This page is filled with the questions that people have asked me with singular Regularity thru-out my career. They include questions from legions of fans as well as from many Radio & T.V. interviewers.
Question #1: How many bracelets do you Have & are they Heavy????
I know this inquiry sounds silly, But it IS a valid question & One of the most commonly asked no matter where I travel in the world, & I have heard it in every language!! :) The answer is I Dont really Know (!) as I've never counted!! On my right arm (My Trumpet arm!) I probably have over 40 bangles. On my left arm there are only 8, as I just received another gorgeous one for my Birthday!!!! Hurray! ! I have collected them over the years from various sources & parts of the world thru-out my travels & each one has a story. My sisters & Mother all wear them as well, tho not as many as mine. I wear All Sterling Silver (Unless white Gold!) except for 1 Gold bangle inherited from my wonderful Mom when she passed... All of my sisters got one each which was a special legacy indeed. They are not heavy to me, tho possibly would be a bit painful If I whacked you by accident! ha ha!!!! YES, I Do sleep with them & wash them with liquid saop once a day, vigorously! I used to have a Cat I trained to be an attack cat & always used My right arm with the bangles for her to Bite on, while training her, as she could never reach my arm due to the the impenatrable sheath of Sterling.... While downsizing the band in the middle 2000's, (not using a Drummer any longer, just Bass & Guitar) My bangles evolved as a percussion instrument which I use to this day, much like a tamborine! And Yes, I do have to alter some of my leather jackets & show clothes to fit over them! I usually do the Seamstress work myself unless it is leather & then I take those to the tailor.
Question # 2: When did you start Playing Trumpet?
I started playing Trumpet in the 4th grade , so I was 9 or 10? I remember the music teacher (The wonderful Mr. Cirocillo) came around at the end of 3rd grade to ask what we would like to play the following school year!! I immediately raised my hand & Said Trombone!!!! what?!? He politely said, Ginetta, Your Arms are too Short!!!! ha ha ha!!!! For all the fans reading this, I am only 5 ft.tall now (!) so back then I was just a tiny little thing! I then asked for the Trumpet, & the rest is history! I still remeber that big, heavy hard case I would have to drag to & from the elementary school each day we had "Band"!! Yikes! (we lived just close enough to not take the bus). I fell in Love with the horn & the sound & was introduced to amazing players by my Jazz Afficiando Pop who is still around today (Give Thanks!) & has been listening to Jazz for over 80 Years!!
Question # 3: When did you start playing pocket trumpet & why?
I started playing pocket trumpet in the early 2000's.... I was having trouble with stiffness in my left hand due to constantly holding my Trumpet for hours a day practicing or "Shedding" as the musicians call it! The regular Trumpet is quite a heavy instrument (especially for smaller hands!) & I was diagnosed with early onset arthritis!!! What?!?! (That ailment quickly disappeared when I gave up flour, sugar, salt, Alchohol & processed foods back in 2002!) Back then I had a wonderful (Occasional) teacher, Mr. Allan Colin, who suggested I switch to the Pocket trumpet as it is much smaller & a bit lighter. It was a brilliant idea & I have never looked back! The Pocket trumpet however, demanded over six (6) months of contant practicing with a tuner, as the "Blow" is very differnt from a regular horn! I mentioned him as an "Occasional Teacher" due to financial constraints thru out the early part of my career. I also had the amazing Pioneer of contemporary Female trumpet players, Ms. Laurie Frink (gone Way too soon!!!) as another "occasional teacher" & mentor whenevr I was having "Chop" difficulty...
Question # 4: How long have you been growing your Hair?
Another question possibly deemed silly & unnneccesary By The "Serious Jazz Community" (!) but in my experience with people around the globe it is a Valid & interesting one that I never ignore or disregard! I have had long hair all my life except in 6th grade when my sister, alledgedly under the guise of giving me a trim, cut much of it off to an almost shoulder length! Yikes!!!! I have grown it long ever since & make a point of trimming it every 3 months or so at the first quarter of the new moon! If that sounds strange, it is No strangr than the Old Farmers Almanac (Founded in 1792!) stating the phases of the moon to help with crop plantings! The moon's gravitational pull while waxing (Growing Larger) has an effect on plant growth, hair growth, Ocean tides & Tidal activity in all bodies of water. I use Coconut oil on my hair regularly and keep it in a Braid most of the time, while traveling, running, practicing & more! I only let it out while on stage (or Live-Streaming) & it has often gotten caught in my guitar player's fret board or the bass player's instrument while playing in very small venues!!! (Where the band is Jammed in a corner!) Ha ha!!!!!
