Interview with Gabriel Grossi: Lots of Love! Video, Photos

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Jazz interview with jazz harmonica player Gabriel Grossi. An interview by email in writing.

JazzBluesNews.Space: – First let’s start with where you grew up, and what got you interested in music?

Gabriel Grossi: – I was born and grew up in Brasilia, the capital. I was always a good listener of music and the sounds of nature. I played the piano a little while when I was 7, but I started to play the harmonica when I was 16 years old. At that time I falled in love with music and I knew it was going to be forever.

JBN.S: – How did your sound evolve over time? What did you do to find and develop your sound?

GG: – I was worried about having a beautiful sound. I Think the sound is one of the most important things about the expression. Long notes and imitating other instruments use to be a good study for me.

JBN.S: – What practice routine or exercise have you developed to maintain and improve your current musical ability especially pertaining to rhythm?

GG: – I’m always practicing and thinking about music. Every day is a new world to study. Rhythm is a very important issue , specially in Brasil, where we have an endless variety of rhythm.

JBN.S: – Which harmonies and harmonic patterns do you prefer now?You’re playing is very sensitive, deft, it’s smooth, and I’d say you drift more toward harmony than dissonance. There is some dissonance there, but you use it judiciously. Is that a conscious decision or again, is it just an output of what goes in?

GG: – I like to create my own patterns, I think harmony is the mother of music and I love it. The possibilities of overlaping chords open new windows and colors. You need to be really conscious to use dissonance in a intelligent way, you have to know where you want to reach. It’s a mix of conscious and the impulse and courage of passion.

JBN.S: – How to prevent disparate influences from coloring what you’re doing?

GG: – I think one of the most beutiful things is to mix this colors into your thougths and try to create new ideas. Accept all the influences around and try to get the best from it.

JBN.S: – What do you love most about your new album 2019: <#motion (Live)>, how it was formed andwhat you are working on today. 

GG: – I love that motion is alive, is in movement , it’s a true painting from that special moment. Its beautiful the way that my label whirlwind recordings embraced the project. At this moment I’m finishing the recordings of my new project called: “Plural”: Its half instrumental and half with singers. All of the songs are mine. I love to compose and also to write lyrics. The album has one special guest for track. Big nationals and international names interpretating my songs, such as: Lenine, Ed Motta, Zelia Duncan, Leila Pinheiro, Yamandu Costa, Omar Sosa, Anat Cohen among others.

JBN.S: – What’s the balance in music between intellect and soul?

GG: – I think in the end its all together. But to separate rationally is like: Studying is intellect and playing live is a complete soul.

JBN.S: – There’s a two-way relationship between audience and artist; you’re okay with giving the people what they want?

GG: – Yes, I think we make music together. Music is a result from what is happening at that place at that moment. I think most of the audience are really intelligent and open to new music. I love to compose and for a few times the audience named my songs. Sometimes the audience learn in the concerts new songs and find out that this was what they really wanted.

JBN.S: – Please any memories from gigs, jams, open acts and studio sessions which you’d like to share with us?

GG: – There are a lot. Last week in São Paulo was really special. I played a song with Winton Marsalis and the jazz  Lincoln center orchestra at the sesc pinheiros and also was invited to play with the amazing Tom Jobim Orquestra as a solist. It was remarkable for me.

JBN.S: – How can we get young people interested in jazz when most of the standard tunes are half a century old?

GG: – I think is recreating the standards and adapting to our time and reality. Investing in the basic music education and composing new standards.

JBN.S: – John Coltrane said that music was his spirit. How do you understand the spirit and the meaning of life?

GG: – This is deep. Coltrane really transcended. For me, music is my religion, is the way to connect with the divine. When the public is connected as well, music becomes a collective spiritual experience.

JBN.S: – If you could change one thing in the musical world and it would become a reality, what would that be?

GG: – I think I would change the basic education. Investing in good music in the beginning  would make a real difference. Not to form musicians, but at least to built good listeners.

JBN.S: – Who do you find yourself listening to these days?

GG: – I have Been listened to Debussy, Villa Lobos. I always listen to Chet Baker, Coltrane, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Bobby Mc Ferrin, also been listen to Jacob  Collier, Ben Wendell and Kurt Rozenwinkel.

JBN.S: – What is the message you choose to bring through your music?

GG: – Lots of Love!

JBN.S: – Let’s take a trip with a time machine, so where and why would you really wanna go?

GG: – I love the 70’s. I think this decade was really revolutionary.

JBN.S: – I have been asking you so far, now may I have a question from yourself…

GG: – Does the devotion to Music really change peoples life?

JBN.S: – Thank you for answers. I hope, yes, of course …

JBN.S: – So putting that all together, how are you able to harness that now?

GG: – I believe I’m collaborating in the best way I can. I really believe that music change peoples life. Playing music from your heart is spreading love and therefore is helping to built a better world.

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

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