Jann Klose is a world class musician that you will be hearing a lot about in the very near future. An accomplished singer/songwriter, his latest release "Reverie" is gaining lots of attention worldwide and it is critically acclaimed. The German born troubadour now makes his home here in New York and that is where I spoke to the up and coming star...
MICK: On your new CD, how did you come up with the album title "Reverie"?
JANN: While thinking about titles, the thoughts of a beautiful dream and how that kind of sums things up. I didn't like the idea of having a song title being the album title so I was looking for something that would loop it together better. So the idea of dreaming is something I had thought about a lot. That state of being in between sleep and being awake. That's how the record felt to me.
MICK: How long did it take you to record the album?
JANN: Overall, it took around 3 months. It was 8 or 9 studio sessions.
MICK: Your songs are very full with horns and strings among other instruments. Did you do all of the arranging?
JANN: I did most of the arranging. On the string section in "Beautiful Dream" I did together with my violinist Leah Potteiger. The cello part in "Question of the Heart" was arranged by Chris Marolf. Those are the two that the band members worked on directly. Everything else I arranged.
MICK: You've worked with some amazing people including Roger McGuinn, Roseann Cash and Les Paul among others. How did you meet the great Les Paul?
JANN: I met Les through radio host Joey Reynolds. I met Joey when I did his show and we became friends. One Monday evening, he said "Let's go down to the Iridium", where Les Paul played every Monday evening, "and I'll introduce you to him". So Joey goes up on stage and does some comedy and said he brought a friend from Germany with him, then called me up on stage! I joined Les and we played "Summertime" and it was extraordinary! He has an amazing band, probably one of the best I've heard. They still do that gig on Monday nights at he Iridium with a guest star each week.
MICK: Tell me about the "People's Record Project". How is the funding for the new record going?
JANN: It actually just started. We have the website up, we've got the domain name and will be sending out letters within the next few weeks. We first did this with my current CD "Reverie". I was able to partially fund it and I sent out letters to a few people and mentioned it in emails. This time, we wanted to expand it to our entire fan base and on Facebook.
MICK: You make your home here in New York now. How long have you been here?
JANN: Almost ten years!
MICK: I've also read that you've lived on three different continents. Where is your favorite place to live?
JANN: I love New York City. New York is the best! I love having a home here. There's great things about all three including Europe and Africa. I still have to go back to Africa where I spent my childhood. Ironically, my little sister is in Capetown right now in South Africa. My father is in Kenya. They don't live there but they go there. My half sister lives and works in Capetown.
My other sister is visiting her. My dad goes there to just hang out as he is retired. I'm kind of jealous!! But one day I will go back to Africa when the possibility arises.
MICK: On Saturday, December 4th, you will be appearing at KJ Farrrell's in Bellmore, Long Ilsand. Have you appeared on Long Island before?
JANN: I've played Stephen's Talkhouse a few times in Amagansett. I've also played KJ Farrell's a couple of times. It wasn't a full blown gig like this one when I'm playing with some friends of mine. There's a group out there called "Wonderous Stories" and they are good friends of mine. They heard me open for "Renaissance" a year ago on their 40th anniversary tour. Kenny Forgione, who is the leader of Wonderous Stories, invited me to sing with them and a bunch of their friends at BB King's in NYC for a Bangladesh tribute show that they've done for three years in a row now. We've stayed in touch and I often sit in with them. Great guys and I love what they play, classic rock albums that I'm in love with.
MICK: Who were your influences when you were growing up?
JANN: It started with African music, In Southern Africa, my parents were really into safaris, traveling and African culture. They took all of us kids with them everywhere so we saw a lot of African performances, dancing, singing including the musical "Corporate Warrior" which I fell in love with as a kid. I also listened to a lot of American music because American music was very popular in South Africa though we were a little bit behind there. We would still get some of the syndicated programs like American top 40 shows. I would basically listen to the radio too and start taping any songs that I liked. Everything from Iggy Pop to the Beatles, Abba to Crosby Stills and Nash. It was mainly melodies that I would go for.
MICK: Who do you enjoy listening to now?
JANN: I've been listening to Pete Seeger lately. I interviewed him in January for a documentary I'm working on. I've been listening to the Shins a lot, the new Robert Plant and the new Tom Jones records. Those are really good. There are some Arabic singers I'm into now. There's a new compilation CD put out on Peter Gabriel's label "Real World" that has some real cool stuff on it.
MICK: Is there anybody you would like to collaborate with?
JANN: It would be great to do a song with David Crosby. I've already met his former colleague Roger McGuinn. Paul McCartney would another great talent to do something with.
MICK: What do you do in your spare time?
JANN: There's no a whole lot of spare time right now being out on the road again. Honestly, I really enjoy not doing anything. The last few years were so crazy. We did around 100 shows each year. I was carrying on a long distance relationship and I was traveling four hours to that. I was practically living in my car. This year, I did a music video and I moved and bought a co-op. So all of that took up a lot of time and when I didn't have to do anything, I enjoyed not doing anything!
MICK: What are your plans for 2011?
JANN: A new record, a single and a video. Then I want to do another album which I'm excited about. We haven't recorded anything for it yet but the songs are pretty much done. With "Reverie", the pickup has been gradual. The music business functions very differently now from how it used to. You can get a lot more life out of a record and you have to work it a lot harder. It's hard to put a record out every year if you have a small team of people like myself. We just found out that I have a song playing on MTV's "Cribs" show. I never found out until I got my royalty statement! It was a lovely surprise!
Jann will be appearing this coming Saturday, Dec. 4th here on Long IlsandROCKCANROLL, THE NON-PROFIT HUNGER AND RELIEF ORGANIZATION, ON HAND FOR DEBUT OF K.J. FARRELLS' SINGER SONGWRITER NIGHT, DECEMBER 4 (Singer-songwriters Danny Langdon, Gretchen Witt, , and Kristin Diable will sing for your neighbor's supper)
(Bellmore, NY) RockCANroll will be listening to some thoughtful music, and collecting healthy and nutritious non-perishable food items at K.J. FARRELLS' first singer-songwriter night on Saturday, December 4, starting at 7 PM. K.J. FARRELLS is located at http://www.kjfarrells.com. Some of the best singer-songwriters around will be performing: Danny Langdon, Gretchen Witt, Jann Klose, and Kristin Diable. Tickets are $10. Tickets can be bought online at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/136841 or at the door. . The phone number is and the venue's web site is