Posted by Sandra Thacker, SCENE Producer | Tuesday August 14, 2012
Karl Jannuska (Nicholas Mead)
I think that you can benefit as a musician from living anywhere in the world and just being curious about what there is to learn wherever you are. I tell all of my students that the way to learn music is simply to listen and play as much as possible.
Karl Jannuska is one of the musicians who is making the long trek home to take part in this friendly festival. Karl lived in Brandon between the age of 9 and 17. During that time he got involved in band programs, went to jazz camps and started playing on a regular basis.
Jannuska's exposure to musicians from many places whetted his appetite for challenges beyond Manitoba. He now lives and works in Paris, where he performs, teaches, composes, and produces records.
SCENE decided to ask Karl five fast questions, to get to know him better.
Describe how you went from Montreal to New York and then Paris. After high school I studied music at McGill University in Montreal. By the end of my degree I knew some musicians who lived in New York. At that time most of the music I was listening to was coming from NY so it was my dream to move there. In 1999 I received some funding to study there with the drummer Tom Rainey. I lived in New York for nine months and it was a fantastic experience but a week before moving there I fell in love with a french girl who lived in Paris. I eventually decided to move there to be with her. I've been living in Paris for twelve years now. We're married and we have a 6 year old daughter named Iris.
How have you grown as a musician based in Europe? I think that you can benefit as a musician from living anywhere in the world and just being curious about what there is to learn wherever you are. I tell all of my students that the way to learn music is simply to listen and play as much as possible. There is a lot of great music in France and I have had lots of opportunities to play with many great musicians from Europe and all over the world. I have learned so much from all of these experiences.
Tell me about The Halfway Tree song and Sienna Dahlen. It's lovely! Sienna Dahlen is one of my favourite singers in the world! We studied music together at McGill. She happened to be in Paris about four years ago and we decided that it would be nice to collaborate. She started by writing some lyrics on music then we went into the studio (a day in Montreal and a day in Paris) and that music became my third cd as a leader, called Streaming. Having her voice on my music really feels natural for me. We went back into the studio in May 2011 and recorded the cd The Halfway Tree.
The Halfway Tree is the enormous tree that lies halfway between Brandon and Winnipeg. I chose that title because the music is halfway between pop and jazz (not "jazz fusion" but a different blend of the two worlds...) and because the band is made up of an equal number of Canadians and Europeans.
What is the Paris Jazz Underground? Four years ago I got together with some friends and decided to form a musicians' collective. We called ourselves the Paris Jazz Underground (which makes reference to another musicians' collective with the same name in Brooklyn, NY). The idea was to combine our efforts to expose our music to a wider audience. We set up our own record label, PJU Records, made a website, toured Brazil last year, and set up a mini-festival which was broadcast live on the Paris Radio station TSF JAZZ. We've had some excellent reviews in France and around Europe. We've had two regular concert series in clubs in Paris and recently we recorded a cd which will be released next November.
What do you love/hate about living in Paris? Paris is a beautiful city and sometimes I'll be walking home late at night and see the Eiffel Tower lit up or see the reflection of the lights on the Seine and it takes my breath away. I don't know anyone who doesn't like Paris! It is however a very expensive city and sometimes the crowded subway doesn't smell very good.
Don't miss hearing Karl Jannuska at the Lorne Watson Recital Hall in Brandon on Saturday August 18 at 7:30 p.m.. The concert will be with Sienna Dahlen, Ben and Jesse Dietschi, Will Bonness, Keith Price and Greg Gatien.
Other concerts this week include: Tuesday August 14: Art of the French Horn Wednesday August 15: Celebrating the Voice Thursday August 16: The Music of Jocelyn Morlock Friday August 17: The Augustfest Quartet Saturday August 18: A Celebration of Jazz
For more information and to reserve seats call the Brandon University at 204 727 9631.