Seven Questions

with featured artists

Seven Questions Blog 2017-01-05T10:39:12+00:00

SEVEN QUESTIONS WITH TRUMPETER FREDDIE HENDRIX

NBJP: How old were you when you first played in front of an audience (beyond your family) and what did you play? 

FH: I was approximately 12 years old when I first started playing in public. And that took place at The Presbyterian Church of Teaneck where my mother introduced me to learning about God and religion. I performed hymnals and classical oriented pieces written for trumpet. Later on in life my repertoire expanded into Negro spirituals.

NBJP: What’s your favorite non-jazz tune?

FH: I don’t have a favorite non-jazz tune. I enjoy too much music in general to have a favorite.

NBJP: You are a musician, is there another art in which you’d like to be accomplished?

FH: As a teenager I was a good drawer of superheroes/cartoon characters. But that was another time. I don’t have an interest in being an accomplished drawer/painter type of artist.

NBJP: What’s your favorite (G-rated) non-musical pastime?

FH: I really enjoyed deep sea fishing with my now deceased father and brother when I was a kid! I equally enjoyed being a quite excellent baseball player as well! Baseball was a huge love for me when I was practicing to become an accomplished professional musician.

NBJP: What’s the worst (non musical) job you ever had?

FH:  The worst job I ever had was a janitorial job cleaning banks, churches, and schools.

NBJP: If you could live anywhere in the world where would that be?

FH:  If I could live anywhere in the world, I would want to live in Sardegna because that’s where my wife is from and it’s suppose to be really beautiful there!!!

NBJP: Finish this sentence –   I own too many _______________

FH: I own too many clothes that I don’t even wear anymore

PLUS ONE: When did you know that you wanted to be a professional jazz musician?

FH: I knew by my junior year in high school that I was going to become a professional musician because my high school director planted the seed in my mind to begin thinking about it when I was a sophomore.

Seven Questions with Saxophonist, Mark Gross

Mark gross laughNBJP:   If you were about to have your last meal–what would it be?

MG: Having just been in Jerusalem, touring the Old City, my mind goes to me being in the room where the Last Supper occurred. I would want it to be about why am I having my last meal and what I have done with my life. It’s the Christian thang in me. 🙂 

NBJP:  You are a musician—is there another art in which you’d like to be accomplished?

MG: No. I have wanted to be a musician since I can remember. I’ve played alto saxophone since I was six years old.

NBJP:       What’s your favorite city to perform in?

MG: From a list of so many I would say Antibes, France / Juan-Les Pain. Magnificent views, food & people. It’s like being in paradise.

NBJP:        What’s one thing other than milk or water we’d ALWAYS find in your refrigerator?

MG: You will always find a bag of coffee beans. I love coffee. 

NBJP:      What’s your favorite (“G” rated) guilty pleasure?

MG: I go to Cafe Lalo on the Upper West Side and have a slice of strawberry banana chocolate cake and a cappuccino. Yummy!!!!

NBJP:      When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

MG: I am living that childhood dream.

NBJP:       If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?

MG: I would change eating habits. I would learn to cook very healthy delicious meals and not eat at restaurants so often. Well, I’d still eat at these restaurants but at least I could cook the same meals at home if I wanted to. Could you imagine saying to yourself, tonight I either have salmon crusted with ginger, scallions, with a little teriyaki sauce, or a nicely marinated London broil grilled to perfection, or some zucchini stuffed with pumpkin. Be right back, going to the kitchen to make a sandwich.

PLUS ONE: When did you first know you wanted to be a professional jazz musician?

MG: I knew from the time I was in high school. I went to the Baltimore School for the Arts. After high school I went to Berklee College of Music. One of my best friends, jazz saxophonist Javon Jackson was one of my colleagues during that time. He gave me a copy of Cannonball Adderley’s Japanese Concerts cd. I heard Cannonball’s version of ‘Easy to Love’, and that solidified my want and desire. In fact my words were, “I want to do that!!!”

SEVEN QUESTIONS with ROSENA HILL-JACKSON

NBJP:

What’s the worst (non musical) job you ever had?rosena smiling cropped

RHJ:  Telemarketer

NBJP: What musician has influenced you the most (thus far)?

RHJ: I can’t pin point one musician.  I have been inspired and influenced by many styles of music and musicians. Classical, Gospel, Negro spirituals, jazz, show tunes, country, pop, R&B. The list of musicians is long and at different times of my life some were stronger depending upon what my heart and ears were drawn to, but not just one. If I had to choose though, it would be Donald Fabisiak.  My first voice teacher. He was awonderful pianist, played several other instruments and passionate about music.  He was kind, patient and he believed in me.

NBJP: Please complete this sentence:   I own too many____

RHJ: Well…I just finished my spring cleaning.  So I feel I have the right amount of everything now.  I gave away a lot of clothes.

NBJP: If you could only own one CD, what would it be?

RHJ: Going Home (Jason Jackson)

NBJP: What’s one liquid (other than water) we’d ALWAYS find in your refrigerator?

RHJ: Orange juice

NBJP: You are a musician, is there another art in which you’d like to be accomplished?

RHJ:Writing

NBJP: If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?

RHJ:  I would live in the now more often than thinking about the future

PLUS ONE: When did you know you wanted to be a professional  musician?

RHJ: I saw a live performance of the opera Rigoletto.

