Peter, Gregg, Inge, Marijn, Jaared
Peter White, Jaared and Gregg Karukas - November 7th 2009, London

During this series of their Pizza Express shows we spoke to Peter White, Jaared and Gregg Karukas! This time sitting in the office of the club, next to the kitchen, we talked about their music and collaboration, first time London appearance by Gregg, and Peter's collection of SmoothJazz Europe T-Shirts. And during the show we were gladly surprised by a guest appearance of Jessy J!

Gregg Karukas | Jaared | Peter White | Peter White & Jessy J

SJEU: Please tell us how the three of you came together to perform here.
Jaared: Peter and I play together for a long time now. Peter introduced me to London, and it feels like my second home here, whether I play with Peter or alone with my own band!
Gregg: I know Peter since the 90s. I like the melodic compositions of Peter, I have the same inspiration!
SJEU: And how did you prepare for the shows?
Jaared: Peter and I came last Monday to England, we already had some shows, yesterday (Friday) we started here in London.
Gregg: And I came over last Thursday. We had some rehearsals but also in the collaboration you have to improvise, and that's great.
SJEU: And how about the playlist, what songs are you going to play for us tonight?
Jaared: Well, it is Peter's show but we actually play a song of Gregg's and one of mine and about 100 songs of Peter! But it is great that Peter allows us to play one of our own songs!

SJEU: Peter, you have played here a lot in the Pizza Express. Can you tell us something about this club?
Peter: I discovered this club some 10 years ago. It's great playing here, a lot of great artists perform here!
SJEU: You are from the UK, aren't you?
Peter: Yes, but I live in California for already 30 years! But I love to come over, visit my family!
SJEU: We were at The Smooth Jazz Cruise in January 2009 (Florida, Carribean) and there you told the audience about this club here in London, that the main stage on the cruiseship is as big at this total club!
Peter: Well, it's true isn't it? But the atmosphere is great!
Gregg: I love to play in clubs like this, back to the beginning!

SJEU: Peter, you play a lot in the US and in the UK as well, What about the difference between the US and Europe?
Peter: In the US people say "amazing!", in the UK people say "brilliant!" but it's actually the same! Oh, and in Germay people are crazy!
SJEU: Oh yes, that's right! You have been to the Smooth Jazz Festival in Munich, last September?
Peter: Yes, it was great, and all artists were backup up by the same band, for two days!
Jaared: Peter, was it Pat Appleton's band again?
Peter: No, it was the band who played with Pat Appleton before.
SJEU: Jaared, you have played in Europe as well, what do you think about Smooth Jazz over here?
Jaared: It seems that there is a really Smooth Jazz culture right here in the UK, but also in Poland and Hungary.
Gregg: People in Germany like more the fusion style of jazz.
SJEU: Gregg, have you been in Europe before?
Gregg: I have been in Europe but it is my first time in London!
SJEU: What have you done before in Europe?
Gregg: I have performed with Alphonse Mouzon en Sergio Mendes and performed in Germany, France, Montreux. But that was not Smooth Jazz.

SJEU: As our main objective is to promote the live experience of Smooth Jazz in Europe, do you have any suggestions for us?
Gregg: Radio is very important but in the US it is less now, although the music still is the same; and looking for sponsors is alway good.
Peter: US artists want to come to Europe, preferably with their own band. But to play with sidemen and for covered costs only is ok! They are willing!
Jaared: I love to play with other sidemen, it is alway fresh.
Peter: You just have to prepare charts etc.
SJEU: We are making a list of local musicians, we have some connections with conservatories. We are also having plans for a Smooth Jazz conference and festival in The Netherlands, in the end of next year. And we have a meeting with the biggest Jazz club in The Netherlands next week to start a concept, like the thing over here in the Pizza Express!
Jaared: You guys are doing a great job!
SJEU: Thank you!

SJEU: To end this interview, we have some SmoothJazz Europe T-Shirts for Jaared and Gregg!
Jaared: Great, for me the XXL please! Ok the XL will do fine!
SJEU: Peter, you already have one, do you?
Peter: Yes, but can I have another one? There going fast!

all pictures by Marijn Eland & Inge Wenzel