Arts Q&A: Jazz man David Lyttle on Rain Man, Debussy & Bacharach

Brian Campbell puts artists on the spot about what really matters to them. This week: MOBO-nominated Co Armagh jazz musician David Lyttle

1. When did you think about music as a career and what were your first steps into it?

I was brought up performing music with my family so I never really thought much about having a career in music. When I reached 18 and was taking music more seriously and starting to write, it was more about wanting to play as much as possible, rather than having a career. As you get older you think more about your future and your career becomes more important.

2. Best gigs you’ve been to?

Going to dodge the question a bit. In my early twenties I made many trips to New York to hang out in jazz clubs. I'd move around Manhattan hearing my heroes play and then get to meet to them. It was an exciting time.

3. Fantasy wedding/birthday party band?

Burt Bacharach doing a sixties easy listening scenario at the reception, some classic soul from The Delfonics at the main part then a DJ set from Duke Ellington to finish.

4. The record you’d take to a desert island?

I'd probably take a Debussy collection.

5. And the book?

Maybe something on surviving on a desert island?

6. Top three films?

Rain Man, The Royal Tenenbaums and American Gangster

7. Favourite authors?

Hunter S Thompson, Stephen King, Charles Dickens.

8. Sports you most enjoy and top teams?

I've never really been into sports. I pretended I was a Man United fan when I was at school. It wouldn't work now as I could only talk about Ryan Giggs, Eric Cantona and Philip [Paul] Scholes.

9. Ideal holiday destination?

Somewhere bright and hot where there's lot of things to do so I can do something when I get bored of lounging around. Otherwise I start thinking about projects and ideas, which is good but I've learned recently that a proper reset is very important.

10. What’s your favourite:

Dinner? Korma.

Dessert? Any kind of chocolate dessert.

Drink? Recently I've been enjoying White Russians.

11. Who is your best friend and how do you know each other?

I simply can't answer this as friends who think they're my best friends will be really offended.

12. Is there a God?

Yes but it's a lot more complex than we think. I'm not big on religion but I do believe in God.

David Lyttle is the current artist in residence at The MAC in Belfast (TheMAClive.com). He plays The MAC on February 26 with VerseChorusVerse and the Crescent Arts Centre in Belfast on March 10 (DavidLyttle.com)