Friday, 1 February 2013

The Friday Interview: Katie Patterson

Described as "hugely energetic and technically flawless", drummer and bandleader Katie Patterson hasn't stopped for breath since graduating from LCM in 2011. As well as her own projects, The Steely Dan Big Band and The Allsorts, gigging around the country, she is also involved in music education through Live Music Now and as a private teacher. Jazz Yorkshire caught up with Katie to discuss education, jazz in the North and The Allsorts...

Tell us about your group, The Allsorts.

The Allsorts is basically my creative outlet. I try to stay away from labels because I want to be able to write anything I hear for the band and play it. I like to play around with ideas of purposeful improvisation - as a band we are collectively trying to make the listeners feel something specific, or picture something in their minds. We do this as a unit, which is something typical of my compositions and arrangements. We've had some great gigs recently, playing at HX7, Seven Arts, Wakefield Jazz and others. We have an EP in the works, a few tracks are ready to go and we will be recording a few more soon. I've got some exciting plans of collaborations in the future with other musicians, and maybe some chefs too, who knows!

So, aside from your work as a performer, you're also involved in music education. How do  you approach teaching - do you have a method?

I really enjoy teaching.I love being forced to think of things in different ways and approach it from different angles. Everyone learns in a different way so I'm constantly assessing the way my students learn and how they pick up on things, why they found it easy or difficult and then I can reflect that in the way I approach the
subject. I think it's very important that the content is delivered in the right way, and of the appropriate quality but also I try and guide my students in becoming aware of the process of learning themselves, so that they can grow and develop on their own.

You've lived in the UK since 2008. What do you like about the jazz scene in Yorkshire - what makes it stand out?

For me, I feel that there is a freshness from current students at LCM and recent alumni. People are
putting projects together and trying new things, and it all has a certain vibrant, maybe even reckless youthful edge to it. Added to the mix are the people that have stuck around for a while. When these groups meet, in a musical sense, I find it exciting and I think the players here are open to this mix. The other thing that
excites me here is that people aren't afraid to approach venues and put on their own music nights. I like the idea of taking things into our own hands and initiating a change, not just sitting around doing nothing.

What music are you listening to at the moment?

I'm very excited about a new Australian group, Hiatus Kaiyote classifying themselves as Future Soul music. I've never heard any writing quite like it, such incredible ideas (plus some kickin' grooves!). Also I really like Lianne La Havas, I'm so glad she's getting some big recognition. Paul McCandless' album Heresay is something I can never get enough of - I would love to be able to write like that someday. I have Donald Fagen's new album, Sunken Condos which is great, perhaps some new material there for my Steely Dan Big Band! Also Tingsek, a Swedish singer/songwriter.

Where can we hear you play next?

You can hear me with The Allsorts in Darlington on Sunday 10 Feb from 6pm at Darlington Forum for only £3. On 24th Feb we are at Splinter at The Bridge Hotel in Newcastle, and on 21st March we will be playing at the Priestley Bar in the basement of The New Bradford Playhouse in Bradford.

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