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Jean Caze talks about his admission to the semifinal
at the Thelonious Monk Institute Jazz Competition
OCTOBER 27-28, 2007

KariJazz: What motivated you to register for this competition?

Jean Caze: I saw that the competition was a great opportunity to be heard by great musicians. This years judges are Herb Alpert, Terence Blanchard, Roy Hargrove, Quincy Jones, Hugh Masekela, and Clark Terry. I knew that the competition would be good for my career on many levels. The prize money can be used to help promote myself, I could get signed to a record label, and ultimately take my career to the next level.

KariJazz: Which piece(s) did you send with your registration? If more than one which one lead to your nomination?

Jean Caze: I played four or five compositions. The judging of the CD I submitted was done in Manhattan with a panel of Jeremy Pelt, Jim Rotondi and Terell Stafford. All information, including name, age, current residence and country of origin, were withheld. I am not sure what piece in particular helped the judges select me as a finalist. I played as best as I could on each song.

KariJazz: This is a great opportunity because this competition has been designed to preserve Jazz Legacy. Can you tell us what would happen if you are the winner.

Jean Caze: I would win $20,000. I would get a great deal of publicity and a lot of business offers. I would also get to meet a lot of great people along the way.

KariJazz: At the semifinal will you play one of your pieces or will you be given a piece (like a standard one) to play?

Jean Caze: I have the freedom to play what ever I choose, however I will play jazz standards. That will help show the judges what makes me different as an artist.

KariJazz: Will you be back up by a band?

Jean Caze: The rhythm section will consist of Geoff Keezer - piano / Reginald Veal - bass / Carl Allen - drums. It will be very exciting to perform with them. I can't wait.

KariJazz: We have had positive feedback on this nomination and we think it is well deserved. Are you aware that you are making a certain impact on people?

Jean Caze: No I'm not really aware of that but I hope that I am making a positive impact. I'm just concentrating on the music for now.

KariJazz: We appreciate you took the time to talk to us. Thanks and Good Luck!

Jean Caze: Thanks for having me!

October 20, 2007

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