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 saxist Tia Fuller and GRAMMY-winning pianist Arturo O'Farrill.
Fuller discussed her new album, Angelic Warrior, creative influences and performing with GRAMMY winner Beyoncé, among other topics.
"Life is my main influence and inspiration," said Fuller. "Outside of all of the musicians around me, audiences are really inspiring as well."
Fuller is a composer, arranger, bandleader, alto saxist, soprano saxist, and flautist. She attended Spelman College in Atlanta where she studied under saxist Joe Jennings and earned a bachelor's degree in music. She received her master's in music, jazz pedagogy and performance from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Currently based in Jersey City, N.J., Fuller has released three albums, Pillar Of Strength (2005), Healing Space (2007) and Decisive Steps (2010). From 2006–2010 she performed as part of Beyoncé's all-female touring band. Set for release on Sept. 25, Angelic Warrior features special guest appearances by GRAMMY winners Terri Lyne Carrington and Dianne Reeves, and bassist John Patitucci.
O'Farrill discussed his early music education, performing in a band with his sons and memorable moments in his career, among other topics.
"I always leaned toward free jazz … experimental jazz and progressive jazz. I feel like jazz is just part of the flavor and palette that you have as a musician to experiment with," said O'Farrill.
Born in Mexico and raised in New York, O'Farrill emerged as a prominent figure in the Afro-Cuban jazz movement. The son of bandleader Chico O'Farrill, Arturo O'Farrill attended the Manhattan School of Music and the Brooklyn College Conservatory. He has performed with artists including Harry Belafonte, Lester Bowie, Dizzy Gillespie, and Wynton Marsalis, among others. He released his debut solo album, Blood Lines, in 1999. He earned his first GRAMMY Award in 2008 with the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra for Best Latin Jazz Album for Song For Chico. His most recent album is 2012's The Noguchi Sessions.
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.