Security guard doubles as musician


Jesse Richardson jams out

We have unknown talent walking among us during every passing period.

It’s true. Jesse Richardson is not only a security guard, but also a member of a jazz band called Jabon. The band began in 1992 and was founded by Richardson and his high school buddy ‘Chip’.

“We just made an effort to do music for ourselves, wrote our own music, and it took off from there,” Richardson says.

Jazz is certainly a part of our community in ETHS. The Jazz band and combos are very popular, as is the annual Jazz Ensemble. Still, many people believe students nowadays have little or no interest in Jazz.

Sure, Jazz is enjoyed by older generations, and is generally considered “highbrow.” Music nowadays is all about pop beats, rap lyrics, thumping club tracks or loud, energetic dubstep mixes.

“Younger kids want something immediate, which is why it’s hard for them to appreciate how artists master instruments,” says Richardson, who plays the bass guitar. “It’s a hard thing to compete with nowadays, because a lot of guys make danceable songs (with programs such as FruityLoops) without really knowing music.”

So what exactly is missing from today’s music? Richardson believes that a fundamental aspect of Jazz music is the ‘live’ element.

“Live guitar, bass, and horns takes music to another level,” Richardson says. “I saw the Black Eyed Keys in Miami, and they had a live horn section, which really elevated the show.”

Another fundamental aspect of jazz music, and music in general, is to understand what appeals to your audience. Richardson used to work as a DJ in local clubs and says that those jobs acted as a “great testing ground” to experiment with music and see what listeners are in to.

Other words of wisdom for aspiring jazz musicians:

“Don’t try to knock people down with your chops,” Richardson says. “Jazz is a chemistry. And to succeed in music, you have to have a love for that music or entertainment.”

            Jabon’s album “79th Street” can be purchased online and through iTunes.