Dom Pipkin - Sounds of New Orleans
wall2wall Jazz Festival
Time / Date
Friday 31 August 2018
- Melville Theatre: Pen-y-Pound, Abergavenny, NP7 5UD
Dom Pipkin has had an amazing career to date and is widely accepted as one of the best UK-based interpreters of New Orleans piano. In a short interview, wall2wall homed in on some of the directions his career has taken.
w2w: As a student at the Guildhall School of Music and the Royal Academy of Music in London, what directed you down the routes of jazz and blues?
Dom: I was already deeply into both genres when a music student. I was using music college as a kind of “cover” to hide my true musical aspirations whilst I acquired skills and theory knowledge.
w2w: What led you to New Orleans and your love of its distinct piano genre?
Dom: It was a love of the New Orleans piano styles that came first. A guitarist friend gave me a cassette with Professor Longhair, Dr John, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band and Huey Piano Smith on it. All of this music seemed to have a common thread to it, rhythmically and spiritually. It was a little less heavy than the jazz I had been listening to. Later I realised that I’d heard that spicy New Orleans sound in some of my parents records years earlier and it had probably influenced me profoundly already.
w2w: Do you have highlights from your two year stint at Ronnie Scott’s with your successful New Orleans music night there?
Dom: More of a highlight was running an all New Orleans flavoured jam session for nearly five years round the corner in Denmark Street and encouraging all kinds of collaborations there.
w2w: Was being Musical Director for Paloma Faith a ‘new direction’ for you?
Dom: I had played MD jobs before but Paloma was very ‘pop’ which involved digging more into my “showbiz” side, which was fun and most lighthearted but very disciplined.
w2w: Can you pick one ‘high’ of your career to date?
Dom: I honestly think that some of the modest sized shows I’ve been doing with my Smokin’ Boogie solo piano tour are the most rewarding, more significant than hoping over to gigs on a learjet or helicopter – both of which I’ve done.