April 19, 2014
One of the challenges many musicians encounter in improvisation is in learning how to free up their rhythmic phrasing. This workshop is focused on concepts and exercises to help you move beyond the usual tendencies in 4/4 and 3/4 time, through the study of polyrhythm and polymeter. Written examples will be provided of various rhythmic patterns (with an emphasis on learning how to count them), and how to superimpose patterns over the most common meters and forms. This ear training is essential to develop recognition and comfort within the advanced rhythmic environment of modern music — and ultimately, will enable new levels of expression and interaction in any musical context. Examples will be shown on drum set, but all musicians who want to develop their rhythmic sense are welcome!
Jon Arkin has performed and recorded with a wide range of musicians since receiving his degree from the University of Miami. Credits include Julian Lage, Wil Blades, Dayna Stephens and others.
April 13, 2014
Learn how to practice improvisation in a non-genre specific context, alone and in groups, and how to apply those concepts to other idioms. Seattle-based duo Syrinx Effect (Kate Olson and Naomi Siegel) leads off this workshop with a demonstration of techniques and concepts (developing strong motives, introducing contrasting elements and creating an arc within a solo improvisation). Additional topics include effective beginnings and endings and “rules” for interaction, borrowed loosely from Tibetan Buddhist ideas. Prerequisites: at least 1-2 years of dedicated study and basic mastery on your instrument. Bring your instrument.
Naomi Siegel is an educator who performs and records with an array of ensembles including her own projects. She studied jazz trombone at Oberlin Conservatory, and received the 2013 Golden Ear Award from Earshot Jazz for Emerging Artist of the Year. Kate Olson is a saxophonist and woodwind teacher who specializes in free improvisation and electronics.
Photos by danielsheehan.com
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.
Jazz musicians use many different strategies to create melodic lines in soloing — chord notes, diatonic and chromatic passing tones, neighbor tones, patterns based on scales or modes, upper structure triads, other intervallic constructions, playing in the key, pentatonic and other more exotic scales. Debbie Poryes provides an overview with as many examples of these concepts as possible. Open to all, basic knowledge of jazz theory recommended.
Pianist Debbie Poryes has performed at Yoshi’s, the Healdsburg Jazz Festival and various venues in Europe. She has released several albums as a leader, with over 30 years of experience teaching privately and at conservatories in the U.S. and Europe.
April 6, 2014
Learn essential patterns and grooves for playing Salsa and Cha Cha Cha rhythms on timbales! Percussionist Omar Ledezma demonstrates proper technique and patterns, providing ample feedback for students of all levels. Beginners will learn the basics, while more advanced players receive an assessment of their current technique and suggestions to enhance their playing.
Omar Ledezma is one of the Bay Area’s most in-demand percussionists. He performs with many top Latin jazz and salsa groups including the Grammy- winning Pacific Mambo Orchestra. Omar is a Pearl Percussion artist.
Learn to effectively harmonize melodies and create arrangements for solo guitar in this hands-on workshop. Using his own arrangements as a guide, ace guitarist Jeff Massanari covers basic approaches to developing chord melodies using standard voicings and presents a range of techniques for creating richer and more complex arrangements. Topics covered include counterpoint, inner line movement, alternative voicings and reharmonization. Prerequisites: students should know basic 6th and 5th string root jazz chords (major 7th, -7b5) and have some ability to read music.
“I believe that one of the reasons I have stayed busy over the years is by being fairly comfortable with quite a few different styles. And I think that a dose of the groove, phrasing and commitment to one’s ideas required to play these other styles strongly enhances one’s jazz playing!”— Jeff Massanari
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.
This workshop offers an informal guided tour of the jazz scene — audio and video — that so richly blossomed before World War II. It isn’t an immersion in what younger jazz players “should” know from some ideological stance, but a way of offering experiences that players and singers might not discover on their own. A tenor player might find something in Dick Wilson, Herschel Evans or Cecil Scott; a singer might be astonished by Connee Boswell or George Thomas; a drummer might find revelation in the work of Sid Catlett. The workshop isn’t “jazz archaeology” — it will end with a visit to the last five years, with evidence that these “older styles” work very well in tandem with ideas one may have gleaned from Wayne Shorter or Betty Carter. All are welcome!
Learn how to infuse your playing with New Orleans licks and grooves in this hands-on overview of New Orleans R&B piano style. Listening samples and info sheets will be provided on key players including Professor Longhair, Fats Domino, Allen Toussaint, James Booker, Dr. John, Art Neville, Henry Butler, Jon Cleary, Harry Connick, Jr. and Tom McDermott. Tricks of the trade are covered, with transcriptions, including Professor Longhair’s “rhumba-boogie” style, second-line (e.g., Mardi Gras in New Orleans), two-beat shuffle (a la Fats Domino), New Orleans 8-bar blues (e.g., Tipitina) and much more. Prerequisites: intermediate ability to read and play two-handed piano parts. No materials required.
Jennifer Jolly is a keyboardist specializing in New Orleans R&B, blues, boogie-woogie, African, Caribbean, R&B, funk, honky-tonk, rock, and other rhythmic styles. She teaches at the Jazzschool and the Cazadero Family Camp, and performs with Baba Ken & Kotoja, Zulu Spear, and Big B & His Snake Oil Saviors, among others.
March 23, 2014
What is it about the playing of a great jazz saxophonist that makes it sound so fluid and professional? Tone, intonation, time and note choice are important, but they are not enough. In this workshop we observe and discuss many of the choices of note attack, emphasis, contour, duration and release that differentiate a master from an average player. Students will be critiqued and interactively guided by the instructor to overcome their individual obstacles.
Participation is encouraged but not required. To participate, please prepare this étude to play for critique: antonjazz.com/saxophone-etude. Those who find the étude too challenging are encouraged to play it at a slow tempo, or prepare an easier piece such as “Doxy” or “Tenor Madness.”
With home bases in both Seattle and Oakland, saxophonist Anton Schwartz has won critical acclaim for each of four albums released since 1998. He has performed across the country in major venues from the Monterey Jazz Festival to Yoshi’s, SFJAZZ, Blues Alley and the Blue Note in New York. Education is a key focus and Anton has taught at Harvard University, the Jazzschool, Stanford Jazz Workshop and the Brubeck Institute.