The NoHo art community is a creative hotbed filled with talented singers, musicians, actors, dancers and visual artists. Over 50% of the people living in the district are under 35 years old. Every month, nohoartsdistrict.com will be highlighting one or two NoHo artists. If you are an artist and live or work in NoHo, please submit your bio for consideration. Today, we interviewed Joe Little, one of the most multi-talented music professionals I have seen for a while.
Tell us about your experience at Rock & Roll Fantasy Camp?
Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp was one of those experiences where I was sitting there for a moment saying to myself, “I’m actually getting paid for this?” This was probably around the time I was asked to start a blues jam with Mark Farner, Gary Hoey, and Billy Sheehan or after I helped out Alan White and his band perform the song Dream On with Steven Tyler surrounded by news cameras. Although, there were many long days and always tons of obstacles to dance around I can defiantly say that my couple years with the camp was an amazing time.
What groups have you worked with?
Being an individual that works in many areas of the music industry such as; a Performing Guitarist, Stage Management, Sound Engineering, Guitar Tech, and Music Teaching, I’m always finding myself working with someone different all the time, sometimes in somewhat surreal experiences. It’s literally someone different everyday. Just this past weekend I was working as a tech and live sound engineer at a rehearsal studio and got to work with bands and artists like Ceelo Green, Aloe Black, Najee, Janet Robin, alongside with many major label newly singed, up and coming acts featuring some of the best musicians in the world. While I’ve done post production audio work for film stuff, recently I did something staring Jeff Corwin which was a TV show called Ocean Mysteries. Some artist and groups like Buck 22 and Loudbox Ent, I work as a studio guitarist alongside with artist development. I got a chance to teach guitar lessons to some really cool Hollywood actors as well. Recently I played acoustic and electric guitar on a two-week national subnioz records tour with Jim Perkins-produced artist Sozay. Also, I’ve been real busy playing out with my own band called JayaR which consists of all pro musicians, including members of Shania Twain and Musicians Institute staff and fronted by a celebrity private chef. This is what I do for a passion project.
What was your favorite gig?
It’s a hard question, seeing that I just love playing so much. I’ve never thought about which was one was my favorite experience. I will say that I really love playing unconventional gigs like in college towns. It’s a standard to be on a lighted stage in front of an energetic crowd no doubt but I really love being part of an experience. One gig I’ll always remember was in Isla Vista, CA, which is the college town of UCSB in Santa Barbara. We were asked to play at a house party with JayaR and set up in the garage of this huge 5-bedroom house that was shared by a bunch of students. As we started playing, packs and packs of local party animals roamed the streets dancing wherever they could plant their feet and wheeling beer kegs around on skateboards. It was awesome because everyone’s response to us was ” Whoa… theres a band playing over there, and they’re killing it!” Those types of adventures are always the most fun because we get to party as well ha ha ha ha.
What instruments do you play? Did you have formal training/where?
I play guitar and a little bit of drums. I started playing guitar when I was 8 and had many different private teachers, still do actually. But after attending music production based classes at Columbia College Chicago I moved out to Hollywood to study at Musicians Institute and grab a degree in Guitar Performance. Prior to that I had been a full time musician back in Chicago, so I got a lot of my experience playing on stages at clubs and venues and haven’t stopped since.
Do you teach music too?
I do. I have many private students but also teach at the school of dance and music in Hermosa Beach, Redondo beach and Manhattan beach during the week.
What advice would you give a musician just starting out?
Play often and play everything. Every music playing experience is a learning experience.
Do you have any songs on iTunes?
Yes, JayaR has 2 EPs one studio and one live on iTunes and Spotify. Also, there are some free downloads to some of our latest singles if you stop by our website on our soundcloud. www.jayarmusic.com
Photo credit: Justin Zangerl