Brian Jones and RVAjazz are launching a new series called Conversations, in which prominent musicians in Richmond will be interviewed by younger musicians on the scene. Brian explains the conception and goal of the project: “The seed of the idea happened about five years ago, maybe four. I was playing with a band called Them […]
Brian Jones and RVAjazz are launching a new series called Conversations, in which prominent musicians in Richmond will be interviewed by younger musicians on the scene. Brian explains the conception and goal of the project:
“The seed of the idea happened about five years ago, maybe four. I was playing with a band called Them Against Them around Richmond and Charlottesville. I talked a lot with Paul Watson, who played cornet and electronics in the group, about if it would be feasible to do a book of interviews with Richmond musicians. There are a lot of fantastic Richmond musicians in all the different genres of music, from bluegrass to jazz to alt-rock, whatever. Not only are they very well-trained musicians usually, but they’re also unique characters, which could lead to a really interesting interview series. Paul’s a really good writer, so it got bounced around and some projects just got put on the back burner, but it never really left my mind.
“As I’ve been teaching more in the last five years, I often think about the teachers I had–Howard Curtis, mainly. He was a real mentor to me and meant a lot to me, and I find myself thinking about him and repeating things that he told me to my students. And I found it very inspiring. Since he’s in Austria now, some of the younger guys haven’t had that experience of being around him. I just started thinking about all the different players in Richmond and sort of Virginia at large, because there are a lot of figures like him. John D’earth is an inspiring guy to a lot of players, probably everybody he meets. Certainly Doug Richards, Bob Hallahan. Skip Gailes has meant a lot to a lot of people as a teacher and a player. He’s certainly a really important jazz musician in Richmond.
“I just bounced the ideas around my friends, like it would be great if some of us that are teaching could interview some of these elder statesmen, if you will, and just learn more about them for the younger guys and for ourselves about where they came from and how they got involved with music, where they’re taking it and what their path has been like.”
Brian already has a firm idea of who he would like to see interviewed for the series, as well as who will be doing the interviewing. Taylor Barnett, Trey Pollard, J.C. Kuhl, and Adam Larrabee are on his list of hopeful interviewers to the “statesmen” Richards, Gailes, D’earth, and Hallahan. Additionally, he hopes to have Matt White interview Marty McCavitt.
“And from there,” Brian says, “we’ll see if we can get into some different areas, and not just jazz. Marty is certainly not really a jazz musician. You wouldn’t call Marty a jazzer. But he’s definitely an amazing improviser, a composer, and an alchemist.”
Watch out for the first post in the series, which will be published tomorrow and will feature Taylor Barnett’s conversation with Doug Richards.