Today, we are speaking with Mike Vaccaro. Can you give us a little background information about yourself? How did you get into music?
I started in 4th grade like most California students on clarinet. Added the sax in 8th grade, the flute in 12th grade and the oboe at around 24 years of age.
Is your 2016 album Latin Love your first foray into recorded music?
I have several CD’s of classical, jazz, and eclectic nature that can be heard at www.mikevaccaro.com/cd.html
The liner notes to the album say you’ve pulled deep from the corpus of Hispanic-language music. You’ve went and pulled songs from a variety of countries. What were your favorite tracks on the album, and what sort of story do they tell when included together?
The idea was to pick songs from different Latin countries and give them a new beat, a rhythm that was not the original intention of the original tune and still make them interesting in a new way.
What was the preparation and the recording process for the album like? What does your recording set up look like (what do you use to record, what are your favorite instruments)?
The recording was rehearsed by my pianist Gerry Schroeder and me over a few months while we picked the tunes and an implied feeling. I selected the musicians and we went to a studio near my home owned by Tom Zink and over 4 3 hour dates put the CD together. It was important to me to do full takes and very little editing was done. Most tunes were done in 2 takes with a couple taking 3 attempts. The musicians needless to say are all at the top of their musical game otherwise this would have never happened this way.
There are a number of individuals that contribute to the overall sound of Latin Love. What difficulties did you have in coordinating schedules and establishing a coherent sound to the release?
The coherent sound came from the artistry of the musicians and their listening acumen to all understand and work together for a cohesive product. Many times I would just say something like the bass and the piano will do an intro, Sax for the first 16, Guitar for the Bridge and Sax finishes out the tune. The solos’s were assigned by who would be the right person for the song and sometimes split up and the last version of the tune was usually different than the initial exposition.
Which artists are the greatest influences for you and your music? Is there a dream lineup of performers that you would like to perform with if given the chance?
This is my dream band. I was influenced by Stan Getz, Paul Desmond and all the great instrumentalists that play lyrically. I have come to appreciate good vocals done with nuance in recent years and that has been a real inspiration.
What are your plans for 2016 and beyond? How can interested NeuFutur readers locate samples of your music?
My music is on SoundCloud under Mike Vaccaro, and on my website at http://www.mikevaccaro.com/cd.html. It is also available at CD Baby, Amazon and the usual electronic outlets.
As my music runs the gamut of styles this year I am working on a CD for clarinet and string quartet with some unaccompanied pieces for flute by JS Bach and others. Next year is the next jazz album. As you know it is very difficult being eclectic and gaining a following. People tend to be only fixated on one type of music.
Thank you so much for your time. Finally, do you have any additional thoughts about life and the universe for our readers?
It is nice to get music for free, however there is honor in buying it. Music is to be respected as is life and I wonder if that is the case these days or if we are all in a hurry to gorge down all we can just for the sake of feeling full.