I have a workshop of a brand new piano duet composition "Outback Sonata for 2 Pianos" with high profile pianist Shannon Wettstein on April 15th, and I will be teaching at Saint Cloud State University on Monday, April 17. Then I head to New York for a solo show at Williamsburg Music Centre in Brooklyn, Live Jams at The Smooth Spot Studio and Studio #305, and a solo show at the Downtown Music Gallery. Details are on my website: www.keynawilkins.com and social media.
Your music spans a wide range of topics and genres, and your solo shows include both composed works and stream-of-conciousness improvisations on both flute and piano. How do you go about combining all of these elements into a cohesive set?
That is a really great question! I think what links it all together is the fact that I hope I am able to merge all the styles into a hybrid so that it does all fit together in one big journey, with broad strokes of jazz, art music and contemporary classical as well as some experimental material. My music background is eclectic, but at the end of the day it's all music and it's all expression, and it all comes from me, so that must be a common thread. It begins and ends with outer space, with a bit of humanity and philosophy thrown in the middle, in a cosmic way.
Along those same lines, how do you find that the various aspects of your musical career influence or inform one another?
I was classically trained in UK, Australia and Germany on flute and piano. But I found that this approach was rather limiting for me. I got lessons in free improvisation from a Tibetan Buddhist monk when I was 19 years old, and this definitely inspired me to a new path of using improvisation as a catalyst for compositional ideas, and as a tool used in performances. What you will hear in my show is a range of stylistic features in the same piece, a hint of flamenco, Debussy, alongside contemporary jazz.
How do you hope the audience feels after seeing your show, or what do you want them to take away from it?
Firstly I want to create a space where people feel taken out of their daily lives, even for a moment, and be taken on an expressionistic journey. I also hope to raise awareness of issues around refugee rights around the world, and help people see connections between all things in a cosmic way.
"AD LIBITUM" SOLO SHOW
Studio Z: 275 E. 4th Street, Suite 200, St. Paul
"A powerhouse player"
JAZZ JOURNAL UK
"Particularly fine nuanced playing throughout"
"Creating soundtracks for the biggest issues of our time"
JAZZ IN EUROPE