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-winning bassist John Patitucci saxist and GRAMMY-nominated saxist Chris Potter.
Patitucci discussed musical inspirations growing up, playing in a band with his brother and advice for aspiring musicians, among other topics.
"Get a work ethic," said Patitucci regarding advice for aspiring musicians. "People are so bombarded by information that they think by seeing it that they're doing it, or have acquired the skill, and it's just not true. You have to put in the effort."
Patitucci is considered one of the premier bassists in the jazz genre. Throughout the '80s he performed with artists such as GRAMMY-winning guitarist Larry Carlton, saxist Stan Getz and trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, among others. In 1985 he became a member of Chick Corea's Elektric and Akoustic Bands. In 1987 he released his debut solo self-titled album, which peaked at No. 1 on Billboard's Jazz Albums chart and garnered a GRAMMY nomination for Best Jazz Fusion Performance. He earned his first GRAMMY in 2005 as part of the Wayne Shorter Quartet for Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual Or Group for Beyond The Sound Barrier. His most recent studio release under the John Patitucci Trio moniker is 2009's Remembrance.
Potter discussed early music education, when he developed an affinity for jazz and plans for the future, among other topics.
"There was something deeper there that I heard in [jazz] that really drew me to it and made me want to find my own expression within that form," said Potter.
A native of Chicago, Potter began playing piano as a child and eventually learned to play tenor, alto and soprano saxophone, bass clarinet and flute. He attended the Manhattan School of Music in New York and in 1992 released his first album, Presenting Chris Potter. Though later in his career he suffered from Meniere's disease, a condition that deterred his hearing in one ear, he continued to release albums and garnered his first GRAMMY nomination in 1999 for Best Jazz Instrumental Solo for "In Vogue." Potter's most recent GRAMMY nomination came in 2010 with the Dave Holland Quintet for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album for Pathways.
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.
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