Multi-GRAMMY Award Winner, Ulysses Owens Jr., Talks of Jazz and Students
I f you don’t already know Ulysses Owens Jr., then you’re missing out. Ulysses is one of the most sought-after drummers in his generation. A multi-GRANMY Award winning drummer and percussionist that has played with a few of the most successful jazz ensembles in this century. Ulysses studied music and jazz at Julliard and now currently resides in Manhattan, New York.
Ulysses Owens Jr. is coming to Memphis on the 27th of February for a concert at Hutchison school.
This concert benefits the Memphis Jazz Workshop.
Where it all started
Ulysses career began at the early age of two because his mother, who was the choir director at their church, always put Ulysses near the drummer so that she could monitor him and make sure he didn’t get in trouble. One day the drummer got up, and naturally, Ulysses went and started playing. Fast forward to age 6 or 7, the young musician took over playing the drums at his church and started playing for the different choirs and organizations. This moment was when his love really started for the instrument. By the time that he was 14 or 15 years old he has had a lot of experience playing drums for the church in his hometown of Jacksonville and so he then began to play a lot of gigs.
“There was something about jazz that really kept my attention, and the ability to be really creative in that art form really captured me.”
“So, probably when I was 16 years old is when I fell in love with the music, and literally from about the time I was 16 until 25 I always listened to jazz so I really digested a lot of records and dissected a lot of records and that just led me to a whole journey.”
Students and jazz
“I think that anybody who wants to take a path into music needs to first study the origins of music. Then they at least have somewhat of an understanding about this music and they can then go from there. If they don’t have that formal music instruction then the level of reach or impact that they can make is going to be very, very limited.”
“This quality in life is major. Being able to say that life is throwing any sort of challenge my way and that I’m just going to improvise my way through it and find my way is a very key quality that I think everybody needs.”