François Bourassa Interview, NYC

by Filipe Freitas

François Bourassa, 2017 ©Mathieu Rivard

François Bourassa, 2017 ©Mathieu Rivard


Name: François Bourassa
Instrument: piano
Style: contemporary jazz
Album Highlights: Cactus (Lost Chart Records, 1999), Indefinite Time (Effendi, 2003), Number 9 (Effendi, 2017)





"Carla and Karlheinz" is the stunning opener of your latest CD, Number 9. Can you talk a bit about your compositional process in general, as well as your influences, particularly on this tune?
My process is very intuitive and not pre-determined.
My influences on this tune are Carla Bley pieces from the early 60's and Mantra by Karlheinz Stockhausen - a piece for 2 pianos and electronics.
What do you search and what do you want to convey with your music?
To touch people with emotion.
Being a Quebecois, how do you see the Canadian jazz scene?
A lot of good players and dedicated festivals, still the country is so large and there are not enough gigs.
Are you happy with today's music business? If you had the power to change it, what would you do for a start?
No. Same fees as 30 years ago.
I would focus on more promotion for non-commercial music, more exposure for non-commercial music. More gigs and more money. 
What was the first jazz album you fell in love with? 
Maybe ‪Keith Jarrett's‬ My Song or ‪Chick Corea's ‬Now He Sings Now He Sobs.
Which other styles do you listen to? What are your favorite artists for each style?
Plenty of styles. Classical, funk, rock, blues, contemporary music, chanson... as for my faves there are so many, it's too hard to think of just one in each category.
Can you tell us two persons who influenced you the most as a pianist?
Bill Evans and Chick Corea.
Can you tell us two persons whom you've never collaborated with but you'd like to? 
Elvin Jones and Lester Young.

If you weren't a musician, what would you be? 
Not much.

What can we expect next? Are you already working on another project/album? 
A solo piano album.