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Friday, May 1, 2015

Jeff Lorber jams at ATL's Suite Jazz Series

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Jeff Lorber on keyboards at ATL's Suite Food Lounge
It's a fact, Jeff Lorber likes all kinds of music, but he excels at JAZZ!

Last night, we caught up with Lorber, an American Grammy Award-nominated keyboardist, composer, and record producer, at Atlanta's Suite Food Lounge off Luckie Street. Our conversation focused on enjoying music from a theory perspective.

WW: What are you doing here in Atlanta?

JL: Well, I'm playing at this beautiful club. I came here for a show, and we had a big house, and it's a lot of fun playing with some local guys.

WW: I really love watching you play, just being able to sit down at the keyboard and play like that. What was your inspiration?

JL: I came up in a musical family. My mom played all the time. She was quite an accomplished piano player. Every night I would go to sleep, and she would be playing beautiful music. That was really a treat. I had two older sisters that were taking piano lessons, too, so there was just a lot of music around. Everybody was having fun with music, and I wanted to have some fun, so I started playing, too!

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Tomi Johnson poses with SFL with Owner Tory Thomas while Lorber talks to fans in background. (Photo Credit: Kurk Johnson)

WW: I loved the way you played and the whole ambiance behind your performance tonight. And I especially enjoyed your drummer.

JL: We go way back, so I was glad to get him on it because he knows my music pretty well. He has a lot of energy.

WW: I've always been a jazz fan. I grew up with Ella Fitzgerald's "A Tisket, A Tasket."

JL: Uh, huh.

WW: But I really didn't understand the theory behind music.

JL: Right.

WW: Could you explain to kids who are out there, who really want to have a music career, what the importance of learning music theory is?

JL: Well, it's like you want to be an architect or even appreciate architecture, then you might want to know a little bit, like, what a blueprint is, or what the basic structure of a building might look like, the basic plans. That's what understanding music theory is. When you listen to a song, it all really comes down to the cord progression behind the song, that's what is at the heart of the song, of what it really is. When it comes to popular music, to be honest with you, a lot of popular music is relatively simple. If anyone is interested in understanding more about music and the basics of music theory, you'd be surprised at how quickly you can actually learn some of the basic concepts and right away, as soon as you learn that, you'll have a lot of insight into how music's made, and you'll be able to appreciate it more, too.

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Tomi Johnson outside Suite Food Lounge after Jeff Lorber interview.
Atlanta's -own jazz violinist, Ken Ford, will be featured next Thursday at 7:30p.m.

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