Cerritos College
Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Going By a Family Rhythm

Going By a Family Rhythm

Host intro: He was born in Belflower on November second, nineteen nighty two. He has family coming from Mexico and he also has Italian decent. Jason Turrietta tells us how his family has influenced him to become the musician he is today.

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Turrietta: I started playing, I’d say, when I was about six years old. My dad would always be playing his piano. And I remember specifically him playing the Peanuts theme song. That was the one that really caught my attention. And I’m just watching him play and go like, “damn I want to play that too.” So what he did was, he started teaching me the right hand for that song as he did the left hand and he would do that for a few songs like Stevie Wonder’s Living in the Sky was another one I first learned *plays song*.  That was like the second song I learned and he just had me play jazz tones like that and I eventually started doing them with out him. I got the left hand going. And they would have me playing at family parties and things you know, just for entertainment. And I just got better and better. That’s where it started, my dad.

Montes: Tell me about your dad’s music background.

Turrietta: My dad when he was a kid he had his guitar, his keyboard. He would play all the time and he kept playing and got better and better and grew into it. And he eventually joined a band which was how he supported us for the first, maybe when I was about twelve years old. He was playing in a band and that was how he made his money, putting us through school and whatnot with music. That further increased our want to play music. And I remember that specifically as well.

Montes: Is your family really influencul with music? You know, are you the only one in your family that plays music? Is it just your dad? Like, who else?

Turrietta: It’s bascically just my dad and his tree kids, my brother, my sister. Us four are the main musicicans of the family. Besides us, there really no one else in the family that plays music. They, you know, like listening. But as far as playing goes, it’s pretty much us four.

Montes: So you guys are the entertainment of the party?

Turrietta: Pretty much, yeah. My grandpa, I remember all the time he would have me bring my keyboard to parties. And he would have me set up in front of everybody. We have a big family so that was when I started performing live, sort of speak. I remember they would pass around a little tip cup and they’d put dollars in it. And I would leave with a good thirty bucks in my pocket so I didn’t mind, you know?

Montes: You experienced that as a child and as you grew up. And did that motivate you to keep going and keep playing music?

Jason Turrietta: Yeah, it did because I saw that it made people happy. And I like the fact that through my playing people got enjoyment. That’s one of the things I like about music. You not only do it for yourself, you also do it for others to entertain. It’s a selfless act in a lot of ways.

So tell me, were you ever in a group when you were a child, anything like that.

Turrietta: As a family unofficial thing, I guess. My brother, my sister, my other cousin sometimes on the drums and my dad. We would just play. Not offcically, just for fun, you know? And we had that going on. And just up until a few months ago we had a band called West Coast Zombies, which I was part of. I was the keyboardest and one of the singers. And it was my brother, my sister, my two cousins and I. It didn’t last too long, maybe a good year. And eventually we broke up and went our seperate ways. And, now I’m just, you know, a solo player. In Rivera Middle School I was part of the choir and I played the piano for our choir teacher Mr. Pritchard. And he would have me play while they sang. And I would play, you know, small Christmas concerts, little assemblys at school, things like that we would do.

Montes: How did you become part of that?

Turrietta: How did I become part of that? I don’t even remember. Um, nah. I had a friend named Ignacio and he took me to an afterschool choir meeting one time. I didn’t know it was an afterschool thing. I thought school was still going on, I didn’t know it was like an extracurricular thing so I accident. And I eventually figured out it was a choir thing, and I was like, “You know what, I can do this.” I just stuck with it and that’s how I started playing the piano for the choir.

Rosaura Montes: You play rock, you play blues. Which is the one you feel most empowered with?

Turrietta: I would say blues. It’s deep, there’s a lot of soul that goes into it. You can play pop, you can play you know, bluegrass, classical. But when it comes to blues there’s a lot of improvosation that goes. And through improvesation you really release what you have within through the keys. It’s not just reading music and playing that. You give yourself in the music. And it’s telling from the soul what you’re about.

Montes: When playing music, is it difficult to learn a piece or is does it come easy to you, just read the notes and just say, “I can do this?”

Turrietta: At first it takes getting used to. But it comes very easily because I’ve practiced for so long. So I can learn something , I have to do it a few times. Before I know it it’s a second nature.

Montes: What are your top favorite songs you like to play?

Turrietta: Ray Charles, I love Ray Charles. He’s the king, as far as I’m concerened. *plays ray charles.* He’s that whole stride player. He’s got a lot going on. He’s got stride, blues, soul. He’s the king as far as I’m concered. I love Ray Charles. Other than that, you know just random blues. I don’t really play music music, I play by ear. I play what comes to mind so that’s how I do it.

Montes: For you as a person is it easy for you to remember things?

Turrietta: Yeah, I do. Because when you play music at a young age you are expanding your capacity for knowlegde and that really helps out other areas of life. Because you have to memorize music notes and that memorization powers other things as well. Whether it be school, whether it be, you know, any random thing that you might memorize. It really does help with your memory. I think music has a big part of that.  I’m very sure it does.

Montes: Of course you’re going to be playing music all your whole life, that’s never gonna leave. But with music that comes to mind, do you think that is something you want to do the rest of your life?

Turrietta: As far as a career goes I’m not sure. Because music is such an unsure industry. There’s no fanalities when it comes to music. As far as a career goes I don’t know. I would play public places. If that ever led somewhere I might, you know. Whether it be a bar or whether it be a little gig gathering. I would go little gigs here and there. But as far as a career, it’s not really my intenet as far as this point.

Music plays

From Cerritos College, I am Rosaura Montes, reporting.

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Rosaura Montes, Staff Writer
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Going By a Family Rhythm