Being a Jazz educator is a great mission. Jazz Music is only a hundred and some years old, and yet, the evolution is tremendous. Initiating young people into the art of improvisation through melody, harmony and rhythm is a fascinating journey. The study of old claves, second line, afterbeat, time feel, expression, story telling, composition, analysis, transcription, they are all life long topics that deserve daily practice. Bringing structure into all this is an essential step in helping young people into the discovery of the richness of our heritage.
Thanks to the fact that improvisation is the central point of Jazz music, the unique personality of every player comes out in a very clear way. Through the study of improvisation, one learns to know one self in a unique way.
Level is of no importance, whether one plays something very virtuoso or very simple, the mere fact that one improvises is every time a deep experience where one gets confronted with oneself. Music is a very strong language and a communication tool.
I have been forming young teachers since 1992 through the study of didactics.
I have been influenced by the great guitar players of the ‘60s, ‘70s, 80s and 90s of the previous century all the way to today. Starting with Joe Pass, Jim Hall, Jimmy Rainey, René Thomas, through John Scofield, Pat Metheny, John Abercrombie, Bill Frisell, all the way to contemporary players Kurt Rosenwinkel, Mike Moreno and Gilad Hekselman.
Due to the fact that I played classical piano for 10 years (from my 8 to my 18 years old), I am also influenced by piano players. Keith Jarrett, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, McCoy Tyner, Aaron Parks, Brad Mehldau are constant sources of inspiration in how to transpose typical pianistic approaches into harmony on the guitar. I often sit at the piano with the guitar looking for ways of improving voice leading on the guitar through the transparency of the piano keyboard.
Also horn players have been important to me. Of course, the love of the music of John Coltrane is one of the most constant factors through my musical life. Charlie Parker helped me in understanding the mechanisms of bebop, Jan Garbarek showed me how to make silence as important as sound in my music. Kenny Wheeler is another main factor in my evolution. His compositions are masterpieces and his improvisations on his own compositions complete the deeper understanding of his musical approach.