The Recording Academy played host to GRAMMYs On The Road at the Detroit Jazz Festival on Aug. 31 – Sept. 3 in downtown Detroit. GRAMMY.com conducted exclusive backstage interviews with artists performing at the festival, including GRAMMY-nominated trumpet players Dave Douglas and Christian Scott.
Douglas discussed the Festival of New Trumpet Music, his creative influences and music education, among other topics.
"What I've found for myself is I try to make sure that I'm always learning too," said Douglas. "I feel especially in music that somebody who is coming to study wants to know that the teacher is still growing too. … Music is this universal truth. We all have something unique inside of ourselves that we can share."
Douglas is a New York-based trumpeter, composer and educator. Since 2005, Douglas has operated his own record label, Greenleaf Music, releasing his own recordings and other jazz artists such as Donny McCaslin and Linda Oh. He has received two career GRAMMY nominations for Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual Or Group for The Infinite in 2002 and Best Contemporary Jazz Album for Keystone in 2005. He is the co-founder and director of the Festival of New Trumpet Music, which celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2012. His latest Dave Douglas Quintet project, Be Still, will be released Sept. 25. The album features vocalist Aoife O'Donovan, marking the first time Douglas has featured a vocalist on one of his recordings.
Scott discussed his education at Berklee College of Music in Boston, his signature model Bb trumpet and the "stretch" music subgenre, among other topics.
"The music that I make, the younger musicians are referring to it as 'stretch' music," said Scott. "It's like a new sort of sound in jazz. It's just like a new type of fusion where we're trying to [incorporate] all these different vernacular and musical contexts into the jazz idiom."
Born in New Orleans, Scott is the nephew of jazz saxophonist Donald Harrison. A graduate of Berklee College of Music, Scott played in the Berklee Monterey Quartet, an ensemble comprising the institution's top musicians. In 2006 he released his major label debut, Rewind That, on Concord Records. The album garnered Scott a GRAMMY nomination for Best Contemporary Jazz Album. His 2007 album, Anthem, was partly inspired by his experiences in witnessing Hurricane Katrina. The album features bass by GRAMMY winner Esperanza Spalding. Scott's most recent album, Christian aTunde Adjuah, was released in July. The album peaked at No. 2 on Billboard's Jazz Albums chart.
In addition to artist interviews, The Recording Academy also presented GRAMMY SoundTables featuring Detroit Jazz Festival performers discussing their music and careers. Participants included GRAMMY winners Terence Blanchard, Gary Burton and Joe Lovano.