If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.
You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...
Welcome to Guitarists Rendezvous, our first installment in a series that introduces readers to emerging or established guitarists who fly just under the radar of public recognition. Each will field the same four questions and we've included audio and video so you can sample their music.
We kick of the column with a diverse group of musicians from Switzerland, Buenos Aires and New York.
Born in Thun, Switzerland in 1986. This well traveled 28 year old musician now resides in Chicago on an artist Visa. Drummer Jimmy Bennington recently brought Samuel to my attention. He may not be well known in America, but he is certainly someone who could stand out with his particular sound and style.
A: Jazz has a very indigenous element for me. Something in the way it's performed is very natural, at least in the U.S. Although it is comparable to the high music forms of European classical in its complexity, it still is performed as a ritual and in a way of celebration. Jazz has kept a dancing approach. I think the connection between mind, spirit and body is still the essential part of good jazz.
Q: Where do you think jazz is headed?
A: That depends on how I define jazz. If I look at it as culture that peaked in the '40s and '50s, then it's going to head slowly into where classical European music is now. Its purpose will be one of conserving it as a culture. For sure a culture that is worthy of conservation. Improvisation would still add an element of here and now. If I had to define jazz as contemporary art, it is a mirror of the present time. That means it will always change and is never going to stop developing. I think there will be some major geographical changes to the music. The young musicians want to play as much as possible to get better and learn new things, so they will go to where it is possible to survive and play. If they relocate, they will fuse with a new culture and create something modern. It has happened several times in jazz before and it will happen again. I think that more and more musicians will learn how to truly improvise and get away from the common licks. A lot of the great players from the past were already telling stories in their own language. I think the focus will get back to that. I also think musicians will become more aware of the spiritual side of music and will focus on how to combine both that will define their own music.
Around ten years ago, I heard this great guitarist playing outside my window at our annual block party. I looked out and saw this guy burning it up with a trio. Soon after, I started getting emails from some of the best guitarists in the New York Tri-Sate area saying that they were playing at a restaurant called, W 107 with a guitarist named Joe Giglio. Eventually I made it to one of these gigs and lo and behold, there was that guitarist. Joe and I soon became friends and it turned out that he lives one block from me. Besides being a wonderful guitarist, Joe is jovial and warm and someone you love hanging out with. Every once in a while, Joe and I get together and jam. If you live in New York City you will know what I mean when I say, Joe and I have run into each other many times moving our cars to the other side of the street.
Q: How long have you played the guitar?
A: I have been playing guitar since I was ten years old. Prior to that I played the piano and French horn. I wanted a guitar from the moment I saw Ricky Nelson on The Ozzie and Harriet Show, singing and playing. I really dug his lead guitarist, James Burton, a lot.
Q: Who are you major influences?
A: Hearing John Coltrane was my first jazz experience. My hipster, older cousin Tony played records for me. John Coltrane was his main man. He also played Charles Lloyd, Miles Davis, Art Blakey, and Maynard Ferguson for me. It was a cool experience to realize that though they played very differently, Coltrane and Maynard were both playing jazz. I think it opened up my mind to listen without judgment. This all started when I was about 12.
As a songwriter and vocalist, I love jazz for the experience of being in the center of intense creativity. It is the most potent form of music for keeping the artist and the audience in the 'now. Being in the moment is essential for humans, and we need help in learning how to do that. As a songwriter, I need the depth of musicality that jazz voicings can give my stories. My songs seem light and whimsical, but the message is not.
I met my main collaborator, Mark Fitzgibbon, at one of his gigs. I needed to do my first original album, and his playing was masterful, robust, and beautiful. At the time, I didn't realize how suited we were as a team. We're onto our 4rth album together.
My advice to new listeners is to listen to a really clear and simple version of a song so you can then hear what the musicians are doing and enjoy their creativity and musicality. Also, you have to see jazz live to appreciate it fully. You'll never feel it the same way listening to a CD or online. You need the vibration to go through your body to really get it!
We sent a confirmation message to . Look for it, then click the link to activate your account. If you don’t see the email in your inbox, check your spam, bulk or promotions folder.
Thanks for joining the All About Jazz community!