Do You Like Jazz?
Updated: Dec 27, 2022
I was raised by a young single mom, who was full of Sagittarius spunk. I remember vividly, when she was 26 and I was 6, she had taken me to my first jazz concert. At 6 years old I was in awe at the way the music would flow so effortlessly out of their instruments. The music was as pure as my feet that hadn't known the ability to stop moving.
I loved how the band connected symbiotically. As if the pianist knew exactly what the basses would play at the instance the drummer would hit the symbol. What rattled me, at that young age, was when my mom told me "Its all improvised"... What ever that meant. But somehow I knew that it was like dancing.
So every show I would dance around the crowd of adults, who were drinking their booze and laughing. I'd swing my arms from side to side, do my ballerina twirls, and flop around in the sky. To me those are the memories of pure happiness. When my feet hadn't known the ability to hide movement. For about 15 years I had stopped FULLY dancing at concerts. Not that I hadn't done the two step or shook my little booty. But I hadn't danced so effortlessly like I had back then.
September 22, 2022. There was a small venue located inside of San Francisco State University called The Depot. Accordingly, they host music every Tuesday and Thursdays. This small concert was anything except small. Although promptly 20 people were in attendance for the band that has ripped me out of Hiatus. It seemed as if a J'Lo herself had come to the concert and begged us to dance. Waltzing in, my ears were already tingling at the sensation of new aged Jazz (as I would like to call it). In an instance I felt my foot start to tap. I continued to awkwardly stand in the back with my small collection of friends when I realized I couldn't see the star of the show!
Jace, the singer/pianist/producer of JBJ productions was immaculate in his amazing twists on popular movie songs. He boasted about his love for movies, and his keen ear for being able to change a song to something new. He began to play a fresh take on the popular rift All Star. Which had the entire crowd singing. I just had to hear more about what makes JBJ Productions tick...
As a coincidence, Jace and I share something in common. The core memory of Jaces rise to talent is at 6 years old. His mom had gifted him with Piano Lessons. He found it very structural, classical, and learning "by the books" deemed itself to be disenchanting.
"This is only the beginning"- Jace
His family was so supportive in Jaces venture into the music world. His step dad showed him all the swing cats. Artists like Frank Sinatra created a love for music. Jace took inspiration from remixes done by talented artists. He describes this music in the differences between artist.
“Our Love is Here to Stay by Frank Sinatra is not the same as Our Love is Here to Stay by Erroll Garner. Even Jean Kelly’s version isn’t going to be the same. Flipping it and making it your own is how jazz provides it's freedom” -Jace
Now while I love expressing my passion for an artist in written words. My silly blog cannot elaborate the encapsulating experience Jace had felt and transcribed to me. I encourage you to listen to this wonderful piece.
To Jace this was the beginning of his ear. During the interview they also played Part of Your World on piano. Jace had found a way to remaster this beautiful tune in a way that Disney would pay a lot of money for...
To me, it was spectacular to connect to such a popular song and hear how it inspired someone to create something even more tantalizing.
But something that captivated Jace more than the Jazz Cats was his love of film. Jace was
enthralled by cartoons, movies, and theme parks. On a trip to Universal Studios Jace had the actualization that they wanted to be in the film industry. He heard the famous theme of Jurassic Park, and began humming the tune all day. He couldn't get it out of his head. He soon realized that he wanted to make music that would create that same sensation in film.
"Music is just like cinema. The drummer is the cinamtographer. He’s the director with the vision. The bass is the producer and carries everything on its back with a solid foundation. The guitar is the lighting and the grip that sets the mood and provides a color pallet and a nice little piece de resistance."- Jace
Like Jace, I have been a movie fanatic for quite some time. One of my favorite cult classics is Halloween. JBJ productions managed to remix Cody Carpenter, Daniel Davies, John Carpenter Halloween song; you know the one that makes your spine chill, into a latin style merengue mix that just tore me through space and time. The Halloween Mambo was a brand new production that they created THAT NIGHT! According to Jace they had never practiced that song. That was the first time they had EVER played it EVER!
"Fuck is this gonna work, how are people going to except this?" -Jace
What intrigued me was the performance done for that song was improvised. I could see that the drummer, the 6 string bassist, and the guitarist were all watching him as he guided his fingers hastily on the keys. They seemed to understand how to make an entire song purely off of the music he played on the piano.
I was transformed into my 6 year old self again. I even attempted to dance in my dickies (hoping to god they wouldn't rip). Soon enough the whole crowd was wiling out. Everyone and their mother was dancing. Truthfully, I even feel that words cannot enamorate (yes your read that right) the amount of exuberance that filled my body and ears.
I may have danced to jazz before, but my feet had never known jazz until I heard JBJ Productions that night.
JBJ Productions looks to make their albums speak a story about life, the journey, and the leap. Taking the audience on an audio journey where they are in drivers seat. Truly personalized and tangible. Which to me, I emphasize they have successfully done!
Jace currently spends their time independently teaching, playing music, and following their passions. Yet, their ultimate goal is to be a full-time artist with a successful music career. Jace is passionate about touching people through their music in the way that all these cult classics have touched us. Animation, movies, and cartoons are belittled as such a kid medium. Jace wants to show people the value of these amazing works of art that provide strong feeling, and lessons about love, society, and life. To Jace these films had found a way to make people feel not alone, and loved.
"Just be yourself. No judgements man... but I don’t understand Bro-nies. But I’m here for it. If that’s what makes you happy just go after it. Feel free to be you. "- Jace
My Little PONY reference ^^^^
Follow your dreams. Whatever inspires you... Go for it! Whether you're terribly dancing in a crowd of people, dressing up as a character in My Little Pony, or remixing songs into beautiful pieces of work meant to be in film. Jace will encourage you and inspire you to pursue your passions no matter what they are.
Check them out at @Justbeingjace on Instagram for more :)