With over 50 years of involvement in various genres, including jazz, rock, classical, Latin, and new age, Sky Canyon is a United States, Boulder-based artist whose musical prowess shines through in his delightful tunes, especially this bebop tune titled “Bop That Rhythm,” which we are here today to discuss. Sky Canyon’s “Bop That Rhythm,” released on March 19th, is an original piece that displays his broad knowledge and profound passion for jazz music. Despite paying respect to the legendary “I Got Rhythm” rhythm changes, the foundation of jazz improvisation, Canyon’s work is filled with his particular musicality and aesthetic vision. As a result, his love of jazz is obvious in every note of this work, which captivates us with its vivid energy and enthusiasm. We at Songweb were intrigued after listening to this treasure, so we decided to interact with Sky Canyon from the other side of the world which he graciously accepted. Enjoy the brief interview below.

Songweb: Can you tell us a little bit about the inspiration behind your latest project?

Sky Canyon: I wanted to record classic rhythm changes tune – meaning a classic jazz tune based on the chord changes in the famous tune, I Got Rhythm. However, after “noodling” with it for a bit on my piano (I play vibraphone on the track), I came up with my melody and thought, “Why not?” I then laid out all the basics with scratch tracks for drums, bass, and piano, along with my vibraphone, in my recording studio. Then I hired the bass player, then the pianist, then finally brought the drummer in. I was blown away by their performances.

Songweb: How do you approach the creative process when creating new works of art?

Sky Canyon: It varies, as it does for all composers. Sometimes a melody or chord changes just come to me and I work it out on the piano; sometimes, I’ll play around for a while on the piano until I hit on something that intrigues me. I already knew the song structure (rhythm changes) with Bop That Rhythm. My last recording, Bluesalicious, again was an original around classic jazz blues. I was more inspired to write my own rather than just do a cover tune.

Songweb: Can you share with us a particularly memorable moment during the making of this project?

Sky Canyon: Yes – when I got the tracks from pianist Eric Gunnison, I didn’t know what to expect, other than something great. And when I dropped them in (he gave me three separate performances), I was blown away, my excitement listening to his playing was over the top.

Songweb: What message or emotion do you hope to convey through your art?

Sky Canyon: Joy, inspiration, fun, smiles on faces, connection.

Songweb: Can you describe how you incorporate your personal experiences into your work?

Sky Canyon: I listen to all kinds of music which touch me in many different ways. Whether or not one is a musician, the love of music is the love of life and deepening one’s ability to feel, which is crucial in today’s world. So I take everything in and let it express through my musical compositions and performance.

Songweb: How does your latest project differ from previous works you’ve created?

Sky Canyon: I have a history, going way back, of producing new-age music and creating a record label with international distribution and best sellers. But I’ve always been a jazz player, and it’s only been the last three-plus years I’ve focused on recording and releasing my original jazz tunes. Bop That Rhythm is right in line with this progression, and I feel each one gets better and better. Amazingly, my six jazz tunes have already hit over 260,000 streams on Spotify, which is amazing to me considering jazz is a fairly narrow niche.

Songweb: Lastly, what are your plans for your artistic journey and where do you hope to take your work in the future?

Sky Canyon: I have an old tune called Subtle Approach – it’s on Spotify – that I co-wrote with the guitar player in my all-originals rock band in the 70s (yes, that’s how old I am. . .LOL); I recorded a jazzy version in 2019, and now and re-doing it is very much a Santana style, will be out this summer or fall (2023). As well, as writing more tunes. I go with whatever inspires me. Beyond that, I’m marketing a feature dramatic comedy screenplay I’ve written and always keeping my hands on creative projects.

Overall, “Bop That Rhythm” had a compelling, joyous atmosphere that was reminiscent of classic bebop. Sky Canyon’s versatility as a composer and producer was on full display with this work, which wonderfully embodied the essence of jazz. The addictive groove drew us in and made it tough to resist swaying to the beat. Sky Canyon’s roster of A-list musicians from the Denver area was one of the composition’s highlights. With great solos, each instrument got its opportunity to shine. Their synergy was evident, resulting in a seamless and compelling performance. I’d want to express my gratitude to Sky Canyon once more for sharing his creativity and thoughts with us.

Listen to “Bop That Rhythm” by Sky Canyon on Spotify or SoundCloud and let us know your thoughts.

You can follow Sky Canyon here for more information.