Featured Artist Interview – Laura Dreyer
Where are you based?
I live in Manhattan
Which instruments do you / your band play? Do you sing?
I play saxophone, flute, clarinet and piano. I occasionally sing back-up
Tell us a bit about your musical background.
I grew up in the SF Bay Area where I started piano at age 6. In school, I started studying flute at age 9, and then saxophone at age 12. I became interested in jazz in high school, as we had a great jazz program at our school. I was also active in a community theater, and loved visual art as well. I initially taught myself how to improvise, and subsequently received a scholarship to a Jamey Aebersold jazz camp where I met my first teacher, Hal Stein. After high school, I attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston and later moved to NYC, where I became really involved in the jazz scene. My first love is jazz, but I have had a multitude of experiences working in many different musical idioms including Brazilian, Latin, Musical Theater, funk, pop, big band, swing, and fusion, to name a few.
What are your favorite styles to play or sing?
My passion is Brazilian Jazz. I have lead a Brazilian Jazz group since the early 1990’s.
Are there any recent performances that were extra special for you? Or any venues you particularly love?
I did a tour last Summer in California, where I played at some amazing house concerts with my Brazilian group. The audiences were incredible, and it gave me hope and inspiration that so many people were so appreciative of the music we played.
Have you recorded any albums, EPs or singles?
I have 4 CDs as a leader:
Mysterious Encounter https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/lauradreyer
Sax in the City https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/saxinthecity
Free Flying Bird https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/lauradreyer1
Vida. Arte. Amor. https://itunes.apple.com/be/album/vida.-arte.-amor/id915723937
Do you have any exciting projects or upcoming gigs on the horizon?
I have a gig on March 21st at Blue Note Napa with my band, Laura Dreyer & the Manhattan/Rio Connection
If you had to pick one each, what would you say are the best and worst things about being a professional musician?
Best: Getting to make music every day in one capacity or another
Worst: The uncertainty of the business
What have you been listening to lately?
I have gotten into making playlists of my favorite tracks on many different quintessential Brazilian recordings. Currently on my playlists are Eumir Deodato, Maria Rita, Elis Regina, Jobim, João Donato, Marco Pereira, Lisa Ono, Flora & Airto, Kenia, Dom Salvador, and more
Where can people follow your work?