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25 Sep

Victor Wooten Interview

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Victor Wooten, now a five-time Grammy winner, hit the worldwide scene in 1990 as a founding member of the super-group Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. Continuing to blaze a musical trail with the band, Victor has also become widely known for his own Grammy nominated solo recordings and tours.
He is coming to Athina Live on October 24 for 2 nights only. Jazzonline had a little chat with him.

1-    You started performing as the bassist with the family band at age five, and at age six, you were on tour with your brothers opening shows for legendary soul artist Curtis Mayfield. Before graduating high school, you  shared the stage with artists such as Stephanie Mills,  Ramsey Lewis, Dexter Wansel and others . What were you early musical influences and who inspired you the most ?
Vic: All of those artists you mentioned were influences on me, but even more influential were my brothers. They were the ones who taught me how to play, gave me the experience, and showed me who to listen to and what to listen for. In the beginning, we played mostly soul music from the late 60's and 70's, but eventually added jazz, rock, and other styles to our repertoire.

2-    About Béla Fleck and the Flecktones. The band formed in 1988, have toured extensively since then, often playing over 200 concerts per year. In the first 15 years you never took a year off, but now, you do take some time off regularly to do other projects, but 26 years later you still play together. So, could you tell us what it is about ? the success? the music ? the friendship ? the fun ? the history ? all of that  ?
Vic: Yes! It is all of that and more. Sometimes, Music calls you and you just have to play. Successful or not, you feel the urge to play. Fortunately, all the members of the Flecktones are really close friends. That helps. Now that I have four kids and Bela recently had his first, time off the road is a must.

3-    About this super-group SMV with Stanley Clarke and Marcus Miller. How this trio was born and how does it feels to play with your childhood heroes ?
Vic: SMV was a dream of mine for many, many years, but it wasn't until we played together at a bass event in New York that we decided to record together. It's difficult to explain how amazing it is to play with my heroes. It's part excitement and part "I'm not worthy." It was a wonderful opportunity and a huge learning experience for me. I hope to do it again.

4-    In 2000,  you  created a Bass/Nature camp that has since expanded into Victor Wooten's Center for Music and Nature, where you hold the classes in spring and summer. Your respected reputation as a teacher and speaker/lecturer on the subjects of both Music and Nature have garnered invitations for you to speak and teach at schools, universities, classes and spiritual centers around the world.  How important is the teaching to you ?
Vic: Teaching and sharing information is very important to me. It helps me grow. I also love giving people alternate things to think about as well as helping make seemingly difficult topics much easier to understand. I'm happy every time I get the opportunity to share. My camps are the perfect way to do that. At my camps, I make sure that I am not the only instructor. This offers students the chance to receive different ideas and approaches. People can find out more by visiting www.vixcamps.com

5-    Could you tell us a few word about your performance at Athina Live – Fakanas  Art Music School. What are you going to play ?
Vic: I'm happy to be bringing two of my brothers with me to Athena Live - Regi on guitar and Roy on drums. Karlton Taylor will be on keys. As always, we will have lots of fun and the level of musicianship will be very high. We'll play a mix of old and new music with lots of improv. I don't want to tell too much.

6-    Your are actually on a Tour. You have been to Romania, and after Athens you are going to Slovakia and Austria ? Do you like to come to Europe and what is next ?
Vic: Playing in Europe is always a joy. European audiences are good listeners and always seem genuinely excited to see us. That makes us feel great. We'll be going to South America in November. I love traveling. Thanks for allowing us to come back.

7-    What are your  plans for the following  months ?
Vic: After taking the band to South America in November, we'll get home just in time for Thanksgiving before playing a few shows in December. I'll be taking most of 2015 & 16 off to spend more time with my kids. I've been touring their whole lives and want to change that.

Interview Patricia Graire – September 2014

VICTOR WOOTEN BAND on October 24, 2014 at 21:00  & October 25, 2014 at 22:30, at Athina Live  

Last modified on Friday, 26 September 2014 07:30

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