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Take Five With Dan Papirany

Dan Papirany By

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Meet Dan Papirany:
I was born in Israel and moved to New Zealand when I was 21. I studied drums for two years and then changed to a piano major. I graduated with a bachelor in jazz performance in 1999 and continued studying to become a high school teacher. In 2011 I moved to QLD, Australia. I've released seven albums to date; they are all available at CD Baby.

Instrument(s):
I play jazz piano and drums.

Teachers and/or influences?
My teacher at University (in Wellington) was Leigh Jackson—jazz piano. I love the music of Bill Evans who has been my main influence.

I knew I wanted to be a musician when...
When I came to New Zealand I met with my friend Arahi and he got me interested in music and jazz drumming in particular.

Your sound and approach to music:
My sound is straight-ahead jazz, encouraging musical interplay with the members of the group. I give the members of the group lots of solos opportunities when we perform live though, lately, I've recorded two albums with straight ahead approach which only feature piano solos.

Your teaching approach:
I am a secondary school trained teacher and I am keen to teach jazz whenever possible. It is normally well appreciated by the students as it is more related to popular music than classical music for example.

Your dream band:
My dream band would have to be a trio that works in the format of simultaneous improvisation, similar to Bill Evans recordings in the 70's (with Eliot Zigmund and Eddie Gomez).

Favorite venue:
My best experience was playing a residency gig at MLC (Auckland, New Zealand) for three years starting in 2004. It sometimes featured a trio with Frank Gibson, Jr. on drums and Pete McGregor on bass.

Your favorite recording in your discography and why?
My favorite recording is my new album titled 2014 (Self Produced, 2014), as it sounds to me like my playing has matured a little.

What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically?
My style of playing is old fashioned in comparison to nowadays modern trio sound. Hopefully it helps to keep the old melodic approach alive.

Did you know...
Did you know that I have served in the Israeli Army for three years? That was compulsory and I didn't like the period of my life, but thank god it was boring and eventless.

CDs you are listening to now:
One of my favorite albums that I listen now is a live recording of the Ron Affif Trio titled Ringside (Pablo, 2001). I love the way Ron plays the guitar and the sound of the bass is great. The drums are cool as well.

How would you describe the state of jazz today?
Jazz has progressed so much and the level of musicianship found in modern groups is incredible. Also the interplay between the musicianship is fantastic. This new approach has been started by the Brad Mehldau Trio. Funny how piano trios are mostly responsible for the evolution of jazz in modern times, well, since Bird and Armstrong.

What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing?
Jazz must keep the interest of young crowds. It seems the task is very difficult as most youngsters prefer to listen to simple music. Jazz might be way more complicated for them to understand.

What is in the near future?
Since moving to Australia, I have abandoned jazz and have only recently gone back to performing on a very minor scale. I hope there will be more of it in the future.

If I weren't a jazz musician, I would be a:
If I weren't a jazz musician, I would be a marine biologist, as I love the great barrier reef, and I would be keen to help in its preservation for future generations to enjoy.

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