What Are You Looking For?

Q&A with Jon Anderson

Posted August 27, 2014

Jon Anderson, the voice of Yes, will join singer and songwriter Inga Swearingen and the San Luis Obispo Symphony on Sunday, August 31 at the annual POPS By the Sea concert at Avila Beach Golf Resort. Jon was the lead vocalist and creative force behind Yes for more than 30 years, and now calls San Luis Obispo County home. Ahead of the show, we asked Jon for a sneak peek into his participation in POPS By the Sea 2014. The Q&A follows.

ShareSLO: You’ll be performing with the SLO Symphony at POPS By the Sea at the end of August. How are rehearsals going, and can you tell us about what it’s been like to work with an entire symphony?

JA: I’ve been fortunate to sing with many Orchestras over the years, and the SLO Symphony is one of my favorite orchestras. I go to their Saturday afternoon rehearsals now and then … they always perform so well, and Mike Nowak is a great conductor.

ShareSLO:  Can you give us any hints as to what we might hear from the SLO Symphony/Anderson/Swearingen collaboration?

JA: We decided to perform some of the well-known Yes Hit’s [including] Roundabout, Owner of a Lonely Heart, And You and I, plus a couple of surprises …

ShareSLO: You’re known internationally as the voice of YES. What is it like to perform right here at home?

JA: I’m always happy to sing and perform locally. It gives my friends and family a chance to see me in action, always a fun experience.

ShareSLO: You’ve just launched a Kickstarter campaign to record an album with Jean-Luc Ponty. Tell us what it’s been like to work with him, what drew you to him, and what inspired you to launch an online campaign like this? How is it going?

JA: Jean Luc is a wonderful musician. We connected a couple of times many years ago, but this year we started writing together to see what could come of our friendship. It is a very exciting time for us to create a band and tour together.

The campaign with Kickstarter is nearly complete. Record companies would usually bankroll the project, but these days there are more ways to get your music heard and played, rather than work with a record company, and it give the fans a chance to get close to the workings and music of a band and become part of the team … and people who invest through Kickstarter get a personal connection, [which is] something I’ve always wanted.

ShareSLO: What’s next?

JA: So many dreams to fulfill. The world of music is a joy forever. I’m always writing and composing, it’s just my life – being a musical adventurist.