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Park City High grad and Ute music school alum Ryan Hiller has blossoming career in San Diego

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Does being a graduate of Park City High School and the University of Utah help you in pursuing your dreams?

Absolutely. As I said above, the transition from rock to jazz really helped me broaden my musical palate. I’m so glad that I couldn’t get my degree in blues or rock, because it forced me to step out of my comfort zone, and learn a completely different language. I was hesitant at first, but now I am a jazz addict. (Even though you wouldn’t necessarily be able to tell that through my original music). The local musicians in Utah that I had the pleasure of gigging with were largely introduced to me through the music department at the U.

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Talk about your third album, and what your goals were for it.

Great question. My first self titled album was a conglomeration of my initial influences as a child: folk, blues, and rock. Very plain and simple, yet catchy melodically. My second album "The P.U.R.E. Project" was a great snapshot into my musical education at the U of U and especially New Orleans. I was heavily into funk through my later years of high school, and all through college, and I’d say that jazz, funk and fusion were the central themes of my second album. Unfortunately, when I released "The P.U.R.E. Project" in San Diego, it didn’t resonate with the scene that was going on there. People were mainly listening to indie and reggae, two styles that I did not fit into at all. I decided to take a step back, and focus on my roots. I wanted to write songs that would appeal to both my New Orleans crowd, and my new San Diego demographic. In doing so, I think I really honed in on where I wanted to go career wise. In a nutshell, I think "How It Works" is really a blend of my first two albums.

Why do people say beans are the magical fruit when beans are vegetables?

I hate to tell you, but beans are legumes, and also considered fruits. I also think they are supposed to be musical, not magical.

Why is it called a funny bone, when if you hit it, it’s not funny at all?

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I think it is probably called the funny bone, because it is very funny to watch someone else hit it.

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