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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Joey Sommerville: Talkin' all that jazz

  • CJ Garcia

Atlanta-based trumpeter Joey Sommerville is a guy with a lot on his mind, and he's not shy about opining, especially when it comes to the music he's dedicated his career to - jazz, that is. In a recent conversation, Sommerville, who's putting the finishing touches on a new album titled, Overnight Sensation, and is set to perform Fri., Dec. 13, at the Musical Winter Nights concert, shared a few thoughts about the current state of jazz and his place within the music.

On what kind of jazz artist he is: "I shun categorization. I think music is music. It's either good or bad. Either you like it or you don't. ... I consider myself more of a contemporary jazz artist, if you have to put a name on it."

The origins of smooth jazz: "Smooth jazz isn't really a category that musicians came up with. That was a radio marketing kind of thing that happened over years of time."

What happened to jazz radio: "The radio structure for jazz radio has changed; the only stations that are left standing are the stations that didn't fit the commercial format. So the more eclectic stations, the ones that were playing me anyway, [are still around]."

How audiences process the music: "People won't necessarily remember what you played, won't remember the notes - most of the people listening to you aren't musicians anyway. They might not remember the name of the song, but they will remember how you made them feel. And I'm always trying to make them feel something."

Check out Joey Sommerville in action this Friday: $30. 6 p.m. Callanwolde Fine Arts Center, 980 Briarcliff Road NE. 404-872-5338.

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