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Take Five With Don Diego

AAJ Staff By

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Meet Don Bables:

Don Diego is a contemporary jazz fusion saxophonist, vocalist and keyboard player who mixes instrumental covers of modern and classic R&B with rap and pop vocals. His music is divinely focused and undoubtedly appeals to the tastes of smooth jazz lovers. However, the urban flavor of Don Diego's music is unmistakable. While the Kenny G and David Sanborn will be obvious, one will discover the underlying influences of modern gospel and classic Detroit soul.

Instrument(s):

Saxophone.

Teachers and/or influences?

Jesus Christ, Kirk Whalum, Sonny Stitt, Julian "Cannonball" Adderley.

I knew I wanted to be a musician when...

I was very young and I used to watch my father, who was also a great musician.

Your sound and approach to music:

Hip hop harmonies with jazz melodies.

Your teaching approach:

You must get a good tone first.

Road story: Your best or worst experience:

Right before me opening up my show, someone knocked my horns down and didn't tell me. When I went to play my first note for my big entrance, I blew the horn and nothing came out. I made a joke of it and looked down the bell of my horn as if it were clogged. Afterwards, I just switched horns and transposed.

Favorite venue:

Caravan of Dreams in Fort Worth.

Your favorite recording in your discography and why?

Happy Lonely is my favorite because the of the spirit and state of mind that I was in. I was working by myself in the Middle East for five months when I wrote that song. I was there all alone, no friends or family and was able to write and meditate without distractions.

The first Jazz album I bought was:

Cannonball Adderley, Sweet Emma.

Did you know...

I'm a loner.

What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing?

We need more support. More jazz stations and venues that support the art of jazz.

What is in the near future?

I'm promoting my latest CD New Beginnings and getting ready to make tour dates.

By Day:

I am a full-time musician.

If I weren't a jazz musician, I would be a:

Sad man.

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