Rajeev Kapoor

New World School of the Arts | Jazz Guitar

What made you start playing guitar?

When I was younger, my mom used to always play old rock records around the house. I loved them all, and one day she was playing Guns n Roses. I asked her to show me a photo of the band. When she showed me, I immediately pointed to Slash and asked what instrument he played. She told me he played guitar and from that point on I wanted to play guitar.

Slash's guitar playing is pretty on point. Who else do you listen to?

I’ve been listening to Wes Montgomery, Grant Green, Joe Pass, and Pat Metheny. My taste has changed drastically over the years. I started off only listening to rock, and over time I slowly got into Jazz.

What was it like attending Live! in the past?

My experience at Live! was incredible. Over the years that I went there, I progressed at an astonishing rate. They taught me all of the most important things and made it fun and interesting. I remember always looking forward to going to my next class, whether it was a band rehearsal or private lesson. All of the staff was extremely nice and welcoming and made me feel like I had a second home there.

What are you working on now?

As of right now, I go to New World School of the Arts for jazz guitar. We’re preparing for a competition called “Essentially Ellington” that we were recently accepted into. 15 jazz bands throughout North America are chosen to perform at Fredrick P. Rose Hall, Home of Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York. The festival ends with a concert and awards ceremony featuring the three top-placing bands. This is the main project going on right now.

Rajeev 2012

Rajeev 2012

Congrats on the Jazz Festival! Do you have a preference of which genres you like to play?

Right now, I definitely prefer to play jazz. I love how much control you have over a tune. A lot of jazz is improvised as well, which I enjoy because I feel that it lets the artist express him or herself as much as possible. It allows you to create any mood you would like within a song.

What do you plan on doing in the future?

Getting into the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz for college. Next year I also plan to audition for Grammy Camp. Besides that, I just want to become a better musician and master my craft. I want to be the best I can be and learn as much as I can while I attend New World. If it wasn't for Live!, I wouldn't even have made it here.

Rajeev’s live performances can be found on our YouTube and Vimeo channels