Yamaha Italia S.p.A.

09/09/2019 | News release | Archived content

Tiger Okoshi: ‘The trumpet is my brush and I paint the air with every note’

Having performed with some of the biggest names in jazz, Tiger Okoshi has an outstanding reputation in the trumpet world. Leader of the group 'Tiger's Baku' and a Professor at Berklee College, Tiger has seen the jazz world change over the last few decades. Commenting on what excites him most about the modern jazz scene he states that:

'Jazz is spreading out to the world. New innovative jazz artists have been creating new musical vocabularies to connect the world. For me, jazz is becoming like a tree that produces different fruits at the edge of its branches. This has meant that many young musicians around the world, no matter what style of music, rock, pop, rap, folk they love being able to open up and free their music and as a result, there is improvisation taking place in the music. There, I hear the same energy that reflects the moment of the day which jazz has always had. For me, I see this particularly in the Middle Eastern and Scandinavian music scenes where you can clearly see that the spirit of jazz has been involved into artist's culture and tradition.'

As jazz evolves, as do the needs of the musicians who want to play the genre. Based on Tiger's perspective, in some senses, it's never been easier to progress as a jazz player with the dawn of streaming services. For players looking to progress it's clear what Tiger would recommend:

'Search for the music that inspires you, then spend a lot of time listening. Listening comes first. Alongside this, you need to have a solid foundation on the instrument and find inspiring teachers. Whatever your level is at the moment, find other players to play with and to have fun interacting with musically.'

Of course, it's so important to find your own voice on the instrument. Your sound defines you and this is something that Tiger has found on his instrument:

'Louis Armstrong had a bright trumpet sound. It sounded like a celebration of a prospective future. Nowadays, people have started to like a darker sound it seems. Some dark horns are missing the shine and twinkle that Yamaha horns have. My concept is that my body and mind is the instrument and I should know how to play. Then your instrument will know what you want it to sound like. Every instrument sounds different depending on who plays it.'

So how would Tiger describe playing the trumpet? ''Painting the Air'. The trumpet is my brush and I paint the air with every note.'