October will be an amazing month for the audiences all over Turkey. Performances in various cities and countless venues throughout the country will delight the concertgoers (as usual, a huge kudos will go to Akbank Jazz Fest, celebrating their 28th). Among all the promoted artists this month, we find some of them a little more dear to our hearts, closer to our ever-changing tastes. The American guitarist Will Brahm is one of them.
We had a brief chat with the artist who’s very much looking forward to visit our country next week.
Born in Portland, Oregon, Will Brahm moved to Los Angeles in 2007 and attended the Cole Conservatory of music at Cal State Long Beach in California, graduating in 2012 with a bachelors degree in jazz guitar performance as a 5 time K-jazz scholar. Having always loved music from different cultures around the world, Will formed his world music group “Homenaje”, releasing their debut album “La Mariposa y el Mentiroso” in 2017, featuring all his original compositions. He tours extensively within the United States and has also toured to Asia, Canada, and Europe with his music. He also plays with the critically acclaimed New West Guitar Group, and has worked with artists including The Gordon Goodwin Phat Band, Kim Richmond, Jimmy Branly, Otmaro Ruiz, Gretchen Parlato, Sara Gazarek, and Jane Monheit.
Thanks for taking the time to chat with us, Will. Our Turkish guitar aficionados are familiar with your high level craft but, they’re also curious about your musical background.
Your kind words mean so much to me, thank you. As far back as I can remember as a child I was always obsessed with listening to music. It would excite me and give me goosebumps! When I got a guitar for Christmas of 8th grade, that sealed my fate as a guitar and music lover. At home there was always music around us. My father dabbled in guitar and other instruments, and my brother liked music but never played.
Were you self-taught prior to your Cal State days? I assume you’ve had some formal training before the conservatory.
In some ways, that was the case. I studied privately in middle school and high school with various teachers, notably Portland guitarist Dan Balmer, who was and still is a world class player and great inspiration to me.
Inspirations, influences, play major role in an artist’s development.
Certainly. I’ve had many influences and heroes around our art form. To name a few; Israeli/NYC based guitarist Gilad Hekselman, Al Di Meola, Pat Metheny, Jonathan Kreisberg and Ralph Towner. I also love Eddie Van Halen, my roots for rock riffs.
You’re very much active in the live jazz scene. We’ve noticed you like intimate, small settings.
True. I enjoy going to small intimate clubs to hear and perform music. The music connects more to the audience in smaller rooms, and the musicians get the energy of the close crowd. For instance, LA’s jazz clubs like the Blue Whale in Little Tokyo, and ETA in Highland Park are the ones I always enjoy. I also like playing on big stages and venues, but the intimacy of the small jazz club is very special to making art.
Our audience is also interested in your sound and gear, if you don’t mind sharing.
Oh, sure. I like sharing the details on my setup; I use a Gibson 335, and Gibson 175, a Marchione 59 burst semi-hollow. Also, Strymon, TC electronic & Boss pedals, a Fender Deluxe reverb amplifier, and Henriksen amplifiers.
Thanks for all this, Will. Seems like you’re busy touring these days.
Yes, keeping busy with gigs constantly. I am currently on a 2 week west coast tour across California, Oregon and Washington, then will be heading to your beautiful country to play a number of shows in Istanbul and Ankara. I can’t wait! Thanks to all of you for making things happen.
Oct 12 @ Samm’s Bistro (Ankara)
Oct 14 @ Santral Dukkan (Istanbul)
Oct 17 @ Nardis Jazz Club (Istanbul)
Oct 18 @ Bova (Istanbul)
Oct 19 @ The Badau (Istanbul)