I met Venezuelan trombonist Gregory Boza while hiring musicians for my first gig in Lima, Peru. His contact was given to me by a common friend, also leaving abroad and I couldn´t help thinking how the ups and downs of his native country in recent years impacted the trajectory of many musicians, who are now starting over in different music scenarios. Boza told me his first days in Peru were very hard and that we had to take many under-qualified jobs before being able to get a place as a musician and that competition was very hard. How did he deal with it? With a little help from the Buddhist wisdom. Familiar with the faith for a long time already, since 2018 Boza became a regular practitioner of meditation. According to him, “it helps to focus on the really important things”.
(GF) When did you start learning music?
(GB) My contact with music was at the age of 14. In 2008, I started in the National Orchestral System of Youth and Children's Choirs, in Trujillo. Six months later, I moved to Maracaibo and there I went to the Jose Luis Paz Music Conservatory. A year later I entered the Zuliana Youth Rafael Urdaneta Symphony (OSJZRU)), which belonged to the system of orchestras. 2011 the Maracaibo Big Band was created and they invited me to be part of a big band with Andrés Briceño, who regularly offered workshops for drummers in Maracaibo. Roberto Paredes decided to carry on with the big band project and I played with them up to the end of 2017.
(GF) And how about your musical references?
(GB) My musical references change according to the challenges that music presents to me, but during my formation years I listened to music from all genres: Mahler, Tchaikovsky, Brahms, pieces for trombone and also a lot of Jazz, Michel Camilo, Pat Metheny, J.J. Johnson among others.
(GF) Special highlights?
(GB) 2011 I travelled to Italy to the Bergamo Cultural Festival with the OSJZRU. I had the opportunity to work with great singers, such as Rafael el Brito Chicken, Ilan Chester, among others. Playing symphonic repertoire, I travelled to Caracas and played at the Latin American Trombone Academy, led by Maestro Miguel Sanchez. I travelled many times to Caracas in order to have classes with renowned teachers such as Norman Bolter, Angel Subero and Giovanny Scarpetta. 2012 I decided to move to Caracas and become a regular student at the academy. I had bass trombone classes with Franklin Moreno. I lived there up to the end of 2013.
(GF) How about your future projects?
(GB) I am actually starting in a new band. Last June I was invited to become a member of Los Barraza, a well-known Peruvian orchestra. They have a very busy agenda with presentations in different parts of the country and I am very excited about it.
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Written by Geisa Fernandes - Brasil / Rio de Janeiro
The repertoire of this jazz singer and awarded songwriter from Rio de Janeiro reveals influences of Brazilian popular music, the French chanson and Latin American rhythms, but most of all, Geisa Fernandes is a jazz singer. Billie Holiday aficionada (back in college folks used to call her "Lady Doc"), this PhD holder and Comics researcher was a former vocalist of several bands in São Paulo.
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