Al Bazaz Interview

Al Bazaz Interview
"Reggae Master Al Bazaz"

Interview by Roger-Z (01/22/16)

Roger-Z: Who inspired you to take up music?
Al Bazaz: When I was very young, my mother used to play the piano every night after dinner. I would just sit and listen. Her playing really inspired me. I also listened to Jazz and Big Band, and later on Folk and Rock. Bob Dylan is my all time favorite. Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Pete Seeger, Woody and Arlo Guthrie. So many... Much later Reggae.

Roger-Z: What instruments do you play?
Al Bazaz: I first took up ukulele, and later on the guitar and piano. I majored in Music Education at college and played trombone all through out high school and university. I started gigging at eighteen. I strummed guitar and sang in a small restaurant three nights a week. I had to pass percussion, string, brass, and woodwind technique in order to graduate with a degree in Music Education. I can sort of make any instrument sound pretty good, but guitar and voice stand as my main forms of expression.

Roger-Z: When and how did you become enamored with reggae music? When did you form "No Discipline?"
Al Bazaz: In the early eighties, I heard Bob Marley on the radio and absolutely loved the sound. Soon after I began writing songs in the Reggae style. I started an early version of "No Discipline" in 1981. My brother Mike joined in 1983. We've been at it a very long time. We had some acoustic duos in the early days and began our Reggae journey playing all over the Tri-State area -- primarily at the Jersey Shore. People can check our website,, for the band biography and an up-to-date listing of all our gigs.

Roger-Z: Does "No Discipline" play different material as an acoustic duo?
Al Bazaz: Depending on the gig, yes, we play all kinds of songs - Jethro Tull, The Band, Dylan, Cash, Nelson, Al Stewart, Donovan, Beatles, Stones, King Crimson, Zappa. Mike sings the cover tunes and I play my originals.

Roger-Z: You release a constant stream of new tunes on Facebook. What inspires you? When will you release your next solo record?
Al Bazaz: Inspiration comes from so many places. Many, if not all of songs, start with a "hook" and go from there. Every morning I wake up at 6:00 am and exercise for twenty minutes. Then I drink coffee and play guitar. I just begin with improvising simple melodies, and then some words might catch the melody, and I build the song from there. I have written fifty-five new songs in the last two years and I am planning on recording very soon. Perhaps a double CD or just the best twenty songs.

Roger-Z: What types of things do you teach your elementary school students?
Al Bazaz: I teach K-5 general music, instrumental music, and chorus. I use a combination of Orff-Schulwerk and Dalcroze methods -- movement, rhyming, percussion, improvising, and story telling with instrumental accompaniment. My music class is action-packed and full of creative fun. I am also teaching fifth graders ukulele this year. Our HSA purchased twenty-five ukuleles. I love teaching the instrument and the children love playing them!

Roger-Z: Why do you do what you do?
Al Bazaz: You don't choose music... Music chooses you. One love!

2016 Roger-Z