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Take Five With Willerm Delisfort

AAJ Staff By

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Meet Willerm Delisfort:

Pianist and composer Willerm Delisfort is a messenger of life using music as his tool. His career extends the continuum of musical styles that ranges from jazz, gospel, R&B and many more. Because of this, Willerm's versatility has created a high demand for him with prominent jazz, rap, soul, and fusion artists including 2009 Best World Guitarist Fareed Haque, Grammy Award-winning artist T-Pain, Corey Wilkes,Javon Jackson George Freeman, etc.. Featured on over seven albums on piano, along with several commercial recordings broadcast all over the world. His most recent, the critically acclaimed Flat Planetâ by Virtuosity Guitarist Fareed Haque, which is available on Owl Studio Records. Next expected release will be Willerm's debut album, Freedom Riders scheduled to be released in September 2009.



Teachers and/or influences?

Willie Pickens, John McMinn, Melton Mustafa St. and Ronald Carter.

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

I first played the piano. It was weird, it all came about when I went over to a friend of the family's house, and he had a organ (weird I know). I found it really intriguing, therefore, being a kid, what else am I gonna do, so I went on it to play. Thinking my mom was gonna jump on me for it, Sego (friend of the family) said "No, let him play." Therefore the next day comes along, and I got tired of waiting for an hour until my big brother gets home from school, I went on and looked for something to do. On the school wall at Shadowland Elementary School in Little Haiti Miami, FL was a flyer for piano lessons, just $5 a week. I immediately rip the flyer off the wall and asked my father was it Ok, he looked at me and said "If you want to, sure."

I wasn't the greatest at most things in school, I wasn't the best in English, the fastest runner (but close to it), I didn't get the highest scores, but it came to music, I was able to shine the way a mother's child should shine.

Your sound and approach to music:

Hmmm... This has always been a hard question to answer simply because I never try to place it in a category or box to be interpret. I always wanted to be the guy who made you feel good when ever you heard him play or his music you know? Some of my influences in life have been musicians / groups such as; Oscar Peterson, Wynton Kelly, McCoy Tyner, Herbie Hancock, Parliament/Funkadelic, Sly & The Family Stone, Chaka Khan, Michael Jackson, Roy Hargrove etc.

When I heard Wynton Marsalis album Black Codes for the first time in college, I remember my approach to writing music took a drastic turn from a kid who grew up emulating Sammy Nestico, Thad Jones, Duke Ellington, to David Sanchez, Wynton Marsalis, Nicholas Payton (Payton's Place).

Your teaching approach:

My approach to teaching music is understanding the basic necessities, teaching how and why is it important to know it, and show them how you can take it further than that, simply because you know the basics.

For example:

Voicing Harmonies: The basic necessity in voicing harmonies, are the three notes which gives it its identity. Root 3rd 7th. Root = Name, 3rd = Gender, 7th = Ethnicity. Root = Willerm Delisfort, 3rd = Male, 7th = African American, What else do the cops need?!?!?

The root tells you the foundation.

The 3rd tells you whether it's Major or Minor, (There is no other tonality)

The 7th determines the extensions of the root.

Everything else is simply color, doesn't make it wrong or right, just identifies you with your creativity.

Your dream band:

Ahhh, this is a question that the guys and I always have on tour or a road trip. If I could ever work with Nicholas Payton that would be a treat. I have always been a big fan of trumpet players, I don't know why, but I am a huge fan.

Nevertheless, my dream band would be (as far as musicians with us today); Rodney Whitaker(bass), Tim Warfield (tenor sax), Nicholas Payton (trumpet), Brian Blade (drums). Wow that was a really hard one.

As far as my dream group (musicians no longer with us); Ed Thigpen (Drums), Ray Brown (Bass). Keeping it trio so I can have them all to myself.

Road story: Your best or worst experience:


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