Episode 81. Host Troy Saunders has his latest conversation with composer, vocalist and jazz soloist Fostina Dixon. She is an instrumentalist who plays soprano, alto and baritone saxes; flute; and clarinet. Troy starts off by expressing his astonishment at who Dixon has performed with, a list that includes Cab Calloway, Sammy Davis, Jr., Prince, and Marvin Gaye.
Fostina talks about the early days when everyone played an instrument in schools. She began on a plastic clarinet and eventually got a wooden clarinet, which led to her musical education. As an educator, she is sorry about the decline of music education in school, and the rise of behavioral issues that educators need to deal with among students. Today, even schools that have music programs make students purchase their own instruments and music isn’t a core part of the curriculum.
In this free-wheeling, wide-ranging interview, Fostina discusses everything from how she got started, came to work with so many legends, her views on the current jazz scene, and the difficulty in crossing over into different genres. There is also a very interesting discussion about Fostina’s feelings on indie artists having to promote themselves on social media and producing their own music. That discussion leads into a deep conversation about the current state of jazz music and how hard it can be for jazz artists in today’s market. Venues are not paying artists as much as they did prior to the pandemic, and even tours of Europe that used to be lucrative have slowed down, creating challenges for anyone who wants to make their career in jazz.
Fostina’s latest album is "New Beginnings," which is now available, along with her complete discography which includes “Leave the Door Open,” “Get on the Floor,” “Vertical Alignment,” “Here We Go Again,” and “Yesterday, Today, & Forever”. Her style is in the pocket, soul-stirring and funky and her improvisation is upbeat and passionate. Troy spins clips from several pieces during the interview and hopes everyone will check out the full tracks from this unique and mesmerizing performer.
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