Lets take a search around the web (it´s called the web, by the way, because it is very much linked up like all of the threads of a spider web..as if you didn´t know that, but its a good reminder of how it all works.) Anyways, I have been looking around for some good jazz blogs to follow and surprise, I found this very cool blog and it has a wonderful article about our 2014 album “Forever” https://jazzyoutoo.wordpress.com/2014/08/13/malonie-carre-forever/ I left a message on the blog asking how they had found our music. I was very curious how I managed to get mentioned by such a wonderful writer. The answer was “believe it or not you left a message on the blog and we found you on Soundcloud”. Well, Cool! Right? So I though I would do an interesting investigation. How can a musician get mentions on different music blogs (for me that would be “Jazz Blogs” and how do you even find the best ones. What would be best choice of blog spots for me as far as creating a jazz blog goes…. hmmm got me thinking. Lets get some more info.
Some good looking Jazz Blogs
WordPress first… LOL!!
OH, my there are tons! I give up trying to list them!! More to come on this.. let me check it out for you!
Trends in Modern Jazz change with the times. First comes new technology for recording and we all start to use Melodyne and other auto tune programs to “perfect” our music and recordings. But how perfect is it really, if it isn’t natural? Jazz being what it is, the trend is now for a real natural sound. Let’s hope you sing with good pitch because your recording producer just might want to record your voice as true as possible! Now according to Lady Gaga, recording without auto tune is now something to brag about. On her new release with Tony Bennet you can hear the expression when she sings “Anything Goes” she is really shouting it out there and it sounds real and it’s natural and personally I love it. Thank you Lady Gaga! I feel great about my own recording now! You can’t compare vocal jazz sound to modern pop recorded vocals with major tech fixes. A Jazz singer should never sound so incredibly perfect as Celine Dion! It’s a whole different style of music.
From my own experience at first this had me cringing and doubting what was the best way to go. When producer Joaquin Betancour told me “your voice is incredibly in tune just on its own, let people hear the real you, the way you sound naturally, this is jazz! We are no longer auto tuning every little nuance and natural expression out of our recordings to create the “perfect sound”. So my recording of “Forever” got left au natural! “And I’ll tell you something! I still feel a little naked!” However, I am getting used to hearing my voice just a touch less perfect and it is growing on me and each time I here the recording I like it more and more. This is certainly something to consider for jazz vocalists. Are you good enough to record without using these crutches that modern music has been adapting? Try it out and see how you sound! It’s a very cool experience, it’s more personal and it forces you to get it right on! Let me know what you think of this and how it sounds on our Album “Forever”.
Jazz is back and it’s live and kicking… Did I say kicking? No, I mean live and learning. From every corner of the world there seems to be a new focus on jazz education. From Vancouver’s jazz festival offering many free educational interactions, all the way to a growing University in Cancun, Mexico, who would have thought that jazz education would be the link to keeping this amazing form of music alive. Of course you’ve got to remember, the best jazz fans are usually jazz musicians. So if we want to curate more Jazz Lovers in the future we need to educate our new generations. Programs are even starting at the high school level to prepare students who want to start studying music to open their “ears” to the different sounds of jazz harmony. The work that Berklee High School Jazz Festival has been doing for years now is really quite incredible, hosting more than 3000 high school jazz musicians to come together and experience first hand performance technique and developing a love for this art form. We have artist greats like Tony Bennet creating new schools as well, Frank Sinatra School of the Arts using their fame and resources to encourage young artists to seek out real careers in jazz music and not just see it as a hobby or a career field for hungry starving musicians. This is wonderful, I remember how uncertain my own family was when I told them that all I wanted to do with my life was sing. Being a musician is not really considered one of the most secure or lucrative careers but if we have the support and example from artists like Tony Bennet we open our minds to the possibilities of success in these fields.
I am very excited about these new possibilities and the direction that Jazz is taking for the future. Lets hope this trend continues and this great art form grows and prospers well into the future.
In all my exploring over the internet I suddenly realised that it was time to take a good look at how to categorise new genres of modern jazz music. I assumed that contemporary jazz music means, modern jazz music or new jazz music with great sophisticated modern harmony, new rhythms and modern lyric ideas. However, I discovered that the term contemporary has been used in many ways in the music industry over the last 100 years! Wow! Lets investigate this!! Depending where you live and what your influences are, Contemporary Jazz can mean anything from Kenny G to Cecil Taylor. Needless to say there is a huge difference between these two artists, and so it became a concern as I tried to categorise our jazz style in the Album “Forever”. To me it was simple, Contemporary Vocal Jazz. But then, I was looking at internet web sites for contemporary jazz and kept coming up with “Smooth Jazz” like http://www.smoothjazz.com/ Easy Listening, Adult Contemporary and the list goes on! Take a look at this article on www.allaboutjazz.com link that was a real eye opener for me and I consider myself a jazz musician, imagine how confusing this all is for people that are still asking “what is jazz?”
Okay, so investigate and investigate and I still don´t have a catagory for my music, it is so many things all rapped up in one package. I guess that is what happens when you create a jazz quintet from musicians that are from so many different cultures all in one group. I am from Canada, our artistic director/composer is from Cuba, our bass player from Mexico and our Sax/flute player is from Dominican Republic. (oh, our Drummer is Cuban too! and rhythm is so important in defining genre!) So I guess, I will just have to be more specific! Our Album “Forever” is Modern Vocal Jazz with wonderful modern harmony, latin rhythms and interesting reflective lyrics. LOL! Please give me your feedback! How would you classify our music? It certainly isn´t easy listening! Let me know what you think!
