Californian Jamez Dahl knows a thing or two about what happens behind the curtain. The now 19-year-old pianist and musical director has anchored stage productions of “13” and “Godspell,” and currently teaches piano for the theater company Stand Out Talent.
First memory of being intrigued with keyboards: Until I was 14, I only cared about piano. After I saw Trans-Siberian Orchestra, I was amazed at all the keyboards used in their music. I bought a Yamaha portable keyboard and fell in love with making different tones. I could be playing the same song, but with a different patch, it would have a whole new meaning.
Favorite material to play: Show tunes. I also like composing music that would fit a film score. My favorite music to listen to is film scores, in fact.
Worst gig nightmare: I once brought a sustain pedal to a jazz band gig that wasn’t compatible with the unfamiliar keyboard they had, and had to play the whole set with the polarity reversed!
How important is traditional music training? I never really had a traditional teacher. Now that I’m the teacher, lessons take on a whole new meaning. Having to teach someone else helps me master material and concepts as well.
Role gear plays in your music: I use my Roland Fantom-X8 to record tracks for vocalists and theaters to use for rehearsals. The Fantom makes it really easy for me—all I do is press “Record.” Then, it uploads right into iTunes!
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