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!
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!!
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!
Malonie Carre is a Canadian Contemporary Jazz Singer currently residing in Cancun, Riviera Maya, Mexico. Performing with Jazz artists from the United States, Canada, Mexico and Cuba including Gianny Laredo, Mario Patron and Esteban Herrera, Corporate Private Events, International Jazz Festivals and Jazz Sessions in Mayan Palace, Wine Bar. Current Album Debut 2014 “Forever” Malonie Carre Quartet with Gianny Laredo. “Our main objective is to bring Vocal Jazz back into the modern sound of music.”
Connect with Malonie Carre and her other sites below.
Maestro, Composer, Producer
Grammy Award Winning Music Director
What an amazing person, Maestro Betancourt is inspiration in persona! It has been one of the greatest honors of my life to have the opportunity to work with this incredible man. He is kind, knowledgeable and above all a true gentleman. His work with the Young Cuban Big Band has inspired so many young talented musicians and launched them onto creating great music careers.
Songwriting with Gianny has always been such a ethereal process. It never seems real when it´s happening. It is almost like going into a dream and in that floating space of time something is created. It always amazes me to see Gianny creating the music for our songs, he just looks up above and downloads the ideas and inspiration. Quite amazing to connect alongside the creative channel that he download,s and as long as I don´t think too much with my head, the words just float into my mind as well and there you have it! A song is born!