REFLECTIONS: THE INTERVIEW EXPERIENCE

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Having the chance to conduct an interview with Byard Lancaster was a great experience for all involved in the project. An important part of the research process was reflection;  tying in what we learned in our interview to the subject of the Philadelphia jazz industry as a whole. Here are some of the moments of the interview that particularly stood out.


Mark Yuhas

"Mr. Lancaster described himself as a “jazz lobbyist”, and it was clear from the interview that he is very passionate in integrating jazz and other forms of music into the
Philadelphia community. Althought he is mainly identified as an avant-garde musician, most of his current projects involve collaborating with musicians and music producers in blues and reggae. He appeared to be very inspired by the concept of creating music which allowed many different types of musicians to interact with each other. The concert which Mr. Lancaster and the members of his band were performing at the World Café Live on the night of the interview was based on promoting peace and a sense of “togetherness”[...] I believe that the jazz oral history project is an important attempt to learn more about the influence of music in the community... This project displays the impact which music has in identifying a culture, and the contribution which music has in the expression and communication of thoughts and ideas."

Ron Darbouze

"[Byard Lancaster] plays 18 instruments...I did not doubt his talent and neither did he. I feel that he sets a good example for other Philly musicians.  He showed us that you have to get by on more than talent.  You have to be able to market yourself, you performances, your venues, your instruments, etc.  You have to market everything about you."

Lavin Daryanani

"Byard’s energetic, enthusiastic, and flamboyant personality simply made this experience extraordinary... the greatest moment in the interview occurred when he decided to play his flute for us and give us a preview of the music that he is releasing in the coming month. I completely enjoyed every second of his song and wished I could have purchased it at that very moment. One of the other interesting topics in our interview was the fact that Byard made it clear to us how business played a vital role in music. He stressed how it was important to be able to make music people will buy because that is the only way to earn a living. I found this aspect of the interview to be very interesting because many times I completely forget about music as a business, and rather think of music simply as a leisure activity."

Sara Strickland 

"Mr. Lancaster told us that when he rehearsed, there were "no women, no children, no holiday, no nothing, all we did was play." For him, jazz is not a hobby but a way of life, and I think that spirit of dedication is what Philadelphia needs to bring its jazz scene back to  its former glory.  Jazz artists now have to travel far and wide to experience what they only had to go next door to accomplish; Mr. Lancaster himself related his experiences in  New York, Chicago, France, Brusssels, and Jamaica. I believe the combination of dedicated music producers such as Byard Lancaster and the new forms of jazz that result from global collaboration among musicans will continue to inject new life into Philadelphia jazz so that it can be shared with a younger generation."