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Take Five with Kim Pensyl

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Meet Kim Pensyl:
Kim Pensyl is a prolific jazz recording artist, composer and arranger who has twice been named one of Billboard's Top-20 Contemporary Jazz Artists of the Year. A pianist and trumpeter, he has had four Top-10 albums on Billboard's Contemporary Jazz chart. He has recorded with jazz legends such as Toots Thielemans
Toots Thielemans
Toots Thielemans
b.1922
harmonica
, and modern greats like Joey Calderazzo
Joey Calderazzo
Joey Calderazzo
b.1965
piano
and Bob Mintzer
Bob Mintzer
Bob Mintzer
b.1953
saxophone
. He has performed at such esteemed jazz venues as The Blue Note and Blues Alley and toured with the Woody Herman
Woody Herman
Woody Herman
1913 - 1987
band/orchestra
and Acoustic Alchemy
Acoustic Alchemy
Acoustic Alchemy

band/orchestra
. He has more than 100 published works recorded and over 150 compositions and arrangements in his catalog.

Kim performs around Cincinnati and Central Ohio in various groups. In addition to his new trombone and piano composition premier in the fall of 2010, Kim has had two other premiers. In March of 2010 a new sax quartet was premiered at the North American Saxophone Alliance conference in Georgia and a new three movement brass quintet was premiered at the International Trumpet Guild conference in Sydney, Australia in July of 2010.

In addition, he writes and performs with the Faculty Jazztet and guest artists at CCM, like Dave Liebman
Dave Liebman
Dave Liebman
b.1946
saxophone
, Arturo Sandoval
Arturo Sandoval
Arturo Sandoval
b.1949
trumpet
, Wynton Marsalis
Wynton Marsalis
Wynton Marsalis
b.1961
trumpet
, Bob Mintzer, Terri Lyne Carrington
Terri Lyne Carrington
Terri Lyne Carrington
b.1965
drums
, Rufus Reid
Rufus Reid
Rufus Reid
b.1944
bass, acoustic
, John Clayton
John Clayton
John Clayton
b.1952
bass, acoustic
, and Mulgrew Miller
Mulgrew Miller
Mulgrew Miller
1955 - 2013
piano
among others. Kim performs with Phil DeGreg
Phil DeGreg
Phil DeGreg

piano
and is also a member of the Blue Wisp Big Band, Pat Kelly's Psycho Acoustic Orchestra, and Carmon DeLeone's New Studio Big Band. Kim is an assistant professor of jazz studies at the College- Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati.

Instrument(s):
Trumpet and Piano

Teachers and/or influences?
Favorite Trumpet Players:

Miles Davis
Miles Davis
Miles Davis
1926 - 1991
trumpet


Freddie Hubbard
Freddie Hubbard
Freddie Hubbard
1938 - 2008
trumpet


Clifford Brown
Clifford Brown
Clifford Brown
1930 - 1956
trumpet


Chet Baker
Chet Baker
Chet Baker
1929 - 1988
trumpet


Woody Shaw
Woody Shaw
Woody Shaw
1944 - 1989
trumpet


Plus:Louis Armstrong
Louis Armstrong
Louis Armstrong
1901 - 1971
trumpet
, Dizzy Gillespie
Dizzy Gillespie
Dizzy Gillespie
1917 - 1993
trumpet
, Fats Navarro
Fats Navarro
Fats Navarro
1923 - 1950
trumpet
, Blue Mitchell
Blue Mitchell
Blue Mitchell
b.1930
trumpet
, Lee Morgan
Lee Morgan
Lee Morgan
1938 - 1972
trumpet
, and a lot of the current trumpet players today like Tom Harrell
Tom Harrell
Tom Harrell
b.1946
trumpet
, Tim Hagans
Tim Hagans
Tim Hagans
b.1954
trumpet
, Nicholas Payton
Nicholas Payton
Nicholas Payton
b.1973
trumpet
, Scott Wendholt
Scott Wendholt
Scott Wendholt
b.1965
trumpet
, and Terrel Stafford.

I knew I wanted to be a musician when...
I saw Herb Alpert
Herb Alpert
Herb Alpert
b.1935
trumpet
on TV with the Tijuana Brass.

Your sound and approach to music:
Melody is the Key.

Lyricism is the Rule.

Beauty must surround the Sound.

Your favorite recording in your discography and why?
Melodious Monk! As a composer I am thrilled to showcase the music of one of the most important jazz composers in history. I wanted to show his real lyricism and melodic beauty. It was a very special project. I have thoughts of doing his whole catalog in a series. This first one was duos and trios. I would keep expanding the ensembles until the last CD of full orchestra! That would be exciting.

The first Jazz album I bought was:
My folks had many big band recordings when I was growing up. Plus, two records by Al Hirt
Al Hirt
Al Hirt
1922 - 1999
trumpet
and Doc Severinsen
Doc Severinsen
Doc Severinsen
b.1927
trumpet
. the first one I bought was a Freddie Hubbard record and I have been stuck on him every since.

What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically?
Hopefully—beauty, depth, and passion.

Did you know...
I love auto racing, especially Formula 1 and IndyCars.

CDs you are listening to now:
John Coltrane
John Coltrane
John Coltrane
1926 - 1967
saxophone
, Crescent

Blue Mitchell, Blue's Moods

Freddie Hubbard, Hub Tones

Keith Jarrett
Keith Jarrett
Keith Jarrett
b.1945
piano
, Standards Vol. 2

Miles Davis, E.S.P.

How would you describe the state of jazz today?
An amalgam of ideas and cultures.

What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing?
At the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati we constantly address this question. There must be a balance of the rich history of the tradition of jazz that the giants gave us along with current relevant relationships to the society and culture that we live n today.

What is in the near future?
Foursight is a new group and recording project that I am very excited about. It is a very forward-looking interactive collective improvisational group featuring original music.

3 Voices is a new recording project that is focused on standards with a lineup of flugelhorn, vibes, and bass.

The Brazilian Jazz group, Samba Jazz Syndicate, performs every Tuesday at the Cactus Pear if Blue Ash, Ohio.

Kim Pensyl and Phil Degreg will be performing selected dates in Brazil from August 16-29, 2011.

Kim Pensyl's new composition for trombone and piano will be featured on a new recording by classical trombonists Tim Anderson.

Kim Pensyl's trumpet ensemble composition "Cascade" will be featured on a new recording by Tromba Mundi.

Kim Pensyl performs every Wednesday with the Blue Wisp Big Band at the Blue Wisp is Cincinnati, Ohio

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