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Mark Guiliana: Searching for a Special Feeling

Before & After listening session with the prolific and creative drummer

Mark Guiliana
Mark Guiliana at Jazz Middelheim (photo by Bruno Bollaert)

For audiences, a jazz festival “artist-in-residence” gig offers a special chance to hear a leading musician stretch out in various contexts, over the course of a few days. One set will usually show off the player’s more traditional, straight-ahead side; the next might demonstrate a more challenging, newer aspect; and then, perhaps, there will be a collaboration with younger local players.

For the fortunate musician—such as drummer Mark Guiliana, at this past summer’s Jazz Middelheim festival near Antwerp, Belgium—it is also an opportunity to put the brakes on a busy touring schedule, stay in one place for a long weekend and bring over the family (as Guiliana did with his wife, the singer Gretchen Parlato, and their young son, Marley). Guiliana, 37, was nearing the end of a busy season, during which he played the summer festivals as the leader of his own groups and as a member of saxophonist Donny McCaslin’s band, and put the final touches on the new album from his acoustic Jazz Quartet, Jersey.

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