Question # 5: Where did the name Ginetta's Vendetta (c.) & Ginetta Vendetta (c.) Come from & what does it mean?
This is a question most often asked by radio & press interviewers. The name Ginetta Vendetta (c.) was given to me by a dear friend & neighbor (At that time) Mr. Eric Oxendine, a former bass Player for Van Morrison & Jimi Hendrix plus a formidable bandleader & Guitar player in his own right, most recently with his Native American ensembles. Mr. Oxendine is a Tsalagi Cherokee & bestowed that name upon me one day in early 1993 while I was visiting, saying it rhymes with your name, is cool & fits your personality! Indeed!! :) I took it and created the band name Ginetta's Vendetta (c.)!!!! The word Vendetta is an Italian word that loosely translates to Revenge, but is usually held for a long period of time & often (Unfortunately!) passed down generations!!! A good example of that is from the Shakespere's play"Romeo & Juliet".
Question # 6: Who are some of your musical influences?
My major musical influences have changed thru-out the years as my ability, taste & ears have grown.... My first & foremost musical influence was the wonderful (Gone Too soon!) Clifford Brown,with his big fat sound & wonderful phrasing. I played his version (Barely!!!) of "Willow Weep For Me' at a Junior High talent show, all by myself... Wishing I had a band behind me even then!! :) It wasnt till 30 years later I got to record that same tune (On my "Standards" C.D.) with a Stellar band, Ginetta's Vendetta (c.) Super Band in 2013, the first of my 3 "Straight-ahead Jazz CD's!! Along with Clifford Brown, I listened incessantly to "Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Cole Porter Songbook"! I also got to hear live, many of the great masters from Dizzy Gillespie, Jon Faddis , Roy "Little Jazz" Eldridge, Sonny Rollins & many more when I was very young, Thanks To my Pop who would take me into the world famous music venues along 52nd street , Eddie Condons, Jimmy Ryans, The Half Note, etc....Along with these Jazz Masters I was heavily influenced by the horn section bands like Earth, Wind & Fire, The Ohio Players, Sly & The Family Stone, Kool & The Gang, etc. My favorite activity when my Mom would bring us to the store was running to the Record section & checking out all the album covers!!! The fabulous vocalists Chaka Khan, Aretha Franklin & Patti Labelle were also instrumental in my musical developement. When I moved into NYC as a teenager, I listened incessantly to the Fabulous Luis"Perico" Ortiz, a killing Latin trumpeter, plus many top latin bands , Celia Cruz, Willie Colon, The Fania All-stars, La Gran Manzana, Reuben Blades (You get the idea!) since I was working almost exclusively with Salsa, Merengue & cumbia bands at the start of my career. I LOVED Loved, Loved the Latin trumpeters with their screamin' high chops & lyrical soloing! A wonderful trumpeter & friend, Willie Ruiz , introduced me to the Unbeliveable Trumpet player who had recently Defected from Cuba (back Then) ARTURO SANDOVAL!!! Although I could Never hope to match his amazing high register, he played equally magnificentally in the lower & Middle register which I found truely inpiring!! To this day he remains one of my wonderful idols, whom I had the pleasure of meeting in the 90's when we were both appearing at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival! Later, as I developed musically, I started listening to the Iconic Miles Davis who brought a real sense of style & "Showbiz" to the Jazz world! I also love Louis Armstrong, both for his playing & his wonderful sense of Musical Joy!!! Each day I listen o new artists & give Thanks my ears are always tuned to new sounds , sights, experiences & happiness which , hopefully instills all of my CD's & musical performances!
Question # 7: Do You Work Out?
Yes! I work out every single day & have been running about 2-3 miles most of my adult life.... Most recently, however due to the quarantine, I have resorted to using a workout device called a "mini-stepper" (much like a elliptical machine!) in my apartment which I do every single evening after my show for usually 50-60 minutes. When the weather cooperates & when I Can find a spot where there are not too many people I love to run .. usually by the Hudson River.. winter, spring summer & fall... tho I much prefer the very hot weather! I finish my workout with some 8-10 minutes of stretching, Yoga exercises on a mat in my home along with push ups, light weights (Occasionally) and a super piece of gear called "The Body Blade". I also follow a very clean eating & fasting regiment to keep my energy up & my body weight down. Spirulina is a major ingredient in my daily Fruit smoothies.. Perfect Health is our birthright & it is up to us to be the sole custodians of the one & only precious physical body we are given, a sacred vessel.:)