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Jazz in winter – Sam Boon

Sam Boon is an Australian saxophonist, pianist, arranger and composer currently based in Melbourne. Having graced the stages of some of the world’s finest venues and festivals, Sam Boon currently enjoys balancing a rigorous live performance schedule with exciting musical collaborations.

We asked Sam a few questions in the lead up to his performance, Saxophone Giants with his Quartet Friday July 6 at 7.30pm.

JAZZ series Q. What does jazz mean to you?

Sam Boon A. Jazz for me is the one of the most honest and captivating forms of musical expression. In the moment, experimental, virtuosic – you can see right into the heart and soul of the musician who is playing the music that they hear in their head!

JAZZ series Q. What jazz musician inspires you?

Sam Boon A. It is hard to choose one! Charlie Parker for the absolute genius of bebop then Cannonball Adderly. For the modern New York era of sound and ideas I would say Kenny Garrett. I would then also have to say Maceo Parker for the FUNK! and one of my all time inspirations and mentors – Adam Simmons.

JAZZ series Q. Whats your favourite thing about winter?

Sam Boon A. Wearing woollen jumpers and overcoats, snuggling up at home and drinking stouts and dark ales.

JAZZ series Q. Whats your favourite thing about Ballarat?

Sam Boon A. That it makes the above question EXTREMELY easy to achieve being one of the coldest places I have ever lived! Also the rich music scene especially coming from the young students and the amazing history.

JAZZ series Q. Whats the best thing about live jazz performances?

Sam Boon A. The best thing about going to see a live jazz gig is that it is nothing like listening to it on a CD or radio etc.

People often think of jazz as background music for a lobby or a wedding, however it is an unique experience to watch virtuosic musicians interact with each other, the improvisation and expression that comes from a jazz gig is often a musician’s most honest and greatest voice.

I would also like to mention that in a really swingin’ up tempo “New York jazz” inspired gig (like what we are presenting for the Jazz Series) its often captivating and quite interactive for the audience as well! Moments of every genre of music coming out in the musician’s “musical vocabulary” – all the little bits and pieces that have been collected by that musician, being brought out in each phrase!

JAZZ series Q. What live music performance made an impression on you and why?

Sam Boon A. This one! Its on youtube but it really captures the essence of what I was talking about above.

Kenny Garrett Quartet live at Baltic Jazz with Kenny Kirkland piano, Jeff Tain Watts drums and Natt Reeves bass.

JAZZ series Q. How long have you been performing with the quartet?

Sam Boon A. We have been playing in various combinations and under different names and bandleaders for probably over 6 -7 years. We have started focusing on this lineup of players Olaf Scott – Piano, Adam Spiegl – Bass and Damien Ellis – Drums, with two bands. The one I band lead – The Sam Boon Quartet, and one where our drummer leads – The Damien Ellis Quartet for about 2 years.

The Sam Boon Quartet will be performing Saxophone Giants at Opulance live music venue, 203 Dana Street Ballarat, Friday July 6 as a part of the Ballarat Winter Festival.