Glad you brought up the kazoo, where to begin…This travel companion has been with me since I first started recording my original material. In 2005, during one of my studio sessions in Torino, I was handed a kazoo as a substitute for the trumpet player I didn’t have the budget to hire. I tried it and it was love at first sight!
Since then, we have come to know each other very well and I truly believe I can channel some crazy stuff with it. Not that I am the first one. This obscure instrument’s popularity has waxed and waned throughout the 20th century. it has been used as a real instrument in Jazz bands as early as the 20’s and has featured in Broadway musicals, experimental music, television programs and has been embraced by some of the most popular Italian Cantautori (Paolo Conte and Edoardo Bennato to name a couple.)
This bad boy can be mean and melancholic, exciting and smooth. It can rile up a distracted bar crowd and mesmerize an attentive one. What I enjoy the most is the absolute creative musical freedom that it gives, which, I believe, makes it the ultimate proletarian instrument: it is pure expression, requires no steep learning curve, is lightweight and comes at the cost of a coffee. As the adage goes: “if you can sing it you can play it!”
Unleashing the kazoo’s true potential might as well be my mission on Earth…or at least one of them.
In 2016 Clarke Tinwhistle Co. endorsed me as one of their artists and I have been playing their awesome kazoos ever since.