Keyboardist John Medeski Explores ‘The Art Of Improvisation’ On ‘The JamBase Podcast’

Listen to the renowned keyboardist discuss his approach to jamming in such outfits as Medeski Martin & Wood, The Word and Phil Lesh & Friends.

By Team JamBase Mar 30, 2023 10:57 am PDT

Season Two of The JamBase Podcast, a partner of the Osiris Media network, resumes with an episode featuring an interview with John Medeski. The keyboardist discussed “The Art Of Improvisation” with JamBase’s Scott Bernstein.

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John Medeski has an illustrious resume that includes co-founding Medeski Martin & Wood, The Word, MAGO, DRKWAV and numerous other projects. Medeski spoke with Bernstein about his approach to jamming while aboard Jam Cruise 19 last month.

The keyboardist was on Jam Cruise for The Word performances and started the conversation by explaining how the supergroup goes without a net for their shows. Medeski then detailed his early days in music and what opened his eyes to the magic of improvisation. He discussed all the different elements that go into improvisation, including the chemistry of the musicians involved, how they are feeling and the reaction of the audience.

While many of his bands don’t utilize pre-planned setlists, he revealed using them as a guide actually frees up musicians to jam. John Medeski talked about the format for MMW shows including their most recent performance at Brooklyn Comes Alive. The talented keyboardist also shared his experience improvising with Phil Lesh & Friends, gave an update on the status of the long-awaited new Medeski Martin & Wood album as well as his plans for the rest of the year.

This episode is sponsored by 2023 destination vacation events Moon Crush “Pink Moon”, Brandi Carlile’s Mothership Weekend and Moon Crush “Blue Moon”. Event producers Topeka Live connect you with your favorite artists and people through meaningful shared music experiences in Miramar Beach, Florida. Moon Crush “Pink Moon” (April 20 – 23) features The Black Crowes, The Avett Brothers, Jason Isbell and more; Brandi Carlile’s Mothership Weekend (May 12 -14) features Brandi Carlile, Bonnie Raitt, Mavis Staples, and others; while Moon Crush “Blue Moon” (September 1 – 3) features Ben Rector, NEEDTOBREATHE and more. Visit for details and to purchase tickets to Moon Crush Pink Moon, Mothership Weekend and Moon Crush Blue Moon.

Hear the new episode of The JamBase Podcast via all major podcast services including Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and Google Podcast.

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