“Most of the jazz musicians that I admire, are struggling,” says saxophonist Jesse Ryan. “I don’t want to live like that.”
We speak on zoom, of course, during these strange times. His thoughts around art and entrepreneurship come to the forefront.
“My wife, Kristin and I, took a big risk coming to Canada from Trinidad where we had a very comfortable life. In order to be in Toronto, it has to be worth it.”
Parler avec Sharron McLeod c’est comme communier avec une archive musicale. Nous nous sommes connues sur la scène musicale de Toronto, Canada, au début des années quatre-vingt. Elle est a present instalée à Nice, en France. Ses réferences musicales s’etend de Sun Ra, Butch Morris, Cecil Tayler et Joni Mitchell à la musique d‘opera, et les Suites pour ensemble militaire de Gustav Holst. Nous discutons ses influences musicales et ses choix de répertoire en tant que chanteuse de jazz.
“J’ai besoin d’avoir une rélation émotionnelle avec la musique que j’interprete. My Funny Valentine n’a plus aucun intérêt pour moi. En…
Sharron McLeod and the Griots
Talking with Sharron McLeod is like communing with a musical repository. We’ve known each other from the music scene in Toronto, Canada, since the early 1980’s. She is now based in Nice, France. Her references shift with ease from Sun Ra, Butch Morris, Cecil Tayler, Joni Mitchell, opera and the Gustav Holst Military Suites. We discuss her musical influences and her choices of repertoire as a jazz singer.
“I need to have an emotional connection to the music that I sing. I no longer sing My Funny Valentine. It means nothing to me,” she says…
My offering was a Gavotte. I sat low on my chair, left foot on the 6 inch metal footstool, nylon-stringed guitar cradled between my thighs. Before me was a music stand and a thin white book opened to page 7. Perhaps my cousin had expected something more familiar, like a Calypso. As I played the piece by J.S. Bach, she twisted up her face, saying “What is that?!” I watched her turn away laughing. I hung my head in disappointment and humiliation. I was 8 years old. …
Sometimes there are tiny flowers that grow out of walls in the city.
I want to talk about that.
Small beings hatch out of that which is meant to crush them
I see the green, purple, blue.
Just beyond my ken
This is also a current event.
This shimmer. This moment. This second.
Others will carry the necessary and didactic discussions.
Must we all?
Is it dangerous to search the skies, the pavement for resolution?
Is not revolution, going where you are not told to go,
looking away from where told to look?
There are flowers growing out of the walls.
Someone must write them.
Cock your ear.
Turn your head.
Should We Choose Art or Money?
I don’t accept that poverty and art must of necessity be linked. This is an assumption imposed on artists by a culture that consumes us and yet does not want to value what we produce.
I prefer to think of the What If’s. What if, like Personal Support Workers, grocery store clerks whose value is suddenly noted during the time of COVID 19, artists could have their value noted and be compensated accordingly? What if we could all breathe freely, doing what we need to do?
Embedded in our culture is the concept that…