Jordan E. Spivack

Music Interview with Jordan E. Spivack


Photo by Joseph L.

By: Isaac Davis Jr., BGS, MBA

Jordan E. Spivack is amazing when it comes to composing intelligent classical music that captures the true meaning of beautiful sounds. This composer/lyricist also happens to be an amazing piano player which becomes one of his biggest strengths with his music as the piano selections add a whole new excitement to each of his songs. Remarkably, Spivack studied piano and music theory (for 3 years) at Cornell University at the young age of 10 years old. Spivack went on to receive his Masters in Music in composition, theory and piano from Indiana University. Today, Spivack has agreed to this wonderful spotlight about his music. Check out what Spivack had to say. Enjoy!

Isaac: We'd love to know about your inspirations growing up. I hear so many influences in your music. How old were you when you first discovered music? Is there any kind of musical history in your family?

Jordan: My parents Sophie and Gershon loved all kinds of music, so from a very early age I was introduced to Broadway (Rodgers and Hammerstein, Lerner and Lowe, Irving Berlin), Jazz (particularly Dave Brubeck), Classical (especially Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, Shostakovich, Prokofiev, and all the most famous - Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Debussy), Pop (everything from Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney to Johnny Mathis), and Folk (The Kingston Trio). When I was 2 ½, I had my own record player, and that thing got a workout daily! My Mom was a singer and artist, my Dad was a lyricist (wrote lyrics to my Uncle Murray’s music), poet and playwright. And my parents appeared Off-Broadway - my Dad as an actor and director, and my Mom as an actress and singer.

Isaac: What drew you to pick up an instrument in the first place?

Jordan: Both of my sisters, Linda and Karen, were taking piano lessons. I was fascinated by the piano, and started crawling up on the bench at age four to try it out. By the age of five I was writing my own pieces, and so my parents, recognizing my gift, started me on piano lessons with a high school friend of my sister.

Isaac: As you hit your teenage years, did you know that this was what you would be doing for the rest of your life?

Jordan: I kind of knew I’d always be doing something musically, but I was also a good actor, so there was a question in my mind which path I would pursue. But my Mom said; you can compose your own music, that’s what’s original about you. And she was right, so I chose that direction, and I haven’t regretted it. Thanks, Mom! And I couldn’t have had any bigger fan and supporter than my Dad. Both parents believed strongly in my talents as a composer, pianist, singer, and actor.

Isaac: Is there a performer in any genre of pop culture that you would like to work with?

Jordan: I would love to collaborate with John Meyer, Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Burt Bacharach, Joe Sample, Pat Metheny, George Benson - what an honor and a dream it would be to work with any of these finest composers and musicians of their generation.


Photo by Joseph L.

Isaac: Who are some musicians that you really like, present or past?

Jordan: Well, from the present: I love Mariah Carey for the purity of her voice, Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays for their musical genius and spirit, Madonna for her ability to create the perfect hook and her evolution from nobody to world superstar, Joni Mitchell for the honesty and inventiveness of her songwriting, Barbra Streisand for her timeless voice and ability to choose just the right material, and Stevie Wonder and Earth, Wind and Fire for creating the most perfect grooves.

From the past: Michael Jackson for the music, the videos, the dancing, wow!, Laura Nyro for writing my very favorite songs (“Wedding Bell Blues”, “Timer”, “Save The Country”, “Stoned Soul Picnic), Leonard Bernstein - what would my life be without “West Side Story”?, and Aaron Copland for “Rodeo”, “Billy The Kid”, “El Salon Mexico”, and “Appalachian Spring” - such an inspiration!

Isaac: What is your ultimate goal with your music career?

Jordan: The goal has evolved over the years (I’m older and wiser now): I’d like to reach the largest audience possible with the best of my music, to be respected as an artist and composer, and, of course, to be famous.

Isaac: What has been some of the obstacles it has taken to get this far in your career?

Jordan: I’ve had a lot of rejection. That’s supposed to make you stronger, but it hurts, and it takes renewed courage to keep getting up when you get knocked down again and again. But I don’t give up easily. And sometimes there are successes: here we are doing this interview…

Isaac: Would you recommend this "field" to others who are aspiring to be musicians like you?

Jordan: I think it’s a hard road, but if you truly believe in yourself and your talents, and you understand it’s a long haul and a serious commitment, then go for it!

Isaac: Describe one piece of advice you've have been given by others in the music industry.

Jordan: Love what you do, work hard, never give up.

Isaac: What genre of music do you consider most of your music?

Jordan: Very hard to pin down for me, so I’ll choose two genres: Classical and Jazz.

Isaac: What has been your favorite piece of work?

Jordan: My favorite piece of work is my CD “My Provincetown” - I think of it as a musical suite. The music is a mixture of Jazz, Classical and New Age, and it has a good flow to it, shows off my range as a composer, arranger, and performer, and is relaxing and fun to listen to - for me it stands up to repeated listening.


Oil Painting by Karen E. Halpern

Isaac: How can fans-to-be gain access to your music? Do you have a website with sample songs or a demo CD?

Jordan: My website www.jordanesp.com has samples of every track on both of my most recent CDs “Think Lovely Thoughts” and “My Provincetown”, plus several free downloads of songs and instrumentals. Both CDs are available for download from the iTunes store, CD Baby.com, and Amazon.com (put Jordan E. Spivack or the CD titles in their search engines). You can also buy downloads of over 30 of my other tracks from OurStage.com at http://www.ourstage.com/profile/jordanespivack.

Isaac: Is there anyone you’d like to acknowledge for offering financial or emotional support?

Jordan: There are three people who have been my main support system: my Mom, Sophie Spivack (still living) and Dad, Gershon Spivack (recently passed), and my partner of the last 30 years, Joseph. I wouldn’t be who I am now without all of their love, patience and constant emotional support. There has been a lot of support for my whole life from family members and friends. And I thank them all.

Isaac: Any last words?

Jordan: I am very proud of whom I am and what I have accomplished so far, but I would like to think that my best work is still to come.

Isaac, thank you for this lovely opportunity!"

 

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