Oz Noy Trio Feat – Backstage at Iridium Jazz Club (Part 1)
Oz Noy on guitar, Dave Weckl on drums and Will Lee on bass at Iridium Jazz Club
BETWEEN SETS WITH OZ NOY, DAVE WECKL AND WILL LEE
Iridium Jazz Club, just north of Times Square in New York City, plays host to some of jazz’s most established legends as well as the hottest newcomers. Recently, Iridium hosted the fantastic trio of headliners performing as the Oz Noy Trio Feat. Noy is one of the most respected young guitarists on the world jazz scene and was joined by drumming legend, Dave Weckl and bass virtuoso, Will Lee for an unforgettable (and totally packed) gig at Iridium. Sundancechannel.com was lucky enough to catch up will all three musicians between sets.
Part 1 – Oz Noy
Sundancechannel.com: Where are you from and what kind of music education did you have growing up?
Oz Noy: I’m from Israel and I just learned with private teachers. I never went to a school… like a music school. And I had a couple of good – there were one or two really good music teachers in Israel who… actually they kind of taught me everything I know. When I got to New York City, I was already… I didn’t really even learn here. Maybe I went to Mike Stern for a lesson – then we became good friends and that was kind of it. Other than that, it was just going in to New York and jumping into the pool and starting to swim, you know? (laughs)
Sundancechannel.com: With such great young artists like you and Anat Cohen coming to New York from Israel and jumping into the jazz scene in such a big way – is jazz popular in Israel?
Oz Noy: Yeah, well, people really love jazz, first of all and second… I don’t know what it is! I was trying to figure it out for years. I think that people are really thirsty to learn jazz, you know? It’s kind of a popular thing there and there’s a bunch of good musicians who live there and there’s a bunch of good schools and teachers, so I guess it just works. I don’ t know what it is.
Sundancechannel.com: When did you get to New York City and how did you get established in the scene here?
Oz Noy: I got here in 1996 and – the summer of ’96 – and I met this great bass player named Frank Canino and he kind of “got” me, you know – realized that I could really play – so he started to call me to sit in in all those bands that he was doing. There used to be a place called Le Bar Bat, so I used to go and sit in there and the guy who used to book the room really liked me, so every time there was a band that was missing a guitar player, he called me to sit in. So that’s kind of how I started and then he gave me my own night there – like a once a month – and I was doing my band in Israel then also. When I moved to New York, I got connected with Anton Fig, the drummer for the David Letterman Show – we still play together, he’s on all my records and stuff – and we started to play Le Bar Bat and The Bitter End at the same time. I just basically got a few tunes that I either wrote or had and I was just trying to get into the scene and I thought that the best way to do it is to just get a little group and play out. And that’s how it basically started. I’ve been playing The Bitter End every Monday for maybe eight years now.
Sundancechannel.com: You were also in the band of a TV Show in Israel, right?
Oz Noy: Yeah, it was an entertainment show – like the Letterman Show here, but just on the weekends. At the time I was doing it, it was the highest rated TV show in Israel, so people used to recognize me in the streets and stuff. And I did a lot of other stuff with a lot of major artists there as well and a lot of TV shows, so when I was there, I was working – I was working since a really young age over there and when I was 24, I moved here.
Sundancechannel.com: Have you had the opportunity to work in film or TV here?
Oz Noy: Yeah, actually, I scored the soundtrack for the film AKA TOMMY CHONG. I’ve played on a lot of different film scores… but AKA TOMMY CHONG I actually wrote. I do a lot of composing for my band and would love to do more work for TV and film, it’s just that I don’t have the time to pursue it that much – but whenever it comes, I love to do it.
Sundancechannel.com: It’s a full time thing chasing that kind of work –
Oz Noy: It really is – so I can only do so much with my time.
Sundancechannel.com: What are your plans for the summer?
Oz Noy: Well, my new album is coming out – it’s called Schizophrenia – and that’s coming out in August in Japan and Asia and then comes out here in New York in September. So we’re going to Austin and to Japan twice. (See Oz’s touring schedule here.)
Sundancechannel.com: You have a good following in Japan?
Oz Noy: Japan’s great. I was there when my last album, Fuzzy, came out. They’re great jazz fans… I love it there.
Check back with SUNfiltered for parts 2 (Will Lee) and 3 (Dave Weckl) of this interview in the next week!