I love Amsterdam. The city is vibrant and alive. It's fresh and so open. It's definitely one of my favorite places.
Italy has great food and Barcelona has great energy.
Ultimately, what we do as musicians, I think of us as a type of emotional engineer. We essential take these sound waves, this sound, and we organize it into emotion, and that's how we connect with our audiences.
Being at home with my family always inspires me. I find it hard to be inspired when I'm on the move. I'm not creative when I'm jet-lagged and sleeping in strange hotels.
I'm a spa person. Massages keep me relaxed, so I always try to make time for them when I tour.
Miles Davis is a major influence of mine in terms of the way that I am as a bandleader.
I listen to a lot of singers, because I find phrasing to be one of the most essential elements of playing.
I taught myself to read music at a very young age, so when I started to take lessons in school, the teachers used to give me other instruments to keep me busy, because I was more advanced than the other kids.
I don't really see huge barriers between any styles of music.
I grew in the inner city, listening to Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway, James Brown, The Commodores - lots of soul music.
If you listen to the way I speak, I have a lot of rhythm, use a lot of accents. When I'm playing my instrument, that concept comes through very clearly.
One of the things I'm adamant about as a bandleader is not micromanaging. I'm an advocate for the concept of allowing everyone to be fully vested in what they're doing, so everyone contributes whatever they're inspired to contribute.
What happens when an art form becomes ambiguous, I think, is that the standards are lowered. You can say anything is jazz. So I think it's important to reflect on what made jazz so special.
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