Bassist, composer, educator and recent winner of the Western Canadian Music Awards “Jazz Artist of the Year” category Jodi Proznick was kind enough to take time out her busy schedule to answer a few questions in advance of her Friday, November 1st performance at BuckingJam Palace.

Jodi Proznick BuckingJam Blog Interview – October 2019

1) Tell us about your musical background. How did you learn to play Jazz? What is your education?

My musical background started in my playful childhood home – then piano lessons and ballet, then in school – a great elementary school music teacher and a fabulous band program at my high school. I then went to McGill to pursue a degree in music.

2) Who are your influences?

My big jazz influences are John Coltrane, Wayne Shorter, Paul Chambers, Kenny Wheeler and Shirley Horne. And the Beatles. And J.S. Bach!

3) What is your concept for your own group and what repertoire will you be performing?

I like the quartet and/or trio format – the Sun Songs project added a vocalist to my quartet, but I did write the vocal part with a horn in mind. We will be playing the music from my JUNO nominated album Sun Songs – a project that explores the polarities of life, written in response to two big life events; the birth of my son and my mother’s early onset dementia diagnosis.

4) How do you approach composing music?

Composing is very slow for me. I need time and space – which means that when life is busy, I have to grab time and space in the cracks of my day.

5) What are your future plans for this project and what other projects are you planning in the future?

I feel like this project is going to keep going for a while – we performed some of the pieces with the amazing men’s choir Chor Lioni and I am interested to see what other groups and/or collectives could recreate and reimagine the music. Chamber music? Orchestra? Big Band? Multi-media? I am open to possibilities!

6) What advice do you have for students who are interested in pursuing a career as a music educator and/or Jazz musician?

My advice for a life in music?

When you are nervous, focus in service.

When you are clear about the why, the how and the what, and they all become obvious.

Intention is everything.

Be kind and be prepared.

Show up for your life.

Find your people and love them. Make art with them.