Take Five With Julphan Tilapornputt

Julphan Tilapornputt By

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Meet Julphan Tilapornputt:

Julphan Tilapornputt is a Boston-based jazz guitarist originally from Thailand. Julphan attended Berklee College of Music, where he has studied under jazz masters Mick Goodrick, Tim Miller and Larry Baione. He has earned a scholarship from Berklee in writing and composition, been a part of ASAB (Asian Students at Berklee), and Berklee's Stage Crew. After Berklee, Julphan performed in local Boston venues like The Beehive, Wally's Café, and at New York's Bar Next Door as part of the Emerging Artist Series program launched by Peter Mazza.

Recently, Julphan released his debut, Inspired, an instrumental modern jazz record featuring himself on guitar, Alex Dyring on bass, and Kartikeya Srivastava on drums. Three album release concerts have been held at Wally's Cafe, The Beehive, and Lily Pad. Inspired is now available on iTunes, CDBaby and Amazon.


Guitar, piano, bass, drums.

Teachers and/or influences?

Teachers: Mick Goodrick, Tim Miller, Larry Baione, John Baboian and Norman Zocher.

Influences: Pat Metheny, Tim Miller, Mike Stern, Mick Goodrick, Michael Brecker, John Coltrane, Lage Lund, Julian Lage, Mark Turner, Joshua Redman, Dave Weckl, Chick Corea, and much more.

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

I was 15 years old. I formed a rock band with my high school mate and we played around the city. Plus my uncle, Tewan Supsanyakorn, is a top Thai jazz saxophonist and my family supported me to go Berklee College of Music to pursue a career in music.

Your sound and approach to music:

Completely original and new for jazz music. I don't want to sound like someone else. I picked jazz because I can play what I want to hear from my instrument and not play what I don't want to hear. Composing music, improvising, practicing, and inventing is just one process. What I compose and play is what I am working on without any preconceived notions about anything. That's the way that I keep myself fresh in order to learn new things all the time.

Your teaching approach:

I like throwing my students to a place that is out of nowhere, so they can start figuring out things by themselves. After that, I expand their ideas and try to push them to dig into them more.

Your dream band:

I would like to work with Indian and Middle East artists especially when it comes to rhythm. For a particular artist I would like to work with Antonio Sanchez. I love how he plays drums and combines things. I also would have loved to play with the late Michael Brecker. I would have liked to hear him play over the changes I wrote.

Road story: Your best or worst experience:

The very first time I played at The Beehive. There were plenty of customers there, along with my friends , who all came out and supported me.

There was this one time that an audience member approached me after the gig and told me that she travelled from New York to watch me in Boston after watching me on YouTube. After that experience, I began to feel that I have to play my best on every gig.

The first Jazz album I bought was:

The fist jazz album I brought was Pat Metheny's Bright Size Life (ECM, 1976). At the time I was just getting into jazz after listening to rock for most of my life. Metheny was a good starting because he combines everything. I loved that album and I still do.

CDs you are listening to now:

Lage Lund, Foolhardy (Criss Cross);

Mark Turner, Dharma Days (Warner Bros.);

Adam Rogers, Sight (Criss Cross);

Piano Seven, 7 Pianos & Percussion (TCB);

Brad Mehldau Trio, Art of the Trio, Vol. 4: Back at Vanguard (Warner Bros.).

Desert Island picks:

Yuhan Su, Flying Alone (Inner Circle Music);

Omar Thomas Large Ensemble, I Am (Sound Silence);

Piano Seven, 7 Pianos & Percussion (TCB);

Francois Lindemann, Tewan (Amori).

How would you describe the state of jazz today?

Modern, deceptive, concept-oriented and less soulful.

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

Soul, and an eagerness to learn the music. Jazz is endless. I know a lot of people who gave up because of its endlessness. But there are few people who just want to dig in and learn as much as they can in one life. If you are one of them, you can inspire new musicians to keep up by just showing them that you are one of the people who don't give up.

What is in the near future?

I am preparing for my second album. This album is going to have variety yet be concise. I will include sax and piano in my writing, too.

What's your greatest fear when you perform?

Losing focus because there are so many distractions on stage. Sometimes I forget to listen for a second and it ends up being a big mistake when I hear it on the record.

What song would you like played at your funeral?

"Regards of You," a beautiful instrumental that I wrote for my parents. I really feel passionate and connected to the song.

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

A rock musician. As I mentioned before, my roots are from rock. If I can't handle jazz I can always go back to my roots.

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