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Born in Panama to a musical family, SANTI DEBRIANO was introduced very young to music.  From there his family moved to New York,  and by 9, he was studying classical bass in a New York City school for gifted children.  Later he went to Paris for 3 years, then back to New York.  Composer, teacher, musician, improviser, intuitive, incredible… combining influences from Brazil, Israel, Cuba, Panama, Belize… Hearing his first live jazz  at age 14, Santi was an instant convert: jazz was the music he wanted to play!  Santi Debriano has proven to be one of the most versatile and creative musicians to emerge from the New York jazz scene.

Santi, welcome and thank you so much for participating in this project through your very busy schedule, I sincerely appreciate your taking the time to answer the following questions.

No. 1)  What is music to and for you? (generally and personally)

For me music is like water, something essential that I weaken  if I go too long without, but I can never get enough of if its good.

No. 2)  What inspires you? SANTI santilrg-280x186

I’m inspired by love, nature, drumming and singing, painting, great bass playing, a good musical composition. I’m inspired when I meet people that are involved in these things.

 No. 3)  When you are playing, creating, where does it take you?  I mean where does your mind travel? (spirit)

My mind does not travel so to speak when I’m playing. My arms fly like birds but my mind is on task. Generally it’s the expression of musical emotion and dynamics that I’m concerned about when I play.

If I’m playing free jazz I might be less focused on the technical problem of execution, so my mind might travel a bit.

My ears help me to describe a musical universe in which the listener can have a spiritual experience if they want

 No. 4)  Do you think music, visual art and healing are related and if so, how?

Yes, people have been working on those connections for millennia. Older societies know more about this than ours. Basically if spirituality can be described as an experience of oneness with all, or a calm inner place, the right music and/or proper visuals can help get you there.

SANTI Dibriano_1852No. 5)  How do you feel when you are playing, for yourself versus for an audience?

I play my best when nobody’s listening, unfortunately.

The pressure of the spotlight and stage is enchanting.

No. 6)  Do you identify to your music and if so, on what level?

I identify with my music. My music represents all I’ve ever been interested in music: latin and swing rhythms, jazz improvisation, advanced harmonies, interesting melodies, friendships producing these sounds.

No. 7) Under what conditions do you work best?

I work best on a large stage with nice sound system, clean dressing rooms with fruit and water waiting for me, well paid contract. At home I like to work in peace and quiet with my wife nearby.

No. 8)  Does playing music help you connect with your higher self, whatever that is for you?

 Yes I think so.

 No. 9)  How do you feel about creativity in the public school system, its development in students as well as its use in problem solving?

I think creativity in the public school system is being stifled by unenlightened policies onSANTI RB-H_1635 what to expect from music and art teachers and their students. Teachers are expected to work with full classrooms of students, manage behavior issues, and assess student achievement through tests and quizzes as a math or social studies teacher would do. This makes the job of identifying and working with truly talented students a lot harder. Truly talented students are teachable and self motivated, and so can be handled creatively. As a general rule creativity in public schooling is under attack in favor of standardization, even in the arts.

 No. 10)  In your opinion, what could be a simple solution to improve creativity in the public school system?

A simple solution would be to teach academic subjects in the morning and devote the afternoon to music, art, dance and drama double periods.

No. 11)  What is jazz to you?

Jazz is a form of virtuosic artistic expression that involves improvisation, rhythm, deep feeling, a “modern” sense of harmony, and a sense of daring.

No. 12)  How do you feel about improvisation in music?

It’s when the music starts getting interesting for me.

SANTI n658028418_1430770_5753430No. 13)  Do you feel public establishments like bars or clubs should have a section for people who want to talk, and another for people who really want to listen to music?


 No. 14)  What made you choose the instrument you play?

 I was in the fourth grade. We were lined up in size places. I was one of the tallest boys in my class that year. Small girls were given violins, small boys violas, bigger girls cellos, big boys the bass. Later I learned to love the instrument I’d been assigned.

Santi, again thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and feelings with us.  This has been a most interesting article and I certainly hope our paths cross again.  Until then, keep well and be blessed!


You are cordially invited to visit Santi’s links to hear more of his incredible music and also find out about one of his projects.  Your comments are always appreciated, thank you and enjoy”

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Filed in: MUSIC • Friday, July 8th, 2011


Usually I do not learn post on blogs, however I wish to say that this write-up very pressured me to try and do so! Your writing style has been amazed me. Thanks, very nice post.
.-= Please listen to this Best Piece of Music´s last 1 ..1 =-.

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My name is Michele Andree. I am an artist, I paint musicians in action. I think I’m a musician at heart, my instrument being… a brush, so I play…brush and I paint… music.
I love jazz. I call it freedom music. It promotes special values. I love intelligent people and good conversations.

Some people ask me how music relates to art. Personally I find they go hand in hand. Music is what turns me on to painting. It makes me see colours