Take Five With Quintin Gerard W.

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Saxophones, flute, keyboards.

Teachers and/or influences? Earl Turbinton (teacher), Rick Margitza (teacher), Kenny Garrett (teacher), Dexter Gordon (influence), Miles Davis (influence).

I knew I wanted to be a musician when... I first heard my older brother perform in the local high school marching band. He played clarinet and my mother used to take me to the parades. The sound of the drum line and the live horns had such an enormous impact on me.

Your sound and approach to music: I am comfortable saying that my sound, style, and approach to music is just flat out different. I don't play like a jazz musician, and most of the time I don't sound like the traditional jazz player.

My style is something of a hybrid of jazz, funk, blues, and gospel. For me, the ideas, concept, and approach to playing are strictly unique in the sense that I intentionally did not put on records to cop solos from them to learn how to imitate. I always said to myself that "This style has already been created, so why should I imitate this?"

I forced myself to learn how to express and play jazz music differently, and although some might consider my style of playing inferior to the jazz tradition, they will have to admit that it is executed well, and that it is a style that is unique only to Quintin Gerard W.!

Your teaching approach: I teach my students the truth up front. I don't try to waste their time by teaching them music from a philosophical standpoint. I get them to the scales they need to learn, give them the theory with a practical application on how it works, and then I require them to play it for me right now! I don't send them away confused until the next lesson.

Your dream band:

That's a loaded question, isn't it? I can't name names because there are way too many people that I would like to have worked with, or would like to currently work with. However, to answer your question my short list would be: Will Kennedy on drums, Herbie Hancock on piano/keys, Marcus Miller on bass, Paul Jackson, Jr. on guitar and Lenny Castro on percussion.

Road story: Your best or worst experience: While I was in New York City I got lost on the train and wound up in the Village! I won't say if that's a "best" or "worst" experience, but it was my first trip to NYC.

Favorite venue:

My absolute favorite place to play is the Maui Cultural and Performing Arts Center. That place sounds sweet!!

Your favorite recording in your discography and why? My favorite recording obviously has to be Fnkysax because, conceptually, I had been working on it for 10 years before it actually became a reality.

The first Jazz album I bought was: Morning Dance, by Spyro Gyra. Sorry guys, they're good. I just love me some Jay Beckenstein, Tom Schuman, Chet Catallo, Gerardo Velez, Dave Samuels, and Kim Stone/Scott Ambrose.

What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically? The most important thing I am contributing is originality, and marketability. Jazz music has come a long way over the years, but it has a long way to go. We as jazz artists, need to understand that this is the entertainment business also. We can't just get on stage, play our horns and impress people with how well we've practiced.

I am the first artist in jazz history that is name branding his style of music and marketing it exclusively as such, so that the consumers may identify that artist through its name brand—Fnkysax.

Did you know...

Quintin Gerard W. and Harry Connick, Jr. played in the same High School District VI Honor Jazz Band in New Orleans in 1984?

CDs you are listening to now: Rick Margitza, Heart of Hearts;

Rick Margitza, Bohemia Ledisi;

Lost & Found;

Gil Scott Heron, Winter In America;

Branford Marsalis, Buckshot Lefonque.

Desert Island picks: Miles Davis, Kind of Blue;

John Coltrane, A Love Supreme;

Gary Taylor, Take Control;

Gil Scott Heron, Winter In America;

The Blue Box: Blue Note's Best.

How would you describe the state of jazz today? Jazz music is in a state of virtual extinction again. There is a handful of cats out there trying to carry the torch, but until the music reaches more commercial success, it will continue to suffocate. This is possible to achieve by having the image of jazz accommodate the culture, and not trying to get the culture to accommodate the image of jazz.

What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing? First of all, jazz is no different than any other underprivileged segment of our society. Capital resources coupled with the desire to promote, preserve, and sustain one of our most precious resources is the beginning phase of establishing the foundation upon which the green pastures of jazz music may thrive, grow, and endure. In other words we have to create and establish a platform and forum by which this music has the opportunity to reach the ears of people who have little or no exposure to this uplifting and enlightening art form.

What is in the near future? I am currently working on my third CD, and I have just finished producing CDs for two other up-and-coming artists. I am performing live with my band and another group I work with called Under The Lake, on Nu Groove Records.

If I weren't a jazz musician, I would be: an airline pilot or a consumer rights attorney.

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