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Take Five With Jon O'Bergh

Jon Carl O'Bergh By

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Meet Jon O'Bergh:
Jon Carl O'Bergh, known as the "Jedi Of Cool," has released nine albums, including his new smooth jazz/funk/fusion album Skin Deep (Pearl Jazz, 2014). Skin Deep marks O'Bergh's first solo jazz album on the Pearl Jazz recording label. O'Bergh's first release, Millenial Landscapes (Self Produced, 2000) reached no. 2 on the NAV Chart, where his follow-up release Carta (Timescape, 2000) reached no. 1, and his fourth album, Meditations From a Lost World (Timescape, 2002) peaked at no. 3. OBergh along with his band Gemini Soul, reached no. 37 on Amazon.com's "Bestselling Hot New & Future Music Releases" chart with The Nefertiti Xperience (Pearl Jazz, 2007). Gemini Soul's fifth album, Dark Skin Babies: The Movement reached no. 15. Skin Deep, produced by Gemini Soul's Ajamu Akinyele, is Jon O'Bergh's return back to his Gemini Soul roots by capturing a jazz, funk, and fusion vibe. O'Bergh's latest album is influenced by artists like Esperanza Spalding, Herbie Hancock, Ramsey Lewis, Dave Brubeck, and Joe Sample. Skin Deep also covers Beyonce's "Love On Top" from her 4 (Columbia, 2011) album. Fans of Jon O'Bergh and Gemini Soul will be delighted that Skin Deep grooves with pure funk, fusion, smooth and cool jazz at the same time while keeping cyber jazz alive.

Instrument(s):
Piano and keyboards.

Teachers and/or influences?
Esperanza Spalding, Herbie Hancock, Ramsey Lewis, Dave Brubeck, and Joe Sample.

I knew I wanted to be a musician when...
I started dreaming music.

Your sound and approach to music:
A little cool, a little smooth, a little fusion, and a huge dollop of funk.

Your teaching approach:
Exposing others to lesser known music because listening is the best teacher of all.

Your dream band:
Esperanza Spalding on bass;
Terri Lyne Carrington on drums;
Prince on guitar;
Patrice Rushen on keyboards;
Sheila E. on percussion;
And myself smack dab in the middle on piano.

Favorite venue:
Hotel De Anza in San Jose, CA.

Your favorite recording in your discography and why?
Skin Deep, because it was produced by an incredible musician, Andre Akinyele.

Did you know...
I've written two innovative e-books that incorporate text and music including Song of Fire (Self Produced, 2011) a reflection on the role of music in our lives available from iTunes and other e- book retailers.

CDs you are listening to now:
Esperanza Spalding, Radio Music Society (Heads Up, 2012);
Joe Sample, Old Places Old Faces (Warner Jazz, 2013);
Donald Fagen, Sunken Condos (Reprise, 2012).

What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing?
Staying innovative and inspired with fresh sounds.

What is in the near future?
Skin Deep. A newly released album with 10 tracks of funk, fusion, smooth and cool jazz. I might also release an album of remix tracks from the album in the near future.


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