Oren Levine

Oren Levine

Groove Park is a new project from Oren Levine, a jazz pianist and songwriter based in Washington, DC.

“Island In The Sea” is the first in a series of recordings of Oren’s original songs, produced in collaboration with artists working in a range styles and vibes stemming from the rich traditions of Black American Music.

Oren released his first album “Making Up For Lost Time” in 2018, a collection of 11 original jazz songs performed by Oren and ten artists from the DC area.

How long have you been creating music?

Writing and recording for almost 15 years

Do you have a preferred genre?

Jazz and soul

Tell us about your latest song, EP, or album.

“Island In The Sea” features the award-winning singer, songwriter and activist Aaron Myers, telling a musical story of escaping the city with the one you love to “get away and find some peace” on a tropical island. Oren wrote and produced the record with Aaron and bassist Percy White, crafting a song that delivers the soul of an 1980s R&B hit while still bringing a contemporary energy. They drew inspiration from a wide range of musical influences including the Crusaders’ “Street Life” and Nancy Wilson’s 1970s commercials for Stroh’s Beer.

Are there any challenging aspects to writing and/or recording your music?

The logistics of recording are always a challenge, especially during the last two years of the pandemic, when it was harder to meet in person to work on music and rehearse.

Has your style evolved since the beginning of you career?

My songs have become more personal since I started writing. I have also expanded my repertoire of styles, expanding from traditional jazz inspired by the Great American Songbook to other jazz styles, with excursions to pop, rock, soul and R&B music.

What do you enjoy most about being a musician?

I enjoy seeing the audience reaction to my music, both my own songs and performances of other composers’ works. I also enjoy seeing how other artists interpret my songs. That’s always a pleasure and an education.

Playing live or recording in studio? Do you have a preference?

I prefer playing live – it’s more spontaneous and there’s greater tolerance for errors, which sometime lead to unexpected and positive results.

Do you have a preference… vinyl records, cassettes, CDs, or downloads?

I listen to most of my music on streaming platform, but still enjoy playing the vinyl records from my collection.

Tell about a magical moment or positive experience that has happened through music.

The Groove Park songs have led to magical collaborations with other artists, that produced sounds that I could never achieve on my own and couldn’t imagine before working with others.

Are there any musicians who inspire you? What qualities do you admire about them?

I’m impressed by musicians who are true professionals in addition to talented artists. I’ve learned a tremendous amount from Aaron Myers, for example, about how to organize and lead performances, rehearse bands, and promote your work. These are perhaps as important as the music itself.

Would you like to travel to other countries to perform your music? If so, what would be your first stop?

I spent several years in Israel when I was younger and traveled frequently to Finland and other European countries in my professional life. I’d love to go back to those places as a performer.

Are you currently working on any projects we should look out for?

The second Groove Park song “Bend Don’t Break” is in production now and will be released in the next few months.

Artist / Band:
Groove Park
EP or Album:
Island In The Sea
Featured Song:
Island In The Sea

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