Take Five With Rolando Grooscors

AAJ Staff By

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Meet Rolando Grooscors: Guitarist Rolando Grooscors is a rare find on today's jazz/world music scene, a unique voice that strengthens and expands the jazz idiom with sensitivity,clarity, and uncompromising integrity, Rolando's warm,expressive tones and impeccable phrasing have been delighting audiences wherever he goes. The 2 times latin grammy nominee Rolando Grooscors was born in Caracas, Venezuela. At age 10 he started to play the typical Venezuelan stringed instrument called the "Cuatro." Then he began to discover the spanish guitar or nylon string guitar as it is also known, His love for Brazilian music motivated him to start different projects where Brazilian music was infused with latin and jazz influences. Here he began to develop a heavily influenced jazz/fusion style. the experience greatly influenced Rolando's musical development. Leading his own band, Rolando has recently released his debut CD "Thankful," The band is a sextet including piano/keyboards, bass, sax, drums and percussion. His compositions have been called "masterful" and with the attention already received, Rolando is pushing himself to have his voice defined in music, both as a sideman and as a band leader. Rolando's music is best described in renowned singer and pianist Darryl Tookes own words.. "Rolando's guitar playing is on another level, yet on this higher plane, Rolando's soulful, creative, twelve tone improvisatory style is always completely accessible and joyous. Rolando displays a wide variety of styles and concepts with his harmonic and melodic imagery capturing the essence of musical freedom,spirit and sensuality."- Darryl Tookes.



Teachers and/or influences?

I grew up listening to a lot of Brazilian music. Then I discovered Chick Corea's Return To Forever and Wes Montgomery, George Benson, Luiz Bonfa, Robben Ford, Allan Holdsworth, Luis Salinas, Wayne Krantz, Scott Henderson, Vincente Amigo, Paco De Lucia and so many more.p>

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

When I moved from Venezuela to Ottawa, Canada at age 14 and not being able to speak english I played guitar all day long...I knew right then I wanted to be a musician.

Your sound and approach to music:

I try to listen to as many different styles of music as I can and I'm always open to new ideas and concepts and practice, practice, practice. Always play with your heart.

Your teaching approach:

Learn as many new songs as you can. If possible, learn the bass parts, piano parts, brass and or course guitar parts of as many songs as possible..

Your dream band:

That is a very hard question, so many musicians out there I would love to play with...Allan Holdsworth, John McLaughlin, Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea, Vinnie Colaiuta, Jimmy Johnson, John Patitucci, Richard Bona...The list goes on and on.

Road story: Your best or worst experience:

Best experience has to be without a doubt the first time I played in front of an audience. There is nothing like it. I am truly blessed being able to do what i love.

Favorite venue:

Scullers in Boston.

Your favorite recording in your discography and why?

I would have to say 'Brasilia.' It has a nice groove and s fun to play. The song 'Yari' is dedicated to my wife. .

The first Jazz album I bought was:

White Rabbit - George Benson

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

My music, and if you do what you love and do it from your heart, the sky is the limit...

Did you know...

I love playing sports and if I am not playing them I am watching them...LOL.

CDs you are listening to now:

Allan Holdsworth - Propensity

Wayne Krantz - 2 Drink Minimum

Keith Jarrett - Yesterdays

Yellowjackets - Yellowjackets

Return to Forever - Romantic Warrior

Desert Island picks:

Same as above.

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

More festivals, more jazz radio stations..

What is in the near future?

Hopefully to start a tour in January 2010 with my band and to start working on my new material which I'm really excited about.

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

A music teacher or pro tennis player.


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