Here’s a little bit of what people have been saying about Being Here:


So beautiful to hear artists describe inspiration, and so encouraging to young people to hear that we all have doubts and fears. Laurie Anderson
This work, expressing the living aesthetic of some of the most vital musicians of our time, is so important now because the corporations are trying to erase any trace of serious music from a planet they want to own completely. Amiri Baraka
I am reading it in small bites because I don't want to finish it and then realize that there is no more of it to read!  🙂  It is a beautiful, well-written, well-organized book and fills a void in the world of jazz literature that has existed for a long time. I learned so much from just the first two interviews (Bill and Kenny are two of my favorite guys and I have seen them many times!) and it just keeps getting better and better. Really addresses a lot of things that other books don't and I think it is fascinating reading for musicians like myself and non-musicians alike. I have tirelessly promoted it to anyone and everyone that would listen. Thank you so much for having the vision to put it together and share it with us! David Dodge, Ypsilanti, Michigan
It’s truly a fantastic opportunity to have all those great artists expressing themselves about their artistic & musical lives in the same book. I think they are not so many great books on the same subject (I can think of John Zorn’s "Arcana", Lee Konitz’s "Conversations on the Improvisers Art"…).  I hope you’ll publish someday a volume 2. Serge Lazarevitch, Castelnau le Lez, France  
I was sure that book would be great, but it exceeded my expectations. Amazing book. I'm looking forward for Volume 2. Plamen Rumenov, Ibishev, Bulgaria
I really appreciate how direct your questions are towards music making, improvisation, and band leading. These are questions that not very many, if any, interviewers address. Also, these interviews are so valuable to students because they rarely get to ask artists these questions, much less dig into such depth on topics like composing, et all. Thanks again for the great book, looking forward to the next! Greg Belisle-Chi, Seattle, Washington
Thank you for an excellent and inspiring book, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all the interviews. I think your questions were great and really got the best out of the various musicians involved, and what a great spectrum of them too! There’s plenty of top rate instrumental tuition around but for growing musicians I’d say your content is vital to read and learn from. The various music colleges should all stock and distribute your book as part of their curriculum! Have you thought about that? I’ve recommended it to my friends and continue to do so. I look forward to whatever else you might have in the pipeline. Chris Gale, Kent, UK
The whole concept of the book is great, because it allows you come into contact with a wide range of musical ideas; you've interviewed some of my very favorite musicians, and each single chapter left me with a different state of mind. "Being Here" makes you think a lot. When I was reading the book I was constantly relating my thoughts to the answers of these great artists and this has helped me a lot in making a little step forward in the shaping of my artistic personality. This book can be such a great tool for young musicians who are trying to be creative! I especially loved Brain Blade's interview, now I read it when I feel like I'm in need of inspiration. My plan is to spend some time in New York as soon as I feel "ready". Thank you for this helpful and beautiful book.  Rugerro Fornari, Parma, Italy
I have almost finished the book. Every interview is a valuable resource, as some different aspect of musicianship seems to be revealed in each one. The dialogue flows like a good conversation. I think you are contributing a great body of work that is essential reading for anybody doing academic research in music. It is equally necessary for the student of the music, to hear the perspectives of the current masters in their own words. It opens a door to possibilities. The interviews are like lessons you would take if you sat down with Robert Glasper, Bill Frisell, etc. The type of knowledge that, to me, seems more important than what notes to play. Shane Landry, Eleebana, Australia
I received your book and am thoroughly enjoying it! I've recommended it to many people! Lots of wisdom in there. You've written a book that shows the importance of "staying in your lane", regardless of what other musicians or critics might think. The people you interviewed stay true to their passion for music, avoid categorizing their music, and appear to share what it's all about - creating music and placing your own unique fingerprint on it! Your work has given me a new approach to how I tackle the challenges of becoming a better sax player…You've highlighted some keys to success here and amplified the voices of talented musicians whose voices seem muted in the loudness of those determined to disregard a particular style of music. Thanks for writing this book and looking forward to other books on this topic! Charles Chaz Pratt III, Glendale, Arizona
I’m really enjoying your Being Here book of interviews ("conversations").  You certainly have a talent for getting these people to open up to you about their art!  I've had the pleasure of meeting quite a few musicians between or after sets at Firehouse 12 here in New Haven, which programs performances from the creative world you seem to be representing in your conversations.  I'm always struck by the fact that the most creative and inspiring musicians tend to be the most humble and eager seekers.  Many thanks for your fine book! Timothy Nelson, New Haven, Connecticut
I read your book and I have to say, that I enjoyed it immensely.  I found it very well written. You leave space for the musicians to talk and your questions are well chosen and knowledgeable. It is almost as if your Interviews are musical compositions in themselves.  Great! Thank you. Markus Stifter, Zurich, Switzerland
I think the book is great; indeed I am a bit envious of your publishing it.  Forty years ago when I came to New York City and hung out at all the lofts I would have loved to do something similar but I never had the courage to do so.  I commend you for your efforts. Peter Katz, Maplewood, New Jersey
I did indeed receive the book and have been thoroughly enjoying reading it. I haven't read any other publication on jazz today quite like it; it provides such a valuable insight into these influential lives. You have definitely documented a very important movement of musicians. I have been recommending the book to every fellow musician I know! Mathew Herd, London, United Kingdom
I'm thoroughly enjoying the book - as an aspiring saxophonist in today's musical world, the insight into the minds and thoughts of these musicians is invaluable! This book is far more valuable than any method or transcription book. Ryan Rasiano, Hattiesburg, Maryland
The book is very good, it gives great insight into the process and that’s what’s jazz is all about. It’s also a great ethnomusicology book which should be placed alongside "Saying Something” by Ingrid Monson and “Thinking in Jazz” by Paul F. Berliner. Thomas Jakobsen, Svenstrup, Denmark
Your book is really awesome, and I wanted to thank you for writing it. There's an old and very rare book in the trumpet world called "Trumpet Profiles" where Louis Davidson had sent questionnaires to several of the top trumpet players, and actually just bound their handwritten responses together. It's a beautiful insight on how the trumpet guys think, and how detailed they each get. It's fun, and valuable. I'm so glad you've written this book - a look into the minds of many of my favorite humans... I'd pay hundreds of dollars to take these guys out for coffee and ask them the questions that you ask. Thanks so much for your hard work, effort, and perseverance. I look forward to reading, and re-reading your stuff. Chad McCullough, Chicago, Illinois
Your book is fantastic and a very important work to me as a musician in Zurich, Switzerland. Jonas Ruther, Zurich, Switzerland
I am currently a final year music undergraduate at Newcastle and I am undertaking a research project into Steve Coleman, a figure whom I find endlessly fascinating and thrilling musically, and similarly eloquent and enlightening in interviews! The interview that you conducted with him in your book was by far one of the most in depth and intriguing interviews with him I have found, and has already been instrumental in shaping not only my project, but my consideration of contemporary innovative music as a whole. Thank you for your enlightening book. As an aspiring musician, there is nothing better for helping to gain an understanding of how these artists, many of whom are highly inspirational to me, consider music, tradition, imagination and the creative process. It's the sort of thing that is often overlooked in so many other books that I read! Jamie Stockbridge, Newcastle, United Kingdom
I am halfway through your book "Being Here" and I just wanted to tell you how fantastic it is. I am absolutely glued to the pages, and I am so moved by the depth in the responses from all these artists, and the questions that you ask. I am a drummer living in Minneapolis, and to be able to read the words of many of my personal heroes is so inspiring. Thank you so much for your hard work and beautiful art. It is truly appreciated! I am absolutely recommending this book to every musician I play with and meet. Lars-Erik Larson, Minneapolis, Minnesota


