CKMS 102.7 FM Radio Waterloo | Community Connections | Monday 11am-Noon, Friday 3pm-4pm (sunflower logo on the left, black and purple lettering on a teal background to the right and below)

CKMS Community Connections for 14 April 2023 with Caleb Khuu and Rosie Samra

Show Notes

(Caleb Khuu in the CKMS-FM studio wearing headphones and holding a guitar)
Caleb Khuu
Rosie Samra
Rosie Samra

Caleb Khuu is in the studio for a Live, On-Air, In-Studio performance on guitar, accompanied by Rosie Samra doing the vocals! This was to have been some advance publicity for his show at The Jazz Room on Friday 21 April 2023, but it’s already sold out!

Rosie Samra appeared on CKMS Community Connections on 24 February 2023.

The interview starts at 4m36s.


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Download: ckms-community-connections-2023-04-14-episode120-Caleb-Khuu-and-Rosie-Samra.mp3 (54 MB, 58m40s, episode 120)


Exclusive tracks recorded in the CKMS-FM 102.7 Radio Waterloo Studio will soon be available!

Time Title Album Artist
0m00s Theme for CKMS Community Connections ccc CKMS Sunflower logo (yellow petals surrounding a black centre with white wavies all on a teal background)
CKMS Community Connections
Steve Todd
0m45s Walk On By CKMS Logo - yellow sunflower with a black centre with diagonal wavies on a circular teal background, transparent background to corners
Live, On-Air, In-Studio
Caleb Khuu with Rosie Samra
4m36s Introducing “The Dynamic Range Duo”. Talking about Caleb’s guitar, a small parlour model. Caleb has some 20 guitars! More than any person needs, but less than any person wants. Some were gifts! Caleb’s regular guitar needs some repair, which Caleb can do himself, although he’s better with electric guitars. The electric / acoustic debate: You have to have an ear for it to hear the difference, but Caleb can tell. Caleb is primarily an electric guitar player.
8m45s Caleb has his first “solo” gig, headlining under his own name. Usually he’s a sideman for other performers. This time he’s playing as The Caleb Khuu Quartet: Caleb Khuu on guitar, Rosie Samra doing the vocals,
Matt Bruzzese on drums, and Mitch Camacho on electric and upright bass. Caleb put together this lineup just for this event. The event is already sold out! The Jazz Room is the venue, The Jazz Society does the bookings, mostly just for The Jazz Room, but they may do some other things too. Call them up, and ask for more Caleb Khuu Quartet!
11m16s Caleb started playing jazz in high school, looked for other opportunities and auditioned for The Jazz-FM Youth Big Band. Caleb felt a little outclassed, but there weren’t many other guitar players so he got the spot. The playing was “Freddie Green style”, a simple accompaniment for a jazz band. Caleb really enjoyed it, because he didn’t have the chops back then, and this allowed him to the chance to learn. But there were plenty of opportunities for guitar solos. People love guitar solos in all genres, although Caleb was never a heavy metal guy or a shredder. Maybe some day.
15m38s Music is the only job Caleb has had. He’s played, and he teaches. All ages, all abilities. He’s played played bass, including upright bass.
16m41s Royals CKMS Logo - yellow sunflower with a black centre with diagonal wavies on a circular teal background, transparent background to corners
Live, On-Air, In-Studio
Caleb Khuu with Rosie Samra
20m44s How does Caleb choose his music? He picked songs that spoke to him as a musician, a person, a guitar player. Guitar has its own culture, especially in the jazz realm. Guitar fits into any genre, whereas violin, for example, can be shoehorned in but doesn’t necessarily fit. Caleb likes the gypsy jazz style as played by Stephane Grapelli and Django Reinhardt, and hopes that style comes back. Caleb has spent years chasing technical ability, and the best compliment he gets is that his playing sounds seamless between what he hears inside, and what he plays. When Caleb plays a lot of gigs as a sideman he needs charts to keep track of all the music, but generally improvises without writing it down.
25m45s Is guitar playing still work? The playing isn’t a chore, but making worksheets for students might be a bit more boring. That’s the business of doing business, not the business of making music. Caleb didn’t didn’t have a single moment when he realized he was playing all the right musicality. Happily, he got a video of that solo.
28m03s Caleb is not much of a music writer, he says he’s awful at writing. He might come up with something when he’s practicing for other musicians, but it never gets written down. As a result, there is no Caleb Khuu pre-recorded music out there. He’s on the fence for releasing his own music, maybe when he’s got more life experience. He’ll see us again in five years!

