10 Fingers: Gretchen Parlato

by Ella Campbell

After the second set at Kerrytown Concert House in Ann Arbor, I was able to catch up with Gretchen Parlato and ask her a few questions. We are very excited about her – not only is she a phenomenal musician, soulful vocalist, playful front-woman, and fun person to talk to, she is the first woman we’ve interviewed for the jazz-girl blog!

1. What is your favorite dance music? Michael Jackson

2. What is your favorite brain music? Brad Mehldau solo albums.

3. What was the first album you bought that you couldn’t stop listening to? “Duran Duran. I don’t remember the specific album, but it was definitely Duran Duran. An entire album of Duran Duran.”

4. What is your favorite basement music? Bob Marley

5. What is the most profound moment you experienced during private lessons? When my students cry. I can see a breakthrough happening. There is something in their spirit or mind that was closed, and is starting to open, and they are breaking down the walls in their development. And I’ve been there too. I remember those lessons when I was a student.

6. Who are some musicians you would like to see perform live?
Miles Davis
Sammy Davis Jr
Michael Jackson
Taylor Eigsti!
Betty Carter
Whitney Houston. She would have been wonderful to see perform.

7. Who is your favorite musician to play with? Taylor Eigsti!

8. What song was stuck in your head today? “Stop. Wait. What was it? Oh. The Chili’s Baby Back Ribs commercial!” She nudged Taylor’s shoulder, “Taylor. What was that rhythm we came up with?” He started tapping on his knee. “Oh right!” She started humming. “And Burniss kept calling it baby rock tibs.” She laughed, “Make sure you write that down. Baby Rock Tibs!” Taylor chimed in “babyrocktibs”

9. What music did you listen to while you were growing up that has stuck with you? My grandma always played Ella’s records.

10. Who is a young musician we should be looking out for? Becca Stevens

Here is a fun video to watch in order to see how playful this woman and her band are. It may be silly, but it inspires me! It’s good to see exhausted and hard-working musicians that stay so light-hearted!

Until next time,
Swing sisters, swing!


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