We asked a variety of performers playing at Christmas Jam a few questions. Here’s a sample of those conversations. To read the complete interviews, and for more coverage of the Jam as it unfolds, visit avl.mx/xmasjam.
Xpress: Who are you most excited to jam with at Christmas Jam?
Jerry Depizzo (OAR multi-instrumentalist): I'd be happy to get my face melted off by Warren or taken to school by Scofield.
Other than playing the festival, is there anything else you’re excited about doing while you’re in Asheville?
Depizzo: I love to take a run in every city we go to. It gets me away from the venue and exploring. I love your city's charm.
Ron Holloway (guest saxophonist): Yes – just walking around beautiful, downtown Asheville. I love the vibe and the restaurants there.
Jeff Sipe (drummer, Aquarium Rescue Unit): I enjoy the chocolate shops in town. Yum!
What’s your favorite Christmas song?
Sipe: “Drummer Boy” of course. "Me and My drum.”
If you could have another Christmas Jam artist cover one of your songs, who would it be and what song would you want them to play?
Bill Evans (guest saxophonist): There is a song I wrote with Warren, from my last CD, Dragonfly, called “Tit for Tat.” Aquarium Rescue Unit would nail that one.
Depizzo: I'd like to hear Grace Potter's take on our tune "Shattered." She'd knock that out.
What are some themes or narratives you’ve been working with recently in your music?
Sipe: We are including themes of love and compassion inspired by John Coltrane songs, MLK speeches and Indian music. Also, American Civil war songs and the Appalachian song book.
Evans: Pocket change, nothing but time, cheese, things that happen every once in while…
Do you have anything special planned for your Christmas Jam set?
Holloway: To perform the greatest instrumental solo of my career and blow up at the end of it! People will say: "He went out with a bang!"