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List your band members and the instruments that they play.
David “The Waz” Wasik – Drums/Percussion (interviewee)
Ronnie Davis (aka LeeRon Zydeco) – Organ/Keyboards
How did the name of the band come about? When did it form?
A combination of our last names representing a joining of forces in the field of Soul Jazz.. Group formed in 2008.
Where are you from originally? If not from Buffalo, why are you here?
Mercury. To share love and unique approaches of living and music with earthlings. ☺
What’s it like to perform in front of a crowd? Give me three words.
Relaxing, exhilarating and challenging all at the same time.
When and why did you start playing?
When I was 10. It was a calling. When I would listen to music, it would raise the hair on my arms and it gave me goose bumps all over, so I thought it must be even a better feeling to play it…and I was right!
What was the first tune that you remember “really” playing well, when you knew that you would be a musician?
When the levee breaks by Led Zeppelin. Once I nailed that beat, it gave me the confidence to keep trying and to keep practicing and playing.
Describe your instrument.
I play a small set of drums. I feel that I should be a central source of time, stability and security in this particular ensemble along with being a swinging rhythmic presence.
Did music come naturally to you? Or were you driven to learn and play/sing? What sparked the passion? Do you come from a musical family?
I think I was blessed with a keen sense of rhythm (natural) though I wanted to expand on that so I studied Jazz formally between the ages of 15-20. I think the instrument should be 50% study and 50% imagination. You need a foundation to express yourself off of, otherwise the plane never gets off the runway.
Are you schooled in music? From where?
I studied privately in Buffalo with King Louie Marino and also in NYC with Kenwood “Woody” Dennard. I’m currently enrolled in UB’s music program studying classical percussion with Tom Kolor.
Which famous musician(s) do you admire?
Too many to mention. Miles Davis comes to mind because he was forever evolving and changing. He was never afraid to take chances and he moved music and changed the face of it several times in his career.
Where is your favorite place to play/sing in Buffalo? Where would you most like to play/sing in Buffalo?
I love playing outdoors and I currently perform an open-air solo gig on the waterfront at Canalside. It’s fun and involves constant audience participation in it which I love.
What’s your day job?
I’m a musician/composer. That’s what I do. I do it in the day, I do it in the night. I do it all the time when the feeling is right.
How would you describe your music style? Influences?
What Ronnie and I do is Soul Jazz. It’s a unique pairing of organ and drums delivering interpretations of familiar melodies of mainly African American music through minimal yet expressive instrumentation.
Do you play/sing covers or all originals? Ar a combination of both?
We a combination of both and our covers are interpretations that are thoughtfully arranged and freshly improvised for the delight of our audience.
What are your strengths?
What are your weaknesses?
I’m working on playing marimba…it’s a tough instrument to get a grasp on.
Do you have a label? A recording studio? Have you recorded a CD?
I release stuff on my own label Waz Records. I have a studio in the Cobblestone district where I like to experiment a lot. The Waz~Davis Duo is mainly a live act, though we’re thinking of putting out a CD sometime in the future.
Where and when is your next gig(s) in the city?
Private parties over the summer… and then this Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at the Pan American Grill and Brewery, inside the Lafayette Hotel, starting at 6:30pm.
Lead photos and The Waz photo: Sweet Pea Photography
If you play in a group/band (or solo) here in Buffalo, and have an upcoming gig at a venue(s) in the city, consider sending Buffalo Rising an email requesting to be emailed a Q&A interview that we can then post, along with concert dates. It’s a fun and easy way to get your name in front of another audience that is interested in learning about the local music scene.
The requirements are:
-You must be living in the Greater Buffalo region… or you must be plotting your return
-You must have a public show coming up in the city of Buffalo, as our focus is the urban landscape
-You must have a photo of the band
-Solo acts are also welcome
-Video is a plus
-CD/Album/poster art is welcome
-Links to Social Media sites are a bonus
-Ability to take accept both praise and/or criticism is a must
It is up to the discretion of Buffalo Rising whether or not to publish the interviews depending on nature of content submitted, or lack thereof.
Please send requests here. Include “Sounds of Buffalo” in the subject box of the email.