by Billy Clouse
Glen Velez and Loire Cotler performed in the final A.P.E.X. Event of the fall season. The couple was in residence at SUU from November 13-17, and they have been working with various performing arts groups on campus.
Thunderground had the opportunity to talk to ask the couple a few questions after their performance.
What first got you interested in music?
Velez: “I’ve always been interested. My father played trumpet and my uncle played drums, so I heard it from the time I was a kid."
Cotler: “I started when I was so young, my family knew that even at six years old, it was a natural gravitation towards music. We always had a piano in the house, and I just wouldn’t leave it alone. My whole path has been a musical path and it always felt like it was my first language. I gradually kept on studying and I got into music therapy and working in that field. One thing led to another and I became a jazz rhythm soloist as a result.”
What keeps you going after so many years?
Velez: “I love it just as much now as when I started. It’s like food and energy, you get that from playing, from seeing other people explore it and getting satisfaction in exploring new ideas.”
Cotler: “The humanity of it, the connection of it, the spirituality of rhythm, the magical art of improvisation together with students and in a live setting and the healing power of music in general just keeps me going. It’s really about the human connection.”
What’s been the best part of your residence at SUU?
Velez: “Just interacting with the students and getting to interact with them and the departments. Dance and rhythm is such a big inspiration for us.”
Cotler: “Just seeing students have that ‘aha’ moment. When I watch the students that get it, all of a sudden this idea of being in rhythm together and the joy and the creative inspiration that comes from it. I love when I just see the students have that look in their eyes or watching them watch Glen and seeing how surprised they are by the magic of what he does. Just expanding minds and hearts.”