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Dan Shout: In With a Shout

Seton Hawkins By

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AAJ: On this idea of continued development and growth, we talked already about the kind of expanded instrumental lineup in Secret Weapons. Is there a vision to take that further with larger ensemble efforts?

DS: I guess the answer would be yes. I think I'd like to still do another album with a similar lineup and take the ideas a step further. I'd make them a bit more mature. I love the last album, but I feel like this latest one took a big step up, and I think that the third one would take as big a leap up again. Having said that, I just arranged my first big band chart yesterday. Like I mentioned, I didn't study arrangement, and I've never had a reason to do a big band chart. But annually I organize a big band gig for charity at my old high school, because we're trying to create a scholarship for music. One of the bands in Cape Town is a great ska band called Grassy Spark, and we wanted to do one of their tunes for the big band. So I arranged a big band chart for it.

I think that the bug has possibly bitten for me to do some more big band arranging. But I think that I'd need to spend some time studying that a bit more. Of course, I've played a lot of big band music and I know the general sound, but knowing the general vibe and being a quality big band arranger are two totally different things. So for now, I'd like to keep it at the size it is, and then pull people in as the music needs. Whether that's a trumpet solo, or a trombone, or maybe there are some brilliant marimba players in town that I'd love to use. I've got some ideas bubbling in the back of my mind, but not necessarily going bigger. I'd like to get more quality and more mature. If that leads to doing something bigger then sure, no problem. The other problem is I'm entirely self funded, so I basically slay wedding season and Cape Town, which is about seven months, and I work my ass off. I really love that because I'm playing with basically the same guys on my album, we just happen to be putting on suits and playing "Have You Met Miss Jones?," which is a jol, playing wine farms, drinking shiraz, and making people happy. But then I save money to do another Jazz album, which is basically a flag-waving expedition.

When I do these sorts of albums, I'm doing them purely for artistic creativity and to keep my soul happy. I would love to do some bigger stuff, but only if and when it's called for.

Photo Credit: Team Team Photography

Selected Discography:

Dan Shout, Serenading Ghosts, (Self Released, 2012)
Dan Shout, In With a Shout, (Self Released, 2014)
In With a Shout, Secret Weapons, (PathWay Records, 2018)

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