Our Conversation with Dwayne Kerr | 2008

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                                                       Dwayne Kerr 


The Urban Music Scene invites Dwayne Kerr to the stage to reflect on his career, his latest project & lots more! Look out for his latest “Higher Calling” in stores & online retailers everywhere!! (interview taken in Nov ’07)

TERRILL:     Ladies and gentlemen, today at The Urban Music.com we welcome to you one of the baddest flute players in the contemporary, urban jazz game. Mr. Dwayne Kerr is in the house. What’s up Dwayne?  

DWAYNE:     Hey, how are you doing?  

TERRILL:     I’m doing good man, how are you doing? 

DWAYNE:     I’m doing good. 

TERRILL:     How’s everything going on your end? 

DWAYNE:     Things are going good, things are going really good. 

TERRILL:     Good, good. Are you enjoying some success with your new “Higher Calling” CD? 

DWAYNE:     Definitely, definitely. Things are going really well with the radio promotion, so I’m feel great about the CD. 

TERRILL:     Good, good, good. Well let me ask you something: Your previous project was really off the hook, other than the new one you have coming out now. What was it like to work with some of the featured stars on this one – Erykah Badu, Kirk Whalum, Matt Marshack? 

DWAYNE:     Erykah was really interesting because we were changing places. Because she’s always the one involved with the producing and she’s the one directing and saying what she wants you to do, don’t want you to do, and that kind of thing. And this time the hat was on me and you know I found myself playing that role in the studio and so it was very interesting. 

TERRILL:     Oh wow, wow. You know she’s a talented R&B lady there. She’s definitely got a little style for herself. What about with Kirk Whalum? 

DWAYNE:     You know with Kirk, the thing is I had been knowing Kirk for some years now and I had asked him to play on that song and that particular song, I actually was not present when he laid his tracks. He laid them like in Tennessee, Nashville. He sent me the tracks back. That’s how that one went down. But I was really listening to Kirk over all the years on different CDs. I’m a fan of Kirk Whalum and I already had in my mind what he was probably going to play. It worked out, it was cool. 

TERRILL:     Cool, cool. What inspired you to title your CD“Higher Calling?” 

DWAYNE:     Actually it comes from Philippians in the New Testament of the Bible and it was in that chapter, talking about what God has done for us through Jesus Christ and then our higher calling is from God, is in Christ Jesus and as I was reading it. It just inspired me to name my CD. I was in the process of contemplating if I should do another CD and that kind of sparked me to go ahead and do the next CD, so I named it “Higher Calling.” 

TERRILL:     The CD has a great mix. A lot of different grooves. You’re dealing with the contemporary jazz genre and you’re handling it very well. The urban jazz, a lot of urban flow going on in there. Especially when you and Matt Marshack came off with a nice hypnotic beat with that jam “Chillin’.” 

DWAYNE:     Right! Right! 

TERRILL:     It’s a nice vibe man and it’s … So it’s really a nice album and it’s great to hear it takes off a staple of actually scripture. 

DWAYNE:     Yes, 

TERRILL:     It’s awesome. And it really does come off some type of anointing to the music that you play. So and just to take it a step further, I’ve never heard anyone do a beat box and play the flute at the same time. Is that how you laid that track down? Did you actually beat box and play at the same time? 

DWAYNE:     Yes, all of that is going on simultaneously. It took a minute to work it out but yes, all that stuff is going on. So, between me humming with the flute and over-blowing with a flute technique and then doing beat box and incorporating that into it also. It’s like all of those things mixed together.  

TERRILL:     Cool, lets remind the readers out there the form of beat box takes back to the old school rap days, you know. From the Fat Boys, etc and that’s basically some of the best rap music that came out. Are you a big fan of rap? 

DWAYNE:     I would say there’s things about it that I would definitely do like. I wouldn’t say I was a big fan of rap. But there’s definitely a rap artist that I do like.  

TERRILL:     OK. Well overall the CD is very strong. Are you looking to tour sometime towards the end of this year, going into 2008? 

DWAYNE:     Well, hopefully that is going to happen. I mean, I’m looking forward to it as things continue to move ahead. I’ll be able to get added onto some festivals and things like that, so that’s still like working itself out. So I’ll see how that goes down. 

TERRILL:     What do you have going now for the month of November (2007)?  

DWAYNE:     Oh, I got a thing going on. Actually two things. Well, one thing actually coming up is with Erykah – that we’re going to be doing, so we’re going to be in Chicago. Doing something and then doing different things related to my project. So yes. 

TERRILL:     Do you plan to come to Southern California or any west coast places this time? Do you have any interest in doing shows out this way? 

DWAYNE:     Oh, I’d love to come out there. Set me up and I’ll be out there. 

