April 13, 2014
Give your audience more than just songs and technique! Discover the things that can help you deliver great performances with confidence in auditions, showcases, recording sessions and on video. Learn how these elements will keep your audience connected and engaged, creating moments that resonate with them long after the performance. Students will participate and perform with a professional accompanist. Vocalists should bring one lead sheet in your key. Instrumentalists, please bring your instrument and one lead sheet (with lyrics, if applicable) of the song you will play. Come ready to try new things in a fun, supportive setting! Open to all levels.
Acclaimed for her inventive artistry and magnetic stage presence, Clairdee tours internationally playing to sold-out houses and garnering rave reviews. Besides her engagements as a leader, she has worked with artists as diverse as Bucky Pizzarelli, Boz Scaggs, Cyrus Chestnut and Ken Peplowski. Clairdee has opened for the Count Basie Orchestra and the late Etta James.
April 6, 2014
American songwriter Irving Berlin’s career spanned over 60 years. He was the composer of an estimated 1,500 songs, including 19 Broadway shows and 18 Hollywood films. Berlin is beloved by singers and instrumentalists alike for his straightforward lyrics and beautiful melodies. His hit compositions include “Blue Skies,” “Puttin’ On the Ritz,” “Heatwave,” “White Christmas,” “Cheek to Cheek,” and “Let’s Face the Music and Dance,” among others. 25 of Berlin’s songs reached the top of the charts and were re-recorded by dozens of famous singers and instrumentalists over the years, such as Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, Miles Davis, Chet Baker and Art Tatum. Students will be provided with 10 lead sheets of Berlin compositions. We will listen to various recordings, learn songs as a group and try out the songs with an accompanist in the final week. All levels welcome, including both singers and instrumentalists.
A warm, charismatic stage performer and accomplished musician, Maye Cavallaro has traveled extensively in Japan and the U.S., both performing and teaching. She has appeared in the San Francisco Bay Area at clubs such as Yoshi’s, The Great American Music Hall, The Plush Room, Sweetwater and Kimball’s.
March 23, 2014
Master jazz vocalist Ed Reed guides students through the art of interpreting a lyric. Topics include pronunciation, breathing and phrasing as suggested by the nature of the lyric, as well as methods of communicating the story of the lyric to highlight emotion, nuance and irony. An inspiration to all he meets, Ed Reed leaves an indelible impression. Students of all levels are welcome and each should be prepared to sing a song of their choice, with a professional accompanist.
While Ed Reed has been singing since he was a child, he didn’t release his first album until 2006 at the tender age of 78. He’s since released two others, including I’m A Shy Guy in 2013. Along the way he’s gained recognition from DownBeat as Rising Star Male Vocalist five times from 2008-2013, and the prestigious Jazz Journalists Association named him Local Jazz Hero in 2011. Reed’s ability to get inside a lyric has been noted by numerous reviewers including DownBeat: “When Ed Reed sings, look for an intimate story every time… he establishes a connection to the lyrics and phrasing that is both beautiful and uncanny.”
February 23, 2014
Unleash your imagination in a fun, supportive and interactive environment using free vocal improvisation. With simple exercises that incorporate music, sound, language, movement, and rhythm you’ll learn to be spontaneous and inventive. Improvisation teaches you how to stay in the moment, adapt quickly and improve problem solving, communication and teamwork. These skills can reduce inhibition and crank up creativity! Open to singers and instrumentalists of all levels.
February 16, 2014
This masterclass provides a great opportunity for jazz vocal students to gain high-level guidance from Jeri Brown. The focus will be on artistry through interpretation, including such topics as vocal styling, phrasing, rhythmic diversity, improvisation and diction. Students will perform in front of their peers in a relaxed setting and receive feedback. After a short performance, Jeri will invite students to participate through solo singing, jamming and other group activities.
Professor Jeri Brown has earned a reputation as one of the outstanding vocalists and educators in jazz. Her performances include collaborations with Dr. Billy Taylor, Betty Carter, Joe Lovano, Leon Thomas, Kenny Werner, John Hicks, Fred Hersch, Kenny Wheeler, Jimmy Rowles, Seamus Blake, Kirk Lightsey, Ellis Marsalis, Erik Truffaz, David Murray, Cyrus Chestnut and many others.
February 9, 2014
Whether you work in your hometown or in faraway places, a singer must have a diverse repertoire, know how to put together a show, know what to wear and how to create a personal book of songs that will “translate” no matter what country they’re in. Understanding the audience, using proper microphone technique and leading the band are also key components of being well prepared. Students will hear a brief lecture and then will have the opportunity to sing with an accompanist, for critique and input from Diane Witherspoon. Please ensure the song is memorized and bring three copies of the sheet music.
Based in Las Vegas, singer Diane Witherspoon has recorded extensively since 1988. She has performed throughout the world with jazz greats including Cedar Walton, Bobby Hutcherson, Eddie Henderson, Kirk Lightsey, Frank Morgan, Eric Alexander, Red Holloway, John Clayton, Calvin Keys, John Heard, Roy McCurdy and many others.
January 26, 2014
New York-based vocalist and educator Peter Eldridge will work with each student individually, on all aspects of singing from interpretation and technique to improvisation and arranging. Eldridge is rarely in the Bay Area and participants will have a wonderful opportunity to gain direct feedback and coaching from one of the absolute best. Please bring two songs to work on.
A founding member of the New York Voices, singer, songwriter and producer Peter Eldridge has been on faculty at Manhattan School of Music since 1993. While maintaining a full-time performing career, he also enjoys teaching other singers. Many of his students, most notably Jane Monheit, have gone on to major careers in the industry. To learn more about him, visit petereldridge.com.
January 19, 2014
Jerome Kern was the composer of beautiful melodies that are just as fresh and inventive today. Kern penned over 700 songs for both the stage and movies and in 1970 was posthumously inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. He collaborated with Oscar Hammerstein to compose one of the first modern musicals, Show Boat, that featured an integrated story and songs, introducing such memorable tunes as “Ol Man River” and “Can’t Help Loving Dat Man.” Kern’s classic compositions include ‘”The Way You Look Tonight,” “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes,” and “All The Things You Are.” We’ll explore and sing Kern’s music, listen to how jazz greats have interpreted these songs and get ideas for our own arrangements! Students are provided with 10 lead sheets, including practice-backing tracks. In the final week we’ll work with an accompanist.
November 17, 2013
This is a gathering for strong, committed singers as well as vocal teachers who want to be more engaged in improvisation with their students. With a circle of other talented singers and teachers, all open to the power of improvisation, our work can go deep! We will devote our energy to uncovering how improvisation can change lives for singers, vocal students and teachers. Improvisation is a beautiful musical force and a wonderful lifechanging tool, because it propels us to stay awake and present in every moment. In order to have a rich palette of musical colors to work with, we will also talk about how technical skills intersect personal development and spiritual practice.
Rhiannon is a unique and extraordinary vocalist, performance artist, composer and master teacher whose musical vision embraces jazz, a cappella, improvisation, world music and storytelling. Her most recent book is Vocal River, a story of passionate commitment to music. In it she shares her exuberance, her craft, and her fresh insights into the dimensions and gifts of improvisation, including 27 detailed exercises.
October 27, 2013