BY RICHARD BILOW:
Wherever you live in the world, if you appreciate extraordinary musicianship and have an open mind, you need to see bassist Stanley Clarke live. Keep an eye out for him performing at music festivals across the world. In January 2020, I reviewed a performance by Clarke at the Broad Stage. I interviewed him as well. CLICK HERE to read my review on ETG’s sister site LAArtParty.com (find it under the Music Reviews section).
Clarke performed with one of the world’s top tabla players (Salar Nadar) and three young risings stars of Jazz (Cameron Graves, piano and keyboards, Beka Gochiashvili, piano and keyboards and Jeremiah Collier, drums). For those who don’t already know, Graves is part of the West Coast Getdown, a jazz collective which launched Kamasi Washington and virtually every member of the group into the limelight and into jazz history. The Westcoast Getdown musicians have supported each other in the creation of modern jazz, which draws from virtually everything that has come before while somehow moving boldly into the future.
Q: In Los Angeles, Catalina’s has been an important venue for jazz lovers. What venues and venue owners should jazz lovers be aware of around the nation and around the world?
A: I played Catalina‘s for many years and it is a great club for an intimate setting with an audience. I also believe that jazz musicians rightfully deserves to play in bigger venues starting from small theaters to present music and create an opportunity for people that would normally not go to a club but who would come to a theater to hear jazz the same as they would a classical concert.
Q: Tell me a bit about your recent tour?
A: The majority of our touring was in Europe. We traveled to many glorious cities and many beautiful theaters and venues.
Q: Do you find it enjoyable to new cities?
A: It is a great thing to travel the world and soak up all the different cultures and the unique music they offer.
Q: Is there one city that reacted in a special way to your performance?
A: Germantown, Tennessee
Q: What is your favorite city in the world to perform in and why?
A: I love playing in Stuttgart Germany we have a great audience there I really enjoyed the local beer and even though I am mainly vegetarian I will have a Wienerschnitzel or two….
Q: How has travel affected your music?
A: Travel always affects one’s art because you get a chance to see the world and all it’s wonder.
Q: When you are on the road do you have a chance to take in any of the City’s culture? if so what has made the biggest impression on you?
A: I enjoyed going to the Dakar, Senegal. Great musicians there! And a great art festival…I also enjoy going to the capital in Armenia…. they love music so much.
Q: How do you see jazz surviving, thriving and evolving in the coming years?
A: I think Jazz will do just fine. Up or down I think there will always be instrumentalists with the desire to improvise. And the jazz language is the best language to improvise from.
Q: Who are the musicians, producers and music industry professionals you believe are currently contributing the most to the evolution and preservation of jazz as an art form?
A: I like Beka Gochiashvili…he is a tremendous talent from the country of Georgia. He has great solo piano skills much like Keith Jarrett… I believe in Cameron Graves, he’s a wonderful visionary his music is really unique and if you look deep into it it has all the foundations and principles of good composition and improvisation.
Visit his website to find out if he will be performing in a city near you – https://stanleyclarke.com/