Getting to know: Jacob Soucy
Special to The Morning Star
Jacob Soucy is a 17-year-old trumpeter, singer, and drummer who is originally from Vancouver but is currently based in Vernon.
While he primarily plays jazz, Soucy incorporates elements from different genres of music to create new and exciting arrangements.
Q: Who or what inspires your music the most?
A: “Live performances inspire me the most. I grew up watching my dad (well-known Okanagan keyboardist-singer Steve Soucy) perform lots and I learned how magical it is to play music in front of people. I’m inspired by my favourite trumpet players such as Miles Davis and Wynton Marsalis, as well as my peers who play music.”
Q: Can you tell us a bit more about the newly formed Jacob Soucy Quartet?
A: “I started the Jacob Soucy Quartet because I wanted to have an outlet to play my favourite jazz songs, as well as learn how to lead a gigging band.
Current members include Craig Matterson on piano, Isley Owens on bass, and Curtis Hamm on drums. I plan to do lots of writing this winter, so expect some originals in 2017.”
Q: What has been the biggest accomplishment in your life so far?
A: “I think that my biggest accomplishment in life has been how I’ve handled moving to Vernon. I moved here from Vancouver before Grade 7 and I was incredibly nervous to begin a whole new social life, but I didn’t let that stop me. I decided to make amazing new friends, and with the confidence that came from that I became more and more passionate about the things I love.”
Q: I know that you recently had the opportunity to attend a jazz camp. How did that experience help you grow as a musician?
A: “I attended the Douglas College Jazz Intensive in New Westminster and it was phenomenal. I worked closely with Juno award-winning trumpeter Brad Turner. I learned so much, not only about trumpet technique, but about theory and about the music business. It was equally gratifying sharing that experience with some of B.C.’s best young jazz musicians.”
Q: What’s something that most people don’t know about you?
A: “I doubt myself a lot. Even though I am an incredibly optimistic and positive person, I let anxiety get the best of me sometimes. No matter what I go through, I make it important to reflect upon myself and to learn something new about life everyday.”
Q: When do you feel you started to take a serious interest in music?
A: “I became serious about music halfway through Grade 10, after returning from the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival for the third time. I was always inspired seeing the music performed in Idaho and after returning home, I finally decided I wanted to play music for a living.”
Q: If you could go on a vacation anywhere in the world, where would you go?
A: “Either New Orleans or somewhere in Europe. There is so much culture out in the world that I’ve yet to experience. It’s hard to pick one place.”
Q: What long-term goals do you have for yourself as a musician?
A: “I plan to create a new way for musicians to make money with their art in the digital age. I also aspire to become the most versatile musician out there, playing a multitude of instruments. Furthermore, I want to write music that blends jazz, funk, hip hop and pop, and be able to perform and record it with other exceptional musicians.”
Q: Out of all of the times that you’ve performed live, what show or performance stands out the most for you?
A: “That’s a tough one. I’d say performing at Sonic Sound Fest 2016 at Seaton stands out the most to me. It was my very first time being a frontman and I’m very proud of myself for putting together that setlist and I’m thankful for the incredible band that played with me.”
Q: What do you wish to see more of in the world?
The Jacob Soucy Quartet will be opening for the Rémi Bolduc Jazz Ensemble, and its tribute to Dave Brubeck, at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre Jan. 28 at 7:30 p.m. Presented by the North Okanagan Community Concert Association, tickets are now on sale at the Ticket Seller, 250-549-7469, www.ticketseller.ca.
– Aniko Forgo is a Kalamalka Secondary School graduate and music enthusiast who interviews local musicians as an ongoing feature for The Morning Star.