TERRILL:     I’ll work on it. 

DWAYNE:     You know I’d love to be out there. 

TERRILL:     I’m working on that right now.  

DWAYNE:     Hey, you know it’s getting cold in New York. 

TERRILL:     Man trust me, I know man. I know, in fact I’m from back east, so. You know actually you guys get the best part, you get the four seasons. You kno
w it’s still blazing over here. As I’m interviewing you now it’s approximately 89 degrees.

DWAYNE:     Well I’ll try not to be mad at you. 

TERRILL:     That’s cool, that’s cool man. Being that you’ve been an instrumentalist. How long have you been playing the flute careerwise man? 

DWAYNE:     Wow…..What… 

TERRILL:     How long would you say you’ve been in the game? 

DWAYNE:     Oh man, wow. Over 20 years, I’ve been playing. 

TERRILL:     Wow, wow and who have you played with other big names other than the names listed today?  

DWAYNE:     Oh yeah, well over the years, I’ve opened shows with Stephanie Mills, Regina Bell, Barry Meadows, etc, you know, that type of stuff. Opening shows for different people on different situations come up during the course of the year. So stuff like that, but in terms of consistently working  with an artist – Erykah is the predominate artist that I’ve been working with over the years. 

TERRILL:     Cool. That’s a really strong resume I see there. That’s cool man. Anybody in particular now speaking of R&B that’s flowing real good for you right now. It’s current on Billboard, currently in this generation that you’re digging right now?  

DWAYNE:     Well, I mean, of course. I have to show Erykah. 

TERRILL:     Erykah Badu of course. You don’t want to get caught not saying her name, I know. 

DWAYNE:     I really do. Honestly, I really do love Erykah’s music and there’s a whole other side of it that I get to experience as a musician, that most people don’t, wouldn’t know about. I mean if you never experienced a live show with Erykah, first of all – all of her shows are live. I mean, we don’t do tracks, we don’t do over dubs and all that kind of thing and a lot of times she’ll even – she does this kind of James Brown thing where we have this set arrangement but every time during the show she may change the arrangement and decide to skip verses you know skip choruses do another song and all kinds of things and so I mean. It gets very interesting, so that’s why I put her up at the top – because not only is she creative as far as the music that she puts out, what I mean is her live shows are creative. I mean she doesn’t stay boxed up. In that R&B type, everything has got to be kind of tracked. So that’s why I’m really loving her. Of course you know Jill Scott. 

TERRILL:     That’s the girl man. That’s my girl, you know Jill is very special. 

DWAYNE:     Yes, Yes. We’ve done several things with Jill over the years. So I’ve gotten to hear her live and up close definitely and I’m diggin’ her stuff too. So … 

TERRILL:     That’s good man. Look, I really want to be able to see you live man because, again, the material I’ve listened to – not just on the “Higher Calling” CD, but your previous project I’m trying to remember the name of it

 DWAYNE:     “Flutation.” 

TERRILL:     Yes!! “Flutation” is off the hook! 

DWAYNE:     Oh thank you! 

TERRILL:     I mean, man that
CD was blazin’! It really got a lot interest. I really hope that was a successfully project for you.

DWAYNE:     It laid the groundwork for “Higher Calling”. So everything is like steps you build upon, you learn and you grow and so….definitely. 

TERRILL:     That’s good. It’s also beautiful to know that you’re a man of God.  

DWAYNE:     Oh yes, Lord first.  

TERRILL:     Lord first, bro and God’s going to guide you and lead you in the right direction. It looks like he already has been right now. So man I tell you what, we really appreciate your time here with us, man. I’d like to do a part 2 with you down the line if you don’t mind? 

DWAYNE:     Oh hey cool. 

TERRILL:     You know what I mean and we’ll get this out there. Is there anything you want to say to your people out there? 

DWAYNE:     I would just like to say thank you for supporting me. I know that flute is not the most popular instrument in the jazz world, but thank you for supporting me and  just for feeling the music that I’m putting out there. 

TERRILL:     Cool man, cool. May I respond to that? To what you just said? 

DWAYNE:     Sure! 

TERRILL:     It might be that time now Dwayne for an instrument to come and take a different fold. It’s been predominated by saxophone and guitar and based on sales and based on different releases and on different artists out there, as well as commercial stream artists, you have a centerpiece that’s completely different. It gives a different vibe, & a good one. And I really believe that this will be an acceptable album. It just needs to be projected and hopefully our website will be one of those to do it. 

DWAYNE:     I appreciate your support. 

TERRILL:     Definitely my brother, God bless you man. Thank you so much for your time. I look forward to part 2 man. I will hold you to it! 

DWAYNE:     Alright, God bless you. 

TERRILL:     God bless you, see you later. Bye bye