I came up at a time in the late '60s, early '70s where music was without boundaries. You'd go into a music store, and the music was in alphabetical order. I hadn't heard of that word 'genre.'
I have one closet that's just shoes. The woman go, 'Amen,' and the men go, 'Oh my God.' It's color-coordinated from the ceiling to the floor, from evening to casual.
Lizz Wright, we call her lovingly 'Amazing Grace.' She has a folk and gospel kind of approach to the music, and she writes beautiful lyrics and songs. She's like this balm that is really full and very rich and deep.
When I first heard Nina Simone, her naked truth shocked me. Whenever she sang, it felt like lightning bolts in my soul. Every song was like a movie, a unique and very different vignette.
Brazilian music has been a part of almost every record I've done, and I'd eventually like to record an entire album of Brazilian music.
I never looked or really believed that music should be categorized into particular genres.
The Confederate flag is a divisive presence - it's the opposite of everything my artistry means and represents.
I grew up listening to all kinds of music. When I came up, you would hear people like Marvin Gaye talking about Sarah Vaughan. You would go to a show and see Ella Fitzgerald performing the music of the Beatles.
I look back at Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan, and especially Betty Carter, whom I admire the most, and I say, OK, they set a standard of excellence. I listen to them not for what they are doing, but to study where they are coming from because, for me, jazz is life experience.
I'm a great cook. People have asked me to do a cookbook.
Herb Wong was an incredible man. We met when I was performing with Clark Terry at the Wichita Jazz Festival around 1974.
My junior high school teacher, Bennie Williams, was really more than a music teacher. She taught us poetry. She helped us put on school shows. She did all these kinds of things to help us stand in each other's shoes, and it was a really powerful time. That's when I discovered that I could sing.
My records are one thing. My live performances are something totally different because they're very improvised performances.
Your voice is not your instrument. Your voice is the character that you build, your innermost feelings, the things that you want to say, and your instrument is the vehicle that you use to carry the message.
When I worked with my uncle, I loved the fact that jazz music demanded that you use your own unique approach.
People think jazz music is all standards and the Great American Songbook. But it's really about the sensibility, the feel you bring to the music.
Jazz musicians have always taken the standards of their time and performed them with a jazz sensibility.
My foundation is jazz. I do all the things jazz musicians do.
Jazz musicians have always tended to have cult followings, which is pretty wonderful.
I have a sketch of an idea and I never really talk about: perhaps do another jazz record, but with other elements involved.