The principal thrust of Philip's interviews…revolves around the creative process and the intent behind the music. Philip fires the same questions at her subjects whose answers are expansive, engaging and revealing. Improvisation, often perceived as the cornerstone of jazz/creative music is a key focus of Philip's investigation and the interviewer elicits some fascinating thoughts from the musicians on what's involved in playing free and the relative merits of improvised versus composed music.  Ian Patterson, All About Jazz  

…the material is rich, and by combining analytical clarity with intellectual depth Philip provides a worthy distillation of the lifeblood of the New York scene – its musicians, who like to talk as well as play.  Kevin Le Gendre, Jazzwise

Being Here: Conversations on Creating Music is a compilation of 25 in-depth interviews. Conducted with many of the most creative musicians on the contemporary improvised music scene, it’s not just a book for musicians, musical students or fans of this music. Being Here explores the very essence of the creative process, the diversity of artists presently making creative music, the difficulties of staying true to your art, and the universality of music as a means to connect to and enrich the human experience.   Ralph Muriello, Pop Matters

Asking jazz musicians to talk about their music can be a tricky business. There is a huge difference between creating great music and explaining how it's done. It is not every musician who is articulate enough to do the job, but when you get one that can, you've got a precious gold nugget. Radhika Philip's Being Here collects a series of 25 interviews with some of the most articulate jazz artists working today. Voices enough that not only know what they're doing, but can explain it with passion, voices enough that she's got herself a whole gold mine.   Jack Goodstein, Seattle Post Intelligencer

In the grand tradition of Art Taylor’s Notes and Tones and Lloyd Peterson’s Music and the Creative Spirit, this hefty book is a collection of 25 heady interviews with contemporary jazz players in which they discuss the hows and whys of the music they make. Peter Hum, Ottawa Citizen

When I was told I was being sent a book of interviews with creative, inspirational musicians, I thought it might be something I might dip into now and then, leave on the shelf for a couple months and re-visit when I felt like a bit of inspiration. I was not expecting a book which I could not put down from the moment it arrived. The difference between Being Here: Conversations on Creating Music ( and so many interviews you see is the complete freedom afforded to those interviewed. Loosely connected by the era they came up in or the fact they have played together, the musicians of New York and its surrounding areas speak freely, openly and with clarity. Radhika provides the vehicle for them to make their voices heard. She gently, unobtrusively, opens the door and allows the information to pour out of them onto the page. Sammy Stein,


One Man’s Jazz

Straight No Chaser Podcast 395: A Conversation with Radhika Philip

On the Margin, Josephine Reed and Giovanni, WPFW