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Exploring the Jazz Journey: A Conversation with Stephen Goldberg




In the realm of jazz, each musician's journey is as unique as the notes they play. Meet Stephen Goldberg, a talented trumpeter whose musical odyssey is a testament to the transformative power of jazz. In a recent interview, Goldberg shared insights into his musical upbringing, his approach to performance, and the profound connection between music and life.


Born into a musical family, Goldberg's journey with jazz began at a young age. "I played trumpet, flugelhorn, which is pretty much the same," he recalls. "Now I play mostly Coronet and flugelhorn. I do play valve trombones sometimes." Growing up with an older brother who played the tenor saxophone, Goldberg was immersed in jazz from an early age. "My parents would go out on Friday nights, and I'd sit on the steps and hear this cool music coming up," he reminisces. "It all seemed really cool."


For Goldberg, jazz is more than just a genre of music—it's a means of communication. "At this point in my life, it's just about communicating a feeling, whatever that feeling happens to be for that tune or at that time," he explains. "I really like melodic pieces that lend themselves to improvisation. Sometimes it's surprising—some tune that might sound really corny, you can make sound really good."


When asked about the dynamics of performing jazz, Goldberg emphasizes the importance

of connection—both among the musicians and with the audience. "The first connection is with the players in the group," he notes. "If they're not clicking and not happening, then you can't expect the audience to dig it. When that's clicking, I think it'll bring the audience in."

Goldberg also reflects on the diversity within jazz, noting that there's something for everyone—from mellow jazz to fast-paced, exciting tunes. "There's all kinds of jazz," he says. "And I think when it's happening, the audience will click in."


For Goldberg, music is not separate from life—it's an integral part of it. "I don't separate it from washing the dishes or driving the car or talking to a friend," he shares. "It's all one thing. The older I get, the more I see and feel the relationship of everything to everything else."


As he delves deeper into his musical journey, Goldberg finds himself increasingly fascinated by the intricacies of music. "Playing music is incredibly interesting," he remarks. "I mean, I can just play one note and go, 'How is that happening? What is going on with those vibrations?' It's really a good ride."


Ultimately, for Goldberg, the joy of making music is its own reward. "You can't expect anything but the joy of doing it," he concludes. "That's a big payback." And as for the rest? "Who knows."


Stephen Goldberg journey through the world of jazz is a testament to the transformative power of music. With each note he plays, he invites us to join him on a journey of discovery, where the boundaries between art and life blur, and the joy of creation reigns supreme.

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