Feature Friday with Jeremy Pelt

Feature Friday with Jeremy Pelt

Fourth of July is right around the corner! How are you celebrating? Barbeque and fireworks? Going to the lake house? Long weekend out of town? I don’t know about you, but to me, it sure feels like I have been craving a vacation for a while now, so I am really looking forward to a long weekend with family and friends. We could all use a break to relax and recharge, and what better way to get the festivities started than with a Feature Friday?

This week we are speaking with one of the most preeminent young trumpeters in the jazz world—Jeremy Pelt. Voted by Downbeat Magazine as a rising star on the trumpet, Pelt has performed with some of the biggest names in jazz, like Cliff Barbaro, Keter Betts, Bobby “Blue” Bland, and Ravi Coltrane. His latest release is Soundtrack, which Apple Music calls sublime and soaring in its harmonic imagination.

Now, you’re lucky enough to get to learn a bit more about this fiery and lyrical trumpeter …

What motivates you?

That’s a hard question to answer, as my motivation changes daily.

 What games did you play when you were a child?

Monopoly.

 What was your first job?

 My first job was a student! Alongside that, I was very entrepreneurial and to that effect I had a car washing business in my neighborhood where I would travel with a pail and sponge and wash people’s cars. I called it “Jeremy’s Jolly Car Wash.”

 What was your most beloved song as a child and why?

I didn’t have any beloved songs in my childhood but, interestingly enough, there are old songs that I hear to this day that take me back to my childhood, and then that’s when I remember the songs fondly. But it’s filtered through an adult lens.

Feature Friday with John Di Martino

Feature Friday with John Di Martino

Summer is really heating up—finally! I don’t know about you, but for a while there, when we were having fifty-degree mornings and evenings, it didn’t really feel like summer. Now, though, with the sound of the ice cream truck around the corner and the sweat slick on the back of my neck, I’m ready to turn on some country music, take a dip in the pool and crack open a beer!

Country music is the sound of summer in America, and there’s really not a hotter country album out right now than Cryin’ In My Whiskey, which offers jazzy renditions of your most favorite country classics, like “Whenever You Come Around.”

And this Friday, we get to chat a little bit with composer, arranger, and pianist John Di Martino, who is featured in Cryin’ In My Whiskey, and who journalist Mark Ruffin described as “one of the most inventive small group arrangers in NYC.”

What was your most beloved song as a child and why?

“Once in a Lifetime” by Anthony Newly.

What is your favorite country song (that is not included in Cryin’ in My Whiskey)? 

“El Paso” by Marty Robbins.

What was it like rehearsing and producing this album? 

I really enjoyed producing and arranging this project. Kathy Salem and I are thinking about making another country music CD featuring a male singer!

Our album Cryin’ In My Whiskey is available on all major music platforms now and in our store.

Feature Friday with Nicolas Bearde

Feature Friday with Nicolas Bearde

Sometimes the week just flies by smoothly by without a hitch! The weekdays blur effortlessly into the weekend, just like the fuzzy white poplar seed pods floating around in the air.

Those hazy days of summer have officially begun and what better way to melt into the encroaching sea of bliss than with a Feature Friday? Today we are chatting with the lovely Nicolas Bearde, whose silky baritone draws in crowds from all around the West Coast!  

Born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee, award-winning vocalist Nicolas Bearde has always loved listening to music with his mother, and now, he has recorded six CDs, the most recent of which peaked in the Top 20 on the Jazz Week Charts. Bearde also has experience working as a music educator at the California Jazz Conservatory.

If you are not playing jazz, what is your favorite music to play?

R&B and hard funk! Or something like Caribbean-Soul… so much to choose from!

If you were a song, which would you be and why?

I’d likely be something out of the Stevie Wonder catalogue—he goes so deep. Or more likely—at this point in my life—probably “Here’s To Life,” which is an Artie Butler and Phyllis Molinary composition. I think it speaks to where I am in life right now—I seem to be in a period of constant reflection… 

Do you have a favorite place to vacation?

Hawaii is one of my favorite places on earth! I don’t get there very often, but I feel a deep connection with the green-ness of it and the constancy of the ocean-song.

Who is your dream collaboration (living or legend)?

It would be interesting to have spent time with composer/songwriter/arranger like Duke Ellington or the songwriting team of Gamble and Huff. 

What is the best piece of advice you have been given?

Treat others as you would be treated… a golden oldie you might say, but it works in every culture!