Part of our responsibility as parents, as adults, is to set examples for children. But we have to like children in order to be really happy fulfilled adults.
If I can delay that [pain] for a moment and bring a little joy. . . and help them to see things a little differently, then I'll be successful.
If I can bring joy into the world, if I can get people to stop thinking about their pain for a moment, or the fact the tomorrow morning they're going to get up and tell their boss off. . . then I'll be successful.
The true musician is to bring light into people's hearts.
I like to use the audience as my color palette, my instrument.
It's not that I don't love the song. My songs are like my children: some you want around and some you want to send off to college as soon as possible.
I grew up in a time when being a musician and learning to be a musician was actually very wonderful.
When I'm on stage by myself, I don't have to think about anything. I don't have to worry about anything because I'm not responsible for anything except just opening my mouth and making sure music comes out.
I've got one week left, and then I'm done for a year. I haven't had a sabbatical, I haven't taken a year off from touring in 15 years at least.
Miles Davis turned his back to the audience when he came out on stage, and he offended people. But, he wasn't there to entertain; he was all about the music. I kind of do that.
I did the one concert, and I was not bitten by the conducting bug, and I thought I was done, but then the phone started to ring, and gradually, over time, I started conducting more and more. Now a third of my performances are with orchestras.
Seriously though, my father was the first African American to sign a contract with the Metropolitan Opera so I grew up with classical music and jazz in the home all the time.
Then I left that school and I went to Cerritos College, which was in southern California; they had one of the best big band programs in the country at the time.
Well, I started conducting kind of by accident. I wanted to give myself a special birthday present for my fortieth birthday, and I was living in San Francisco at the time and I started attending some of the concerts and then simply dropping hints.
I do a lot of performing, but don't get a chance to go to the studio and write good music.