The San Juan Community Theatre welcomes guitarists Chance Hayden and Andy Coe, with their rhythm section, Damian Erskine and Tarik Abouzied at 7:30 p.m., March 9. Tickets are available through the San Juan Community Theatre either online at sjctheatre.org or the box office, 360-378-3210. Prices vary from $20 for adults, $11 student reserve or $5 student rush at the door only. The Journal recently sat down with Hayden and Coe:
Journal: How did you get into music?
Andy Coe: My mom was a music therapist in Seattle and taught flute [and] piano for many years. She was often playing classical music in the house throughout my childhood or listening to jazz-blues radio, both of which had a huge impact on me and inspired me to make my own music.
Chance Hayden: I started listening to music very young, like age 6, and really loved the guitar. In high school, [I] got very serious about becoming a musician. I knew I had to go to college, but I also discovered I could study music in college, which was exciting. I became more focused on jazz and improv, which made me a more well-rounded player.
Journal: What was it about jazz that attracted your attention Chance?
CH: I was attracted to jazz initially through its intersection with the blues, which was an earlier interest and sustaining influence. I felt that my curiosity of jazz would set me on a path to become a well-rounded musician with all of the tools – improvisation, reading/writing notation, transcribing music by ear, etc -to be comfortable in any given musical scenario.
Journal: Andy, jazz and blues seem to be your preferred genres. Do you have a favorite?
AC: I don’t have a favorite, it just depends on the feel of the moment. I’m often going for a mixture of everything. I enjoy and I’m lucky to play with diverse players who can take the music in whatever direction it wants to go.
Journal: What is it about the guitar that draws you to it?
CH: The sound just really resonated with me. I still have my first guitar; it’s very sentimental.
AC: I’m not sure exactly what it is about the guitar, but it is definitely the one for me. I started piano lessons around age 4 or 5, then I moved to violin when I was 11. When I was 14, my parents finally let me get a guitar and start lessons, and I haven’t stopped playing since.
Journal: Andy, you were raised in the Seattle music scene. Are there some Seattle-Pacific Northwest musicians that inspired you?
AC: As a kid, Tim Noah used to blow my mind! When I was in middle school the whole grunge scene in Seattle blew up, so I was very into our local rock stars especially Kim Thayil, Stone Gossard and Jerry Cantrell. Then a little later I discovered some of the local greats such as Skerik, Reggie Watts and Thadeus Turner who were all very inspiring.
Journal: Are there some musicians Chance, that have inspired you?
CH: I feel truly privileged to work with so many extraordinary musicians here in the Pacific Northwest; the talent pool is truly remarkable. Damian Erskine is a textbook example of a musician’s musician who has long been internationally renowned in the bass world, often seen touring with his uncle Peter Erskine, Gino Vannelli and the Jaco Pastorius Big Band. Right in line with Damian, Tarik Abouzied is one of the region’s foremost drummers appearing constantly with acclaimed groups such as McTuff and his own Happy Orchestra, while frequently teaming up with major touring artists such as Victor Wooten and John Medeski.
Journal: Have you noticed a change in the Seattle music scene over the years?
AC: Yes, it has changed quite a bit. But we are fortunate to still have a great scene with tons of incredible bands of all genres and a really great community of players who collaborate all the time.
Journal: How did the two of you start playing together?
AC: Chance and I had crossed paths several times over the last few years, and then we finally linked up on a show in Seattle last year and had a blast!
CH: We are kindred spirits, so to speak, with similar influences, experiences and … approach to music.
Journal: Have either of you been to the San Juans before?
CH: I use to visit all the time as a kid, a friends family owns a cabin on Blakley. As an adult, I have played gigs in Friday Harbor and Orcas. I love it, its a very special place.
AC: Yes, many times over the years and always look forward to getting back to the islands!
For more information visit the theater’s website, sjctheatre.org.