Tampio Brings Up the Tempo

Written by Emma Boddorf on 1 May 2008

Vince Tampio, a freshman jazz studies major, performs with five instrumnets, composes original music and is all about fusion. "I began playing trumpet when I was eight. I really didn't get into it until maybe seventh grade," said Tampio. "Then, beyond that is when I started adding other instruments and trying  different things on my own." 

Tampio performs with his trumpet, guitar, bass, piano and percussion. But these aren't the only instrument he has played. "I have played on trombone. I have played on woodwinds before. I just haven't invested in them," said Tampio. "Singing isn't really playing an instrument, but it is something I can do. I'm just satisfied with my voice."

Tampio has composed many original pieces. I have basically two completed suites, one with seven songs and one with five. And I have three others that I work on. Sometimes it's just sitting down figuring out sound. But there are ideas between the suites and there are ideas behind each song, and how they come together." Ideas for certain songs or suites come in different ways. "Sometimes ideas come playing bass or playing certain cord progressions, or sometimes I'll have a melody," said Tampio.

"It's usually just an idea, I sit down and think to myself. I just kind of fumble around on the instrument till I find something that sounds good. And then, usually depending on the music I'm playing at the time, I apply certain ideas. I have a few songs that are in mixed meter, like it goes from five to four to three, and sometimes to seven. And sometimes I just want to do something different; I've written straight up blues before and those aren't too difficult."

Currently, Tampio said that he does not write lyrics to go along with his songs. "I used to write lyrics, when my focus was not really toward fusion; it was more towards rock and roll. It's morphed into poetry and I really haven't written that much." 

Fusion is a way Tampio describes his style of music. "Well it's not quite jazz and it's not quite rock and rolle, which is why I can say fusion. But fusion is one of those broad terms too. It's a big mix really," said Tampio. "Sometimes classical music get thrown in there. Like I said, it depends on what I'm playing and what other groups I'm playing with at the time. What instrument I'm on. Sometimes I want a really rocking type song, with a deep funk groove, other times I want just a smooth ballad."

One of the suites Tampio is working on is called, "Atmospheres." "And the ideas behind that, basically coming from concept albums, is there are five main atmosphoeres and the closer you are to earth the more conventional the music is going to sound. And then as you get farther away, the less melody there is going to be, the time signature shifts, from each time I'll add a beat. And that's one of my better constructed concepts," said Tampio.

Tampio said there are certain people that have an influence on his music. "There is a strong influence on a lot of my pieces. But there is a particular person that kind of threads through, if not all, than most of the songs." However, inspiration for Tampio can come from anywhere. "I try to listen to a lot, try to get certain sounds, there are a lot of things. Like my roommate last semester played metal all the time, so that's probably where the strong drum beats come for some of the songs. And the symphonic band kind of game me the idea for mixed meter. And then whatever we're playing in Jazz Ensembles gives me ideas."

At Oasis's Jazz Night on Tuesdays, Tampio usually brings his trumpet to play. He describes it as bebop jam session and blues in thrown in there. "A lot of the learning comes from real experience, when I'm playing in concerts or I'm playing in jam sessions, that's when I think I get most of my learning from," said Tampio.

Tampio's main goal is to record and perform. "Where I'm most at home, is on stage." But he enjoys all the processes that go into making a song. "The process of writing the song is usually the best and then you kind of get on a different plateau when you actually perform it because then you see how the audience would react to it. And recording it is a totally different animal because it's all up to you for sound and what sounds you want to do."

Tampio also works with other student musicians, like drummer Mike Kadnar, and said that professors John Menegon, Vincent Martucci and Mark Dziuba have taught him a lot. In the future Tampio might move towards New York City or transfer to a college that offers a recording degree. To hear some of Tampios' songs, visit, www.myspace.com/vincetampio.

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