Take Five With Duane Padilla

Duane Padilla By

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Meet Duane Padilla:
Classically trained violinist (Yale and Northwestern); Honolulu Symphony Violinist; Swing Violinist with Hot Club of Hulaville; Winner Hawaii Academy of Recording ArtsJazz Album of the Year 2011.


Teachers and/or influences?
Teachers: Idell Low, Gerardo Ribeiro, Syoko Aki.

I knew I wanted to be a musician when...
I was four years old and heard a recording of the Tchaikovsky violin concerto on the radio.

Your sound and approach to music:
In my music, I try to capture the sense of optimism and wonder that Stephane Grappelli was such a master of creating. In my music I try to remind people that the world is still basically a happy and joyful place.

Your teaching approach:
In my teaching, I first believe that everyone has musical ability. My job as a teacher is to give students the technical tools to find their own unique voice, if that is classical, jazz, pop, or some other style of music that speaks to them and inside of them.

Road story: Your best or worst experience:
I sort of fell into jazz by accident. A member of the Honoulu symphony, I was having dinner at a restaurant with a live jazz duo after an orchestra rehearsal. Just as I was about to leave the restaurant, the singer called from the stage, "you don't think you can leave without playing a tune do you?" I stumbled my way through 3 tunes, and my musical life was changed forever. Jazz has been very good to me every since.

Your favorite recording in your discography and why?
My favorite recording in my discography is Sentimental Swing Recorded with no rehearsals, it is me and a few friends stretching out on some of my favorite tunes. It captures particularly well that nostalgic feeling when one things about "the good old days." Having started life as a classical musician, this is my first serious recorded jazz effort.

By Day:
I teach violin lessons at the Punahou Music School.

Photo Credit
Courtesy of Duane Padilla

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