Jan Flemming (Photo by David Brendan Hall)
GREEN ROOM CHATTER with JAN FLEMMING
A look back at 2016-2017 Winner of Best Miscellaneous Instrument
Jan Flemming scooped up the 2016-2017 Austin Music Award for Best Miscellaneous Instrument. His instrument of choice? The accordion. Check out Jan’s insightful interview on the AMAs and the Austin music scene.
What’s the best part of winning an AMA?
It is a huge honor to win an Austin Music Award. Many of my idols like Flaco Jimenez have won one and it’s surreal to receive the same award. Also, it’s humbling to represent the accordion, the instrument that I love, in the category of Miscellaneous Instruments.
Who do you want to see perform at the AMAs?
I would like to see Greg Izor perform. He is a stellar musician with a harp tone that is authentic and haunting and he’s a great singer as well. His way of welcoming and supporting new and young musicians in the scene is a huge contribution. Also, I would be happy to see some Jazz at the AMAs. Austin has a great Jazz community with some serious talents. I saw that Tomas Ramirez is on the ballot for the Hall of Fame. That would be a highlight!
What project/s are you currently working on?
The main focus right now is my band Grupo Massa. We are mixing our musical backgrounds into a vibrant and innovative world music. We have Bruno Vinezof from Olinda, Brazil singing and playing percussions, Michael Longoria from McAllen, TX on drums, Daniel Durham from Austin, TX on bass and myself from Cologne, Germany on accordion. The focus is the fusion, which allows us to play world music with a jazz mindset and a healthy dose of psychedelic. In spring 2018 we’ll be dropping our first EP, so that’s something to keep your ears and eyes open for. Also, I am playing keys with Nakia and the Blues Grifters which has been a lot of fun.
Who are your local musical influences?
One of my biggest influences is Michael Longoria, an exceptional drummer, that has been an incredible contributor to the Austin music scene for over 25 years. You can always count on him to elevate performances with his creativity and selfless spirit. Also, one of my favorites in town is Emily Gimble, super soulful and lots of groove. My favorite guitar tone in Austin comes from Willie Pipkin, raw, and singing.
On the record but off topic – what’s your favorite taco in Austin?
One of my favorite tacos in town is La Mexicana on South 1st. Authentic, always good, and open 24 hours.