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Take Five With Tim Kuhl

AAJ Staff By

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Tim KuhlMeet Tim Kuhl:

Tim Kuhl relocated from Baltimore Maryland to New York City in 2003, where he has been busy as a bandleader and sideman, playing in all genres of music. He consistently curates monthly nights of music in New York City, and from March 2006 till January 2008 had monthly residency at the Lakeside Lounge in the East Village, with his jazz group.

He is the drummer for internationally acclaimed rock band The Izzys, and is the leader of his critically acclaimed jazz ensemble, Tim Kuhl Group and several avant-garde trios called "3." He also is the drummer for industrial/experimental group Magnets for Teeth, rock band The Junkman Band, C. Gibbs and many others.

Tim released Ghost, his debut as a leader in 2008, featuring his original compositions, and recently released his second album King in the spring, 2009. He has enjoyed successful touring all over the U.S. Canada, England, Whales, Scotland, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Guam, and U.S Marshal Islands.



Teachers and/or influences? Jon Seligman, Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, Jim Black, Tony Williams, Elvin Jones, Tim Berne, Mike Formanek, Take Toriyama, Josh Roseman, Ben Monder and many others.

I knew I wanted to be a musician when... I hit High School. I had a very emotionally driven music teacher, who helped me to feel music in more than just a technical sense. But with a more emotional feeling.

Your sound and approach to music: I really try to play as many different styles with as many different types of musicians as possible. I learn so much from everyone I play with, whether it be rock, jazz, funk, classical, experimental or country. I really try to take in my surroundings and engage with whom I am sharing the stage.

Your teaching approach: Basics are so important. They are a musicians life. Listening to as much different music as possible. And getting attached to music not only in a technical sense but more importantly having a emotional understanding of what you are listening to or playing with.

Your dream band:

I feel like I play with some of the best musicians around. With all my friends at the Glasslands in Brooklyn to my friends I play with in my group. Rick Parker, Jon Irabagon, Nir Felder, Ryan Mackstaller, Malcolm Kirby, and with so many others to name.

Road story: Your best or worst experience: I have been very fortunate to tour all over the world at a relatively young age.

Favorite venue:


Your favorite recording in your discography and why? King. It's my brand new record, featuring some really exciting upcoming talent in NYC—Rick Parker, Jon Irabagon, Nir Felder, Ryan Mackstaller and Aidan Carroll.

The first Jazz album I bought was: Thelonious Monk, Thelonious in Action: Live at the Five Spot.

What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically? I am really trying to build a strong, core, community of musicians in New York. Sometimes NYC can be pegged as an every man for himself town. I really try to establish more than just a hired gun relationship with whom I play with, but more of a friendship. Something that we can all relate to, because we are all here to become a more successful musician or artist or professional in our own right.

Did you know...

I dig chick rock. For those who don't know what chick rock is—bands with a girl lead vocal.

CDs you are listening to now:

Radiohead, Kid A (EMI/Parlophone);

Radiohead, In Rainbows;
C.Gibbs, Parade of Small Horses;

Eastern Spurs Lucinda Black Bear, Capo My Heart and Other Bear Songs.

Desert Island picks:

Miles Davis, Nefertiti (Columbia);

Herbie Hancock, Maiden Voyage (Blue Note);

Radiohead, Kid A (EMI/Parlophone);

Led Zeppelin, II (Atlantic).

How would you describe the state of jazz today? At least in NYC there are so many incredibly talented musicians and composers. Especially in the Brooklyn music scene. Any music listeners really should tune in. Whether you are a jazz fan, rock, there are really some amazing things happening now.

What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing? Support the new composers. There are not a lot of record labels out there and it takes a lot to make albums these days, especially on your own. I try to support all my friends who are making records and staring there own bands. Because I know how it can be difficult but on the other hand very rewarding.

What is in the near future? Supporting my new release King, touring and preparing to record more with my own group and my various projects and bands I am involved in—and to meet more interesting musicians.

By Day:

Performer, teacher, mover, commercial production assistant.

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


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