Tim Tamashiro is going to take up residency at Frankie's this weekend! Catch him on Friday, April 22, Saturday, April 23, and Sunday, April 24 at 8 PM. This guy is truly one of a kind- we couldn't resist asking him a few questions...
1. Tell us a bit about why you coined the phrase "drinky jazz", and how you think it injects a new, fun side into jazz.
I often encounter people who tell me, "I don't like jazz". So I wanted a way to diffuse their distaste for jazz. That's when I came up with a counter statement where I just tell them, "There are only two kinds of jazz: "thinky" and "drinky". I sing "drinky". I've see people completely change their mind about hating jazz in a fraction of a second.
There's nothing wrong with either thinky or drinky jazz. Thinky jazz gets the lion’s share of attention because it's directed to existing diehard fans. Drinky jazz is more retail because it's directed at the jazz dabblers. These are people who see no use for jazz in their everyday life... unless it's accompanied with a bottle of wine or a cocktail. My ultimate mission is to make drinky jazz the social lubricant of jazz.
2. You say that you are a "passionate believer in jazz as the ultimate music education"; can you expand on this?
When a person decides to get an MBA they often take many classes that will prepare them with book smarts and real world experience. When they complete their MBA they will have a set of tools that will allow them to do anything in their field. Jazz is kinda [sic] like the MBA of music in my opinion. Jazz is the ultimate music education.
If a student is accomplished enough to get a degree in jazz studies, they will have a complete set of tools at their disposal for the rest of their lives. Jazz gives you book smarts to theorize and street smarts to improvise.
I've seen my friend Dave Pierce (2010 Vancouver Olympics) use his book smarts to write arrangements on an airplane on his way to NYC so he can get his musicians to play them for Barbra Streisand when he lands. He uses his street smarts to email his arrangement to the studio, take a cab, call the engineer, shake everyone's hands, throw them into the studio and get them to play the arrangement for Barbra on the spot... without anyone freaking out. He's hired the best musicians in the world. He knows how to get the sound he's after. He can roll with the punches.
Jazz gives students a great set of tools to do whatever they want. From classical to movie soundtracks; studio to stage, oompa band to country band. Where there's work, they can do it. That's the ultimate music education in my regard.
3. I have to ask; what's your favourite bad joke? Favourite jazz standard?
My favourite bad joke is, "I'm half Japanese and half German. The top half is Japanese."
Favourite jazz standard "Have You Met Miss Jones."