In Conversation – Patricia Deslauriers, Part I

Patricia Deslauriers is the Quebecois jazz contrabassist spearheading the Patricia Deslauriers Trio, whose recording debut is a reverent tribute to the songs of beloved Quebec songster Richard Desjardins (read the Voice review here). Recently Patricia took the time to answer Wanda Waterman’s questions about her beginnings.

?Anyone can make the simple complicated. Creativity is making the complicated simple.?

Charles Mingus

A New Home Every Two Years

I was born on the 24th of April, 1970, in a hospital in St-Agathe in the Laurentiens. My mom was living with my grandparents in Notre Dame de la Merci near St-Donas in Lanaudière; I’d been due to be born in June, so I was in an incubator for two months. Until I was 16, we moved to a different place almost every two years.

Since I was moving all the time I had to make new friends and make my place all the time, but I’m a positive person and always saw the good in everything.

Musical Dawnings

I loved music from an early age. My grandparents worked for a camp called Le Camp Ouareau, and I went with them when they went to work. There was a piano there and I dreamed about it all the time!

My parents weren’t well off, so I couldn’t have lessons or a real piano, but every Christmas I got an electric keyboard that got a little bigger each year. I composed music and sang with it, not really knowing what I was doing.

Growing Pains of the Growing Artist

I was different and had a hard time with my parents because I wanted to be an artist. I had to prove . . . I was making the right choice.

At the age of 10 I started a performing company with a friend. We invented dance, theatre, and musical acts and presented them at school and for friends and family. We had an office and everything and took it all very seriously.

I recently contacted this friend, and She’s since become a dancer. She’s danced in many productions and now owns a dance school.

How I Became a Bass Player

In high school I studied drums. I wanted to play them in the big band, but too many kids wanted to play drums. The teacher decided to use only two drummers, narrowing the criteria to those who owned their own drums and had had private lessons.

Naturally I was out of the running, so I choose the tenor sax. Again, there were too many sax players. The teacher announced that he wouldn’t start the band until he had a section of four trombones. I was terrified. I wanted to play music so bad!

I became a good trombone player, but I had a gum problem requiring three surgeries, and needed to change instruments. The bass player happened to be leaving at this time, so the teacher gave me the bass.

Why Jazz?

Music, music, music, the power to express yourself without words, creativity, direct expression of the soul, friendship, sharing, freedom!

Amazing Moments

I’ve had a lot of amazing moments, and I keep on adding more! Like meeting Toots Thielemans; playing with Rachel Z at the Blue Note in New York; my first show at the Bell Centre, Montreal; playing one set in Los Angeles with Terri Lyne Carrington; my first show with Celine Dion; my first TV show as a musician; my first European tour; playing with Francis Cabrel; doing my first recordings with my own trio; and playing with my trio in the Montreal Jazz Festival to a full room at the Astral!

To be continued . . .

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