“I was filled with fire as a kid. I moved to New York when I was young and signed a record deal by the time I was twenty-one, which was fairly young for even today’s standards. None of that would have happened without that fire. As I have gotten older, I would not say the fire has gone away but it is tamed. I became more interested in different styles and improving my vocal techniques. It has became an interesting musical journey …”
That trip is not over …
Vannelli is in the process of recording a new album which will be ‘in record stores near you’ in 2014. An album that will contain all original material. Material devoted to Jazz and Blues. Something Vannelli wants to get off his chest.
” I love the process.” Says Gino. ” I love to hear the results of hard work and the desire to make art. I love the sound of music. I love to play piano and I love to sing. Right now with all the new technology, I love to be in front of the computer, programming and using new school applications with old school ways.”
Growing up in Montreal, Vannelli was gaining fame around the same time as guys like Frank Marino. He really did not hang with him or guys like him because he was not a rocker. He did not fit in with most of the people making waves in the Montreal or Quebec music scene back in the 70’s. The state of the Canadian recording scene also had something to do with it …
“I had different visions musically. I wanted to explore music on my own terms and I knew I needed good producers and sound technicians. Back in those days – that did not exist in Canada. Now it is a different story. Starting in the mid-eighties, with the advent of Celine Dion and Bryan Adams – studios got really good in Canada. When I started, studios in Canada were in the infancy stage. You could not make the kind of music you wanted because producers and musicians were not skilled in the process of making records.”
Vannelli, a resident of Portland ,Oregon – is using all the skill he has gathered over the years to good use. For him – he learned his singing skill as he went along with no one to teach him the ups and downs of what it takes to be a singer. Gino is giving master voice lessons in Oregon. Something he wishes had existed for him when he was a young man starting out.
“I have ten students from all over the world. I have been doing this for three years now. They are all good singers. I started doing this when I was living in Holland a couple of years ago. It is a lot of fun to teach up and coming singers and it is a great learning experience for me as well. Once in a while – I run into really great singers and it is wonderful. I have done this in Italy and France as well…”
Vannelli teaches the intangibles. Stuff that singers come across while on the road touring …
” A lot of people come in and think they can hit every note in the world. I say okay, what are you going to do if you just flew ten hours and you are tired? What happens when you are sick? Are you going to be able to hit those notes? We call it conscience singing – being aware of everything around you. Phonetically, annotative, diction and concepts are part of it along with theory and technical. There is a lot involved in singing. It’s a human being that’s travelling and you must really learn the ropes.”
Vannelli grew up listening to his Grandfather play the guitar but it was his Father who influenced him mostly – music wise. His Dad was a Big Band fan who brought home a lot of records. A real music lover …
” He had Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgreald, Classical and Opera records … He had everything and I was very fortunate to grow up in that atmosphere. He was a huge music fan and it made me a bit of a musicologist. I know the players , the bands, the singers who go way back to the 1930s. I studied classical music and my favorite period is the French Impressionists of the late 19th century. My taste run wild when it comes to music. I appreciate everything right down to Americana and Bluegrass. I like to mix and match when it comes to recording. It’s like an artist mixing colors – the music process is about talking all genres and implicating it in the sound they are making .”
Something Vannelli will be doing in an upcoming television show …
Stay Tuned for Part Three
- Gino Vannelli – All Those Nights in Montreal … (keenemusic.wordpress.com)
- Gino Vannelli Recalls Getting His First Big Break From Herb Alpert (947thewave.cbslocal.com)