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Take Five With Maria Neckam

AAJ Staff By

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Maria NeckamMeet Maria Neckam:

Maria's voice is one of those you either love or hate, and so is her music. Uncompromising in her musical approach as well as performance she hits truth right at it's core and strikes a chord in you.

Her clear, airy sound has been compared to that of angels as well as wind instruments, the latter referring to her use of it as well—Maria sings like an instrumentalist plays. This is also reflected in her use of lyrics, as she states her point in an abstract way, making space for everyone's own story in hers.

Her compositions are as diverse as life's surprises, merging modern jazz with drum n bass and rock grooves as well as Indian and classical music. You can hear Stravinsky as well as Bjork in it, Billie Holiday and Debussy, Nikhil Banerjee and Ani DiFranco…but most of all, Maria Neckam.



Teachers and/or influences?

Teachers: Luciana Souza, Peter Eldridge, Nils Vigeland, Samir Chatterjee, Theo Bleckmann, Kate McGarry, Sandhya Sanjana, Annett Andriesen.

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

I was born (well, probably before that).

Your sound and approach to music:

My music is a reflection of my life. I never try to be someone else than myself. I believe this is the only way other people can find themselves in my music.

Your teaching approach:

Find your own voice. Don't go against what's natural. (I use Estill's Voice Technique. It's the best. Simple and clear.)

Your dream band:

It's my band! Lars Dietrich (alto sax), Samir Zarif (tenor sax), Aaron Goldberg (piano), Thomas Morgan (bass), Colin Stranahan (drums).

Favorite venue:

55 Bar, Cornelia Street Café, Rockwood Music Hall These places really support good music and appreciate it.

Your favorite recording in your discography and why?

My new record that's coming out soon!

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


Did you know...

that I am from Austria and speak German?

How do you use the internet to help your career?

I try to connect as much as possible with my fans and give them insight into my creative world, how I make music and why. Mostly through my website, but also through my MySpace Page and Facebook Page. And of course through my mailing list—sign up by e-mailing I try to bring a bit of sunshine to my friends and fans with every e-mail.

CDs you are listening to now:

Kneebody, Kneebody (Greenleaf Music)

Moss, Moss (Sunnyside)

Sigur Ros, Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum

Kurt Rosenwinkel, Heartcore (Verve)

The Notwist, Neon Golden

How would you describe the state of jazz today?

It's time for something new! It's coming... Check out, for example.

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


What is in the near future?

New record Deeper will be released shortly.

New project, Electronic Music, with Lars Dietrich Duo, with classical pianist Asami Tamura.

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