Meet Farnell Newton: Farnell Newton composer/trumpeter was born on March 21, 1977 in Miami, Florida where he was exposed to many forms of music from jazz, salsa, funk and hip-hop.
Teachers and/or influences? My trumpet professors at Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Marcus Belgrave, Kenny Davis and Bill Lucas. Dennis Reynolds from the Cleveland Heritage Jazz Orchestra. Thara Memory of Portland, Oregon.
I knew I wanted to be a musician when... I first picked up my first horn "french horn" in middle school.
Your sound and approach to music: Warmth and roundness.
Your dream band: Dream Band? Farnell Newton, trumpet; Jaleel Shaw, alto; Ameen Saleem, bass; Jason Brown, drums; Giovanni Hidalgo, congas; Danilo Perez, piano.
Favorite venue: Jimmy Mak's in Portland is one of the best jazz clubs venues I have performed at ever. Detroit Jazz Festival is one of the best jazz festivals I have performed at ever.
Your favorite recording in your discography and why? Farnell Newton/Marcus Reynolds Sense of Direction. This is my first album featuring original compositions on the Diatic Records label.
What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically? My blend of jazz, Latin, hip-hop and soul. Keeping the music fresh for many different listeners.
How would you describe the state of jazz today? I think it is up and down. There are some good scenes and musicians out there.
What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing? Educating the audience. Keeping the music fresh and giving it our personal flavors.
What is in the near future? I have various projects from hip-hop working with bands from Lightheaded, Omega Watts, Lifesavas, Jumbo the Garabageman.
My Cuban band I am apart of, Caña Son (www.myspace.com/canason), are performing and working on a tour, summer 2007. I am writing music now for a new CD releasing in 2007.
By Day: Computer coordinator for Portland Parks & Recreation.
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good. I was 16 at the time. I went to Tower Records and purchased a CD by Wes, and I was hooked from the very first ten seconds. The sound of the song Lolita illuminated my bedroom, as I just sat back amazed at how colorful and soulful this music was--I understood it, even though at the time I didn't understand how to go about playing it. I get chills listening to Wes' solo on Lolita, and I can still listen to that song ten times in a row and never get tired of it. There is a truly timeless quality to genuinely spontaneous jazz music, and it is that quality that has inspired me to devote my life to studying and playing this music.