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
October 13, 2013
Take the stage and sing the blues with a killer band! Hosted by acclaimed vocalist Pamela Rose, this special Jazzschool vocal jam session is open to all singers. Please arrive by 6:30 to sign up to sing. No charts needed, but singers should be prepared to explain the form of their song in a few words (e.g. “12-bar blues in the key of F, shuffle”).
Pamela Rose is a San Francisco jazz and blues vocalist and educator who thrills audiences locally and internationally with her swinging, soulful style. Rose is that rare breed of entertainer who connects solidly with her audience by always delivering a personal and unforgettable musical experience. Pamela’s Blues Vocal Workshops at the Jazzschool are always filled to the brim, and she loves teaching singers how to sit in with blues bands!
About the band:
Garth Webber is a legendary blues guitarist. He has toured and performed with Gregg Allman, Bill Champlin, Lydia Pense, Pamela Rose, Robben and Mark Ford, Miles Davis and Mose Allison, among others.
Chicago born Willie Riser is the first call bassist for touring blues legends Otis Clay, Carla Thomas, Lady Bianca, Frank Biner, Jules Broussard, Jackie Payne, & Ernie Johnson.
Drummer Rob Rhodes is a regular Jazzschool Blues Vocal Funshop accompanist, and has performed with Ledisi, Mary Wilson, Ed Kelly, Roy Obiedo, Denise Perrier and Faye Carol.
The workshop begins by finding the “dance” of 5/4 which is everything! You’ll work on getting 5 in your body before playing or singing. We’ll spend time clapping, moving and counting in 5/4, with the goal being to remove any fear. It’s no different from any other rhythm, once your body feels the groove! A variety of ways to play 5/4 will be explored, with examples from Horace Silver, Milton Nascimento, Brad Mehldau, Alex Acuna, Michel Camilo, Wayne Shorter, John McLaughlin and songs the instructor has arranged for other artists. We will also explore polyrhythms, phrasing 5/4 and 5/8 over a 4/4 groove. For all instrumentalists and singers.
September 29, 2013
As Dorothy Parker once said, “I hate writing, I love having written.” Song writing can feel the same way, but it can also be one of the most rewarding forms of self-expression. This workshop, led by twin brothers David and Daniel Bailen with pianist Pierre Piscitelli, explores the construction of a melody and how it relates to song structure. Drawing from classic standards from the American songbook up to modern popular music, The Bailen Brothers string a thread through common trends and provide tools one can use to build a melody and create hooks. In this workshop you will hear the deconstruction of both original and classic compositions as they pertain to melody and song structure, and you will even have the opportunity to write a song of your own with the group. Open to all! thebailenbrothers.com