Like so many musicians with cancelled show, festival, and tour plans this year, Jocelyn has had to reorient herself in a dynamically shifting landscape for performers. Read about her “recalibration” tactics, thoughts on ultra-simple vocal/instrumental rigs, and learn about what she’s got in store for you this year and in 2021!
With the current state of live music performances being what it is, what is your musical (or otherwise) focus right now?
Lately I have been focusing on developing the technology that I need in order to put out quality content online. I have been working on improving my live streaming and recording capabilities so that I can continue to reach people with music. And, of course, I have been focusing on solo guitar. As a guitarist, I have been lucky in that solo guitar is a huge area of study that I am passionate about, and what better time than quarantine to improve my solo guitar playing!
Tell us about your Benedetto guitar and being an artist with the company.
I have been a Benedetto endorsed artist for about a year now. My Benedetto model is a 16-B, and even after owning it for a full year, I am still so excited to pick it up every day. It is such an incredible instrument, one that I will have forever. I love the sound that I get out of the instrument, and the evenness across the neck. The folks at Benedetto already feel like family. I feel so fortunate to be a part of the Benedetto crew!
What is the best thing an amplifier can offer you?
I am always looking for a big round sound, and a clean, clear tone. My biggest fear when using amps that I don’t know is that my sound will be too thin. This is what I love about my Henriksen amps (I own a JazzAmp 310 and a Bud). I am always so happy with the depth and clarity of the sound that I get. I also want my amp to sound even across the entire range of the guitar – I utilize the high register of the guitar quite a bit, so it’s important that the sound doesn’t thin out, and that it maintains it’s roundness.
You are a vocalist as well – do you ever run both your guitar and vocals through separate channels on the same amp in smaller settings?
I do this all the time! It’s great to be able to go to a gig with just my 310 or just my Bud, and be able to run vocals and guitar through the amp. While in New York City I was often playing one or two gigs every day, and having a simple and reliable set up is really key when you are always playing in different locations. Both of my Henriksen amps are able to give me a great sound on both guitar and voice simultaneously – it’s the perfect amp for that.
Do you have a particularly funny, scary, exciting, or otherwise notable gig experience you’d like to share with the Henriksen Amplifiers audience?
I had a funny experience at Bar Next Door. I was playing in a guitar duo with my friend and great guitarist Alicyn Yaffee, and I brought my Bud to the gig. Bar Next Door also provides a Bud, and after the gig I couldn’t tell which Bud belonged to me and which one belonged to the venue. I eventually figured it out, but that was a lesson for me to always keep a log of serial numbers for my gear!
If you could play in a quartet with any 3 living or deceased musicians, who would be in that group with you?
This is a very hard question. I would love to play with organist Jimmy Smith, since so many of my favorite guitarists came up in his band. I guess organ trios are usually trios and not quartets. If I had to pick a quartet, I would pick Wynton Kelly on piano, Jimmy Cobb on drums and Paul Chambers on bass. That’s the band on “Smokin’ at the Half Note” with Wes Montgomery, and is one of my favorite all time records.
What’s next for you, in a post-virus besieged world; what would you like for people to know about or keep their eyes open for?
The past little while has been a little tough for me. I’ve lost a full jazz festival tour, a 5 week European Tour, and a 2 month North American tour that was going to take me to Alaska, Miami, and everywhere in between. I was supposed to be on the road a big portion of the next year. Now that I things have changed and I won’t be touring, I’m going through a little bit of a recalibration phase, trying to figure out what’s next. Moving online and developing online possibilities has been a big part of that recalibration, so for the next while, I’d say that folks who are interested in keeping up with me will be able to find me online! I’ve started a weekly livestream from my Facebook account called “Guitar Topics”, which runs Sundays at 2pm. It has been really fun to get that going. I’ve also started doing other live stream performances hosted and sponsored by other organizations. My current goal is to stay positive and do lots of playing!