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Podcast Episode

Jonathan Baylis – Learning To Improvise [EP.20]

On being a lifelong learner.

On the Rhythm Changes Podcast, Jonathan Baylis talks about being a lifelong learner and becoming an improvising jazz double bassist.

JONATHAN BAYLIS

Rhythm Changes Podcast topics

photo by Kelly Bergman

  • Jonathan’s 130-year-old bass that he got from Rick Reynolds
  • Jodi Proznick’s praise for Jonathan and how she inspired both of us to play bass
  • Our bass instructors: Jodi, André Lachance, Darren Radtke, and Rene Worst
  • Jonathan’s memories of when he and I were both students at the 2014 Douglas College Summer Jazz Intensive
  • How teenage jazz musicians treated him as an adult learner
  • What lifelong learners need to remember

That was the bottom line for me: I play the bass for fun!”

– Jonathan Baylis
  • The benefit of playing in a community big band where you pay dues to join
  • James Danderfer’s advice out of left field when Jonathan was learning to solo
  • Why I saw a chiropractor at age 17
  • Why I started drinking coffee for the first time
  • How Hamilton Street Swing did a front-lawn concert with the audience dancing in the street (I was there, as were Will Clements and others)
  • The members of Jonathan’s groups: Michael Radnai, Strauss Whiteside, and guests Tyler Murray and Kayden Gordon (also Ben MacRae)
  • The genre of music (not jazz) that the Baylis family plays together
  • My mum gets proven right about the Halifax area’s climate
  • What music meant to Jonathan’s dad
  • The hardest part of his journey learning to improvise

Top highlight

My top moment was when Jonathan talks about his boomer (call it what it is, this is a positive version of it!) musical upbringing. Stick around for that!


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By Will Chernoff

William Ross Chernoff—known as Will to friends and colleagues—is a jazz musician, podcaster, YouTuber, and writer. He records and performs under his own name, William Chernoff.