Interview with Greg Abate on Spirituality and Music

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Theo to Greg Abate: Why do you play music?

Greg: Music is a sense of freedom, also freedom of speech if you will. It is a fun thing! It is meditative and Zen like! I have been playing music, not jazz, since 6th grade where my first instrument was clarinet. I played clarinet in classical studies through elementary school, junior high and then in the 9th grade, first year of high school, I started on alto sax which is my main horn but I also play tenor soprano and baritone sax and flute and piano. These are also main horns when I play each one.

Greg Abate

 Theo: What is your experience when you feel connected into the music?

 Greg: It is like a heartbeat throughout me and true joy. All thoughts go away while I play jazz. It is peaceful in my head.

 Theo: What is your experience when you don’t feel connected?

 Greg: It is an awkward feeling and to try to get in that free musical state can be difficult if there are many things going on that may cause distraction. In this case, I feel like I must try hard to overcome this and let it go as one of those not as good times. It is always different, like a photo, a solo, it is always different and each minute of our lives are different.

 Theo: Where does your inspiration come from?

 Greg: It comes from my life, my experiences from a child, people I meet, it comes from all the great players that I have heard and music that I have heard it comes from within through a higher power.

 Theo: What is your experience while improvising?

 Greg: Improvising to me is not jazz it is a means to get to play jazz which comes from many years of practice . My jazz playing is because I learned to improvise and sort out certain things in music theory and technique which enabled me to become a jazz player. My experience in playing jazz is very free, I have reached a level of effortless in my playing and I approach it spontaneously and in the moment not premeditative. It is a work in progress. I never get bored or tired of it.

 Theo: Where does your inspiration while composing come from?

 Greg: I may be driving in my car or flying in a jet somewhere to a gig or just to the store and I think of lines and remember them then I will get to a piano and fit chords to my melodies. Also, I am inspired by chords themselves but comping changes on the piano I head many melodies that I fit in thus composing many tunes. See my iTunes and check out www.gregabate.com

 Peace and Love. That is true jazz I think. All the best, Greg Abate.

 ___

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You can listen to sound clips of Greg on our mouthpieces on our media player.

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