30m17s It Never Entered My Mind CKMS Logo - yellow sunflower with a black centre with diagonal wavies on a circular teal background, transparent background to corners
Live, On-Air, In-Studio
Caleb Khuu with Rosie Samra
33m17s Does Caleb sing? It’s a work in progress. But that’s why he’s hired Rosie. How does he find his musicians? Caleb has a vision of the music, and connects to the people who fit into that vision. Caleb will find sidemen for other musicians, but it’s not really an independent job but just additional responsibility. He’s not a “manager” or “publicist”, in fact he’s scarce on social media. He’s avoided Fear Of Missing Out, he’s made a living out of getting called. Once he decides to publish himself he’ll hire managers and producers and agents. Other musicians may produce all their own materials, but Caleb will hire the best people he can to help him with their expertise.
37m44s Music is immensely collaborative; when he plays even a single note or rest Caleb is aware of all the history and influence behind it. But this doesn’t overwhelm Caleb, the music just comes innately. He can take advantage of that, or not. Caleb has had influence from friends of all ages, he comes from a long tradition of working musicians. There’s a long tradition of musicians hiring sidemen, and Caleb fell into it at a young age. He’s open to touring as a sideman, but he’s a full-time student, second year, with plans for medical school or grad school. So get this music stuff done early!
42m14s Recap of the gig at The Jazz Room in the Huether Hotel. Talking about Caleb’s youth in other countries, how he got interested in playing jazz — he saw his future high school jazz band playing at the Huether. Is headlining with his own jazz quartet the pinnacle? Yes, but Caleb has plans for The Caleb Khuu Octet. But Caleb Khuu The Soloist is playing lots of gigs today, both as a listening set and a background set. There are fans who show up regularly at many gigs. People come for Caleb’s interpretation of other people’s songs. Rosie was worried about performing jazz standards at The Jazz Room, but Caleb says there’s lots of room for standards. He’ll be playing some standards, as well as modern funk and soul, like Royals. There’s some danger of misjudging the audience, where his style of music doesn’t fit the audience. But Caleb says stay true to yourself, that’s the one lesson he’s learned from all the years of experience of the people he’s played with.
49m16s How far will Caleb travel? He’s been to Montreal for a gig, playing with Frankie Flowers. Made Caleb feel like a proper rock star. But Caleb’s school obligations keep him local for now.
50m47s Rehab CKMS Logo - yellow sunflower with a black centre with diagonal wavies on a circular teal background, transparent background to corners
Live, On-Air, In-Studio
Caleb Khuu with Rosie Samra
54m09s Recap of the Caleb Khuu Quartet concert, Caleb’s contact info, teaching opportunities, and upcoming gigs: The Caleb Khuu Quartet at The Jazz Room; with Christian Economides at The Hub, with Clarissa Diokno, and Nick Bordman.

56m40s Rosie has some exams coming up, will be releasing a new song later this summer, and will be playing with Caleb during the summer! And Radio Waterloo will get first dibs on the new release.
57m35s Bob gives the credits while Caleb plays us out.

CKMS Community Connections Hour One airs on CKMS-FM 102.7 on Monday from 11:00am to Noon, and Hour Two airs alternate Fridays from 3:00pm to 4:00pm.

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Bonus Video

YouTube: CKMS Community Connections for Friday 14 April 2023

Photo Gallery

Show notes and podcast interview content is Copyright © 2023 by the participants, and released under a CC BYCreative Commons Attribution Only license. Copy, re-use, and derivative works are allowed with attribution to Radio Waterloo and a link to this page. Music selections are copyright by the respective rights holders.

Photos taken by Rosie Samra. Thanx Rosie!

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