One Who Picks The Line Up For A Music Fest Artist Profile – Jef Stott

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Artist Profile – Jef Stott

I recently returned to Joshua Tree, California for the 7th annual Joshua Tree Music Festival and have volunteered at these amazing music festivals since the first. I was excited to hear that Jeff Stott would be performing twice at the event. First was his performance with Embarka Sound Project, and the next day he performed with world musician and bassist Jossey Fine. Both shows were a great mix of Middle Eastern and Western sounds. Jeff is a true world musician, and if Oud is his main “axe”, he can tear it up on several instruments. After the second show, I had the opportunity to meet and talk with Jeff. I found his story fascinating. He is a musical anthropologist with a very diverse background in music and has worked with and produced many accomplished musicians.

We had a short interview. Here is part one:

>I’m here with producer/composer Jeff Stott, who just finished a great gig with Yossi Fine. You also played Hooman last night with Embarka Sound System. What’s it like to play with and release artists from such different styles and backgrounds?

“Well, for me, it’s my main goal to play with artists from all over the world. Everyone brings their own cultural sensibility and orientation through their music. You can learn a lot about someone and their heritage. together. Even people from different regions of the same county perceive the same dialect differently. Regional differences are more subtle than national ones. Plus, most lines on maps are arbitrary. And there is a concept of time, many Janz people in every region are playing music that is a key or a gateway to a different way of life. One is when we weren’t in such a rush and were always multi-tasking. I usually look up from a nice long jam session and like 3 or 4. It felt like 45 minutes.To take it all in, I want to look to the future of this music and try new combinations to see what fits.World fusion evolves. mi movement is the forward movement of the future. People from all over the world are going to start moving back to the really hot rhythms and these beautiful ancient melodies. We’re already seeing it in countries like India, Brazil, Egypt… blues or rock and roll feels pretty flat.”

>What is your musical background? What instrument did you learn/play?

“I started playing acoustic guitar when I was in elementary school. I quickly moved on to electric music and became the lead guitarist in a heavy metal band when I was 15. I was playing rock clubs in LA when I was a teenager. Then I discovered Eno and Peter Gabriel. , in the 80s Clash and all the world music explosion. Then after a while I discovered the oud, became a Sufi for a while, moved to SF, released many albums, took several degrees and here I am. Now I play acoustic/electric guitar, bass, oud, saz, kumbus , yali tambour (Turkish), santur/walking dulcimer (Persian) all Arabic percussion instruments such as mandolin, banjo, etc., can be said to play stringed instruments such as darbuka, riqq, tarr, bendir daff (Iran) drum kit djembe conga etc. . I’m a good keyboardist, and I play dub music with harmonics and melodic vocals.”

>How did last year’s Saracen change your overall exposure? I imagine the world tour was amazing?

“Yes. Joining Six Degrees has been a goal of mine for many years. I met them again in 1999 with the Stellamara project, where I was a founder, and we were negotiating and things got weird with the band. Internally, we all parted ways for a while. But I still have a relationship with the label. 10 years later… So Six Degrees really put me on the map and I’m grateful The experience I’ve had in the past has been a dream for 2 years to share the stage with heroes like Gaudí, Maquio, Karsh, Cheb Y Sabba… I’m now It feels good to be a peer of these artists. The dates in Miami and Tokyo and Vancouver and Taipei were all great. So many stories…”

>Jeff, you have an amazing depth of musical knowledge, studying it in anthropology and producing and working with many great musicians, including Yossi at the Joshua Tree Music Festival. How did the Global Electronica movement grow? Do you think his popularity is growing in the US?

“I think it’s slowly moving forward, but the United States is very insular and self-centered, it’s a rock town, and electronica is still marginalized, but I’ve heard rumors that disco will take over hip-hop in the coming years… People sometimes I don’t know how to process it. The rest of the world is very connected. I mean, France and Morocco are neighbors, right? The flow is more fluid, and there’s this big corporate umbrella called America. Why was I born in LA to San Francisco? moved to, I wanted to connect more at street level, I think the movement is growing, many top producers live here, ickodemus, Zeb, Chehab etc… A lot of work for us. We travel a lot to keep busy The festival circuit is really getting bigger and that’s great. I heard that the J Tree Fest line-up is really global this year, which is good. And World Music Gad aa is really suitable for a festival because it has bui It is for the purpose and ritual of the festival. The origin of all this fusion music comes from street parties and ceremonies around the world, so the purpose of the music is the purpose of many people who appear at festivals like Joshua Tree, to reconnect with the earth, people and spirits.”

>What are your future plans (musically)?

“Well, I’m currently finishing my Masters in Multimedia and that’s been keeping me busy for the past 6 months or so. Our thesis is a biofeedback installation using brainwaves and biosensors to control audio/visual media. More at very informative website. I really want to get back in the studio and write some new material. I feel like I’m at one of those junctures where everything starts again and the cycle ends. That’s when you’re like, ‘What the @#$% am I going to do now?’ Say. The Saracen stuff is stuff I’ve been playing live for a while and I’m really ready for something new. I think the next batch of songs will be. deeper and not too concerned with following the BPM or DJ trends of the time. Everything is very unstable. This method may cost me a lot but I have to be honest with myself and work with what comes out. A more mellow deep sou with strong beats and deep tones. Like ndscapes, all s looks good to me.”


“Jeff Stott’s debut full-length offers a powerful mix of electronic and Middle Eastern music firing on all cylinders. Stott is an amazing producer and musician who not only knows his Middle Eastern music, but respects what came before him.”

-From BILLBOARD Magazine

Currently signed to Six Degrees Records, Jeff is releasing his debut solo album, SARACEN, in the spring of 2008. His sound is a strong blend of Middle Eastern traditions such as break, dub and electro. As a producer and composer, he has released several remix albums including the debut of young Arab rock/electronic sensation MC RAI, Stellamara, Lumin, Azam Ali, Jemali and Atash. He toured many countries including Japan, Canada, Turkey, Miami, Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York. A musical anthropologist by training, he studied with master musicians from Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, Iran, and Turkey, which led him to craft several traditional Middle Eastern string and percussion instruments. His work has been released on several record labels including Universal, EMI, Six Degrees, Hearts of Space, Triloka, and City of Tribes.” Jeff lives and works in San Francisco, CA. Learn more about Jeff Stott at please take

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