La Vanguardia, Barcelona

An inevitable and obligatory question: when and why did this project come up with Steve Gadd? Why did you decide to work with a multinational sextet?

Steve and I have been talking about this idea for years and now it’s come to reality. The musicians are Friends of mine and Steve’s. We came together to do the recording for the first time. It’s been a joy working with this group around the world.

Is it easier for you to share leadership than to be the head of the group?

With this group, there’s really no thought of leadership. We all take our natural roles.

A fact that has always been present throughout your career is your curiosity and the joy when you achieve a sound discovery. Is that something that you were born with, or is it achieved little by little?

I love to make music and create–it’s what makes my life worth living.

It has always seemed somewhat surprising, the ability of musicians to develop several projects in parallel. For example, how do you combine working with Béla Fleck, your Elektric Band and with Steve Gadd almost at the same time? To achieve that, is it essential to work with extraordinary musicians as is the case?

There is no secret–I do one thing at a time. Whatever project I am into, I immerse myself in it.

What should a piece of music have in order to attract people’s interest in 2017? Was it harder to get that interest when you started your career?

Communication is a huge subject. It’s something that should come very natural but sometimes it doesn’t. It’s an ability that can be enhanced and increased, with practice, in the right direction.

The value of live music is that each concert is something different, but from this perspective when you go on stage, what is your priority? To feel satisfied with yourself because you have done a good concert, or see that the audience enjoys what you are offering them?

Real life contains all of that. It’s me, it’s you, it’s all the others, it’s the audience, it’s the human race and it’s the planet we live on. I tried to maintain some kind of balance because it’s all part of life.

Technology allows you to record and play music with a facility never before seen. And also to listen to it. Currently, many people only listen to songs or loose compositions, and the album has lost its importance. Is that worrying?

Methods of communication always change. In order to really communicate, the listener must understand what you’re saying. That’s a responsibility of the artist, I believe.

Playing again at Barcelona… is like being at home?

I love Barcelona – I love Catalonia and all of Spanish culture and music and art – I have a Spanish heart you know :-))