Eliane Elias: For The Love of Jazz

Jim Worsley By

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AAJ: When do you start your tour in support of Love Stories with your quartet?

EE: Very soon. We will be in Chicago, New York, Canada, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston among others. Then off to Europe and Mexico. This will be September through December. We will take a break and then do another leg of the tour in different cities.

AAJ: Do you play Phoenix?

EE: Yes. We will be at the Musical Instrument Museum in March.

AAJ: Such a great venue. I love that place.

EE: Isn't it though? Yes, it is a very nice place to play.

AAJ: Having your husband (who just happens to be bassist extraordinaire Marc Johnson) as the anchor of your quartet has to be fun and certainly keeps the music tight.

EE: Marc is wonderful with the grooves. I don't believe there is any other bassist that can do some of the things he does. I'm not just saying that because he is my husband. His input in the studio too. He oversees the sound engineering. He has such a great ear. He knows exactly the tone I need on any and every piano.

AAJ: I know he has played with a very long list of great artists but what always first pops into my head when his name is mentioned is in conjunction with the great pianist Bill Evans.

EE: Oh yes, such wonderful music.

AAJ: You have won multiple Grammys for your exceptional work. Most artists will say, although they appreciate the recognition, it isn't what it's all about. That other aspects are much more important. What aspects of your musical journey do you consider to be the most important and/or most rewarding?

EE: Well, I don't know any artist that has won a Grammy that doesn't list it at the top of their bio. So, it is a very important recognition from your peers and from the people. You are competing with hundreds, maybe thousands of other artists for recognition. So, it does mean a lot, no matter what anyone says. Now that is one side of the story. On the other hand, my love of music and my relationship with music is independent of that. It stands on its own. I love to perform, and I love to record, I love to bring something into people's lives. I want to be a part of their life. I want to be in their homes and in their cars. I want to be there when someone is alone and when they have their friends over. I want to reach and touch people all the time. That is very important to me.

AAJ: When you take stock of your career at this point are there concepts or "bucket list" artists that you would like to perform or record with that just haven't happened yet?

EE: (Laughing out loud) That is not a short list. There are so many. I have three different projects that I am working on. So many other instrumental and vocal ideas. There is just this fountain of musical ideas to be excited about. I am always working on it. Music, like life, evolves and changes. It is not complacent. I am not lacking in inspirations. I wish I had more time to work on all the things I would like to do. There will always be new and fresh avenues to explore. There is more to create. More to record. And more traveling to do. I love to travel (with a laugh).

AAJ: We then have much more to look forward to. In the interim, enjoy your tour, continued success, and thank you so much for talking with me today, Eliane. I enjoyed it immensely.

EE: It was such a pleasure, Jim. I enjoyed talking with you so very much. I really hope to see you at one of my shows.
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