Julian Lage: “Jazz is a story of people: their heart, their state of mind and their soul”

At 30, he is one of the best jazz guitarists of today, but he defines himself more like a blues guitarist, shared music with his father when he started making music at only 5 years old. Portrait of Julian Lage at Jazz in Marciac 2018.

When he’s on stage with his trio, composed of bassist Jorge Roeder and percussionist Eric Doob , the deal is perfect. The musicians breathe together, their eyes in the eye, the instruments touch almost in a bewitching dialogue. That’s it, jazz, and beyond the genre, that’s the music for this virtuoso and creative musician: sharing in the moment. And Julian Lage rubbed shoulders with many others, big names in the jazz scene, during his meteoric rise. At only 30 years old, the musician counts 25 years of music, first of all in family, then very quickly with giants like Carlos Santana (at eight years old), Pat Metheny , Kenny Werner , Toots ThielemansMartin Taylor or David Grisman . But who is this Californian smiling and youthful, who teaches and composes, and who is one with his guitar? Backstage meeting on the occasion of his concert at the Jazz in Marciac 2018 festival.

France Musique: How did you come to jazz?

Julian Lage: I went into the music blues, and then, naturally I went to jazz, because it was in the order of things. We start with a style and very quickly the curiosity takes us elsewhere, and in my case, it was jazz.

You started playing the guitar very young, at 5 years old. You often say that your father had a very important role at the beginning?

My family, and especially my father, were decisive in my choices. At the time, my father started playing guitar because he wanted to play the blues. To spend time with him, I got started too. My father was taking a lesson with a teacher and then he was teaching it to me. For me, it was an excuse to be with him. [ . . . ]

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