Jann Klose- Meeting the Talented
by Jessica Nguyen
On Septepember 8th 2012, I was graciously given the opportunity to see Jann Klose’s show at The Puck in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. I was nervous and excited- this was my first face-to-face interview with a musician. As lucky as I was to be able to speak with Klose personally, I was equally as interested to hear some of the songs played live. The days leading up to his show, I had been devouring Klose’s music. Seeing Klose on stage was exactly how I had hoped it would be- relaxing, beautifully engaging and enjoyable all at the same time.
Klose was originally born in Germany but grew up in Kenya and South Africa. He arrived in Cleveland, Ohio at the age of 16 as an exchange student. Years before that, around the age of eight, he knew he wanted to be a musician. Growing up, Klose was influenced by Prince, Abba, Iggy Pop and The Beatles. He used to create mix tapes of these artists and just play them over and over. Even though he didn’t have a lot of support from his family when he first told them about his goals, he was determined to get what he wanted and started teaching himself how to play the keyboard. After that, he moved on to more instruments. Eventually, he was able to take voice lessons. His determination paid off and he released an EP called Black Box and a full-length, Reverie. His new album will be out in early 2013.
When asked about one of his favorite venue to play, I was proud to hear Klose mention the Sellersville theatre. He even recommend I go there sometime and was genuine in his pleasure in playing that venue. While we were at it, I asked Klose about the largest venue he had played at. It was Madison Square Garden on an intermission for the New York Liberty’s WNBA team. New York is now Klose’s home and his answer as to why is short and to the point: “Everyone lives in New York and it feels normal to me.”
Klose isn’t one to fluff anything up. He’s honest. When I asked him to tell me something memorable from touring and being on the road, his response was simple and genuine. “Any show that is packed and the audience is enjoying the music, and is participating with us.” Another favorite memory he had was playing with Jim McCarty from The Yardbirds.
When Klose isn’t on the road and performing along side famous drummers, he is busy with other projects. Right now, he’s working on a documentary with his publicist about immigration and music. Jim Babjak of The Smithereens just did an interview with him. Next, Klose is set to interview Pete Seeger. He’s also quick to lend a song to other album’s as well. Grammy winner and Pennsylvania native, Kevin Mackie, asked Klose to let him use a song in his Grammy-nominated album Healthy Food for Thought: Good Enough to Eat. Klose chose to submit his song “Give Into This Life”. He is also a featured vocalist and guitarist in the movie “Greetings from Tim Buckley”. It premiered at the Toronto film festival earlier this month.
But, enough with his résumé. Something surprising a lot of Klose’s friend and fans might not know about him is that he is a neat freak…and a small amount of OCD. If his friends come over to his apartment and move something even just a little bit, he will notice and he has to fix it. Word of advice- don’t move his mic stand. Want to know something else? Klose’s favorite thing to do when he’s not playing music is swim. He loves being near the ocean. Swimming naked is something Klose really enjoys and he wanted to make sure I put that fun fact in this article. Ladies, make note.
One of the last questions I asked Klose was what he would be doing if he wasn’t a musician. This was a harder question for him to answer. He responded, “Probably traveling, but I already do that.” After that, he continued. “I can’t imagine my life not being a musician.”