A moment with Bonnie Northgraves!
1. Tell me more about this new album! What're the tunes? What're the themes? What style is it? Who's on it? The DETAILS!! Any originals? The new album is all original music! That’s right, I wrote and arranged everything! The style ranges from early jazz tunes that are Super swingin and highly danceable and travels through some hard and post bop “moods”. It’s a bit eclectic but is unified by my quirky writing style and of course, the magnificent musicians who play on the record. And those folks are: Wynston Minckler-bass Dean Thiessen-piano Nick James-drums Josh Roberts-guitar Ben Henriques-saxophones Sky Lambourn-trombone And a feature solo one one track by Danny Baruffa. The theme of the record was really just a snapshot of where my life and travels had taken me over the past three years. The songs are expressions of my memories, emotions and experiences, hence the title “Between Then and Now”.
2. Tell me about the tour - where would you be going? Who's coming with you? What workshops would you be hosting? The tour is taking place in the Uk; mainly Cambridge and London. Dean and Wynston will be joking me. Dean via Beijing and Wynston via vancouver! The three of us are actually all coming from different locations to meet up in London with our drummer and dear friend Oscar Reynolds who will be the fourth member on the tour. I’ll be hosting one workshop at Haileybury College (which is somehow tied in with Cambridge university, but I’m still trying to figure out how... haha! You can leave this bracket bit out!) it’s my first time organizing something this grand as a band leader. It’s my first album, and my first tour-let alone overseas tour! So it’s a pretty big and exciting time for me right now 3. How much do you need to raise to make this happen? The goal of my kickstarter is $2500. As of this morning we are 20% funded. That’s really great, but we still have 80% to go and are just over half way through the campaign, so it’s been a bit of a slow start. It’s to be expected though as as a band leader, I’m relatively unknown still, so I think folks don’t quite know what to expect from me yet. Big things people! Big things! Hahaha!
4. What're your biggest female influences for your current style? How would you identify your style? My current style i would best describe as eclectic pre bop/swing with lots of influence from bop/hard bop/ and post bop. Some tunes are straight up swingers that are perfect to dance to. Some tunes borrow structural influence from classical music, and some heads are super “notey” in a similar fashion to bop tunes. At the end of the day, I think it’s all good music and that’s something I think people react to. My current female influences are more drawn from the current social climate. Stranger’s Ive observed, situations that I’ve been in, my friends, my family, the strong women I work with in music. 5. What do you want women and women-identifying instrumentalists to know? Don’t take shit from anyone. Period. You’re strong, and talented, and every bit worthy. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. 6. What's your trumpet/vocalist gear? My trumpet gear is a Yamaha custom Z Bobby shew (American jazz trumpeter) I’m not fussy about my mic and amp gear. I’ve also got a Jupiter pocket trumpet that I use when I’m on tour( it fits in a carry on y’all!)
7. Tell me more about being a women bandleader - what tips would you recommend to other women trying to become a bandleader themselves? I’m super lucky! The people I regularly hire and work with are amazing humans. If a person I hire is “not nice” or difficult to work with, I don’t hire them again. I’m really grateful because I’ve generally been treated with a lot of respect. But, I try my best to always be prepared, always show up on time, and be clear with my directions. Know what I want of my musicians and be able to communicate that in a clear and concise way. My advise to women and women identifying bandleaders is the same I give to everyone. Know your “stuff”, know what you want and expect from the people you hire, and be prepared. Show up with your a game. Every time. And don’t let anyone talk you out if your vision and musical quest. It’s your art, make it your way.