GREG ABATE


Testimonial

I have not played a better baritone or tenor mouthpiece than the DURGA baritone or GAIA tenor. I have more freedom and flexibility and the evenness and clarity in all registers is just amazing! The notes are fluid and just pop out with less effort. I don't have to concentrate on the mouthpiece.I am thrilled to have a more refined sound that is still 'me'.

Biography

Greg Abate jazz saxophonist, flutist, composer continues as an International Jazz/Recording Artist with 150 days a year touring the globe. In the mid 70's after finishing a four year program at Berklee College Of Music, Greg played leadalto for the Ray Charles Orchestra for 2 years. In 1978 Greg formed his group Channel One which was afavorite in the New England area and from there had the opportunity to play tenor sax with the revivedArtie Shaw Orchestra under leadership of Dick Johnson from 1986 to '87. Greg then ventured out asa post hard bop soloist playing Jazz Festivals, Jazz Societies and Jazz Clubs throughout the U.S. Canadaand abroad, including most of Europe, UK, and Moscow and Georgia Russia.Greg recorded his first CD Live At Birdland NYC in 1991 on the Candid Jazz Label with the trio ofJames Williams, Rufus Reid and Kenny Washington. To this date Greg has recorded over 12 other recordings and was nominated for a Grammy for his 2004 recording EVOLUTION in four categories. JamesWilliams, Harvie S and Billy Hart comprised the trio.Greg is also an adjunct professor of Jazz Studies at Rhode Island College and is also a very activejazz clinician with co. sponsorship from the Conn - Selmer Instrument Co., conducting workshops andmaster classes through the U.S and abroad.
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Inspiration

Why did you choose to become a musician?
Music is a sense of freedom, also freedom of speech if you will. It is a fun thing! It is meditative and Zen like! I have been playing music, not jazz, since 6th grade where my first instrument was clarinet. I played clarinet in classical studies through elementary school, junior high and then in the 9th grade, first year of high school, I started on alto sax which is my main horn but I also play tenor soprano and baritone sax and flute and piano. These are also main horns when I play each one.

What is your experience when you feel connected into the music?
It is like a heartbeat throughout me and true joy. All thoughts go away while I play jazz. It is peaceful in my head.

What is your experience of when you don't feel connected to your music?
It is an awkward feeling and to try to get in that free musical state can be difficult if there are many things going on that may cause distraction. In this case, I feel like I must try hard to over come this and let it go as one of those not as good times. It is always different, like a photo, a solo, it is always different and each minute of out lives are different.

Where does your inspiration comes from? What does it feel like?
It comes from my life, my experiences from a child, people I meet, it comes from all the great players that I have heard and music that I have heard it comes from within through a higher power.

What is your experience while improvising? Does it relate to any spirituality you may practice in your life?
Improvising to me is not jazz it is a means to get to play jazz which comes from many years of practice. My jazz playing is because I learned to improvise and sort out certain things in music theory and technique which enabled me to become a jazz player. My experience in playing jazz is very free, I have reached a level of effortless in my playing and I approach it spontaneously and in the moment not premeditated. It is a work in progress. I never get bored or tired of it.

Where does your inspiration while composing come from? What is your experience of that inspiration like?
I may be driving in my car or flying in a jet somewhere to a gig or just to the store and I think of lines and remember them then I will get to a piano and fit chords to my melodies. Also, I am inspired by chords themselves but comping changes on the piano I head many melodies that I fit in thus composing many tunes.

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