Jazz is one of my favorite genres of music. I listen with my eyes closed so I can hear each instrument clearly.
So when the opportunity to meet Jazz percussionist Alfred Sergel came up I made time to sit down for a conversation.
Prior to our meeting I listened to a lot of his music. I was hooked.
He came from a musical family. After destroying his mothers pots and pans he was eventually given a drum set.
The rest was history. He started taking music in school and had private lessons from seventh grade until graduation.
He continued his music education at Florida State.
For years he’s traveled and performed with Grammy and Dove Award winners. He started the Alfred Sergel IVtet and even started his own booking company for musicians.
But somewhere along the line he decided to focus on developing his music and his career as an artist. And now it is time to promote an incredible, talented musician…himself.
By the time you read this his new single ‘Y Closed’ will be out. A pathway to the September 6 release of his album ‘Sleepless Journey’.
Musicians have deep emotional bonds with the notes they write and sing. So I was expecting a dark, brooding explanation behind some of his titles.
But that’s not the case.
Das Ditch was written after watching a group of huge Russian men digging a trench to his work shop behind his house.
He picked up on the rhythms of speech, movement and sounds. Listening to the song I envision these strong men. At first talking back and forth as I listen to the cymbals and the faint snare drum. As each shovel of soil is dug the bass beats heavier and deeper. And the story of the digging of that ditch is told in the form of music.
The same happened with ‘Y Closed’ which was written after he went to the local YMCA to workout and found it closed. Get it??? Y Closed!!!
I picture him taking the bottled up energy from his thwarted workout and creating this catchy tune in his car in the way home.
This lead to a surprising answer to one of my questions.
I had assumed he developed the beats first then added the melodies. But Alfred works in reverse.
Artist gain inspiration from many sources. His comes from Phil Collins, his families banter before starting their day, and just living life.
Like his music, life can start out dark and slow and crescendo into a happy, upbeat outro.
He wants his audience to participate. To leave the worries of their day behind. Tap their feet. Sing along. And leave a more upbeat person.
Check out his YouTube videos. And get his music on Spotify. Or catch a local performance. You will walk away inspired. And perhaps humming his music that’s stuck in your head.
Musicians are a special breed. And Alfred Sergel walks to the beat of his own drum. Literally!