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Take Five with Jared Pauley

Jared Pauley By

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About Jared Pauley
Jared Pauley is a keyboardist, composer, producer and educator based out of New York City. Originally from Charleston, West Virginia, he started playing the guitar and the piano as a teenager and grew up on a healthy mix of The Doors, Medeski, Martin and Wood, Herbie Hancock, and other artists. After graduating from Marshall University in 2006 he moved to Manhattan to begin his studies at the renowned Jazz History and Research program (founded by Dr. Lewis Porter) at Rutgers University-Newark.

As a musician he cities many artists as influences. He is proficient in most musical idioms including jazz, funk, Latin, hip-hop and blues. He has performed and/or recorded with trumpeter Arturo Sandoval (Dizzy Gillespie, Irakere), drummer Mike Clark (Herbie Hancock, The Headhunters, Eddie Henderson), trumpeter Duane Eubanks (Dave Holland), bassist Leon Lee Dorsey (Freddie Hubbard, Lionel Hampton) guitarist Robb Cappelletto (Re.Verse), drummer Daru Jones (Jack White, Black Milk), vibraphonist Eldad Tarmu and many others.

As a musicologist he has published many scholarly articles on different musicians and styles of music. His work has been featured on National Public Radio and published on jazz.com as well as in the Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians (Oxford University Press). As a sideman and ensemble member has performed throughout the United States at events/venues including the Notre Dame Jazz Festival, Charleston Wine and Jazz Festival, the Blue Note, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Bitter End, Seton Hall University, and Drom.

Instrument(s):
Piano, keyboards

Teachers and/or influences?
Main teacher was the late pianist Jay Flippin and also studied some with jazz pianist Bob Thompson. Influences include Herbie Hancock, George Duke, Chick Corea, Kirk Lightsey, John Medeski, Neal Evans and others.

I knew I wanted to be a musician when...
I knew I wanted to be a musician when I started to figure out songs by ear on the piano. I also was into hip hop music (still am), and when I discovered the original recordings that were used/sampled, I started to really explore the tradition.

Your sound and approach to music.
My sound, like most musicians, is a constant development. I like the blues, and I feel as though I try to bring this to my playing whenever I can. My approach to music is to live in the moment and also have fun. I believe having fun and enjoying what you do is the most important component.

Your teaching approach
Teaching is a wonderful thing to do. It's one of the main joys I get out of being a musician. Teaching successfully involves focusing on a student's particular interests/goals. Focusing on strengths and weaknesses is also important. I think the most critical step that I teach is to enjoy the process. A student should find joy in taking baby steps and accomplishing small things. If they don't, they run the risk of not developing to their fullest potential.

Your dream band
There are tons of players I would love to play with, but overall I'm pretty happy with the musicians whom I recorded my debut album Systematic.

Favorite venue
I like to play all over but really enjoy playing at Nublu because of the vibe and decor. The Bitter End is also a great venue.

Your favorite recording in your discography and why?
I've only recorded one album as a leader and I enjoyed the process. It was a pleasure to play with Mike Clark, who is one of my favorites. He really brings all elements of the tradition in his playing. He's also so incredibly versatile.

What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically?
I'm just trying to contribute something positive and have fun while I'm doing it. If people enjoy it, all the better.

The first jazz album I bought was:
Miles Davis' Milestones, Herbie Hancock's Headhunters and Tito Puente's Exitos Eternos.

Music you are listening to now:
A Tribe Called Quest: We Got It From Here... Thank You 4 Your Service
Thundercat: Apocalypse
Chet Baker: Smokin' with the Chet Baker Quintet
George Duke: Follow the Rainbow

Desert Island picks:
Miles Davis: In A Silent Way (Columbia)
A Tribe Called Quest: Midnight Marauders (Jive)
Frank Zappa: Hot Rats (Bizarre/Reprise)
The Beatnuts: Stone Crazy (Loud)
Herbie Hancock: The New Standard (Verve)

How would you describe the state of jazz today?
I think the state of improvised music is great right now. Jazz is a word which means so many things and incorporates so many outside influences. I think many of the younger, contemporary players embody this attitude, and it is apparent in the music that is being released.

What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing?
Education and knowledge are key to maintaining any type of music. It would be nice to see this music lose some of its academic status and go back to the streets in which it was born.

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