May 22, 2018
Melbourne International Jazz Festival
We have interviewed Michael Tortoni for the presentation of the 2018 edition of the Melbourne Jazz Festival.
Which are the novelties of the 2018 edition of the Melbourne International Jazz Festival?
Knower - US, Nubya Garcia - UK, The Others - Australia, Yemen Blues -Israel/US, The Gravity Project – Japan/Australia.
How did you choose the artists?
I chose these gifted artists based on their individualism and what they contribute to the music.
There are 26 venues: how did you select them?
I chose the venues based on factors like capacity, appropriateness, acoustics and ambience.
The festival has a multitude of styles and different influences. What do you think jazz is?
Jazz is a reflection of life in the moment, It absorbs everything in it's path, fashion, politics language, music and reinforms - it's the coolest music in the world! Jazz musicians have always found the common ground between genres that's brought relevance, diversity and experiences, it's always been at the essence of popular music, including rap, hip hop,funk, soul, etc. In the late 50's, Detroit's Motown 'Hit Factory' head Berry Gordy Jr. assembled a studio band culling its members from Detroit's fertile jazz club scene, influential bassist James Jamerson, pianist/bandleader Joe Hunter and drummer William Benjamin were the core musicians on hundreds of hit records during the 60's and 70's - Marvin Gaye, Dianna Ross, The Temptations. The Beatles used the great jazz Hammond B3 wizard Billy Preston, Sting toured with the most in demand jazz bassist Christian McBride, Prince had jazz saxophonist Maceo Parker in his band, Adele's go to drummer is jazz/hip hop drummer Chris 'Daddy' Dave and the Rolling Stones still tour with great jazz musicians (In fact long time Rolling Stones member, jazz great Tim Ries will be performing "The Rolling Stones Project" at The JazzLab 20 and 26 April).
Which is the goal of this year’s edition?
To celebrate Melbourne's thriving jazz scene, in collaboration with gifted musicians from 9 different countries. To introduce, amaze and grow our audiences for this incredibly rewarding music.
You have an international exchange program with the Tokyo and Singapore jazz festival; what do you think of Asian jazz?
Tokyo is a sophisticated destination with a deep jazz culture, while Singapore is discovering all the wonderful gifts that this music brings.
Which are the dreams you would like to come true in the future?
August Greene, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Harry Connick Jnr's Trio project, Bobby McFerrin, Lalah Hathaway.
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