This past week Coastal Jazz had the opportunity to speak with Scott Amendola about life, touring & the pursuit of making music.
Catch the Scott Amendola Band featuring Jenny Scheinman, Nels Cline, Jeff Parker and John Shifflet at Studio Records on November 15!
Coastal Jazz: If you could sit down with any musician (living or dead) who would it be and what would you talk about?
Scott Amendola: Wow… that’s a tough one. I was fortunate enough to see a lot of my heroes who are no longer with us. And meet some of them. Thelonious Monk comes to mind. I’d ask him about composing, and about being a band leader. And I’d want to know what he thought was the most important part of improvising. But also what he thought about being a working musician. This is tough question because I’d also want to sit down with Jeff Buckley, the songwriter, guitar player who died at the young age of 30. He left us way too early. I’d ask him the same questions. But also about his experience of performing and what it meant to him. By the way, I would hope that if I got to sit down and talk to them that I was also able to persuade them to jam with me!
CJ: Musicians tend to be on the road a lot, what is the strangest experience you’ve ever had?
SA: Hmmmm…In a lot of ways, it’s all strange, but in a good way. I’ve been fortunate enough to experience all kinds of cultures, and people. One of the most interesting tours I was on was in western China. I was playing with a trio in Urumqi, and Kashgar, where the people are known as Uyghur. The people were incredibly warm, and extremely curious. We were playing jazz, and I have a feeling most of them, if not all, had never heard jazz live, or maybe at all. They would applaud at the oddest moments when we were playing. It didn’t make any sense. We couldn’t figure out what they were reacting to. It was an incredible experience.
CJ: You practised incessantly when you attended Boston’s Berklee College of Music. What kept you motivated?
SA: Music. My love and passion for music and to be a musician. When one is so driven, in my opinion, even saying that doesn’t do it justice. In other words: there’s a drive deep inside that kept me in the practice room 12-14 hours a day. I don’t think I can really articulate that feeling, but I can say that there was no stopping me.
CJ: If you could describe your perfect future what would it hold?
SA: My perfect future… It’s been an incredible, mysterious, adventurous, difficult, fun, fortunate, hard, exciting, and more, journey up to this point. I hope it continues and that I keep being able to do what I do. I’m grateful for the continued interest.
GET TICKETS to see Scott Amendola Band this Sunday November 15 at Studio Records, 919 Granville Street.