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Take Five With Julio Awad

AAJ Staff By

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Meet Julio Awad:

Julio Awad was born April 3, 1977 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He began to study piano at the early age of 7 years, in the National Conservatory Lopez Buchardo. Later he expanded his studies of composition, arrangements, and orchestra conductor, with several teachers like Juan Carlos Cirigliano and Lito Valle. At the age of 16, he starts playing piano and composing music for TV shows and theatres. He plays with great Argentinean musicians like Juanjo Dominguez, Nestor Marconi, Juan Alberto Pugliano, Adalberto Cebasco, Mike Rivas, Carlos Marzan, Alberto Favero, etc. In 2000 he moved to Spain where he works as musical conductor, pianist and Arranger for different artists, shows and musical comedies, like "Beauty and Beast," "On the Air," "Zorba," "My Fair Lady," "The Phantom of the Opera," "Victor Victoria," "The Producers," "Grease," "Spamalot," etc. He has more than 30 CD's recorded as pianist and arranger. In 2005 he recorded his first CD Frontera Cero ,Nada que Declarar with Victor Gil, Patxi Pascual and Paul Wertico. In 2007 he recorded his new CD Thousand Miles with Peter Erskine, Paul Wertico, Mark Egan, Machan Taylor and many more. In this new work he mixes all his musical influences, trying to make a trip through different regions, rhythms and musical colors.

Instrument(s):

Piano and synths.

Teachers and/or influences?

Lyle Mays, Chick Corea, Art Tatum, Jay Oliver, and Dave Grusin.

I knew I wanted to be a musician when...

Well, I was born into a musical family, so I had a piano in my hands all the time.

Your sound and approach to music:

I started to study classical music; later when I was 12 I started to study jazz piano. I concentrated especially on piano harmony and I tried to mix the music I'd listen to in my life into the spectrum of the piano.

Your teaching approach:

Study, study and more study, I tell them that it's very important to be feel comfortable with the music that they can play or compose, I recommended to not try to compare their music with other great musicians. Sometimes the figure of the idol can be overwhelming.

Your dream band:

In my career I could work with great musicians. I want to work with every musician that can have a great imagination on the instrument.

Road story: Your best or worst experience:

The worst experience was taking an international flight to America and the backline hadn't arrived.

Favorite venue:

I love to play in the Miami- Kennedy Center.

Your favorite recording in your discography and why?

Lyle Mays; the album Lyle Mays, every time I listen to it, I discover something new.

The first Jazz album I bought was:

It was a rare album of Chick Corea, an edition that appeared in a store in Buenos Aires where I born. I don't remember the title.

What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically?

I think that I try to put my personality and my history in every piece I compose.

Did you know...

I love attraction parks.

CDs you are listening to now:

Ivan Lins, 20 Anos;

Pat Metheny, The Way Up;

Dave Grusin, The Best Of Dave Grusin;

Machan Taylor, Machan;

Lyle Mays, Solo Piano.

Desert Island picks:

Lyle Mays, Lyle Mays;

Pat Metheny, Speaking of Now;

Gino Vanelli, Big Dreamers;

Dave Grusin, Cinemagic;

Marcus Miller, The Sun Don't Lie.

How would you describe the state of jazz today?

Well, there is a lot of movement with jazz artist here in Europe. The most important is that the jazz is still there, Many people want to study and be near jazz.

What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing?

The imagination.

What is in the near future?

Well, next year a recording I produced and played will be in the market. I will be on a Patxi Pascual CD, (a great saxophonist from Madrid) and an interesting project that we recorded with John Patitucci and Paul Wertico, It sounds very good and there are a lot of new ideas on this CD. I am still on tour with Paloma San Basilio and working here in Madrid conducting "Spamalot," the Monty Python musical.

By Day:

It's changing every day, I can be recording or traveling or playing.

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

Doctor or pilot. Jajaja!

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