When did you discover your love for your craft and what made you realize you wanted to pursue a career in it?
I got into jazz music when I was 18 years old – the year was 1999. The recording that did it was “Ella in Berlin: Mack the Knife,” a classic album by Ella Fitzgerald. It started innocently with me singing along to her music, and then I got into other jazz singers like Anita O’Day, Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday, and musicians like Lester Young and Charlie Parker, among many others.
I have been dedicated to this music since then. As much as I enjoy recording, my greatest passion is performing this music on stage. What I love about this music the most is how it can be completely different from night tonight, even if you play the same songs; the improvisation varies depending on how I feel, the musicians feel, and of course, the audience. I have been playing jazz for over 23 years and it only gets more and more exciting.
On your current project, how did you come up with the concept?
This album has been 10 years in the making – back in 2011 when I was working on my second album, I wrote a tune called “Googleable” about my love for the search engine google. It has been my ambition since then to do a whole jazz album of originals dedicated to life in the 21st century. It took a pandemic to make it happen! I had time and lots of inspiration as suddenly the world was even more reliant on technology and social media than ever before.
What are some of your greatest challenges, and what is your greatest attribute when it comes to your work ethic?
One of my greatest challenges is that the jazz genre is often stigmatized. Many people think it is not for them even if they have never heard it! Even from the industry standpoint, there are sometimes conferences or contests that accept various genres but not jazz, so this can be very frustrating. In my heart, I believe this is music for all people, deserving a wider audience.
What are your plans for the near future?
For the next little while, I will be promoting this record and hopefully doing some touring! Currently working on dates for the summer, fall, and beyond. I also want to start writing music for my next album.