You may have seen guitarist Jocelyn Gould at a collage-à-trois show, or on the flatbed playing with Jazz on Wheels a couple of summers back. She’s a passionate musician with a warm sound and a quick smile. A few months ago she started up a jam session on Sunday nights at Maw’s, a new little club in the Exchange. It’s thriving because of Jocelyn’s special qualities: she’s engaging, collaborative, dedicated, and open.
What draws you to the guitar?
Ever since I was a kid, making music has always been the most soulful thing I can do for myself. One of the most magical things about music for me is the way a beautiful melody combines with a beautiful harmony. I was first drawn to the guitar when I discovered that by playing the chords to a song and singing the melody, I could create that feeling all by myself! It became a very spiritual and soulful thing for me. From there, I got the urge to have my own voice on the guitar, and I’ve been working towards that ever since.
Who are your biggest influences on the guitar?
Right now I am influenced largely by history’s jazz guitar greats, and each player is special to me for a different reason. I get really energized by how hard Wes Montgomery swings, and no one can make me feel as melancholy as Jim Hall. I love Grant Green because he knows how to evoke feeling using simplicity and groove, and I’m learning a lot from him about the blues.
Tell us about some of your projects.
For the past few months, I’ve been hosting jazz nights at Maw’s, a really great new venue in the Exchange District, at 111 Princess Street. The evening follows typical jam session structure: the house band plays a set at 8:00 pm, and a jam session follows an hour later. Everyone is encouraged to come out, from jazz lovers to people who are interested in hearing jazz for the first time, and all levels of musicians are welcome to bring their instruments and sit in. I’ve been watching my teachers and other musicians host jam sessions for years, so it’s really cool for me to be taking the driver’s seat and running my own session!
A more recent project is fauxpasfunk, an edgy funk group led by local saxophonist Niall Bakkestad-Legare. I’m also working hard on developing my playing and leadership in a jazz quartet setting—this is ultimately what I want to do as a player.
Who is in your earbuds these days?
Right now I’m really into Sonny Rollins’ A Night at The Village Vanguard. It’s a live saxophone trio album, and I can’t get enough of it because it’s a perfect display of bebop language. Sonny knows the history of the language so well, and you can hear that when you listen to him. Every line that he plays makes me think, “I need that language in my playing!”
I recently got back into Grant Green’s album The Complete Quartets with Sonny Clark. I love the tune selection on the album, and I love how Sonny Clark’s style at the piano complements Grant Green’s playing.
If you were to advise yourself as a young musician coming out of high school, what would you say?
Rufus Reid made a remark in a masterclass a few years ago that really stuck with me. He said, “You’re young. You have SO much time…but you don’t have any time to waste.”