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Interview With Billy Cobham

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Billy Cobham, a legendary jazz drummer, composer, and bandleader,  is celebrating the 40 year anniversary of his first album, Spectrum 40, by bringing his groundbreaking skills to the Palladium Theater on Friday, September 20 at 8 p.m.  If you are interested, tickets can be purchased at the Palladium’s website by phone at (727) 822-3590, or at the Palladium’s Box Office. Tickets will be sold for $30, $40, and $50. Student tickets for the  show are $15, available for purchase only at The Palladium box office with student ID. Two tickets per student.

 

What event or experience in your life would you say was essential to make you into the artist that you are today?

“One that stands out is being in the recording studio with Miles Davis and experiencing his method of directing musicians to contribute in a way that allowed them to play what they felt, thinking independently while not losing sight of the idea that their contribution was only part of the whole presentation”.

Is there any single person or group of people that you would say influenced your music the most?

“I don’t believe that I can point to an individual but I can respond to the idea that my music is a reflection of my life experiences in general terms and in specific ones.”

Is that any specific trait that is vital for success as a person in your field?

“Words and phases like determination, staying focused, obsession all fall into line with obtaining ones objective on the road to success in the entertainment business.”

Would you say that it is at all possible for a young musician today to create a path in the music industry that is at all similar to yours, or has the industry changed too much?

“Due to the fact that the way we live our lives are sovereign to the individual, it is not possible to actually emulate the action of one individual too closely. That said when, in fact this concept does surface it comes with many negative aspects that tend to make the person mimicking another seek change in such an unnatural position taken.”

As an established artist that has been working in the industry for many years, has the social media movement changed any aspects of your fan interaction or is that only relevant to the newer group of artists?

“I think that platforms like Face Book, YouTube, Linked in and others play a very important role in helping the artist interact with his constituency. Thus notification of where performances and other actions will take on reality becomes a stronger dynamic.”

To add to that, how has your fan base transformed throughout your career, if at all?

“Unfortunately, for me I have not paid much enough attention to the transformation so that I can properly respond to your question although, I am aware that there has been change and adjustments are being made to my base as I respond to you query.”

Was there any time in your career where you regretted your life path?

“NO!”

Has race ever played a significant role for you as an artist or had any larger effect on your career?

“Probably…….But a story to support this response: I have none.”

What was the greatest tribulation that you had to overcome to get where you are now?

“I really don’t know……..I have always enjoyed what I did in music and never thought about anything but communication through music, though my drum set. Nothing id for free! As long as I am able to live with that statement whatever the payment for success is, I am willing to cover the cost, if not in full then with installments.”

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