Your background in music extends beyond playing... What's it like to be both a radio DJ and a musician?
Working in media, both Television and Radio have been wonderful extensions for what seems to be a natural need to "create." Especially "live" tv, like when I would direct unscripted events like the St. Patrick's Day parade. You get to "paint" onto the home viewers tv screen in a sense. Like you were a "visual" conductor and the cameras were you orchestra! Shot selection, pacing, composition, a myriad of choices making up your video "palate" to paint with!
Jazz is your passion, who are some of your jazz guitar influences?
My instructor Dale Bruning ( a true master ), Pat Metheny, Earl Klugh, in more of a current contemporary vain I enjoy listening to Chieli Minucci, Marc Antoine, Peter White, and Russ Freeman/Rippingtons.
What's in your new music collection?
Acoustic Alchemy, Peter White, Chieli Minucci. What new artists are you intrigued by? Darren Rahn, Jay Soto , Nick Colionne
What was the inspiration for your new CD CAYMAN MOON?
This is straight from my liner notes because it is the exact story of how it came about.... I had just released my first CD "Epiphany" and went on scuba vacation to Grand Cayman. While there, I visited a few local radio stations and gave them a copy for the possibility of airplay. Imagine my surprise and delight when I got a message over the dive boat radio from the resort I was staying at, that the local radio station was featuring my CD that afternoon! Returning from the scuba dive, I stood in the lounge of Cobalt Coast resort and listened as Wayne LeClanc (the on air talent at VIBE 98.8) saying, "and here is Joel Rodney Siemion with his rendition of the Hollies song, "Bus Stop". That was the very first airplay of "Epiphany". At 4am the day we left Grand Cayman, the moon was full and low clouds were racing past it creating an eerie and wonderful visual display... I did my best to translate the feeling of that into music.
You live in Colorado... What was it like working with the state's favorite jazz ensemble Dotsero on your new CD?
I have been listening to what would come to be known as "Smooth Jazz" for years, originally in NY on WRVR. I loved things like Ronnie Laws "Every Generation," Jeff Lorber Fusion "Wizard Island," Earl Klugh's "Heartstrings" and anything Metheny put out. It was great. But it seemed all national in it's scope. Moving from NY to Colorado, there were all these local musicians doing this exact style of music right in Denver! Rob Mullins, Nelson Rangell, Images, and Dotsero. They inspired me. I spoke with the guitarist of Images at the time (Randy Chavez) and he put me onto Dale Bruning as "the guy" in the Denver area to go to for instruction. So I started to take music more seriously. I continued to come to Dotsero shows and loved it! (What energy!) Over time we got to know one another. As I started thinking about recording, they turned me onto Tom Capek (producer at Coloraro Sound studios) and their keyboard regular player. So when I decided to record my first CD EPIPHANY, I turned to Tom and have loved the relationship I have with him ever since. For the new CD Cayman Moon, I decided to reach out to another Denver player and incredible producer, Darren Rahn (Wayman Tisdale/Jay Soto). With both Darren and Tom, I got to create the total vibe I wanted for the new CD. I let Tom know that I had written a "thank you" of a kind to Steve and Dave Watts and the members of Dotsero. It was a no brainer to have Steve join on sax. I was thrilled he agreed. I enjoy the round that happens with the meoldy and chorus at the end of the tune... you can feel the fun of the jam. I just hope the song does justice to the "thank you" I intended.
What do you do just for fun?
I am playing regulaly in a Vail Ski resort at the Marriot, so the skiing is just a blast. So is the summer fun! I love golf, biking, rollerblading, swimming/scuba, and cooking of all things ! I think that creating the right combination of spices and flavors is "sex" for the tongue.... oops, am I allowed to say that? :>) "Keep it Smooth " Joel Rodney Siemion :>)