Nearly everyone would agree that music is one of the most significant and enduring art forms ever created by mankind, though most people still view it primarily as entertainment. An astute few seem capable of looking beyond music's obvious entertainment value, and among these is bassist Russel Blake
. He views music as both a tool for healing the spirit, and as a means of removing the cultural barriers which divide us, by serving as mankind's universal language. Blake strives to convey this message not only through his music, but also through his words and actions. To Russel Blake, being a musician is a gift which carries with it a serious obligation.
For the latest installment of her column, Mikayla's Totally Jazzed--aimed at bringing a younger demographic to jazz--teenage saxophonist Mikayla Gilbreath profiles bassist Russel Blake. An artist deserving of greater recognition, Blake has played with everone from Sonny Rollins and Paquito D'Riviera to TS Monk...and The Village People. He's brought his musical message to schools and correctional institutions. Throughout this fascinating interview, Mikayla digs deep into Blake's music and his thoughts about its spiritual power and the responsibilities that go along with it.
Check out Mikayla's Totally Jazzed and Russel Blake: Transcending Expectations at AAJ today!
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