High Bias #15

NAME: Amanda Monaco


BIO: Playing guitar has led Amanda Monaco to perform at the Blue Note, The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Birdland, Tonic, Joe’s Pub, and the JVC Jazz Festival, as well as other venues in the United States and Europe.  Amanda’s quartet Deathblow (with Michael Attias – alto and baritone saxophones; Sean Conly – bass; Satoshi Takeishi – drums) combines free-bop sensibilities with through-composed pieces equal parts textural, adventurous, and whimsical. Deathblow performs a mix of Monaco's original compositions and modern twists on classic and obscure jazz repertoire. Monaco’s latest CD, I Think I’ll Keep You, was released on LateSet Records in October 2009 and is available for download from iTunes, eMusic, and amazon.com. As an educator, Amanda has served on the faculty of Berklee College of Music, New School University, and the National Guitar Workshop and is the author of Jazz Guitar for the Absolute Beginner (Alfred Publishing). A former student of Ted Dunbar, Amanda graduated in 2008 with a M.A. from The City College of New York.

WEBSITE: www.amandamonaco.com 

Do you read reviews of your work?

- yes

Do you reread them? Save them? Quote them?

- yes, yes, and yes

Have reviews ever had an effect upon the way you approach your work? For better or worse? How?

- not really, though I get really annoyed when I’m misquoted.

Are there writers you hope will (or won't) write about your work?

- at some point I would like to reach out to the publications that focus on women’s interests because jazz can be seen as such a man’s world, you know? And maybe if there was an article on a female jazz musician it could introduce women in music (other than pop) to a wider audience. I am fully aware of the fact that this could totally backfire, but it’s something I’ve always thought about in terms of getting jazz back into the mainstream a bit more.

Have you ever written to a reviewer or publication in response to a negative review of your work? a positive one?

- Both

Are there reviewers who you consider to be your friends? Do they write about your work? How does that make you feel?

- Yes. Yes. We became friends after they wrote about my work, and I value their opinions.

Has you ever been told by a writer that they feel too close to you personally to write about your work? What was your reaction?

- Yes. Well, he’s my husband and I think that it’s ok that he doesn’t want to write about me. He will give me an honest opinion off the record, though, which I truly appreciate.

Have you ever felt that a writer was trying to get something out of you, or get back at you, or had some other ulterior motive in what they wrote about you? Please explain.

- Once there was a journalist who saw my essay about the ups and downs of being a female musician and wanted to ask me why I was so “angry”, which only proved that he just didn’t “get” it and was one of those chauvinistic idiots who liked his “girl musicians” demure as opposed to real.

Have you ever published anything you wrote about someone else's music? How often? Do you continue to write about music?

- I’ve interviewed Kenny Barron and reviewed a few CDs for AAJ-NY. I don’t write about music very often, but I enjoy writing about music and enjoy reading about it as well.

Do you think there was a time in the past when music journalism was better or worse than it is now? Why or why not?

- I think it’s abhorrent that some jazz journalists think that the music can’t survive without them; furthermore, it is disgusting that they take the promo CDs they receive and sell them on eBay; that hurts the musicians financially.

Anything you'd like to add?

-  Nothing I can think of right now.

Anything you want to ask me?

- Not right now. Thanks for doing this!

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