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Influential: Joshua White’s (Local) Playlist

 April 15, 2021 at 12:55 PM PDT

Speaker 1: 00:00 Jazz pianist, Joshua White thrives on improvising with other musicians during performances. He had to shift his gears a little during the pandemic and look internally for inspiration and even embrace virtual platforms. But as performers are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel, white is looking forward to the thrill and essence of live jazz for our influential music series. We asked him to make us a playlist and he put five iconic local musicians whose work has impacted him and the jazz scene in San Diego and beyond here's Joshua White in his own words, Speaker 2: 00:46 Since the pandemic began, there's been a drastic change in my practice in terms of performance, because a lot of what I did as a musician was live performance based. So not only working on my music and writing and arranging, but actually performing in front of live audiences and testing out new material and new arrangements with my fellow musicians. And thankfully things are starting to open back up. So we're getting a chance as musicians to try all these ideas that have been as this sort of gestation for, you know, this past year. Speaker 3: 01:21 Yeah. Speaker 2: 01:27 Outside of a musical collaboration. I'm always interested in working with people who have a interesting perspective and a way of communicating that perspective and who are interested in collaboration, but also, you know, have an interesting way of putting their ideas together in the moment and how the capacity to respond to any given piece of information, any given stimuli at any given time, you know, exploring the ideas in the moment. Speaker 3: 02:05 [inaudible] Speaker 2: 02:05 I think I met Charles MacPherson back in 2003 at the inaugural year of the UCS de jazz camp. And just so happens at that program. I got to meet some of the greatest internationally touring artists who also live here in San Diego. And one of those individuals was the great Charles MacPherson and it was truly an honor to meet him and to hear him live in person at that formative time and my development. So in meeting Charles MacPherson and learning more about him, his history and his music, I immediately went to the record store. And I would say this particular reporting suddenly was the first recording that I purchased by Charles MacPherson. Speaker 3: 02:59 [inaudible] the Speaker 2: 03:00 Record blew me away. I mean, just hearing him in person is amazing as well as getting the records. And thankfully over the years, I've had a chance to collaborate with him on many different occasions and, you know, it's always been a great and wonderful learning experience to be next to a real master of this musical tradition that you know, is most commonly referred to. As jazz. I met Holly Hoffman at that same music program at UCLA in 2003. And I would say that our connection was through the flute because at that time I was playing the flute as well. I've also admired all of her recorded work. And I, thankfully I have the honor of working with her on April 17th, we're playing a live stream concert of her music and she allowed me the opportunity to pick my favorite recorded material. And we will be playing that music at the live stream concert, which includes one of my favorites further adventures. Speaker 3: 04:18 [inaudible] Speaker 2: 04:28 What I like about further adventures is that it has an interesting musical form and it has a lot of fun sections to play over. And that's really what in jazz or improvised music. It's not only do we join the melodies and the chords and things like that, but they present an interesting area from which we can improvise and create from that framework. Speaker 3: 04:55 [inaudible] Speaker 2: 04:59 I always equate working with Mark dresser and his music and his bands is sort of my college level experience in music theory and composition, because in my personal experience, he's been one of my favorite composers and he writes these such interesting melodies and harmonies and everything he's been one of the musicians I would say, has opened up a new world to me in terms of what I thought was possible in music and improvisation and composition, and this particular song para waltz, we've played this many, many times together. Speaker 3: 05:57 [inaudible], Speaker 2: 05:58 I've always told him that this particular composition of his is my favorite melody by far that he's written. I love the chords and I love the harmony and how everything just works together in like a harmonious fashion. And I'm always grateful to have the opportunity to collaborate and work with Mark on any project. Like if he has a recording project and he asked me if I'm available or a live performance I'm there. And if I have a project, I know he's going to bring something remarkable and truly special to Speaker 3: 06:29 Occasion, halfway crawl around my neck. Yes. Anyway, Speaker 2: 06:42 First met Janae Kendrick. So it's an interesting story. I was playing with Gilbert Castiano at a jam session. I believe it might've been on Thursdays or Wednesday nights, many years ago. It was at seven grand in North park. So I had been playing there for a few years already. And at a jam session is customary that musicians or whomever would like to sit in, you know, once invited, they're able to sit in and join the house band. So I had never met Shanay and she came up to the band Stan and said, I'm a vocalist I would like to sit in. So she taught me just to start wherever I would like to start. And I just started in my natural abstract space and I wanted to see where she would go with that. And she just jumped right in and just floored me. And I knew from then if I had a phone, Speaker 3: 07:50 [inaudible] Speaker 2: 07:54 It just floors me every time that we work together because not only is she a brilliant musician, but she's just a wonderful person. And she adds such a great energy and a great spirit to every ensemble that we're able to work together. I also met Mike Wofford that first year at the UCS D jazz camp in 2003. And really you can pick any recording from Mike Wofford and you're going to get, you know, a world of knowledge from his playing. But I think that his arrangement of the old standard, my old flame just is characteristic of his grace and nuance at the piano. Speaker 3: 08:45 [inaudible] Speaker 2: 08:46 I don't know that I can see into the future in terms of where live performance is going post pandemic with the introduction of more virtual performances. Because quite honestly, I prefer just performing live as to performing virtually because I'm open to the opportunity of both experiences, the virtual as well as the live, but I will always be in favor of the live performances and letting it just live in that moment. And then once it's gone, it's gone. Speaker 3: 09:28 [inaudible] Speaker 1: 09:28 That was local jazz pianist, Joshua White. He performed Saturday night in the anthology series live stream alongside Holly Hoffman and Gilbert Cascianos. You can find more details as well as a playlist of all these tracks on our website@kpbs.org. Speaker 3: 10:11 [inaudible].

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Listen to five San Diego musicians whose works have impacted jazz pianist Joshua White.
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