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Charlie Haden is a three-time Grammy Award winning jazz musician. He’s a Springfield native who’s back in town headlining the First Annual Springfield Jazz Festival. “The Ace of Bass” sat down with KSMU’s Chasity Mayes to share his past and how it brought him to his future.
Charlie Haden is no stranger to the Ozarks. His father was born in Springfield and Haden lived here for several years during his childhood. He has traveled all over the world, but still remembers one of his favorite places in Missouri.
“When I used to live here I loved Lake Taneycomo and all of the beautiful country around there,” says Haden.
At the tender age of two years old, Haden started singing country music with his family on the radio every day until he was 15.
“My mom was singing folk songs to rock me to sleep when I was not quite two, and I started humming the harmony with her and she said that was when I was ready for the radio show. So I started when I was 22 months old. I think I was the youngest person in Iowa and then later in Missouri to have a social security card. The rest is history,” says Haden.
Haden says it was the combination of radio, records, and classical music that led him to his true passion of jazz. Three Grammy’s later, Haden says it was never his goal to win one.
“I didn’t even think about winning a Grammy. I started playing jazz in 1956 and I guess I’ve played with almost everyone who’s recording,” says Haden.
He has several bands, but he founded the Liberation Music Orchestra during the Vietnam War, to express his concerns by way of his favorite medium: music.
“I had concerns about what was going on politically in the country so I formed the Liberation Music Orchestra and I recorded an album about my concerns,” says Haden.
Haden just finished a new album and he’s already got another one in the works.
“I’m doing a new Quartet West album with Diana Krall and Norah Jones and Melanie Gardot and Renee Fleming and Cassandra Wilson and my wife Ruth Cameron singing. It’s going to be called Sophisticated Ladies with my quartet and it’s going to be wonderful,” promises Haden.
Charlie Haden and Quartet West will be performing Saturday May 8th at 8 pm in downtown Springfield at the Gillioz Theater.
For ticket information you can visit www.hammonshall.com/Shows.aspx.
For KSMU News, I’m Chasity Mayes.