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Take Five With Ed Barrett

Ed Barrett BY

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Meet Ed Barrett:

I began my musical studies at the age of six on the piano. I then began playing the French horn in fourth grade, and continued till the end of high school. I began playing jazz guitar in1988. I have a guitar performance degree from Berklee and a Master's in Jazz Studies from the University of New Orleans. I currently perform three to five times per week, and have two new CD releases upcoming in 2011.


Guitar, acoustic, nylon, gypsy and electric archtop

Teachers and/or influences? My biggest influences are Ed Bickert, and Ed Tommassi.

I knew I wanted to be a musician when... The first time I heard my mom play the "Moonlight" sonata on piano.

Your sound and approach to music: I usually employ a very "clean" guitar tone, very round and bell like, almost like wind chimes. My approach to music is organic and conversational.

Your teaching approach: I encourage my students to live a holistic approach to life and music, to see the big picture and our place in it. I encourage positive self belief and utilize patience as my greatest strength.

Your dream band:

My dream band would include J.S Bach, McCoy Tyner, Clyde Stubblefield, Aston "family man" Barrett, Paul Desmond, Sam Rivers, with Bill Frisell on guitar and effects.

Road story: Your best or worst experience: The best gig ever was playing the 2 am slot Lundi Gras '02 at Checkpoint Charlie's...

Favorite venue:

The Blue Nile, here in New Orleans.

Your favorite recording in your discography and why? My newest, Hocus Focus is my own fave. The playing on it is the most up to date and I am the most relaxed I've ever been on it.

The first Jazz album I bought was: Miles Davis, Miles Smiles.

What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically? My most important contributions are the positive vibes and love that I live...and channel through my actions and the music.

Did you know...

I love to mow the lawn.

CDs you are listening to now: John Williams, The Bach Lute Suites; Ed Bickert, Out of the Past.

Desert Island picks: Ed Bickert/Lorne Lofsky, This Is New;
John Coltrane, Coltrane's Sound; J.S Bach-, Mass in D Minor

How would you describe the state of jazz today? Very diverse and alive. Very participant-driven.

What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing? Music education in the public schools.

What is in the near future? I have two new CD's being released in 2011, a straight-ahead (ish) affair, called Hocus Focus, and a modal, funky, jammy album, Trio De Joie.

By Day:

I am a music educator.

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

Photo Credit

Courtesy of Ed Barrett

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