Xantoné Blacq Presents: Jason Rebello Interview

Musician and Promoter Xantoné Blacq is working in partnership with Collage Arts and the award-winning venue, Karamel, to bring world renowned musicians to North London. The Xantoné Blacq Presents: An Evening With… events are unique in that they focus on increasing the connection between the artists performing and the audience via the band performance and importantly, the artist Q&A. The Q&A section is an audience favourite and allows the fans, long time supporters and general public to directly ask the artist and their band members, any question that pops into their mind and/or is of interest to them. An adventurous, potentially explosive and always entertaining part of the evening.
AnchorThe Xantoné Blacq Presents: An Evening With… series featured Jason Rebello in December and continues in 2016 on Wednesday February 10th with Soul Funk music master Andrew Roachford.

Jason Rebello interview:
You did a Q&A session with the audience at Karamel.

Could you give us a little snippet of the kind of things you were talking about? For example, could you tell us one of your favourite artists to work with?

JR: When I was younger, I got the chance to work with (multiple Grammy winning saxophonist and composer) Wayne Shorter. I actually toured Japan with him, which was my first time there, so that was amazing.
Could you tell us a little about the Jazz Rainbow project and your work in education?

JR: It was an album of kids’ tunes or tunes that kids would recognise, like Thunderbirds and Spiderman, recorded with a professional Jazz band. Jazz for youngsters.
I still do a lot of lectures and workshops; I love teaching.

Improvisation seems like an important part of what you do. Do you think that it’s something that anyone can learn, or do some people just have that ability?

JR: Everyone can learn to improvise, we improvise all the time. Even having a conversation is improvising. Some people do find it easier to be open, and some people find it quite frightening, but anyone can learn.
You’ve worked with so many artists from Jeff Beck to Omar, and that’s just a small selection. Do you feel you have to change your style to fit each one?

JR: I always try my best to adapt. Sometimes you do clash, but you just have to work out a balance between you. There are times as well where you might disagree and not be able to say anything and just have to swallow it, which is a good learning exercise. At the end of the day, if someone invites you to be in their band or on their album, you’re there to work with them.
Is there anyone left you’d still like to work with?

JR: Yeah, loads. Stevie Wonder….
… Miles Davis. Louis Armstrong… the band volunteers, with a laugh.