Randy Weston interview at the Nice Jazz Festival 2018.
Randolph Edward “Randy” Weston (April 6, 1926 – September 1, 2018) was an American jazz pianist and composer whose creativity was inspired by his ancestral African connection.
Weston’s piano style owed much to Duke Ellington and Thelonious Monk, whom he cited as among pianists he counted as influences, as well as Count Basie, Nat King Cole and Earl Hines. Beginning in the 1950s, Weston worked often with trombonist and arranger Melba Liston.
Described as “America’s African Musical Ambassador”, he said: “What I do I do because it’s about teaching and informing everyone about our most natural cultural phenomenon. It’s really about Africa and her music.”
In this interview he outlines the importance of playing a music that is accessible for everyone, and about the importance of serving the community as an artist.
Randy Weston passed away at his home in Brooklyn on the morning of September 1, 2018 a few weeks after this interview.