Saturday, July 6, 2013

Catching Up With Wayne Wallace / Latin Jazz-Jazz Latin The Interview

"Catching Up" with Wayne Wallace takes on an entirely different meaning with not only the release of his vibrant new recording Latin Jazz - Jazz Latin but with Wallace also accepting a position with the Indiana University School of Music. Trombonist, composer and educator Wayne Wallace was gracious enough to field a few questions on his new release and his thoughts on Latin jazz today.

Tell us about your latest release Latin Jazz - Jazz Latin and you're intent go with this recording?

W.W. - "On first glance the title Latin Jazz/Jazz Latin may seem ambiguous. My intention was to highlight the fact that in North America we tend to take a jazz piece and insert latin elements whereas in the Caribbean and South American countries the practice is usually reversed where a folkloric style will introduce elements of jazz harmony. It is a matter of perspective depending on your country of origin. My main goal with Latin Jazz/Jazz Latin was to show where different styles intersect and agree aesthetically. I personally think that it shows that we all have more in common then we are led to believe."

As a wind player myself, the use of the flute out front is usual in this setting but the organic bounce that is created speaks for itself. What is the inspiration behind this and why this is slightly unusal in this setting?

W.W. - "The DeYoung Museum in San Francisco presented a Chamber Music program that the quintet was asked to participate in. I arranged several songs for flute, violin and trombone. This configuration immediately appealed to the listeners in that it was unique sounding in the context of Latin Jazz but familiar to the Afro-Cuban Charanga sound. I was inspired to include it on Latin Jazz/Jazz Latin because it spoke directly to the many intersections of musical styles prevalent throughout the Americas."

Some listeners, even critics paint Latin jazz with a broad sweeping brush and never explore the extreme diversity hidden within the music coming out of different countries such as Cuba, Brazil and Argentina...Do you think Latin jazz suffers from some unfair stereotypes at times?

W.W. "Latin Jazz and Jazz both suffer from this stereotype. The cultural ethos of every country is unique and should be appreciated and respected for its individualism. To use a broad stroke is unfair. Dixieland, Be-bop, Cool, Free, Swing, New Orleans are all tributaries of the river of Jazz as Songo, Tango, Son, Bomba, Samba and Lando of Latin Jazz. I know that it is difficult for the non-musician to distinguish but as educators/musicians we need to point out their differences so as not generalize uniqueness on any level."

Most recently you accepted a position with the Indiana University School of Music...As a respected educator as well as recording artist, what lessons do you learn from your students and how are they transferred over to your recordings?

W.W. - "What I have learned and is reinforced by teaching students of all levels is that it is essential to realize that the process of learning and studying is ongoing. One will never learn everything but the joy is in that knowing you are on and inside the journey. Teaching at Indiana is another step in my education. I am looking forward to the new challenges it will present."

Many thanks to Wayne Wallace for taking time out of his incredibly busy schedule and for my thoughts on his latest Latin Jazz - Jazz Latin check out the link below!