Featured Musician - April 2009

Name : Chance Hayden

Chance Hayden

Instrument: guitar, composer.

Early Years/Education: I was really drawn to the guitar when I was a little kid. I had a Walkman, and one of my earliest cassettes was Elvis Presley. I was just instantly attracted to it and decided it was something I wanted to try out. I wound up getting a classical guitar from a pawn shop for forty bucks. A couple of years later I started taking lessons, at age ten. My guitar teacher from age twelve to sixteen was Dale Lawrence (jazz guitarist who now lives in San Diego). My Dad's from Atlanta, Mom's from Florida, so I have Southern roots but really grew up here. Dad's just a big music fan, Mom is a less active listener but knows what she likes. I started putting my first rock band together in middle school and also played in the middle school jazz band. I started getting less interested in sports and more interested in music. By the time I was a junior in high school, I decided this is what I wanted to do. I did a “running start” program, which is when you go to high school and college at the same time. At this point I got in with the Clark College jazz band, which motivated me to start taking lessons again and really got into jazz. One of the directors at Clark, and an old family friend, is Jeff Uusitalo; he was very encouraging. After this I stared lessons with Dan Gildea at Portland State University. I really liked him and he got me excited about it. He was one of the reasons I decided to go to PSU for my degree. The other reason was I just wanted to live in Portland. It's a good city all around, people are so supportive of the music, everyone is really friendly and generous. (Chance is the youngest student to receive his B. A. in Music Performance in Jazz at PSU.)

Musical Influences: Nat King Cole, Charlie Parker, Oscar Peterson, Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, Wes Montgomery, Jimmy Smith, Joe Pass, Jim Hall, George Benson, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Dave Holland, John Scofield, Paul Motion, Bill Frisell, Charlie Hunter, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Rolling Stones, James Brown, Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, Claude Debussy, Frederic Chopin, and my teachers: Dale Lawrence, Dan Gildea, Darrell Grant, Bryan Johanson, Dick Titterington, Charley Gray, Jeff Uusitalo and Ben Medler. My first love of the jazz guitar trio was the groups of Nat King Cole and Oscar Peterson. I love that classic sound of the piano, guitar and bass. I also like guitar, keyboard and drums. I like to have keyboard cover the bass parts ... then you can do Jimmy Smith things, pop tunes, etc.

Most Satisfying Experience: That has to be New Years '08. It was the first show of the Oregon Jazz Orchestra at the Governor Hotel. This is Devin Phillip's big band, and his concept is for the band to have an appeal across the whole state. For this first show we played mostly Duke Ellington music. It was a great gig and the first one for the group. There I'm seated on stage between Darrell Grant at the piano, Devin Phillips right beside me, and I'm in front of Mel Brown and Eric Gruber. It's doesn't get much cooler than that, it was just so much fun! 

Bands: Chance Hayden Trio: usually I'm accompanied  by either Marcus Reynolds on piano, and Bill Athens on acoustic bass, or Ben Darwish on keys and Russ Kleiner on drums. Troubled Boots: jazz, Chicago blues, straight ahead and traditional country. We do the music of Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, Bonny Raitt, true American “roots music,” as well as lesser known Nina Simone stuff. We have a wide repertoire. Shelly Rudolph (vocalist) and I decided one night driving home from a gig; wouldn't it be great fun to have a band that can play Elvis and Ray Charles the way it was intended? Add to that some new stuff in the same vein. This band is so dear to me ... this is the kind of music I grew up with. My Dad is a really big blues fan, so I got naturally drawn into the blues and a lot of roots music. I’m also musical director for Shelly Rudolph when she goes out with her original music. I work with Devin Phillips a bit; I recently started playing in his funk band. I also play a duo with singer/songwriter J Malem. 

Teaching: I like to mix the fun stuff with the theory and reading so it isn't all the most challenging material all the time. You have to keep it at a level they can grasp and enjoy. Let's say you've got a ten to twelve year old who wants to do AC/DC riffs.  I'll show them some of that but also want to show the theoretical side too, so you have a balance. I enjoy teaching. I've worked with kindergardeners as well as older people who used to play and want to get back into it. I'd like to have more students.

Favorite Recordings: Ray Charles “Ray Charles aka Hallelujah I Love Her So” (1959); Charles Mingus “Ah Um” (1959); Getz/Gilberto “Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto featuring Antonio Carlos Jobim” (1964); Jimi Hendrix Experience “Are You Experienced?” (1967); Taj Mahal “Giant Step/De Old Folks at Home” (1969); Miles Davis “In a Silent Way” (1969); London Symphony Orchestra “Vols. I & II: Frank Zappa”  (1983,1987); Dave Douglas “Charms of the Night Sky” (1997); Till Fellner “J.S. Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Books I & II” (2004); and Lionel Loueke “Gilfema” (2005).

Discography: Currently working on a “Troubled Boots” project. PSU Jazz Ensemble’s “Thunderbolts & Cobwebs” (2007).

Where Playing: Wilf's at Union Station, with Shelley Rudolph, April 3 and May 2;  with David Goldblatt performing the music of Thelonius Monk, May 14; Local Color, Seattle, with Shelly Rudolph, April 17; White Eagle Saloon,  “The Mood of Monday” April 20, May 18, and June 15;  Every Tuesday in May at the While Eagle with Troubled Boots; Buffalo Gap Saloon, with J Malem May 15 and June 19; Duff's Garage, with Troubled Boots, May 28; Tony Starlight's with Shelly Rudolph, June 30. 
Future Plans: I'm trying to write a lot more now, working on a concept for my first album. I have some ideas that will impact people when they hear it. I'd like to get my own CD out featuring my original compositions ... don't want to rush it.

Other Comments: Being a musician is all about finding a good balance; you could spend all day on the computer doing the business end of things and never get to your instrument; it's all time management really.

Quote from Darrell Grant: “One of my traditions at PSU is to hire two or three of my advanced students each year to form a working group that performs with me. In ten years of teaching, Chance is the youngest student that I have engaged in this group.

-- by Rita Rega


Copyright 2009, Jazz Society of Oregon