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Joey Pero: Breaking Sound Barriers

Nicholas F. Mondello By

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AAJ: What's your approach to live performances?

JP: Entertainment, entertainment and more entertainment! We're dedicated to a return to entertainment-based performance. Our goal is to cover all angles of what that might mean for an audience member.

AAJ: Resonance strikes me as being almost operatic in scope. Ever think about incorporating dance or multimedia with a "resonance" effort? What about film scoring?

Joey Pero and his parents with Wynton Marsalis



JP: Resonance is a rock opera and was conceived as one from the very beginning. I am excited to explore all possible avenues. We would be very excited to use some of the record as music for film and television, when the stars aligned properly. Part of Resonance is having trust in the universe around you. All the opportunities are coming one by one and it is a very exciting time. I would especially like to see dancers using it, as it adds a dimension of art to the music that is not already there. Certainly there are many cool things to come.

CR: Resonanceis part of a three-record concept, a trilogy. When we began work on pre-production, it became clear that there was no way to tell the whole story, as each individual phase of being has to be given equal respect: the story of life lived. Joey is definitely a Chautauqua, or storyteller. I have been working diligently at opening up the avenues necessary to stage the Resonance concept and music as a large-scale production. I have been in talks with several media outlets to this end. It all must remain under wraps for now, but let's just say something amazing is coming.



As with every project I work on, there is a level of perfectionism that must be met. So you can expect that this will take time, and that when it does launch, it will be magnificent in scope as well as flawless in execution. Joey, Simon Boyar, Peter and I all work to this same level: refinement, honing, and ultimately creating an immaculate product that stands the test of time. It is really awesome how each of us serve as a check and balance for the other in this process, and ultimately, when "Resonance" is ready to be taken to the stage in a new way... you can bet it will inspire awe. How easy is my job when my colleagues are unparalleled in their genius and artistry?

A recent review compared Joey Pero to trumpeters Allen Vizzutti and Wynton Marsalis. The parallels between these masters and Pero are uncanny. These trumpet giants all straddle highly diverse dimensions of trumpeting and composition. Marsalis, of course, has the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, classical performances, a compositional Pulitzer and film scores under his belt. Vizzutti travels the world performing classical and modern trumpet repertoire and, on occasion, dives into jazz soloing. What might be next in store for Joey Pero?

AAJ: Do you plan to compose more? What's coming performance- and goal-wise?

JP: I go though periods of what I call "highly innovative spurts." During that time I dedicate my energy to writing the melodies and songs that pop into my head. Nature has recently been a huge inspiration to me. I feel as though the music is already there, I just grab it. I can construct tunes and melodies myself, but I believe my best work is notated from the unknown. Tunes such as "Wrapt" were birthed from the life situations I was experiencing at that time. Moreover, I consider my goal to be the continuation of what I do now; that may look different at future points of my life. The evolution of my reach as an artist is imperative. And my ability to educate, inspire, and learn are the most important to me in the grand scheme. On coming records, you can expect more original works. You can also expect to see the advancement of the live performances.

AAJ: Well, based on the initial reaction to and reviews of Resonance, you've hit a home run. How do you top that?

JP: Thanks, home runs are a good thing! As I said before, I will continue to do what I do, always aiming to better myself as a person and as an artist; to grow. Live more life, practice more hours, and believe wholeheartedly in what I put out to the world. I have started pre-production on my forthcoming release; to that end, Charles will be producing this as well. He has an uncanny ability to reach inside an artist's heart and soul and pull out their voice. He is also working with Simon this year, which is turning out to be an epic work. I can't say a lot about my new work, but it is a continuation on the Resonance concept, and there is much growth to be seen on it.


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