Interviews

Mark Wade will make you fall in love with jazz

Mark Wade will make you fall in love with jazz

Mark Wade is one of the best jazz artistsĀ in New York City. He was voted one of the top 10 bassists of 2016 by the Downbeat Magazine Reader’s Poll, and he deserve that title for sure. In his career, of more than two decades, he has a lot of experience and talent to share with us, for that reason we decided to ask him a couple of questions, and get closer to the amazing work he does.

When did you first fall in love with jazz?Screenshot_1

Originally when I started playing music, I was playing more popular styles of music like rock music. I started playing the electric bass when I was in high school. Over time I began to get more and more interested in more complex sounds and styles. Eventually this let me to discover jazz music. There was never any one moment when I “fell in love “with jazz however. It was an interest that I slowly developed over time. I started to formally study jazz a year before I went to college. From then on, I was locked in.

How did the idea for “Event Horizon” started ?

I waited a lot longer than most people do to record their first album. After I got out of school, I made my living here in New York City as a freelance musician playing various styles of music. I knew that I did not want to record my own record until I felt I had fully developed my voice as a jazz bass player and composer. In 2013 I had a chance to put together a band for a concert performance at Flushing Townhall. When I picked the band, made up of Tim Harrison and Scott Neumann who are on my CD, I knew that I had found the right combination of musicians from my music. I also felt that I was finally ready as a player and as a composer. That concert was the beginning of what became my first album “Event Horizon“. We went into the studio about a year later, and the rest is history.

We know that “Event Horizon” got some excellent critics, so how can you describe it ?fronr

The concept behind “Event Horizon” was to showcase the piano trio in a format that presented each member of the band as an equal partner. It was also important for me to have this album they made up of my music and not primarily of jazz standards. I wanted to write music that allowed for each individual member of the group to have a full range of expression on their instrument and to foster a collective sound for the ensemble. As a bass player, it is always a challenge to be as strong a soloist as the other members of the group, so this record was a real challenge for me as a player. That’s one of the things that I have enjoyed about this entire process, the experience about being able to express myself as a soloist and challenge myself to play at a higher level.

What inspires you to play jazz ?

Jazz is the language of personal expression and music of the moment. It is something that can always be new and different every time you approach it. There is always more to learn, and each situation presents a new opportunity to do things differently than you ever had before. I think this is one of the things that consistently attracts me to being a jazz musician.

Tell us more about your non-profit organisation, how did you come to that idea?Screenshot_2

My nonprofit organization, New Music Horizons, was started back in 2014 as a way to get more visibility to emerging and mid career jazz and classical composers. Playing both jazz and classical music myself, I saw many composers run into the same problems. It is always a challenge to have venues and audiences take a chance on new music. I thought it could be a very effective tool to have an organization that gave composers a chance to explain their music to new audiences and to help connect them with new potential fans of their work. I am happy to say that we have been able to receive funding from a number of sources to help us to promote the work of a group of composers at the grassroots level and give them wider recognition for their music.

If your fans like to hear you play, where can they find you next?

Right now, the trio does not have too many dates booked as we are preparing to go back into the studio in June to record our second record. However we will be performing as part of the Air Train Jazz festival in Jamaica Queens on March 30th. Details are available at my website. There will most likely be a few more performances to fill in later in the spring and early summer as well.

We congratulate Mark for his success and hope that he will surprise us with something new soon.

Milena Staniskovska

January 12th, 2017

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