Leading Questions: Greta Matassa

Posted 10 June, 2010 in Leading Questions, Seattle Jazz - (1) comments

Note: Greta Matassa will be performing in Portland tonight through Saturday. Thursday, June 10 at Brasserie Montmartre and Friday-Saturday at Wilf’s Resaurant and Bar.

Interview and Photo by Steve Korn

Someone once told me, Success is getting what you want, but happiness is wanting what you get. I’ve based my career decisions on this advice

When I was 14 I knew I wanted to make music my life and become a professional singer. now, with 2 teenage daughters going through the trials and tribulations of high school, I realize how lucky I was to have discovered who I was at such an early age.

My voice is my vehicle of expression. My voice is me.

Some of my best ideas come to me while walking at Alki and talking to my friend Susan Pascal.

When I look at where I’m at right now, I couldn’t be happier or luckier. I have a career in the Pacific Northwest (a place I’m coming to realize is one of the most beautiful in the world). The opportunity to travel on small outings. A nice recording contract. A great teaching practice, a very wonderful man who loves me and great kids. I wouldn’t ask for more.

I’m happy whenever I’m listening to Blossom Dearie.

Teaching has been an education. As a self taught singer I’ve re-examined how I know what I know and am always finding that my students can often teach me to teach them if I listen closely and with empathy.

If I could play another instrument it would most likely be drums. I’m a very rhythm oriented singer and find watching and listening to drummers fascinating.

Improvisation is like my father described abstract expressionism. A uniquely in-the-moment experience based on years of experience and knowing when to “take the brush away from the canvas”

My parents were very supportive. My mother was a scientist and my father an artist. They are still a big part of my life.

People ask me, why aren’t you famous, living in New York or touring or on Letterman or something. I refer them to question #1 for the answer.

Music has taught me the best things in life are free!

Less is more because of Shirley Horn.

More is more because of Ella Fitzgerald.

Being a woman in jazz has meant nothing in particular. I am treated and in turn treat my fellow musicians as human beings and this seems to be a nice arrangement.

In my view my greatest achievement has been Gina and Franny Matassa

Trust is easy when you’ve been practicing, both in music and life.

1 comment to “Leading Questions: Greta Matassa”

Jason Parker, June 10th, 2010 at 11:21 am:

  • “Trust is easy when you’ve been practicing, both in music and life.”

    Now there’s some truth for you! Get ‘em, Greta!

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