Take Five With Edmund Sobczak


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Meet Edmund Sobczak:
Edmund Sobczak—trumpeter, composer, originally from Poland where, he studied trumpet performance at the University of Music in Poznan, one of the best Universities in the country. For the last six years he's lived in Oxford (UK). After 18 years of playing the trumpet and being involved in countless music projects, in 2008 he decided to start his own solo career.

Now he's also known as EDolutionary (stage name), which is a mixture of his name and the evolutionary style of music he creates.

Three years ago he started composing and recording his debut album, One Step Ahead, a mixture of styles, connecting jazz, fusion and rock music with a bit of a soundtrack flavor. After the big success of this album and countless great comments from his fans, he decided to take his music to another level... and create his new album, The Soundtrack.

He took things one step further and on the top of his previous style he added an epic symphonic sound including lots of string instruments and a choir. Some people say that this music sounds like Miles Davis composing for the latest films.

Trumpet, piano.

Teachers and/or influences?
I was growing up listening to people like Arturo Sandoval, Wynton Marsalis, Michel Camilo, Chris Botti, Miles Davis, Allan Vizzutti and many other musicians. I guess there is a bit of everyone I've ever heard in my music.

I knew I wanted to be a musician when...
when I started realizing that there is nothing else that gives me so much joy.

Your sound and approach to music:
If people wouldn't be open about experimenting with music we would all still play and compose like Mozart. As much as I respect Mozart I'm glad we moved on.

I think that trumpet is still viewed by many people as a traditional jazz or classical instrument. Kids at school wouldn't say that trumpet is the coolest instrument in the world; they would pick an electric guitar or drums. It's because many trumpeters are still stuck in the Louis Armstrong or Miles Davis times and type of style and can't move on.

Again, with all due respect to both of them, I try to experiment as much as they did. My ambition is to make people in the whole world think of a trumpet as they do think of an electric guitar or drums—cool, modern and dynamic.

Your dream band:
I'm very happy with my band at the moment. I have some phenomenal musicians. A great example would be my guitarist, Pawel Kuterba—his solos speak for themselves.

To answer your question I'm living my dream.

Road story: Your best or worst experience:
I like jam sessions. Meeting new musicians getting new/random onstage experience.

Once I was playing in a venue where I knew the sound man and suddenly during the guitar solo I get a message from him politely saying : "Could you please punch this guy in the face for me so he stops turning his guitar amp up? Thank you, much appreciated. Jimmy."

That's how sweet and polite British people are. I could not play a note for another few minutes because of the wide smile on my face—not my usual trumpet technique.

Your favorite recording in your discography and why?
That changes from time to time. It's amazing when you think there can't be anything better than what you already know and suddenly you discover something totally fresh and different. Not necessarily better as music is not a sport but something that makes you feel the same emotions in a brand new way.

The first Jazz album I bought was:
Miles Davis and Quincy Jones, Live at Montreux.

What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically?
Finding connections between different genres of music like jazz, contemporary jazz, soundtrack music, rock, classical and new age.

Did you know...
That my second passion after music is Krav Maga—Israeli Combat System designed for self defense. Also used by many special forces in the world. It gives me a lot of fitness, confidence and teaches me how to handle myself in any situation or how to avoid danger if at all possible.

CDs you are listening to now:
Chris Botti, Live in Boston; Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, Anthem.

Desert Island picks:
I'm quite decisive as a person but I wouldn't be able to pick.

How would you describe the state of jazz today?
I guess it's different for everyone. I personally think that there are some brilliant artists out there who understand that they don't create music to impress another musician with their technique but to give the audience some unique emotions and feelings, something from their hearts rather than from their minds.

What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing?
It's essential to keep our minds open and experiment not to copy what everyone else is doing at the moment.

What is in the near future?
The next big concert in my schedule is going to happen in Washington, DC next to the Capitol. I got lots of interesting requirements concerning the stage light and sound equipment positioning, facing away from the building, to keep the noise level down.

Photo Credit
Courtesy of Edmund Sobczak
About Edmund Sobczak
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