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Take Five With Tim Kuhl

Tim Kuhl By

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Meet Tim Kuhl:
Drummer / Composer Tim Kuhl was born in June 1982 and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. Kuhl relocated to New York City in 2003 and has been working as a band leader and sideman in the NYC area. Kuhl is celebrating the release of this third album as a leader called, Doomsayer. He resides in Brooklyn, NY.

Instrument(s):
Drums, percussion, piano.

Teachers and/or influences?
My family, friends, many teachers, and life.

I knew I wanted to be a musician when...
I heard John Bonham, Led Zeppelin.

Your sound and approach to music:
My sound is my own. I like taking chances. I'm influenced by so many styles of music from rock, jazz, classical, funk, soul, improvised, world music, etc. My goal is to somehow incorporate all of them at once. When I approach playing and performing music, it's about what's happening in the moment, and how can I make it come to life on my end.

Your teaching approach:
Basics are really important. It's what you'll be practicing for the rest of your life. Everything you'll learn is revolved around that concept.

Your dream band:
Don't really have an ideal band. I like keeping it open. Drummer Gerald Cleaver is a favorite of mine. So throw him in and it's probably going to be pretty great.

Road story: Your best or worst experience:
I recently was denied entry across the Canadian boarder the day of a performance in Toronto. Gig was cancelled. Thought that was pretty funny.

Favorite venue:
Le Poisson Rouge.

Your favorite recording in your discography and why?
The Beatles, Abby Road. This is an extremely tough question, but I guess Abby Road is something I always go back to.

The first Jazz album I bought was:
Thelonious In Action, Thelonious Monk Quartet, Live at the Five Spot, 1958.

What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically?
I want to bring something that is me. Something personal.

Did you know...
I dig Aimee Mann.

CDs you are listening to now:
George Harrison, All Things Must Pass (Capitol); Tune-yards, Whokill (4AD);
Knights on Earth, Move slow, life ends;
PJ Harvey, Let England Shake (Island);
Sparklehorse, Good Morning Spider (Capitol).

Desert Island picks:
Radiohead, Kid A (Capitol); The Beatles, Rubber Soul (Parlophone).

How would you describe the state of jazz today?
Open. There are so many new and interesting styles and approaches happening today. It's a really exciting time for new music.

What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing?
Keep listening. They are a lot of people trying to bring new music to the forefront. For example, the Undead Jazz Fest is coming up in late June in NYC. Not only am I happy to be a part of it, but to be sharing it with all the other great artists is a real treat.

What is in the near future?
On top of all the very exciting bands I'm a part of, my latest album Doomsayer is being released officially in July, 2011. We are playing twice this summer at the Undead Jazz Festival on Thursday, June 23rd at Kenny's Castaway's, and our CD release show at Cornelia Street Cafe on Thursday, July 14th.

By Day:
Freelance.

If I weren't a jazz musician, I would be a:
that's a tough one . . . making a lot more money.


Photo Credit

Jena Cumbo

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