Saturday, October 14, 2017

SSR Interview with Wayne Leechford




This installment of the Strada-Sphere Interview features the multi-talented Wayne Leechford.A musician on saxophone,flute,bass guitar,guitar,clarinet,and Chapman Stick,Wayne has visited every corner of the musical realm.He has been involved with many commercial recordings including soundtracks (The Whole Nine Yards),live television,radio broadcasts.The list goes on and on.He even performed on saxaphone at the White House for President Bill Clinton. 

Wayne records and performs with an impressive and diverse list of groups and organizations such as Ozone Quartet,Samecumba,Raleigh Saxophone Quartet,Wayne Leechford Trio,and the North Carolina Wind Orchestra,to name a few. And,believe it or not,he also finds time to teach sax,clarinet,bass, and Stick.Oh,and by the way,he is also a web designer and manages his own web design firm,Leechford Media.Talk about a Jack of all Trades! 

Wayne was kind enough to take some time out of his obviously busy schedule to answer some questions for Strada-Sphere Radio. 


SSR   Wayne, last year's tour with Ozone Quartet culminated with the successful release of the band's live album, "Live at Local 506". The album is racking up some great reviews. What are the band's goals for 2004? 


We are hoping to record a new studio CD. We have laid the groundwork over the last several months by doing improv sessions. We are working on arrangements now and plan to start recording over the summer. 


SRR   What did you do during the 3-year break? 


I continued to play and teach music. I am a full-time musician. I also had a chance to start working on some new Stick projects, Polydactyl and The Real Killers. Both are on a very part-time basis. They are side projects for other members of the band, so we get together when we have spare time. Unfortunately, neither one has produced any recordings yet. We have recoded material, but it remains unfinished. 


SSR   How on earth do you balance your time between Ozone, Polydactyl, The Real Killers, your Trio, etc, and your teaching? 


It's hard. Sometimes I am pulled more in one direction or the other out of necessity. Since the bands aren't working full time, I have more flexibility to do other things. 


SSR  You appear to be very passionate about teaching. How many students do you have on Stick? Tell us a little about it. 


Currently, I don't have any Stick students. I've found that most Stick players, including myself, are self-taught. I took a couple lessons with a couple different players, but that was more of a "check and make sure I'm doing this right" kind of thing. Most of the people that have called me for lessons are the same way. They take one or two lessons and then I never see them again. And, most of them are from out of town. There just aren't enough Stick students to go around. That is, unless you travel the world doing seminars! 


SSR  How is the Latin band Samecumba coming along? 


Very well. Latin music is becoming more popular all the time. I play my main instrument, the saxophone. We have a lot of bookings and the music is really fun to play with opportunities for soloing. 


SSR  You are also a web designer. How did you get into that? 


I started designing web sites back in 1996 because Ozone Quartet needed one. I taught myself how to do it and later took some classes. I work mostly with other musicians. 


SSR  Being a multi-instrumentalist has its obvious advantages. What would you say would be a disadvantage, if there are any? Do you prefer any one instrument to the other? 


The main advantage to being a multi-instrumentalist is that music never gets stale. There are constantly new challenges. Also, as a full-time musician, it makes your talent more marketable. However, there are not enough hours in the day to be a "master" of every instrument. Sometimes you have to make sacrifices on one instrument for another. And, the expense of owning and maintaining all those instruments! Since my main instrument is saxophone, I feel more comfortable when I perform. But, the Stick is a very enjoyable instrument to play and I like it very much too. I like them all! 


SSR   Any plans for a solo release? 


Not yet. I've done some sequencing in my home studio and have a few unfinished solo pieces lying around. I am very into electronica and would love to do a solo CD that incorporates electronic drums and synths, Stick, and saxes. 


SSR  Alright,now that you have our readers chomping at the bit to hear ya in action,where can future fans catch up with you? 


Most of my performing at the moment is with Samecumba. So, that means I'm not playing Stick much right now. Ozone Quartet is planning to do some shows over the summer 2004, but nothing has been booked yet. Check our web site, www.ozonequartet.com. My full schedule can be found at my web site, www.wayneleechford.com. 


SSR   Well I usually have something silly lined up for the final question,but I am stumped! So,let's see...ah yes! How was playing for President Clinton? Did ya get to talk to Mr. Clinton about the Stick?How was the food? 


Playing for President Clinton was an opportunity of a lifetime. Despite all the controversy, I think Clinton was a great President. America has never seen such prosperity across the board. I don't think Clinton knows much about the Stick, but he is a sax player! He told us about his personal sax collection. Apparently, the Selmer company custom-made a "Presidential Edition" saxophone for him. I wonder how he plays the sax without inhaling?? 


Thanx for taking time out from your busy schedule to answer a few questions Wayne.I really do appreciate it! 



With this installment of the Strada-Sphere Interview,we are introducing the "Toy Bin".A list of our interviewees gear.So,without further adieu, here's is Wayne's very own "Toy Bin". 


Warning:The following list is very "Drool-worthy",please have a bib handy! 

Chapman Stick XG with PASV-4 and GK-2AH MIDI pickups 

10-string Classic tuning, Fret Rails and Flaps Dual Nut 

David Eden WT-400 Traveler Plus 

David Eden D-115 1x15 bass cabinet 

SWR Goliath Jr. III 2x10w/tweeter bass cabinet 

Behringer KX1200 Keyboard amp (for MIDI) 

Peavey Classic 50 2x12 combo 

Hughes & Kettner Rotosphere 

Zoom 505 II Guitar Multi-Effects Pedal 

Zoom 506 Bass Multi-Effects Pedal 

SansAmp Bass Driver DI 

Roland GR-33 Guitar Synthesizer 

Roland JV-1010 Synth Module 

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