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Jazz artist Bill Kwan talks New York, musical influences (Includes interview)

“I’m just starting to work on new material for my next album which will be recording with my producer Matt Pierson in New York City next year. We are just starting the process so it may be similar to Poison & Wine, or possibly more jazz-oriented. We’ll see where the material leads us.”

On his plans for the future, Kwan said, “My plans are to continue touring with my band in support of Poison & Wine. We are planning a Southern California swing later this year and early 2016. I’m continuing to write some original material for a future untitled project that I will record in New York next year.”

Speaking of “The Big Apple,” Kwan shared that he is looking into some New York City dates for early 2016, and he encouraged his fans to “stay tuned.”

His biggest musical influences are varied. His earlier influences include Steely Dan, the Eurythmics, Fleetwood Mac, and Joni Mitchell. In addition, Beck, Bjork, Gillian Welch, Jack White and Ryan Adams.

Kwan listed Bjork and Gillian Welch as his dream female duet choices. “Joni Mitchell would be amazing. I’m a big fan of Alison Krauss. She has such an amazing pure quality to her voice. Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine too,” he said.

When asked what motivates him each day, he said, “I have such an amazing life that every day I live is a real gift. I try to maximize each and everyday and do things I enjoy, see people that are important to me. Being creative and learning more about music, my life and myself.”

His music is inspired by finding lyrics that he connects with on a personal level. “It has to be relatable to me. Finding other artists to collaborate with allows us to be organic and to have something special happen. I also am really attracted to songs that deal with loss of some sort, usually love,” he said.

“Thank you from the bottom of my heart,” he told his fans. “To have you relate and appreciate my music is so important to me. Although I work on music that’s important to me, that allows me to express myself, to have others get me is icing on the cake.”

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 21,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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