This week we feature Rich Gillespie, a multi-instrumentalist and producer who has performed and recorded music in a wide range of styles and genres. He participated in the Jazzology program in 2012.
We connected with Rich to see what he’s been up to!
1) Describe your experience with the Jazzology program. What was your favourite aspect?
Before arriving at the station for the radio interview, each musician is asked to select some material that they wish to have played over the air. This was a fun aspect of the program for me because it made me have to think quite deeply about which artists I would select and why they were so important to me. In the end I feel that I gained a deeper appreciation of the artists I chose to have played over the air.
2) Would you recommend this experience to other young musicians? Why?
I would definitely recommend Jazzology to up and coming musicians. It’s never a bad idea to gain experience in an interview setting. Additionally, new musicians can use the extra exposure that a radio interview can offer them to help get their music heard.
3) How has this experience helped in your personal and professional development?
It helped me grow a bit more comfortable and confident about interviews in general. It made me think clearly about how I want to present myself as an artist. The program made me realize that I wanted to record a lot more of my own compositions. I took some positive lessons away from my interview with Jazzology.
4) This program is made possible by our generous donors and sponsors who believe in the importance of arts education initiatives. If you had the opportunity to thank them in person, what would you say?
It can be difficult at times for musicians in less mainstream genres to be heard. Thank you for allowing a light to shine on musicians who may otherwise not get a chance to reach a mass audience with their music.
5) Why is music education important?
It allows people to come together and precisely study a very challenging and deep area of life. Music education unites people of similar mindsets and allows individuals to thrive and grow in a creative and supportive environment.
6) Since participating in the program, what have you been doing? (Education, scholarships, graduation, studying abroad, awards, grants, recordings, tours, employment, collaborations etc.)
Since the program I have worked on and I am nearing the completion of a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy at the University of Toronto. I felt that challenging myself in areas outside of music could bring a different perspective to my playing. Along the way I have become more and more involved in music production. I have now shifted focus away from piano performance and I am looking to now spend the majority of my future time recording and producing music my own music as well as collaborating with others in a studio setting.
7) What are your plans for the future? (Any short term events or long term plans?)
Once I finish my degree I plan to spend my time getting deeper into music production technology. I am fascinated by the endless possibilities of new technologies related to music. We live in an age where it is becoming more and more economically feasible for musicians to record their own work in the comfort of their own homes. I plan to record and produce music for myself and other artists for a very long time. It’s definitely a passion I enjoy.
8) How can people learn more about you and your activities? (Website, Twitter handle, etc.)