Ultimately, what we do as musicians, I think of us as a type of emotional engineer. We essential take these sound waves, this sound, and we organize it into emotion, and that's how we connect with our audiences.
Being at home with my family always inspires me. I find it hard to be inspired when I'm on the move. I'm not creative when I'm jet-lagged and sleeping in strange hotels.
I taught myself to read music at a very young age, so when I started to take lessons in school, the teachers used to give me other instruments to keep me busy, because I was more advanced than the other kids.
If you listen to the way I speak, I have a lot of rhythm, use a lot of accents. When I'm playing my instrument, that concept comes through very clearly.
What happens when an art form becomes ambiguous, I think, is that the standards are lowered. You can say anything is jazz. So I think it's important to reflect on what made jazz so special.
One of the things I'm adamant about as a bandleader is not micromanaging. I'm an advocate for the concept of allowing everyone to be fully vested in what they're doing, so everyone contributes whatever they're inspired to contribute.