Jan Hammer

As anyone familiar with this interview series has most likely gathered, the original Mahavishnu Orchestra are something of an obsession for me — not to mention a gamechanging force in the early blending of jazz and heavy rock. Jan Hammer's passionate, virtuosic keyboard playing was a crucial element of the group, and his time with the band is only one brief chapter in his career. In this interview, conducted at Jan's home studio in upstate New York, we touch on the birth and development of Mahavishnu, as well as Jan's collaborations with great musicians across the jazz and rock spectrum, from Tony Williams, Elvin Jones, Sarah Vaughan and John Abercrombie to Jeff Beck, Eddie Van Halen, Carlos Santana and Journey's Neal Schon. Jan couldn't have been more enthusiastic or generous with his time, and it was an absolute honor speaking with him. To learn more about Jan, go to janhammer.com.

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