Take Five With Les Blachut

AAJ Staff BY

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Meet Les Blachut:

Les Blachut is a performing and recording artist. He is a multi-instrumentalist; keyboards, mallet percussion, vibraphone, marimba, steel-pans, arranger, composer, mobile and studio recording engineer, music teacher, private instructor, music competition judge, and radio program producer. Blachut is a South Florida-based versatile musician experienced in jazz improvisation, ethnic music world-wide, experimental collaborations, fusion of contrasting styles, and skilled in many music- related fields of expertise such as: music production, engineering, broadcasting, audio equipment and computer technology.


Vibraphone, marimba, steel-pans, keyboards.

Teachers and/or influences?

Berklee College of Music.

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

My parents knew I wanted to be a musician when I (being less than 1 year old) hit the keys of a piano and they couldn't get me off of it. I knew I wanted to be a jazz musician when I heard jazz on Willis Conover's The Voice of America short wave radio broadcast. The first thing I heard was Charlie Parker's unreleased take of "Parker's Mood," and that is still one of my most favorite recordings.

Your sound and approach to music:

Please, listen to some of my recordings and it will show that I do almost all of what has been done already and at times try to come up with my own stuff that may sound slightly different from what a human ear is used to.

Your teaching approach:

This is a whole another story and I'm still working on it. I will get back here as soon as it makes enough sense to be published.

Your dream band:

A biggest band ever assembled that includes all musicians in the world.

Road story: Your best or worst experience:

The tour starts in Paris. Just before the gig, I'm taking a last chance trip up to the top of the Eiffel Tower. The elevator stops working, and we're held up for long enough to miss my gig. I'm trying to make it back by a shortcut, but get lost in the metro, miss the tour bus already heading to Lyon, I can't afford any transportation to reach that far. So I'm hitch hiking and end up in Switzerland, where I hook up with a different band that just lost one of their players and turns out they tour Poland. So I'm still on the job and get a free ride home.

Favorite venue:


Your favorite recording in your discography and why?

Mozart's Requiem. If this is a funeral music I'll be dancing in my casket.

The first Jazz album I bought was:

Amiga Jazz (WEA Music ).

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

I don't see myself as an important contributor; I'm just following what I consider the important achievements in music, enjoying it to the fullest and telling others about it.

Did you know...

My real legal first name is Leshzek (or Leszek) not Lester (or Leslie) as most people would call me if they wanted to sound official.

CDs you are listening to now:

Filharmonia Slaska/George Frideric Handel, Concerto Grosso #9 In Cm, Op.6 No.8 Mov.1 Allemande (Muza, 1966);

Wayne Shorter, "Black Swan," High Life CD (Verve, 1995);

Colin Lucas, "Dollar Wine," Trini Slam CD (Best of Soca/Reggaton, 2000);

Filharmonia Slaska/Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, "Requiem," Lacrimosa Sequentia No. 8 (Muza, 1966);

Milt Jackson/John Coltrane, Bags and Trane (Atlantic, 1959).

Desert Island picks:

Attention Getter Sound , Generating Possibly The Loudest White Noise Your Speakers Can Handle (Pro Test Studios, 1996);

The Sounds Of Nature Series, Ocean Waves (Sound Effects For Audio Production, 2003);

The Most Popular Karaoke Songs Ever, Sam Ash Music Stores Demo (Compilation, 1999);

The Bible In English, German, French, Italian and Spanish - Audio Books On Deman (Redemption Library, 1994);

Global Celebration, Gatherings (Ellipsis Arts, 1993).

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

To teach the appreciation and understanding of jazz.

What is in the near future?

Let's wait and see; something surprising always comes up.

By Day:

I've been playing music in a church every single Sunday since I was about 10. There were many different ones in different places and languages. One day I was traveling on Sunday to the unknown, and attended a church service as a visitor, but coincidentally ended up filling in for an absent musician. I'm writing all this because today, 9- 27-09, is the last service at St. George Church in Fort Lauderdale, FL before they close down for good. I've been here for the past 10 years and it's sad to see a Catholic church with a Gospel choir and a Jazz band and a Charismatic pastor to part their ways. Hopefully we'll meet together again at another location.

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

A jazz non-musician.

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