It’s hard getting to know all the members of a band, so we’d like you to introduce yourselves briefly.
Hi there! My name’s Víctor. I’m a trumpet player and a member of the Rollin’ Stomps. I’ve been playing swing music for over 15 years in different bands, and I love this type of music!
Hi! I’m Carmen Vela and I play the flute and the clarinet.
Where does your interest for jazz music, and more specifically for swing, come from?
V: I started studying music when I was very young and developed a great interest for jazz and modern music, and I felt especially curious about improvisation. It has always drawn my attention.
C: I’ve been studying jazz since I was a teenager, that’s where my interest for swing comes from. Both things are connected.
Who are your idols?
V: Miles Davis, Lee Morgan, Stan Getz, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Louis Armstrong… and mostly all of jazz big names.
C: Oscar Peterson, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman…
What songs are always a must in your repertoire?
V: We love “Trey of Hearts”, a song by Count Basie.
C: All songs by Count Basie, basically. He’s the most swingable in history.
What tunes, or players, are the greater challenges for you?
V: Playing well any song is always a challenge as it demands for you to be really focused.
C: Any song that is not a swing tune and you want to adapt without messing it up.
What’s the difference between playing for dancers and just for regular audiences?
V: The energy on stage is more intense when the audience isn’t dancing because music is in the limelight. When there are dancers present it’s more fun, but the focus is on the dancefloor.
C: They listen to the music and feel it in different ways.
When you see the dancefloor from the stage, what crosses your mind? What does it make you feel?
V: I like it. I like to see people dancing. If that’s happening because of the music I play, I feel complete as a musician.
C: Is such a wonderful feeling. You see everybody moving at the same beat with all their hearts beating together. I love it.
What do you think dance schools and associations such as MAD for Swing can do to help people understand the value of live music? We know that many a time, when a song is finished, dancers don’t even applaud…
V: They could educate them to listen, to understand music and to thank the artists. The more we feel loved, the better we’ll play the tunes and the better your dances will be. That’s how it is.
C: I think the most important thing is to include live music at parties, and also for bands to offer the best quality possible. We need good musicians that can excite people with their music because the audiences feel it and that makes them want more. The World Jam festival, for example, helped Madrid’s swing community a lot because they brought incredible bands. Everyone was speechless and, since then, musicians were much more valued.
You have surely played at numerous festivals, so can you tell us any anecdote that you remember dearly?
V: Sure. There was this one time that we started playing funk music and everyone just went nuts with joy.
C: I remember that someone asked me to dance with him in the middle of a song and, when the moment I was supposed to start playing came, I was in the middle of the dancefloor really enjoying myself! My bandmates flipped out!
What are your expectations for the 6th Madrid Lindy Exchange? How were your previous experiences? What would you like to live again?
V: I expect a great party, an even greater event, a good concert and lots of joy for those present.
C: I hope that it’ll be a nice and magic event, as it has previously been.
We hope so too, and that everyone has a great time thanks to your music. Thank you so much, Carmen and Víctor!