Interview with Argentine Jazz/Blues singer Greta Kohan - promising young voice, a great future is coming

"The Blues are like a way to live, to say what you feel in your soul."

Greta Kohan: Sentir Que Tu Alma 

Greta Kohan is a young Jazz and Blues singer - was born in Córdoba, Argentina in 1990. She started take vocal lesson at 14 years old, with Grace Cosceri (Buenos Aires) and Guadalupe Gómez (Córdoba). Also take piano lesson with Romina Fuchs, and harmonica lessons with Gino Calcagna. She lived in Argentina and Spain. In 2010 she went to Buenos Aires, to acquire more professionalism and integrate in the local Blues and Jazz scene, with bands and musicians, like: Notorious, Sheldon, Mandril, La dama de Bollini and others. She takes vocal lessons with Deborah Dixon and Chany Suárez.

"The blues and jazz music accompanies everyone, no matter what you do and where you are."

Participated in festivals like "50% Rock & 50% Swing", "Voces Jovenes" en La Dama de Bollini and many others. Greta has a particular voice and a good tone. Live each song and has good humor on the stage. Played as guest with a lot of know musicians like Mark Gross and Scott Robinson (Festival de Punta Del este Jam), Walter Coronda, Coco Sofia, Toto Pomar, Juan Klappenbach, Matias Cipiliano, Gabriel Gratzer, and more others. She moved to New York, to take vocal lessons with a recognized teacher. Greta shared the stage in jams and met musicians where learned a lot about the Jazz, Soul & Blues. She is a promising young voice, a great future is coming.

Interview by Michael Limnios         Photos by Mariana Galli

What have you learned about yourself from the blues and what does the blues mean to you?

Greta: I've learned different things that have helped me find my own voice. Also, I spend a lot of hours researching musicians on YouTube, Google and different websites.

The Blues are like a way to live, to say what you feel in your soul. Every of black music is it...but blues I just say it like it is because I feel it like that...I don't have to think about it.

How do you describe Greta Kohan sound and what characterizes your music philosophy?

Greta: In constant transition, depends the day, my mood, my breathing... And what I’m playing. I think musical phrasing characterizes my sound. How I lived my life.

Why did you think that the Blues & Jazz music continues to generate such a devoted following?

Greta: So you have the lyrics, for those who understand it. In 3 minutes you have a situation or a life, and almost certainly you lived it. You can dance to it or just move your feet. It's all ok!

And finally, blues and jazz music accompanies everyone, no matter what you do and where you are.

"All music has a union.  The feeling to interpret.  The Silence.  And know how to say it."

Are there any memories from gigs, jams and festivals which you’d like to share with us?

Greta: All the gigs especially the first note. The enjoyment when I'm singing is both mine and the listener. A fleeting sensation, but you never forget.

What do you miss most nowadays from the blues of the past? What are your hopes and fears for the future?

Greta: Spontaneity. I don't have any. Just live the moment.

Nature adapts to us...be a good person. And the rest will be good.

If you could change one thing in the musical world and it would become a reality, what would that be?

Greta: The power to accept the mistake. It's part of the creation, improvisation.

Make an account of the case of jazz blues in Argentina. Which is the most interesting period in local scene?

Greta: I’m a young 23 year old girl…I think in the 1920s, 30s or 40s jazz and blues was new; something different…a man told me that it was received well. Now 2014, too many young people in Argentina they listen and dance the Dixie, jazz, and blues. From Jelly Roll Morton, Fats Waller to the modern jazz…Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, and Monk. At least in the environment I move.

What are the lines that connect the legacy of Blues & Jazz from United States to Argentina?

Greta: Internet. And those people who go to the United States to study and bring it back. When someone comes to give us information and love from the US.

"In constant transition, depends the day, my mood, my breathing... And what I’m playing.

I think musical phrasing characterizes my sound. How I lived my life."

What has made you laugh lately and what touched you (emotionally) from the local music circuits?

Greta: Deborah Dixon and Angel Sucheras, you go home with a big smile on your face.

What does it mean to be a female artist in a “Man World” as James Brown says? What is the status of women in Jazz & Blues?

Greta: Woman or man is how you want it. It's music, not a battle of the sexes! Hahaaha..

Are there any similarities between the blues and the genres of local folk music and forms?

Greta: All music has a union.  The feeling to interpret.  The Silence.  And know how to say it.

Let’s take a trip with a time machine, so where and why would you really wanna go for a whole day..?

Greta: Here, now, music, my breath and my ears!!

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