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T.K. Blue on his nourishing journey



Music is spiritual nourishment for the soul. It’s a sacred art that brings all people together, regardless of race, religion, color, sex, or ethnic background.

There were several factors that influenced my early attraction to the saxophone. I used to listen to James Brown as a teenager and I love Maceo Parker on alto sax. I used to pretend that I was playing those sax solos with the “Godfather of Soul”.  Tenor sax man Billy Mitchell, who played with Count Basie, lived down the street from where I grew up. Once he saw my interest in jazz and the saxophone, he gave me lessons very early in my career. He was my teacher at the Henry Street Settlement on the lower eastside in NYC. Conrad Buckner, a famous tap dancer, inspired me as well. He also lived down the street from where I grew up in Lakeview, Long island. He loved jazz and played many albums for me. In fact, he played a recording, which featured Ray Charles on alto sax with Milt Jackson on piano. I never knew Ray played alto sax. John Coltrane and Pharoah Sanders were huge influences. There is a fantastic organization in Harlem called Jazzmobile. They have a Saturday jazz program for young musicians. I was quite fortunate to study with Jimmy Owens, Frank Foster, Ernie Wilkins, Chris Woods, and Jimmy Heath.

New York means a lot to me. Many great musicians come to NYC to live and perform. It’s a cultural center and a magnet. It gives me motivation and keeps me humble, as there are so many excellent musicians who play on a very high level. It motivates me to practice, practice, and practice!!!!!

In my studies I doubled in psychology and that probably means something to my musicianship on an esoteric level. I have thought about combining the two, of healing people with music instead of chemical drugs. Music therapy is a very viable avenue that I hope to explore one day.

I lived in Paris for some years and it was a fantastic experience. It allowed me to play with people from many countries and experience many different musical styles. The lines demarcating different styles of music can be less rigid in Paris than New York. I find Europe a little easier to cross musical boundaries without being pigeonholed into one particular style.

I teach a lot, and what I look for in students are discipline and consistency. I look for seriousness, perseverance, and a strong work ethic. There are a lot of distractions in life and a student must be disciplined to keep their practice regiment intact.

When recording a new project, I try to keep things as natural as possible in the studio. Eye contact is essential as well as a relaxed atmosphere. It’s really all about love and communication. When musicians love and respect each other, great beauty is created!!!

 

T.K. Blue

 

The latest album A Warm Embrace (2014)

 

 


TK Blue is a saxophonist and flutist from New York. His many collaborations include work with Don Cherry, Abdullah Ibrahim, Randy Weston, Benny Powell, Jayne Cortez, Jimmy Scott and Randy Brecker. Blue has released nine solo albums and devoted himself extensively to teaching. He is currently full-time professor and director of jazz studies at Long Island University. Find out more HERE

 

 

 

 

 

 

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MFA Kera: Interview


 

Mahalia Jackson in Senegal

A talk with MFA Kera

 

 

Sadiq Bey's interview with MFA Kera part 1

Black Heritage at Free Blues Club

Sadiq Bey's interview with MFA Kera part 2

MFA Kera and Mike Russell's Black Heritage Nelson Mandela tribute

Black Heritage afro soul retrospective

 


MFA Kera is a singer, composer, writer and painter, who spent her childhood years in Madagascar and Senegal. After a move to Paris she began her music career, inspired not in the least by Mahalia Jackson. Working with many greats along the way, such as John Lee Hooker, Memphis Slim, Mickey Baker and Milt Buckner, and after spending a few years in Los Angeles, Kera is now based in Berlin, where she continues to fuse ethnic African music with a myriad of musical elements, while working with her Black Heritage Orchestra.

Find out more HERE.

The supervising editor at Musicians' Corner's pick: MFA Kera europe remix 3 by Sadiq Bey >green_man/

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Didier Lockwood on the game of music



    Music is a way of life. It's something I need to expand myself and meet people and cultures. It's my transportation.


    I don't think of myself as a musician. I'm more like an artist. To me calling myself a musician feels restrictive.
Music is a game. It's playfulness. The game of music is a game that I love. Seeing music in that light is how I have found the spirituality in music. More and more I think it's a game.


    You cannot lie in music. If you lie you lose yourself.



Didier Lockwood with Biréli Lagrène and Jürgen Attig



    My father was a violin-player, and when I was 6 years old I wanted to play the violin and be like him. He was happy to know that I was happy, but he never said that he was proud of me. He was proud of my success, and felt ashamed by my failures.


    It may be really difficult to be free on the violin. At conservatories we are taught in classical music. We learn to read and write music before we learn to feel it. But I have never been about separating music. Even music that is bad, is bad because it is played badly.



Didier Lockwood with Stéphan Grappelli



    I'm always involved in many projects. Apart from playing with a lot of people in different forms I'm currently writing my 3d violin concert. I paint, and I'm writing a book.


    To me playing music, painting and writing is the same thing. I paint and play. I like philosophy and art, and the philosophy in the arts.



Didier Lockwood with Mike Stern, Tom Kennedy and Dave Weckl




Didier Lockwood's versatile career spans five decades so far, as well as a wide range of genres in music. He has recorded numerous albums. and composed concerts and chamber music.

Find out more HERE

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