Sound Scene Express

J. Trafford Interview -Benefit Concert Tonight


J. Trafford is the front man for indie pop group Suavity’s Mouthpiece. The band released their 7th album in 2014 since their inception in 2008, entitled “Peerless Suavity.” Trafford has been making music in Pittsburgh since 2002. Tonight he’ll be performing  “The Winedark Serenatas” in its entirety. This is the 10th year anniversary of Trafford’s solo album. All proceeds for the event will go to Persad, an organization that strengthens the regions LGBTQ communities and their allies. The event will be held in Greensburg at The Mary Lou Campana Center at The University of Pittsburgh-Greensburg at 7 pm with Swampwalk and Xavier in the Doghouse. Check out our interview below with J. Trafford.

Sound Scene Express:   What have you been up to these days?

J. Trafford:   I haven’t heard Adele’s new song yet, so one could say I’m behind.

I’ve been as I’ve always been – making music, championing the local music that I adore, and scrounging about the new record shops that have opened in Greensburg.

SSE:   How would you describe your Suavity’s Mouthpiece work compared to your
solo work?

JT:   I started Suavity’s Mouthpiece in 2008 to think about and act upon arranging for live performance that was more than just me. I saw it as more than ‘starting a band,’ because I was writing music for instrumentalists beyond what I would find. For a long time it was just guitar, bass, and drums, and so I wrote a big band jazz album incorporating brass and electronics. We rearranged the recorded songs for live performance so that they would still sound full and include this music.

SSE:   Is there any news on the horizon from Suavity’s Mouthpiece? Another
album? live shows?

JT:   I couldn’t let Ed Sheeran have all the fun.

There are no live shows yet planned, but I have carefully considered my next misstep.

SSE:   You have a big benefit show tonight, how did you get involved? Why are you teaming up with Persad?

JT:   It’s something I had been wanting to do for some time, I just wanted to make sure that I got my homework finished, first.
The benefit is of course for Persad in Pittsburgh, and they distinguish themselves in Pittsburgh by being a place for bi- and trans-visibility and inclusion.

SSE:   If readers can’t make the benefit, how can they help?

The original 2005 recording of the album I am performing was made available, and all proceeds from it will be donated to Persad.

SSE:   Did you organize the event yourself?

JT:   I did. I was fortunate that my friend Swampwalk and Xavier in the Doghouse were interested in performing.

SSE:   You will be performing your first solo album “The Winedark Serenatas” in its entirety, why was this chosen?

JT:   If you make spectacles, some people might see.

SSE:   What should we expect from the evening?

JT:   Some of my favorite music can be expected. I’m so glad to be doing this event in Greensburg, where the students from the Pitt campus there are teaming with support for Persad and silenced communities. Nothing is worse than a stifled voice.

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