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Take Five With Erik Jekabson

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Meet Erik Jekabson: Erik Jekabson is a freelance trumpet player, composer and educator who has recorded or performed with Illinois Jacquet
Illinois Jacquet
Illinois Jacquet
1922 - 2004
sax, tenor
, the Woody Herman
Woody Herman
Woody Herman
1913 - 1987
band/orchestra
Big Band, John Mayer
John Mayer
b.1977
guitar
, Galactic
Galactic
Galactic

band/orchestra
, Mark Turner
Mark Turner
Mark Turner
b.1965
sax, tenor
, Brian Blade
Brian Blade
Brian Blade
b.1970
drums
, and Nicholas Payton
Nicholas Payton
Nicholas Payton
b.1973
trumpet
, among others. He has a Bachelor's of Music from Oberlin Conservatory of Music and a Master's of Music from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Erik has two solo albums out: Intersection, which was recorded in New York and released in the fall of 2003 on the Fresh Sound/New Talent label, and Crescent Boulevard, which was recorded in July of 2009 in Berkeley and released on his own Jekab's Music label.

Recordings of two other projects that he produced, Vista: the Arrival and New World Funk Ensemble are also widely available.

Erik has recorded as a sideman on over 25 other jazz recordings, as well as recording on movie and video game soundtracks, and has self-published 32 Jazz Duets for Trumpet: Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced.

Instrument(s):

Trumpet.

Teachers and/or influences?

Teachers: Robert Hansen, Jay Rizzetto, Charles Hamilton, Bill Bell, Kenny Davis (trumpet), Cheryl Hollinger, Michael Mossman, Mario Guarneri

Influences: Miles Davis
Miles Davis
Miles Davis
1926 - 1991
trumpet
, Clifford Brown
Clifford Brown
Clifford Brown
1930 - 1956
trumpet
, Lee Morgan
Lee Morgan
Lee Morgan
1938 - 1972
trumpet
, Leroy Jones
Leroy Jones
Leroy Jones
b.1958
trumpet
, Wendell Brunious, Cootie Williams
Cootie Williams
Cootie Williams
1911 - 1985
trumpet
, Louis Armstrong
Louis Armstrong
Louis Armstrong
1901 - 1971
trumpet
, Ravel, Debussy, Beethoven, Peter Apfelbaum
Peter Apfelbaum
Peter Apfelbaum
b.1960
various
, Kurt Rosenwinkel
Kurt Rosenwinkel
Kurt Rosenwinkel
b.1970
guitar
.

I knew I wanted to be a musician when... I heard the older members of the Berkeley High School Jazz Combo performing together.

Your sound and approach to music: I want there to be a communication between the musicians, and communication between the musicians and the audience. Keep it interesting for everyone involved.

Your teaching approach: For younger students, make it fun! For older students, find the area that needs the most work and tackle it head on.

Your dream band:

How to build the dream band: find lots of gigs that pay lots of $.

Favorite venue:

Pete's Candy Store in Williamsburg was fun—I played there regularly with the Howard Fishman Quartet.

Your favorite recording in your discography and why? I like my new CD, Crescent Boulevard. I'm playing the trumpet technically better, and I think I've developed my own concept as far as the approach to the tunes.

The first Jazz album I bought was: A tape—a Miles Davis compilation with "Little Melonae," "Devil May Care," "On Green Dolphin St.," and other Columbia recordings.

What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically? I'm trying to play the melodies I'm hearing in my head, and have the melodies unfold with a certain logic.

Did you know...

I'm a passionate Oakland A's fan.

CDs you are listening to now:

Dan Pratt
Dan Pratt

saxophone
, Toe the Line (Posi-Tone);

Joe Gilman
Joe Gilman
Joe Gilman

piano
, View So Tender: Wonder Revisited (Capri);
Debbie Poryes, Catch Your Breath (OA2);

Wayne Wallace
Wayne Wallace
Wayne Wallace

trombone
, Bien Bien (Patois).

Desert Island picks:

Duke Ellington
Duke Ellington
Duke Ellington
1899 - 1974
piano
, The Great Paris Concert (Atlantic);

Art Blakey
Art Blakey
Art Blakey
1919 - 1990
drums
, A Night At Birdland (Blue );

Miles Davis/Gil Evans
Gil Evans
Gil Evans
1912 - 1988
composer/conductor
, Porgy and Bess (Columbia);

John Coltrane
John Coltrane
John Coltrane
1926 - 1967
saxophone
, Transition (Impulse);

Radiohead, Hail to the Thief (EMI).

How would you describe the state of jazz today? There are a lot of great players, and not a ton of gigs. Hopefully there will be more venues and support for the music as these great young players continue to appear.

What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing? Education. Help people understand the basics of jazz- how musicians improvise etc.

What is in the near future? I've just released a new CD so will be playing some concerts in the Bay Area this fall to promote it. Also, I'll be working on another book of jazz duets, a teaching tool.

If I weren't a jazz musician, I would be a: Professional Baseball player.

Photo Credit

Courtesy of Erik Jekabson

Featured recording “Anti-Mass”

Anti-Mass

(2012)
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