Seven Questions

with featured artists

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


Welcome to Seven Questions!

We don’t know all the things that might end up here, but they’re sure to be about the musicians that play for us here in the New Brunswick area, the venues that support our efforts to keep jazz, an original American art form alive,  or tidbits of information we want to share with you about jazz in general.

We hope you’ll bookmark us, add us to your RSS feed and stop by regularly to see what’s goin’ on!

Virginia, Jimmy & Mike



Seven Questions with Vocalist Jackie Jones

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

 JJ: TOUGH question, but If I had to narrow it down, it would either be The Carmen McRae- Betty Carter DUETS or -Bobby McFerrin-Vocabularies

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

JJ: OLD FRIEND…Phyllis Hyman

NBJP:   What would you want to be if you weren’t a musician?

JJ: Probably a Food Critic 🙂 or maybe a doctor (I was actually Pre-Med in College).

NBJP:  What would you NOT want to be?

JJ: …I would NOT want to be unhappy.

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

JJ: A Meal at MAKEDAS ETHIOPIAN restaurant in New Brunswick….if it was still open 🙁

NBJP:  What living musician do you admire most? Why?

JJ: Vocalist Patti Austin.  I love her voice and her talent.  And just like the lyric in the jazz standard “I’m Glad there is You”….in this world of overrated pleasures and underrated treasures, I’m glad there is you….  I feel that Patti Austin is an Underrated Treasure!

NBJP: What’s the last book you read?

JJ: …The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

BONUS: What’s your favorite city

JJ: Spiez, Switzerland…and in the US, New Orleans, Louisiana

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Seven Questions + One with Vocalist Danielle Illario

1)  How old were you when you first performed in front of an audience (beyond your family) and what did you play/sing?

My fifth grade graduation , I had a solo from the song “For you I will” by Monica.

2)  What would you want to be if you weren’t a musician?

 I  would be a psychologist.

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

I enjoy so many forms of art , if I could refine a skill it would be painting.

4)  What quality do you like least about yourself?

I am an artist and I am an only child . therefore I am moody – but I suppose that makes me good at my job.

5)  What is your favorite non-musical pastime?

Cooking, I absolutely love to cook , and I love watching friends and family enjoy what I make.

6) If you were about to have your last meal what would it be?

Wow. Tough one. A small croc of  Mac and Cheese (done correctly), plantain chips, Foie Gras & French toast from Le Express On Park Ave paired with a Laphroaig 18 on one big Rock , water with lemon,  and 2 – warm crisp on the edges gooey in the center chocolate chip cookies.

7) What non-living musician has inspired you most?

Nina Simone. I appreciated her honesty and could truly hear her emotions through her music. I like to say I could hear the face she was making when she sang. I also once danced with someone during rainstorm to her version of the song “I loves you Porgy” – it was surreal like a scene from a movie, so that pretty much sealed the deal for me.

Plus One – When did you know you wanted a career as a musician?

On my 26th birthday. We have a very good friend of my family’s – an artist named Johnny Cobbs – I went to him when I was 21 and said- “John I’m so confused I don’t know what path is right for me , I don’t know what my passion is..”  He answered  “When you’re 26 , you’ll know.” And sure enough on my 26th birthday I ended up at a small jazz club in China Town,  friends of mine were on stage and invited me up to sing. I hit the stage with an Etta James tune and it was like a light bulb went off. While I was on stage I literally had the thought ” oh ok this is what I’m supposed to be doing.” That started the process.  


Seven Questions with Guitarist JC Stylles

jc_stylles1.What instrument other than the one you are known for would you like to
 be able to play?

Actually there are 3. Organ, Vibes and Chromatica(chromatic harmonica)

2. What is your favorite non-jazz tune?

It changes periodically, but currently it is an oldie but a goodie in “Can’t hide love” by Earth , Wind & Fire.

3.What would you want to be if you weren’t a musician?

 A Chef

4. What would you NOT want to be?

A government employee.

5.  If you were about to have your last meal, what would it be?

Fresh whole reef fish from Australia’s Barrier Reef, wrapped in banana leaves and cooked in the ground in a dirt oven.*

6)  What’s your favorite non-musical pastime?


7) What’s the last book you read?

Start something that matters, by Blake Mycoskie.(the story of Toms shoes)

*Editor’s note: JC is from Australia

Seven Questions with Drummer Byron Landham


1)  What instrument would you like to be able to play?

Honestly, I would love to be able to play all the rhythm section instruments..(bass, piano guitar, mallets.)

2)   What’s your favorite non-jazz tune?

 It’s too difficult for me to choose one. I have so many favorite tunes of all genres for different reasons.

3) What would you want to be if you weren’t a musician?

 I’m not exactly sure. Perhaps, a career or trade that I could earn a consistently decent wage.( Pharmacist or Plumber)are good examples

4)     What would you NOT want to be?

A policeman. It’s very dangerous, particularly during these times.

5)    If you were about to have your last meal, what would it be?

A very good super thin crust Pizza Margherita.. I’ve always been a connoisseur of pizza, and spent a lot of time in Italy. . If there was one type of food I could everyday, it would be a thin crispy pizza!

6)  What’s your favorite non-musical pastime?

I’m not sure if I’m answering the question correctly, but I’ll say going on family vacations as a child. I’m the youngest of six children and we’re a close family. The older I get, I truly realize how much I cherish those time we’ve shared. That’s something not to be taken for granted.

