Artist Interview: Jerry Tachoir Group
Tell us about yourself and your music
Started out as a drummer at the age of 7, studying with an amazing teacher in Wilkensburg, PA by the name of Babe Fabrizi. Babe introduced me to all of percussion and I fell in love with mallet instruments (vibes, marimba). At a very early age, I was very active with all the orchestras in Pittsburgh as a classical percussion with an emphasis on mallets. In 1972, I received my first major endorsement with the Ludwig/Musser company while still a junior in high school. Mr. Ludwig needed someone to play his new prototype keylon marimba, and since I was the mallet guy – I got the call. This opened many doors for me in the percussion world.
During one of those percussion events where I was presenting a performance, i met another Musser artist, jazz vibraphonist Gary Burton. I told Gary I was interested in learning more about jazz and he suggested I come to Berklee College of Music and be his student. This was the best decision I could ever make. I learned more and had opportunities to play with major names in the contemporary music world. Even though I originally saw myself as a classical musician as a career choice, i felt the need to create, and jazz music satisfied that need.
Tachoir music strives on being original, creative and unique. All of our recordings consists of original music primarily by award winning composer/pianist, Marlene Tachoir.
Talk to us more about your latest release
Our latest recording, “Stories – the Jerry Tachoir Group” is comprised of all original compositions by award winning composer/pianist, Marlene Tachoir. Each tune has a unique story behind it and we usually talk about that in our performances.
The Stories project covers many different styles – from a Tango – “All Tango’d Up” to a George Shearing tribute tune – “All About Shearing” to a majestic composition – “Anthem” to an etherial piece “Natchez”. All of these tunes are extremely melodic and off plenty of room for improvisation. The Tachoir sound is unique with the vibraphone and marimba being the unique voice and the sound of Marlene’s piano/voice unison lines. Our trademark sound.
What inspired you to write this release?
Sometimes composition comes easy, sometimes – Not so Much! When it does, you acquire a collection of beautiful music that need to be documented and shared. It was that time. “Stories” is an eclectic mix of music all sharing great melodies and intricate and interesting harmonies with inspired improvisations. Combine all this with brilliant musicians, Danny Gottlieb – drums, Roy Vogt – Bass, Beth Gottlieb – percussion, Rich Adams – drums, Stories is a fantastic project.
Any plans to release a video?
We have released several videos of individual tunes and a few videos of live performances. We even did a live streaming video which was very successful even when someone accidentally pulled the AC plug – fortunately our system was on a back up battery and didn’t loose a note.
Any plans to hit the road?
Yes, We do extensive touring. The Tachoir Duo – Jerry Tachoir – vibes and Marlene Tachoir – piano, half of the Jerry Tachoir Group is probably busier do to the ease of touring and a reduced cost. We frequently visit universities and present improvisation clinics and evening concerts. The College student really loves contemporary jazz and Tachoir music whether the Band or the Duo seems to be very popular.
As an indie artist, how do you brand yourself and your music to stand out from the rest of the artists out there?
First, our music is original. Second, our instrumentation is unique with an emphasis on the vibraphone and marimba and the use of voice in unison with the piano.
Our music appeals to almost any taste. We have swing, latin, fusion, rock, experimental – all forms of music and all with strong melodies that makes it easy to understand and listen to.
Who have you been listening to lately?
As a mallet artist, I try not to listen to other mallet artists. I want to be original. I really enjoy modern music with strong melodies and interesting harmonies. I really enjoy music from Pat Metheny, Chick Corea, and a lot of the ECM recording artists. This contemporary jazz really pulls at my heart.
Tell us about your passions
I am passionate about all things creative. I love photography, I love videography, I love recording, I love visual art. These are all the things that get me out of bed in the morning but also, these are also all the things that become a distraction in my musical journey.
I could spend hours recording in the studio. I could spend hours editing unique music videos, I could spend hours shooting and editing photos and someday, I plan on getting out the easel and apply paint to canvas.
Art in general, whether aural or visual really gets me going. I’m passionate about all things creative and original.
What else is happening next in your world?
The most immediate thing happening next in my world is the marriage of my daughter Erica. That event is occupying a great deal of time and funding. I look forward to this event but only wish it wouldn’t take so much time. I want the day to come and look forward to their happiness and new life together, but I’m also ready for this wedding stuff to be over. It really takes over ones life. It surely wasn’t that complicated and expensive when I got married.
After this event is over, I plan on releasing a Duo project with Marlene and also I want to do a solo recording of just me on vibes and marimba and overdub percussion. I again plan these two recordings to be highly original and extremely creative.
Thanks for an awesome interview, Jerry!
Connect with Jerry Tachoir Group