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Q & A with Victor Dvoskin about his career
Your Crystal Ball
- From approximately what age did you think: “I’m going to be a musician for my career”?
- I was 18.
- Has your career taken the path you had envisioned back then?
- Yes, fully.
- Can you briefly describe a live performance you performed in that marked a turning point in your younger musical life (say, under age 25)?
- I cannot pull out a single one from multiple ones. I was on the road already and played many good concerts and festivals.
- Can you briefly describe a live performance you observed as an audience member that marked a turning point in your younger musical life?
- The biggest impression of my young years was probably the Charles Lloyd quartet in Tallinn (Estonia) in 1967.
- Do you feel as though your formal musical studies provided you an anchor for your current career?
- Can you remember the one or two most surprising things about being in your career that no one told you, that you had to learn on your own?
- Nothing comes to mind now.
Likes and Dislikes
- What’s the best part of your current, music-related career?
- To be able to play my instrument with good or decent partners.
- What’s the worst part?
- People’s ignorance about jazz music is a quite common thing.
Ups and Downs
- Name up to five people who inspired and/or made a pronounced difference in achieving your musical goals and in a brief phrase, tell why for each. (We’ll take for granted that you have to leave out many, many other deserving names.)
- All the big names in the jazz bass world have inspired me. The biggest influence could be Ron Carter.
- Don’t name — but loosely describe — how one or more persons discouraged you from being a musician (or from entering your current music-related career)?
- Nobody tried. It would not have worked!
- Name up to three, single-CD recordings that you think everyone on earth should own.
- For my generation, any of the classic period of John Coltrane or Miles David (classic not being electric, of course). Things are changing though. We may include some contemporary names such as Dave Holland or the Brad Meldau trio. But a list of three would not cover it: maybe 30!
- Name up to three more that simply provide you great personal listening pleasure every time you hear them.
- A lot do.
- If you could give only one sentence of advice to a high school or college student considering a career in music, what would you say?
- If there is a doubt, do not do it. But you cannot be satisfied in life if you are not doing what you were born to do. If you’re born to be a professional musician but did not pursue it, it would be hard to go back and start again.
- And what’s the best way someone school-age could prepare to do what you currently do?
- Be active with playing in different bands, if possible. Listen a lot, and try to transcribe at least a tiny bit when the time allows.