Abiud Flores is a family man, a military man, and an amazing musician who is a true joy to listen to and to make music with. He is kind, humble and lives a life of gratitude. When I first met Abiud, he was a little shy in person, but bold and brilliant on the bass. Since then, he’s played with most every jazz musician in town and has had adventures galore. He’s one of the good people you’ll meet in this life. As we were approaching the July 4th holiday, Abiud made one of his posts on Facebook into an opportunity to serve his military community, and in turn, all of us. We’d like to continue that support and ask you to check out: https://www.facebook.com/stopsoldiersuicide/
Abiud Flores’ beautiful arrangement of “I Cover the Waterfront”, recorded at High Fidelity Recordings, released on Jangly Records, is on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/cola-jazz-vol-ii/1391238076
Let’s see what he has to say…
What is your earliest memory of developing a love for jazz music?
Saw a jazz group in Old San Juan one night with my family. Right away I was curious about that.
Where did you study music?
Escuela Libre de Música in San Juan, PR and Conservatorio de Música de Puerto Rico.
Is there a story behind your latest composition or recording? Where can we find it?
Yes, I discover a new hobby/passion for motorcycles. I wrote a composition titled “Midnight Ride” inspired after a long ride with a friend. The song is coming soon and will be posted in my FB page UDi Flores.
What is your favorite tune to play and why?
Is hard to pick. Nardis has a special tension in the chord progression that I like and the simplicity of the melody as well.
How long have you been performing in Columbia?
About 3 years come August 2018.
Do you have a favorite venue in Columbia?
Speakeasy, when people is listening and engage with the creativity.
What other cities, states, and countries have you played in and how do those experiences compare with Columbia, SC?
Puerto Rico, Mexico, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Colombia, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, Dominican Republic, Miami, Orlando, New Jersey, Connecticut, NYC, Los Angeles, North Carolina, Virginia, DC, among others… But what I like about Columbia, SC is that love from the public, the audience give love back to you after every performance and that warm feeling is so from here.
What is your most memorable experience as an artist?
Coming to the States and met great musicians. They made me feel like a friend and part of them; awesome people that share the love for music as well.
What music genres and/or artists influence your style and approach and why?
Well, the list is long: Bill Evans, Miles Davis, Eddie Gómez, Charlie Parker, Michael Brecker, Jaco Pastorious, Paul Chamber, Los Van Van(Cuban timba), Tower of Power, Fred Hammond (gospel), Djvan(bossa/samba), Luis Perico Ortiz (Latin Jazz), Humberto Ramirez(Latin Jazz), Giovanni Hidalgo, and many others…!
Who is your favorite Jazz artist?
This is hard!!! Bill Evans I think.
Who would you give credit to as your mentor(s)?
Eddie Gomez, Junior Irizarry, Elias Santos-Celpa, Luis Marin, Pedro Perez and Gabriel Rodríguez.
What is the best advice you ever received as a musician?
Be you when you play. Take all the risks like you always do.
What is some advice or statements you’d like to offer to up-and-coming musicians, your peers, live music venues and/or the community in general?
To my peers: Don’t give up.
To live music venues: Respect any kind of art in any form, not only with the pay, but the way you treat artists. This will pump up the value of your business to your costumers (we talk to them during the break).
To the community: I love you guys!
Music is a way of communicating and connecting with people. What are your thoughts on this? What are some ideals and values you’d like to reflect in your music?
Simple. My vision as a musician is I’m a minister of love. I know in my hands I have the power to change your day for good or bad when I’m making music. I take that with all the responsibility of the world. I’m sharing with people – there are no walls, races, or colors between us – just people. I love that!
How often do you practice or give time to your craft?
1hr, at a minimum, per day. These are busy days.
Tell me about your band and how everyone came together or about the musicians you usually play with.
I’m in the recording process using musicians from different locations. You can follow me at UDi Flores to stay tuned for more!
Have you ever lost your instrument or gear during travel? Or do you have a funny story from the road or a gig?
Thank God I never lost my instrument, but I have a lot of stories. Every time I travel, I have to convince the airline personnel this is not a guitar, it is a bass! Lol
What are some ways that we can expose younger generations to Jazz? What are your ideas on how you can help grow the scene?
Events. I think events are a great way to create opportunities for young talent. Also, invite them to rehearsals and jams. I’m a product of opportunities like this!
What does the Columbia, SC jazz scene do well and what does it need to do better?
ColaJazz is doing awesome!
Anything else you’d like to add?
I love you guys, thanks for all the love!