Next in our new series of interviews with some of Central Ohio’s finest jazz musicians is guitarist Aditya Jayanthi. A Columbus native, Jayanthi studied music at Fort Hayes and Capital University. His resume includes leading various small groups at Dicks Den, as well as playing with Vaughn Wiester’s Famous Jazz Orchestra, the Matt Adams Quartet, David Ornette Cherry and Circus of Cool. Jayanthi spent most of the past 3 years serving in the Army, where he found time to play in local bands and even led his own trio in Seoul, Korea. He has now returned home to Columbus and is wasting no time getting back into the jazz scene, playing in several bands and forming a new band, Turtle Boat, which will celebrate the music of drummer Paul Motian with a performance on Sunday, February 1st at 9:30pm at Dick’s Den. Jayanthi was kind enough to answer our interview questions and give us more insight on his background and current projects:
When and why did you start playing music and jazz?
Aditya Jayanthi (AJ): I started playing guitar as a child but it was just a hobby until I saw that scene in Back to the Future when he says, “watch me for the changes!” I think I was in the 8th grade then. I decided I would quit playing only after I learned how to do that so here I am.
Who are some of your main influences in your playing/performing?
AJ: All of my teachers and friends.
What is your fondest musical memory?
AJ: Hearing Ken Vandermark in Chicago (can’t remember what the place was called) was pretty intense. There are also a couple times I heard Derek DiCenzo/Nate Anders/Terry Douds/Joe Ong at Dick’s Den (can’t remember what they call that band!) that I find myself thinking about often.
What are you listening to today? What’s on your playlist?
AJ: Still a lot of Paul Motian. I’m really looking forward to playing his music! That Kristin Slipp/Dov Manski record is also really great.
What inspires you about the Columbus Jazz scene?
AJ: We have so many brilliant musicians here – tons of players for me to look up to and aspire to play with.
Can you tell us about the Turtle Boat show on February 1st? What other bands are you playing with now that you’re back in town?
AJ: Yes, Turtle Boat is a band that will be playing original compositions by Paul Motian as well as selections that would be appropriate for (and were potentially recorded by!) the Electric Bebop Band. [Turtle Boat is: Mark Donovan and Alex Burgoyne on saxophones, Brett Burleson and Jayanthi on guitars, John Allen on bass, and Maxwell Button on drums.] I also play with the Free Jazz Hit Parade, Insane Jazz Posse, and Raw Dough (You Knead It!).
To hear some of Jayanthi’s previous work, check out ajayanthi.bandcamp.com.