7)  What’s the last book you read?

 The Bible..

Seven Questions with Organist Pat Bianchi

1. Other than the instrument you play, what’s your favorite instrument to listen to?     pat-bianchi3
Well it’s funny, because these days I don’t listen to many recordings of B3 Organ players. Not because there aren’t great recordings out there, or I don’t love them, it’s more because I am trying to adapt the techniques or inflections of other instruments into my concept of Jazz Organ. For example the way a saxophone, trumpet or even piano (which, conceptually is VERY different than organ) would approach improvisation differently than an organist might. So by constantly listening to different approaches and instruments, I am learning different ideas. The short answer to your question would be saxophone. 

 2. If you were about to have your last meal, what would it be?  Wow, what a question… I think since I of course love Italian food, it would have to be my mother’s lasagna. 

3. How old were you when you first played in front of an audience (beyond your family)–and do you remember what you played ? 
I was either 9 or 10.  I played an anniversary party with my Farfisa organ and an old electronic drum machine. I come from a family of musicians, so I was exposed to a lot of dance band/club date music at a very young age. I don’t remember the exact songs, but I do remember them being of the old standards/big band vein. 

4. What’s your favorite city?
That is a difficult question for sure because since I travel so much, I have been to some pretty incredible places. In the United States it would probably be Chicago, outside the US it would be a tossup between Amalfi, Italy, Copenhagen and The Grand Canary Islands. 

5. What’s your favorite non-jazz tune? 
That is another tough one, there is so much great music out there. But for the moment “What Is Hip” – Tower of Power 

6. What’s your favorite non-musical pastime? 
I have always enjoyed working on electronics. Building and repairing tube based amplifiers and also working on Hammond Organs. Over the years I have put together quite a few custom digital organs, speakers, etc..All which I have used on gigs at one time or another.

7.What instrument would you like to be able to play? 
Drums. My father was a drummer, some of my closest friends are drummers. Playing the organ is like playing drums, so I guess it would be the next logical step.

Seven Questions with Trumpeter Josh Evans

1)   If you could only own one CD, what would it be?josh-evans-2

Absolutely Art Blakey “Free for All”, the intensity on this recording is beyond belief. All I have to say about this is Art Blakey, Wayne Shorter, Freddie Hubbard, Curtis Fuller, Cedar Walton, And Reggie Workman WOOOOOO!!! It’s also interesting that this band recorded a few other tunes on that day that never got released, some with a singer. It would be amazing to hear that. 

In all honesty it’s not fair to ask me to name just one recording, I’m a dedicated student of this music and for sure have checked out just about every single musician you could ever possibly name, current and classic. 

So that being said there are quite a bit of recordings that are very special to me. Jackie McLean “Bout Soul” features the absolute two biggest influences on my playing, Jackie McLean and Rashied Ali. I knew Mr. Mclean since I was a little kid, even before I really played the trumpet, and I was very fortunate to perform with him quite a bit and to get a lot of lessons with him. Rashied was a good friend and I played in his band the last 3+ years of his life. He took me to 20 or so countries and before one of these tours (probably 2008) he smiled at me and said “josh, I have something for you that you are going like” he went back in his building and emerged with a cd. “Bout Soul”, I listened to this recording all the way to wherever it was in Europe we were going first. It really messed my head up!! I remember going past his seat with my headphones on and saying to Rashied, What the @$&! Is this, this is amazing. Rashied, Jackie, and another guy who gave me quite a bit of work when I was in need of it, Grachaan Moncur!! Wow!! Such an amazing record, so open. There’s much more to this story but I don’t think there is enough space here to tell it.

And one more, In this time of violence, hostility, gigs that don’t pay ANY money and crowded, noisy subways, musicians are in need of tranquillity and peace. And the record that gives me the most peace, (actually I’m listening to this as I write this) is Shirley Horn’s “May the music never end” absolutely the most beautiful recording I have ever heard. Nothing can calm me down as much as this does. Such and elegant lady, her phrasing is a very big influence on my playing.

2)   What’s your favorite non-jazz tune?

“A Change is Gonna Come,” the Sam Cooke version.

3)  What would you want to be if you weren’t a musician?

Anything where I would be rich! I could really use two, tree million dollars.

4)  What would you NOT want to be?

Broke, homeless, sick and alone

5)  If you were about to have your last meal, what would it be?

If it was my last meal I don’t think it would really matter. Anything really, I’d probably drink a bottle of Lagavulin with a side order of Heineken and fade away into the abyss 

6)  What living musician do you admire most? Why?

Mccoy Tyner, he changed the concept of the piano when he was still very young. But he did it the right way. He was a childhood friend of Richie Powell who was Bud Powell’s younger brother. To me, the modern music of today comes through Bud and Monk and their associates like Elmo Hope, Sadik Hakim and Tadd Dameron. and then through people like Sonny Clark Walter Davis Jr. and Bobby Timmons. Mccoy was very schooled in that type of playing so much that he changed it up completely with those open chords, those strong left handed Root-fifth bombs and moving chords around in anyway he saw fit to create and release tension. One of my greatest musical experiences was playing “Fly With The Wind” with Mccoy and Gary Bartz. I still have yet to hear that sound come out of any piano or player. When he hit that first chord, the heavens opened up!!

7) What’s the last book you read? 

The last book I finished was “Seize the Time” by Bobby Seale. I have read the majority of other books for research on different topics since then but haven’t finished them

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