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Take Five With UroSoule

Agnieszka Iwanska By

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Meet UroSoule:

UroSoule is an infectious jazz/soul duo by Chicago based artists Paul Scherer and Agnieszka Iwanska . Their album, Colors, is a collection of sultry and sophisticated compositions co-written and produced by Paul Scherer. Scherer has assembled a collection of top sessions musicians from Philadelphia to Los Angeles in order to create a addictive blend of understated works that pulse with attitude and style.

Teachers and/or influences?

Musicians who have influenced our style are Maysa, Chaka Khan, Stevie Wonder, Dianne Reeves, Sarah Vaughan, Betty Carter, Carmen McRae, Quincy Jones and many more.

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

I was five years old. I insisted on my parents to enroll me into the music school and gave them no other option.

Your sound and approach to music:

Music is what keeps me moving on day to day basis. It's the most important ingredient of my life. I can't think of myself doing something else.

Your dream band:

There are many artists I'd love to work with. It would be a privilege to work with every musician who has inspired me in one way or another.

Favorite venue:

My favorite venue so far is Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. They have a great concert series called Jazzin' at the Shedd on the terrace, where you can admire Chicago's exceptional skyline and the lake during the concerts.

Your favorite recording in your discography and why?

My favorite recording in my discography is Carmen McRae and Betty Carter's Duets (Verve, 1996). This record shows what vocal jazz performance is all about. I can listen to this masterpiece over and over again.

The first Jazz album I bought was:

Betty Carter, Inside Betty Carter (United Artist, 1964).

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

Integrating American musicianship with European soul, which brings the new quality.

Desert Island picks:

Betty Carter and Carmen McRae, Duets (Verve);

Chaka Khan, Life is a Dance (Warner Bros);

Dianne Reeves, Bridges (Blue Note);

Stevie Wonder, Natural Wonder (Motown);

Cassandra Wilson, Traveling Miles (Blue Note).

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

We have to convince the general public and show them that jazz can be relatable. Jazz has many shades and styles that everyone can find something to like. Some people don't realize this.

What's your greatest fear when you perform?

I don't have any fears. I love to perform—I feel alive when I'm on stage.

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

There's no backup plan.

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