Playbook

Playin’ Around With Playbook: Dave Linard

Hey everyone, welcome back to another Playin’ Around with Playbook. Tristatesax here. Super excited today, we are going to be talking with Dave Linard from Playbook. He’s a playbook mentor, and an amazing pianist. 

“David Linard is a Brooklyn-based pianist, composer, educator, and musical director who loves timeless feel-good music.
Currently a member of Sammy Miller and the Congregation, David has traveled the world with the Congregation, playing venues such as Monterey Jazz Festival, Umbria Jazz Festival, Montreal Jazz Festival, Jazz à Juan, Jazz à Megève, the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, SF Jazz, and the Bowery Ballroom. He has also toured playing piano with saxophonist Grace Kelly, and playing drums with Gracie and Rachel. When home in New York, David enjoys playing with blues artists such as SaRon Crenshaw and Junior Mack.

David teaches in schools in across the five boroughs of NYC as a member of Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Jazz for Young People program. He has worked as a musical director with Ars Nova in their Makers Lab program.”

Below is a transcription of our conversation on February 3rd, 2022. Click here to view the full interview. Click here to listen to the interview on Spotify.

Enjoy, 

Trista. 

 

TRISTA FORD: What have you been listening to lately?

DAVE LINARD: I was just checking out some Oscar Peterson. I found this album that I had never heard before. He plays the Jerome Kern song book.

TF: So I know that you’ve worked a bit with jazz Lincoln Center through The Young People program. Can you describe a little bit about that experience? 

DL: Oh, that was amazing. Sammy entirely was my blink into that world. He wrote the curriculum for them, and brought me into that world. It was so exciting to get to go all over New York City. Go like, as far as you can in the Bronx, and then we go as far out east in Brooklyn as we possibly could we begin. So we could be out in East New York by like 8am. And I don’t know, it was really cool to see how kids interact with that material, because it’s much more honest than the way I think adults sometimes interact with with the music.

TF

Yeah. Yeah. Were you teaching, it was teaching on a daily basis, right?

DL

So that was… we would go to each school. I’d say we’d have about eight schools a year. And we’d go to each school maybe three times. And we present, like a lecture slash concert for the kids. So we weren’t doing the hard work that the teachers were doing, going in every day, we would we would be at each school three times a year. But that was really cool. That was through jazz Lincoln Center. And they’re still doing it. They’re still doing a great job.

TF

Yeah, of course. Thank you for that. I mean, I’m sure that was helpful in terms of the initial stages of playbook, which I’m curious about, because I know that you were part of the process with Sammy. So like, can you describe a little bit of the initial stages? In terms of designing playbook?

DL

Yeah, so Sammy, just brought us into the recording studio. One day, it was like, Hey, we’re gonna just record all of these tracks. And and so we recorded all of these backing tracks, basically, like, you know, Jamey Aebersold. And we just kept recording them and we kept doing it when we kept putting up stuff. And then Sammy asked us to make videos. And I don’t think any of us really saw where it was going, except for maybe, Tall Sam. But it started to become clear a few months into it, just how much it really started to add up, all of the different elements. And, and then I started to get really excited. And at this point now, I’m so excited by hearing what they’re doing and kind of the response that so many people have given it. Now I’m, I’m like, Okay, I need to design the piano curriculum for this, because we’ve learned from going into all these schools that I think a lot of the education now is, you know, all the band directors, they know a lot about the trumpets and trombones and saxophones. But they a lot of times have never been taught how to teach, like, kids how to play jazz piano. So. So we’ve together kind of realized, oh, there’s a there’s kind of a gap here. So who else to do that? But I guess the guy that plays piano, so I’m excited about that, too.

TF

Teah, that makes sense.That makes sense. So I’m sure like, in those initial stages, you are more of going from, like, the performer side of things to an educator side of things, you know, how was that like, transition for you? Did you have to get into like a different mindset? Or?

