Interview with Pablo Blitzer, musician of the Coffs Coast Jazz Festival

Pablo Blitzer.

COME listen to Pablo perform at the inaugural Coffs Coast Jazz Festival November 11-13 at the Coffs Harbor Regional Conservatorium.

Q: Congratulations on the launch of the first Coffs Coast Jazz Festival 2022. What can festival-goers expect as part of the experience?

A: Thank you, we are delighted to be able to organize a jazz festival in Coffs Harbour.

I think it’s a great opportunity for music lovers to experience high-end performances in different styles of the genre, as well as masterclasses and jam sessions for those with a musical bent.

This will be an opportunity to immerse yourself in the genre and its history for a weekend.

Q: Tell us a bit about your musical background, what was it like growing up in Buenos Aires? What are the highlights of your career and how has music taken you around the world while performing?

A: Buenos Aires is a very big and bustling city, people are always outdoors and live music was everywhere when I was young.

It could be fascinating and intimidating at the same time. I was inspired to pursue music from an early age, I remember I didn’t want to study classical so the other option was jazz.

I had already taken private lessons, so I was good enough to be accepted into one of the city’s two jazz conservatories at the youngest possible age, being ten years younger than the average student at school. ‘era.

Despite all the wonderful experiences I’ve had, some of my favorite highlights remain when I’ve been able to work with remote communities like Chilean Patagonia or the Peruvian Amazon, among other things, playing games and organizing workshops with people and especially children there.

Seeing how meaningful what you do to them is better than a big concert any day of the week.

Music is an amazing thing, I didn’t really have a plan for most of my 20s to be quite honest, but I was lucky enough to be able to join more established projects that allowed me to travel across South America, Europe and possibly Australia and Japan in recent years.

Now I have established my own projects and toured under my own name, I hope one day I can offer young musicians the same opportunities I had.

Q: I heard that you will be playing in the ‘gypsy jazz’ style. Could you explain this genre to me and why I should listen to it? Who or what inspires you?

A: It’s a wonderful style of music that is close to my heart.

It is a version of swing music that originated around the 1930s in France from the influence of music from the United States and the folk language of a particular group of people of gypsy (gypsy) origin.

It’s also a great way for non-jazz listeners to immerse themselves in the genre, as it’s light and cheerful and very accessible to everyone.

The music of Django Reinhardt was of course a major influence for me, as well as some modern masters like the Rosenberg Trio and Giacomo Smith.

Q: As well as being an accomplished professional musician, you are also an inspiring teacher and educator – teaching at Coffs Harbor Conservatorium and Bishop Druitt College.
What drives you to inspire the next generation of musicians?

A: I have always loved teaching music.

I think it’s partly because I’m so passionate about learning.

I am always studying and learning new skills and I love sharing this process with others. I believe learning is a way of life, and you’re never too good or too old to do it.

I especially enjoy the privilege of being able to help people reach their goals and reach their potential.

I think everyone has something incredibly valuable to say and share with the world, and when they do, it gives me great joy to know that I played a small part in making it happen.

Q: In addition to performing at the Coffs Coast Jazz Festival, you will present a “melody in improvisation” workshop. Is anyone welcome to this workshop? Where do I start to improve my improvisation skills?

A: Everyone is welcome. The workshop will be divided into steps that will range from simple to complex so that people of all levels can get something out of it.

There will also be a chance at each stage for people to participate in improvisation exercises if they wish (so bring your instrument!).

Or just sit back, listen and immerse yourself in the content.

If you are a beginner improviser, I would say start first.

Put on a record of your favorite improviser and start playing trying to copy like a child learning to talk.

Put on a backing track or improvise on your own.

Take classes with professionals who can point you in the right direction and save you a lot of time (and I mean a lot of time) but above all, do it!

Q: What do you think the future of jazz music looks like in Australia – particularly in the Mid North Coast region? How can we collectively support arts and culture in Coffs Harbour?

A: I’m pretty optimistic about the future of music in the region.

Every year I see more and more high end musicians moving to the area and world class performances are offered.

I think as a community the best thing we can do is get out more and support live music and the places that make it possible.

It has been shown in other places around the world that if we foster a culture of music appreciation, we will all benefit from a vibrant cultural scene that will not only entertain us, but also keep our community healthier and even bring economic prosperity to the region.

Q: Thank you Pablo for your time – it was wonderful getting to know you and your music. Is there anything else you would like to add? In one sentence, what advice would you give to your younger self?

A: Just keep playing, even when the going gets tough, and listen twice as much, a musician is not limited by what he can play but by what he can hear.

For more information and ticket availability, visit https://www.coffscon.org.au/event/coffs-coast-jazz-festival-2022/.

About Brandy Perry

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