Anthology is sure to have a full house on March 5 during jazz vocalist Jonathan Karrant’s CD release show. The Arkansas native started performing at an early age after discovering his passion for jazz music. I had the chance to interview the musician before his upcoming show.
Samantha Tollin: So you started dancing at age 4. Is anyone else in your family a dancer/musician?
Jonathan Karrant: Yes, both my mother and older sister have done ballet and tap dancing. My uncle plays in a big band, and I have performed with his band, and I have also done a ton of theater shows.
ST: What are some of the artists who inspire you?
JK: I’ve been listening to Sinatra since I was 15 years old. I also listen to Elvis, Coltrane and Johnny Hartman.
ST: Do you play any instruments?
JK: I play piano, but I never take it to the stage. I don’t like to sing and play piano at the same time.
ST: You played shows in Las Vegas for awhile. How is the music scene in Las Vegas different than the San Diego's?
JK: I lived in Las Vegas for almost three years, and I feel the music scene there has died. In terms of the audiences, everyone watching you just cares about drinking and partying. I think the only bands that really benefit playing in Vegas are rock tribute bands. I like the music scene better in San Diego. I find the fans in San Diego to be more appreciative of my music.
ST: What is your favorite go-to song when you perform?
JK: I would say either “Don’t Go to Strangers” or “I Thought About You.”
ST: What got you interested in jazz music and singing jazz standards?
JK: When it comes down to it, jazz music is a passion I have always had.
ST: Tell me a little bit about your new album.
JK: It’s called On and On, it has 10 tracks, most of which are jazz standards that are not as typical as other ones. I tried to pick songs that are not covered as much. There are a few '70s folk songs on the album that have a jazz twist. I also did a rendition of the Beatles song “In My Life” and James Taylor’s “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight.” The accompanying musicians on the album are pianist Josh Nelson from Los Angeles, guitarist Mark Shapiro, bassist Rob Thorsen and drummer Duncan Moore.
ST: If you could pick one word to describe yourself, what would it be?
JK: That’s a hard question, but I would have to say storyteller.