learning a lot from their vast experience.
What's your greatest fear when you perform? No fear, just pleasure :)
What song would you like played at your funeral?
The Beatles's "Blackbird."
What is your favorite song to whistle or sing in the shower?
If I weren't a jazz musician, I would be a:
A pink elephant.
Courtesy of Arturo Stable