When it comes to music, Berlin is a wild city. Whether it is the hypnotic electronic beats that you escape into, or countless concerts that you wish you had more time and a fuller wallet, whether it’s classic, funky, metal, or other-worldly, you name it, and Berlin has it.
When it comes to jazz, Berlin has its unique jazz scene, with its intimate yet crowded atmosphere, full of possibilities and freedom. It attracts international young musicians from all over the world to gather together in this musical city. The city jazzes with music festivals, jazz bars and clubs, as well as dancing parties. The annual Jazzfest just came to an end and left the city with flying notes and crazy rhythms. Jazz enthusiast and supporter Lavia Lin interviewed few young Jazz musicians on what makes the jazz scene in Berlin so attractive.
Tal Arditi, guitarist, Israel
Tal has been living in Berlin for three years, young and talented, he is an active member of the Jazz scene. After his debut in the Berlin jazz scene, he soon became one of the most wanted young jazz musicians. Graduated from Rimon Music University at the age of 18 with a Jazz Diploma, he followed his parents to Basel, Switzerland where they are working and living. Shortly after, he moved to Berlin, where he established his music career and his unique sounds.
Why did you choose Berlin?
I was in Berlin one time with my dad before I moved here, I was 15. I was already into Jazz then, so we went around to sessions and concerts. Back then I had the impression that the city was cool. I made the decision following my gut feeling. Without knowing anyone or having any connections here, I just felt like it was a great place to be.
What was your first impression when you moved here? Do you feel like you know the city better now?
Berlin was the first big city I moved to and lived in. In Isarel there is the big city like Tel-Avi, but it is not the same distance between everything. I was overwhelmed by the big city, after three years, It became my home. It’s much more home feeling, I know some people and I have made some friends here.
You decided very early on that you wanted to become a musician, why?
I love playing. It was a decision I made at around 15 or 16, when I started to study in university. I started to have a glimpse into the real music world. A lot of coincidences led my path to Berlin, it was a decision of continuing something I love doing and developing. It is a way for me to express myself and I find it very appealing.
It appeared to me as something obvious, something that I got to do. I thought I would just give it a shot since I didn’t have anything to lose. Of course, my parents were very supportive.
My first introduction to jazz was from my second guitar teacher. I like the idea of expressing myself through this genre and the challenge of the genre. I was playing rock before and weirdly enough I’m now going back to my roots in my own music and other music I play. I don’t really play traditional jazz so often anymore, but jazz is a great thing to play and it’s a great way to connect with other people. It is a language that I really like. You can understand the sounds, and what’s happening in the music.
It’s a type of music that you can jam with other people
A year ago, you released your debut album “Portrait” which you wrote in Berlin, what is the story behind it?
“Portrait”, just as the name itself suggests is a portrait of my life in Berlin, my experiences and the feelings being here. The second album is called “Colors”. I like the idea of how music can be visualized in many ways. A debut album is a portrait, the painter first paints a portrait and then he then adds the instrumental elements to it. That was the ideas of it.
You had the chance to go to the US to study music, what made you stay in Berlin?
I stay in Berlin because of the two projects and people I work with on the projects. I think it’s very important in a musician’s life to have people with whom he has the connections to. I don’t want to throw it away for somewhere I can always go back to. If you want to play to play jazz and standards go to New York. I want to make my own music and work on my own projects. So, I decided to stay in Berlin a bit longer, not only because I like the city but also because I have developed my music here.
Where do you draw your inspirations from?
I drew the music from many different things and many different genres of music. Last few months, I have been listening to a lot of Brazilian music, like Toninho Horta and Milton Nascimento. Singer songwriters like Elliot Smith and Tom Waits. I also practiced classical music, like Bach. I read a lot of Bach piano inventions, I try to imitate piano a lot. I’m trying to be vague as much as I can music wise. Lately a lot of things happened to me, non-musical things, so it’s nice to write music about the things around me, it acts as a reflection of what’s going on in my life.
What are your hopes?
I hope to continue doing what I’m doing and keep developing musically. I hope that more people will like my music.
It’s hard to say how I want my music to develop because it happens by itself. My goal as a musician and an artist is to be more honest with myself about what I play and how I play. I want to dig deeper into myself and not be afraid to be naked in front of the people and the audience. I don’t want to be afraid to be real. It’s a goal that you can never achieve and yet you always achieve. It’s never ending and beautiful.