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 guitarist Kevin Eubanks and GRAMMY-winning saxist Joe Lovano.
Eubanks discussed the event that inspired him to learn to play guitar, creative influences and the biggest moments of his career, among other topics.
"It's not all about music and it's not all about the career [and] it's not all about all the things that we get taught to want to achieve," said Eubanks. "The best achievement any of us can make is to achieve an openness that will allow as much to come in as possible."
Hailing from Philadelphia, Eubanks is graduate of the Berklee College of Music in Boston. He has performed with a variety of musicians, including drummer Roy Haynes and saxist Sam Rivers. He released his debut solo album, Guitarist, in 1982, which peaked in the Top 40 on Billboard's Jazz Albums chart. Several albums followed, including 1992's Turning Point, which peaked at No. 8 on the chart. Eubanks has earned five GRAMMY nominations as part of the Dave Holland Quintet, the most recent coming in 2010 for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album for Pathways. Eubanks is the former musical director of "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno," a position he held from 1995–2010.
Lovano discussed his early introduction to jazz, his music education and advice for aspiring musicians, among other topics.
"You have to develop roots in the music," said Lovano. "That not only means studying your instrument deeply, it's studying the history of recorded music and [knowing] musicians and where they're from."
The son of well-known saxist Tony "Big T" Lovano, Cleveland native Joe Lovano began playing alto sax as a child. After high school, Lovano attended the Berklee College of Music where he discovered modal harmony and studied the music of artists such as John Coltrane. He released his debut album, Tones, Shapes And Colors, in 1985 featuring pianist Ken Werner. He has earned 11 GRAMMY nominations to date, including as a solo artist and with the John Patitucci Trio and his Us Five band. His first GRAMMY came in 2000 for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album for 52nd Street Themes.
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.
Come back tomorrow for more GRAMMYs On The Road at Detroit Jazz Festival coverage.