Interview with Darren Heinrich from Soul Ensemble
Was the piano your first instrument and if so, how did your interest in the organ begin?
Yes, the piano was where I started but once I heard Jimmy Smith play the Hammond I was hooked on the vibe of the organ and what is possible on it.
What is it about the Hammond organ that makes it so appealing to jazz/soul musicians given that it’s not the easiest instrument to lug around?
While the organ is an electric instrument, it adds a sound and feeling that is totally natural. Because the sound is created by moving parts, it is, pun intended, “organic”. This is why it blends so well with other instruments across many genres.
What are some of the attributes – both musical and social – you would need to be in a successful music ensemble?
I think a willingness to create something that’s worth expressing is high on my list. This in turn is based upon steadily developing instrumental skills that prioritize the traditions of the given musical genre.
What are some of your top reminiscences or stand out moments in your professional musical life?
Being invited to perform and/or study with some of my musical heroes is something I still pinch myself about.
Who is your go-to singer/musician?
Organist Dr Lonnie Smith embodies everything I aspire to be.
What advice would you give potential students who might be keen to enroll in Soul Ensemble?
If students have an interest in blues-based music and a desire to make the music feel good, then they will develop and have a lot of fun.
How much theory would they need?
They only need a moderate amount of theory such as major, minor and pentatonic scales and basic 7th chords, as I will be teaching some theory of blues-based music to support their performances and general understanding.
Why are you interested in teaching at the Open Academy?
Open Academy is where I started many years ago, taking an improvisation class on a Saturday. It feels right to have come full circle at this point in my career, so I’m keen to “give back” and encourage other musicians of all ages.
To Check Out The Soul Ensemble Short Course At The Con Click Here