This really is living the dream! NO, not the dream that I had when I was 12 years old to become like Whitney Housten, or Celine Dion, but the real grown up dream. Making a living, doing what you are passionate about in life. There really doesn’t exist any other goal, other than this one. It is the ultimate human experience and the connection between the human existential conundrum “I have to survive” and “I really love this, this is what I came here to do”. It is not becoming famous, it is not about the big moments when you had your most memorable experience. It is about the day to day living. It is about being able to spend 70% or more of your time doing exacly what you love, (and of course making a living, hopefully a decent one!) Go find your dream, your reason for being here and the rest will take care of itself! Good Luck on your journey!
Cuba is an amazing country for music, dance and other arts. The Cuban people are warm and friendly and have a great appreciation for good music, jazz, rhythm and harmony. All of these factors combined make this a very interesting place for a home grown Canadian girl who loves jazz, latin rhythms and lets be honest, great piano players, drummers and musicians! I was so very honoured to be invited and included in this amazing cultural experience.
It doesn´t matter where you live, you have to find a way to make a living doing what you love! Especially if you are a Jazz musician, it is very difficult to find a good secure bread and butter gig that will give you enough resources to live on while you continue to study, compose and record. This is the best way that you can spend the the maximum amount of time on getting really good at what you do!
“Jazz Gigs are very special things.”
A friend and fellow musician who lives in California told me the other day
“I can make 40 USD playing at a Jazz Club in California or 400 USD playing pop songs at someones wedding”
that means that he has to play 10 Jazz club gigs to make the same amount of money that he makes for one wedding event!! (YUK, I really hate this, it just seems so unfair, don´t you think?) I have always tried to use a little ingenuity to have my Gigs as Jazz style as possible however, curiously enough the good paying, daily jazz gigs are mostly found in foreign countries! (LOL, who would have thought huh!) I still think it is better to move around or travel but find a place where you can play Jazz every night and have a steady gig while making good money. There really are lots of options. It surprises me how many people end up in Dubai, Thailand or in China or Japan, places where people and tourism love jazz music and would really like to see a ” cool guy” (girl or .. jaja you know what I mean!) playing jazz at their Club or Show. It is also a great way to get experience and get offered a chance to get started.
You can also turn a “Pop music” job into a great jazz practice session.
Here is another great tip for you. (Those of you who don´t
mind the wedding gig) Hey, most people love to hear all their favorite songs, eg Carpenters “Close to You” played with great jazz harmony, new chords and wonderful experimental rhythms. This is an old school trick that is widely used by the latin musicians that I have worked with from Cuba and Mexico. They love to play any song with a Bossa Rhythm, add syncopa to The Girl from Ipanema and are always experimenting to keep there sound fresh and new. It obviously works and is very enjoyable for the audience because the Jazz in the 90´s CDs are so very popular! Mix it up and if you have to play a Pop gig, show your great jazz harmony and rhythms off to the audience. They won´t even know why they love your music so much. (Hey, fellow musicians we have to education the ears of our audiences, it´s our responsibility to give people good quality music!) Go out there and have fun, work your rear end off and play as much jazz for as many hours every day as possible and remember
“don´t waste your life working at a boring day job,
every hour you work at something that is not your dream, you are wasting your time and someone else out there is getting their chops up to order while you just lost an opportunity to get paid practicing your art!”
Big hugs everyone. Just a little kick in the pants to inspire and get motivatied!!
Ruben Oyalvides Lescay, Cuban percussionist currently touring with Francisco Cespedes, has worked with the best and the most talented musicians in Cuba, Latin music festivals (Timba) specialising in Latin rhythms, Ruben dominates any variety of percusion instrument ranging from the traditional to the exotic all the way to modern sounds of contemporary jazz. He has international recording experience and has performed in Latin Jazz Festivals like the prestigious Jazz Plaza 29 festival in Havana, Cuba accompanying Gianny Laredo and Malonie Carre in the recording and presentation of the 2014 album “Forever”. He has proved himself to be extremely talented and professional, constant and intelligent in his approach to creating a successful trajectory towards becoming a successful internationally acclaimed percussionist. He currently resides in Cancun, Mexico a wonderful location where he is able to travel internationally and still maintain and important role as a responsible and loving family man. Highly respected by his fellow musicians here in Mexico and also in the latin community of Cuba and USA, we will be seeing him at the top of the charts. We wish the very best for him and thank him for all his creativity and support in the creation of the album “Forever”.
I have spent the last few months reading, searching and studying for information and resources for promoting our new 2014 album “Forever”. The very best advise I have found is definitely at Music Think Tank. (check link for website, email news letter and blog info, amazing!)
The best thing about it is the combination of experts that write on this website and the information available. It is far and above the best researched and the very best top industry experts all in one place. It would take you a lot of time to find each of these people searching through the stunning plethora of good, bad and ugly advise out there for independent artists. (there is a lot of money out there to be made by making enthused musicians famous, sadly more money can be made by the people helping to promote Indie musicians on line than the musicians make themselves!) Hope this info helps other musicians out there. Lets get cracking and get ourselves promoted! Best Wishes!
With the idea in mind of inspiring a fellow musician to find a place to start performing I invited singer/songwriter/guitarist Jonathan Aponte to a small Club/Bar in the Cancun area called Los Cuatro Alimentos. Towards the end of the show a young talented pianist/singer/composer got up on stage with a guitar that wasn´t even his (and I remind you he is a pianist not a guitarist!) and sang an original composition. Well to say the least a standing ovation proceeded his amazing, heartfelt performance and I could tell my friend Jonathan wanted to meet him. Little did I know that I would be working with Gianny Laredo over the next few years in an incredible journey of composition, discovery and exciting travel. Gianny is one of the most versatile musicians I have ever had the pleasure of collaborating with. He has been one of the most positive and inspired people I have ever worked with and I sincerely hope that we will have many more years of songwriting, recording and adventure in our path creating music together. Please follow us on our others sites!