This week College LifestylesTM got the opportunity to interview a man of the classics. Junior music education major Kaleel Moore talks to us about Harrisonburg, Virginia, and our love for jazz and funk.
College LifestylesTM : What sort of music do you usually find yourself listening to?
Kaleel Moore: I can’t really say that there is any one type of music in particular that I find myself listening to more frequently than another. I like to keep my ears open for different kinds of sounds and you experience a ton of different emotions and feelings with different types of music, which is awesome. I really like jazz and hip hop, though.
CL: What’s your instrument of choice and why?
KM: My instrument of choice is the saxophone because of course.
CL: Are there any people in your life, or artists in particular that influence/d you?
KM: Probably the biggest influence for me is John Coltrane. He pretty much single-handedly shaped the way I perceive and play jazz. He came crashing onto the scene playing with Miles [Davis], probably the most laid back musician in existence, doing everything twice as much and twice as hard as everyone else. I also think that [rapper] Kendrick Lamar’s flow has influenced me a lot. There is something about how he accents and puts inflections on his words that I never quite expect.
CL: What’s your opinion on the music curriculum of JMU?
KM: It’s a ton of work and time. But it’s there for a reason. [The professors] want us to be as well rounded as musicians and individuals as possible before we venture out into the great unknown. They want us to be able to pull our own weight as both artists and be able to handle ourselves outside of the school environment because they know that it’s rough out there for musicians.
CL: What’s your take on the music scene in Harrisonburg?
KM: I think that it’s growing in a huge way, but I don’t always feel like it’s very inclusive for other musicians that might not play the genres of music that we see at most house shows.
CL: Any places in Harrisonburg in particular that you like to frequent?
KM: [Concert houses] Lon Lon and Crayola House have excellent vibes and some even better bands. I performed one of my first band shows over at Lon Lon actually as well. Besides that I’m not entirely sure, maybe 7-11…
CL: Do you think there are some genres or bands that don’t get much love like others?
KM: There’s a pretty aggressive stigma against jam bands here. Jam bands being bands that don’t play in a set format and… jam. They tend to be the ones that have a sick bassline going on, tons of improvisation and some great individual music performances from some really cool people. Classical music really only exists in the music building. I think we are seeing some more jazz and funk coming through, though. I like to think in part that it’s because of me.
CL: Are you involved with any bands or groups that perform around town? Or anything you wish to promote?
KM: I’m not really in any bands around here, but I play the saxophone for [local Harrisonburg bands] Blurry Words and The Bad Luck Collective with some good friends of mine sometimes. I think that they’re both featured in a show on the 24th at The Golden Pony [Harrisonburg, VA].
College LifestylesTM wishes Moore the best with his curriculum and to keep playing that lovely saxophone and bring jazz and funk back into the Harrisonburg valley.
Images courtesy of Kaleel Moore.