DL

Um, well, we’ve actually so that’s, that’s an interesting question, because we’ve actually been really lucky to be teaching basically, this whole time like, I’ve, I’ve never really stopped teaching. Now, I think it’s different for for Sammy, and Sam, who are going into the playbook offices every single day. So for them, I think it’s a pretty drastic shift. But for me, I’m still kind of like, you know, half in both worlds teaching. And not it’s not that they’re not, but  they’re really, really dedicated to the education component. Yeah, not to say that I’m not but but, yeah I think it’s always been something teaching, where I get to reassess my values as a musician. And I find that when I’m teaching more, I I know more what I’m trying to accomplish as a musician, because you really have to break it down to share it with somebody else. Yeah, definitely. Definitely.

TF

I mean, as a playbook mentor, would you say you have like a most memorable experience or a favorite experience?

DL

Hmm, that’s a great question. And there’s so many. I mean, there’s so many beautiful, beautiful experiences. Like this last. This last trip, we went to Waltrip High School in Texas. And that was really cool. To see just the excitement that that comes when, when you and your friends are like, really making some music and it’s not just sitting there. You know, like, because you have to be there in first period. It’s, it’s like, oh, like we’re actually creating something together and to help facilitate that. It’s just kind of pure magic. .

TF

Definitely. Like going from teaching to playing to gigging, practicing, recording, you know, it can get tough. It’s a lot. Do you have any mantras when you’re feeling low?

DL 

No. Do you have one for me? 

TF

This one always currently, everyone, everyone’s always stumped at this one.

DL

Oh, no. I mean, it’s, I wish I had one. But I’ll tell you the thing that helps me when I feel for me, it’s I get really frazzled, you know. And you’re right. There’s, as musicians in this century, there’s so many things, we’re expected to put 100% of our focus in and you just can’t put 100% of your focus and all these things. So for me, honestly, the thing that really calms me down is to honestly just listen to music, or listen to music with no agenda. was like, Yeah, and that gives brings me back to kind of the purity. I think that I was first attracted me  to music in 

the first place, and then I can kind of take a deep breath and start over.

TF

Yeah, of course, just getting back to a place of fun. That makes sense.

DL

What’s yours though?

TF

My mantra? In terms of? That’s interesting. No one’s flipped the coin on the, I think it’s more so just like all good things come with time, like, kind of just like trusting the process that like everything will work itself out. And just like, even if things like seem tough in the long run, like, all you have to do is take the right next step, like whatever the next step is, just make the right one. And you’ll be on your way. Wow, it’s my interview today, I guess. But. So I’m curious, why do you feel platforms like playbook are so important in today’s classroom?

DL

That’s, that’s an amazing, amazing question. And I think there are a lot of reasons.

I think, for me, I think about, like, I think about how when I was in high school, and how I felt like there was just so much more to say, musically  than I was ever really able to find an outlet for, to express. And to me, I feel like playbook kind of solves all those problems. You know, it’s, it’s, I think, it really does a great job of addressing one of the questions I had, like, not all of the questions, but there were so many things that were so mysterious to me as a high school, and I couldn’t really find the people to answer those questions. And to have kind of all of these people that I think went through similar experiences, all the mentors, in one place to kind of help students explore these mysteries together is pretty special, to just the very basic fact of having people to play to play with you. I mean, granted, they’re not in the room. And it would be great if you know, we could have tall Sam, all in our living room to play trombone for us. But I think it’s a pretty cool, next best thing to be able to, you know, play with someone like tall Sam, like, just from the comfort of their own home. And yeah, check out what he’s doing, and then turn them off and try to beat him next time, you know.

TF

Yeah, definitely. I think that’s I mean, Corbin was talking about that a little bit. Like when I interviewed him a while back, you know, he was saying that he’s from a small town and you know, to have this platform in like in a small town like in today’s like, you’d be able to play with like world class musicians, wherever you are, if you even have access to that normally. So definitely, yeah, that’s definitely a huge part of playbook. That’s very awesome. So thank you. Thank you so much, Dave, for being here today with us and talking with me about playbook and your experience as a performer and educator. So everyone, be sure to check out Dave. He’s going to release his debut record in June as well as storytime, a collaboration with fellow Julliard grad Dan Stein and Doug Marcus in March and follow his Instagram dhlinard and his website David Linard, @playboojazz, and go to our website thisisplaybook.com for more and we’ll be back next week for another Playin’ Around With playbook! 

DL

Thanks to everyone that tuned in! We love you.

TF

Thank you. Bye bye

 

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