Meet Landry: Landry moved to northern California in 2013 and recorded his first album, The Bayoua musical marriage between American Jazz and African Soul. The album is a collection of songs that explore themes of triumph and sorrow. The vocal delivery is vulnerable and emotional. The emotion was inspired by years of inner struggles living in the closet as a gay man. Landry chose The Bayou experience as a gateway to finally be authentic with himself and the rest of the world. Inspired by the peace he found while recording the album, Landry went on to dedicate The Bayou to the LGBT community, thus making the album artwork a powerful symbol of gay love: a love that is pure, authentic, childish, uncontrollable, and international. The intention behind the album is for every family to own it as a reminder to love fiercely and unconditionally.
Teachers and/or influences? Whitney Houston, Michael Bolton
I knew I wanted to be a musician when... I heard Whitney Houston sing "I Will Always Love You" for the first time.
Your sound and approach to music: Organic and emotional.
Your teaching approach: Teaching by example. I am not one to preach. I sincerely believe that we are what we've been looking for. Other people can only inspire us. Learning comes from experience and daring to answer the call.
Your dream band: I'd love to work with David Foster, Bruno Mars, and Jean Jacques Goldman. The ideal band is Ricky Minor's band.
Road story: Your best or worst experience: Always hire band members who have proven through perseverance and talent that there's nothing else they'd rather do.
Favorite venue: Any Colosseum.
Your favorite recording in your discography and why? Turn Your Lights Down Low It is very meditative.
What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically? African soul to the world music songbook.
Did you know... I was an electrical engineer before I launched my singing career.
CDs you are listening to now: Songversation by India.Arie
Desert Island picks: Whitney Houston, The Preacher's Wife (Arista).
How would you describe the state of jazz today? An evolving art form.
What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing? You have to identify artists who are the poster children of their generation's call for justice and freedom. For instance, the gay liberation movement is going on full speed right now. Any artist from within the gay community who can capture the narrative of that movement and translate it into music will be a successful jazz singer. He will thus keep jazz alive. You also have to make jazz artists tour in emerging nations like China, India, and Africa. Those regions are expanding economically with a growing middle class. They are dying for new experiences including musical experiences. Jazz artists would be very welcome there.
What is in the near future? I am writing material for my second album. The album will celebrate gay love and will provide a narrative of the ongoing gay liberation movement from within. I am also writing my first book. It's going to be entitled The Ten Commandments Of The New World. The book will be in French though. :-)
What's your greatest fear when you perform? To not connect with the audience.
What song would you like played at your funeral? "You Were Loved" by Whitney Houston.
What is your favorite song to whistle or sing in the shower? "All the Man that I Need" by Whitney Houston.
By Day: Singer.
If I weren't a jazz musician, I would be a: Corpse.
I love jazz because next to my kids, it's the love of my life.
I was first exposed to jazz by Joe Rico from a tiny station in Niagara Falls in 1954 when I was 13.
The best show I ever attended was Maynard Ferguson who blew the roof off Massey Hall in the late 50s.
My advice to new listeners is to listen to everything you can and then listen again.