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SEVEN QUESTIONS w/TROMBONIST, JASON JACKSON

NBJP: How old were you when you first played in front of an audience (beyond your family)?Jason Jackson

JJ: I was around 8

NBJP: If you could only own one CD what would it be?

JJ: The trombone master JJ Johnson, Art Tatum’s Capitol  recording of Willow Weep for Me, Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue, Coltrane Blue Train…..oops, too many and I’m only getting started….

NBJP: You are a musician, is there another art in which you’d like to be accomplished?

JJ:  I like to draw. 

NBJP: What’s your favorite (G-rated) non-musical pastime?

JJ:  recording engineer

NBJP: Who’s your favorite non-jazz composer?

JJ: Beethoven, Ravel

NBJP: What inspires you creatively?

JJ:  Nature, love, music, life

NBJP: What word or phrase do you overuse?

JJ: Nice

PLUS ONE: When did you know that you wanted to be a professional jazz musician?

JJ:  I knew I wanted to be a musician by the time I was  about 11

Seven Questions with Vocalist, Jackie Jones

 NBJP: What’s the worst (non-musical) job you ever had?

JJ:-working in a hotel gift shop. They wanted me to stand up the entire time. I quit after 3 days. Lol. 🙂 

NBJP: If you could only own one CD, what would it be?

JJ:-Bobby McFerrin (Vocabularies)

NBJP :If you were about to have your last meal, what would it be?

JJ-a big plate of my Grandmother’s Special homemade biscuits w butter and grape jelly. 

NBJP: What musician influenced you the most?

JJ:- I have to name two….NANCY WILSON.and PHYLLIS HYMAN

NBJP: What’s your favorite non-musical pastime?

JJ:-enjoying being a FOODIE ……and Swing Dancing.

www.jackiejonesFOOD.shutterfly.com

Swing dancing

http://youtu.be/BPinhbnQYLI

NBJP: What quality do you like least about yourself?

JJ- very thinned skin; sensitive….will cry at the drop of a hat. 

NBJP: What’s your favorite non-jazz tune?

JJ-Blackbird (Beatles-Paul McCartney). I have at least 20 versions of this on my iPhone

PLUS ONE:  When did you decide you were going to become a professional musician?

JJ:-I dont think I ever really “decided”. However; I was studying to become a doctor, but when people started paying me to sing I thought I would test the waters a little more. 

Seven Questions with Saxophonist Brett McDonald

Brett McDonald headshotNBJP: Other than the instrument you play, instrument would you like to be able to play?

BMcD: I’d really like to play the guitar – the whole string family of instruments has been difficult for me to comprehend and learn, and every time I pick up a guitar I end up giving up shortly thereafter. Playing that instrument comes with this whole aesthetic of just rocking out, and I really enjoy that idea of being able to turn up without any physical effort involved to increase the volume.

NBJP:      How old were you when you first played in front of an audience (beyond your family)?

BMcD: I think I was about eleven years old – I played “The Pink Panther” for my elementary school talent contest. Its an entertaining story – I didn’t know the piece well enough to compensate for the nerves, so ultimately I got lost and found myself improvising to make up for it. Then I made my way back to the melody. I guess I was playing jazz before I even knew what it was!

NBJP:      What’s your favorite city to play in?

BMcD: I still have a strong affinity for performing in Denton, TX. Its the city where The University of North Texas is located, and you find hundreds of music students who really have a deep and meaningful appreciation for the artform – and are wholly engaged in the music in the moment. I think that is something very rare among live music scenes around the world.

NBJP:     What musician influenced you the most?

BMcD: When I was  in school, I definitely tried to avoid the main direct influences of Charlie Parker and John Coltrane that all the other saxophone students have. I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the years that I worshiped Michael Brecker, but in terms of direct influence, trumpeter Clifford Brown really takes the cake. His lyricism, virtuosity, integrity and honesty are all things I wish to bring out in my own performances.

NBJP:  What’s your favorite jazz tune?

BMcD: I adore playing the standard “There Will Never Be Another You”, by Harry Warren and Mack Gordon. It covers all the diatonic harmony of the scale, and allows for a lot of freedom in terms of substitutions and alterations. It is just such a flexible song with a recognizable form that when you play with it’s boundaries, the tune still remains intact.

NBJP:  What’s your favorite (non-musical) (G-rated) pastime? 

BMcD: I’m an avid alpine scrambler whenever I’m near mountains. Its essentially a mix between climbing and hiking, where all the challenging passages can be climbed without ropes, but by no means are they leisurely hikes. I like the sport because you get a huge sense of accomplishment when you reach the top, but more than that, the whole experience is a great metaphor for living a fulfilling life. Setting goals and working towards them, but enjoying the journey to get there – which is the most important part anyways. It passes the time, and when you get to see the surrounding peaks, you can’t help but feel proud of yourself for having come so far.

NBJP:  If you could only own one CD, what would it be?

BMcD: A tough question, but I’d probably go with Kind of Blue by Miles Davis. It is one of those timeless classics that never gets old. 

PLUS ONE: When did you know you wanted to be a professional jazz musician?

BMcD: This is another tough question – I wouldn’t necessarily pigeonhole myself as a “jazz musician”, as I perform and feel comfortable in several different genres and styles, but I can say that around junior year of my Jazz Studies degree at North Texas I started writing my own music, and the confidence and fulfillment I derived from that led me to believe that I could really make this passion of mine into a career.

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