November 17, 2013
This workshop begins by finding the “dance” of 9/4, 11/4 and other odd meters, which is everything! You’ll work on internalizing these meters through movement before singing and playing. We’ll spend time clapping, moving and counting with the goal being to remove any fear or discomfort. These seemingly complicated meters are are no more difficult from other more familiar meters, once your body feels the groove! For all instrumentalists and singers.
Keyboardist, producer Frank Martin has served as music director for Narada Michael Walden and Patti Austin, appeared at Carnegie Hall with Sting, James Taylor and Elton John, and produced records for Al Jarreau, Turtle Island String Quartet, and Joey DeFrancesco. He has performed or recorded with John McLaughlin, Dizzy Gillespie, Larry Coryell, Herbie Hancock, and many others.
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.
Performing improvisations and compositions, saxophonist Neil Welch and drummer Chris Icasiano demonstrate their approach to effectively mixing electronic effects and acoustic instruments in the same piece. Bring your own electronics to explore group playing together! Open to all.
Bad Luck creates “powerful, virtuosic, cutting-edge music” according to All About Jazz. Chris Icasiano and Neil Welch use live loops and pedals to create an astounding range of sound in their original compositions. Bad Luck has released two albums (Bad Luck and Bad Luck Two) and an EP (Bloodroot) to date.
November 10, 2013
Many jazz musicians draw a blank when confronted with a diminished chord. Sure, you know how to spell it, but it doesn’t sound like jazz! This workshop addresses all aspects of the diminished 7th chord including chord theory, scale theory, the various functions of the diminished 7th chord in jazz, four-note voicings, voice leading, plus how particular musicians such as Bill Evans, Duke Ellington, Herbie Hancock, and Barry Harris effortlessly use this much-misunderstood chord.
Grammy-nominated pianist Mark Levine is the author of The Jazz Piano Book, The Jazz Theory Book, and The Drop 2 Book. He has performed with Woody Shaw, Mongo Santamaria, Joe Henderson, Willie Bobo, Bobby Hutcherson, Freddie Hubbard, Cal Tjader, Wallace Roney, Tito Puente, Milt Jackson, David Liebman and others.
The harmony derived from the melodic minor scale is an essential part of the sound of modern jazz, with its minor-major, lydian dominant, altered, and half-diminished chords. This workshop provides an overview of melodic minor scale harmony and its practical applications as heard in the music of Herbie Hancock, Freddie Hubbard, Woody Shaw, Wayne Shorter, and other influential jazz composers and improvisers.
November 3, 2013
Picking up where the 5/4 workshop left off, this session focuses on the art (and funk) of playing in 7/4 time with examples from a variety of modern composers.
This workshop for woodwind players explores how to make your phrases swing from a technical standpoint. Anton Schwartz presents different flavors of swinging, from down and dirty to light and nimble, and considers the various tools used to create them: rhythmic variation, accents, articulations and inflections. Participants listen to recorded examples and live demonstrations, and apply the ideas on their instruments. Also open to flutists and clarinetists. Bring your instrument (optional).
“Schwartz has everything you want to hear in a modern jazz saxophonist — an appealing, consistent tone, an abundance of ideas fueling both his compositions and his improvisations, and superb taste in musical collaborators.” — San Francisco Bay Guardian
Think you know how your woodwind instrument works? Think again! This workshop explores the physical aspects of how saxophones and other woodwinds create the sounds that they do, with practical applications for players. Topics include: modes of vibration; size and placement of tone holes; the physics of register keys and overtones; false fingerings; how altissimo works; and the role of the airstream. Students may try various techniques such as growling, false fingerings, harmonics and glissando, and discuss them in light of the physics of the instrument. Bring your instrument and your curiosity!
November 2, 2013
A theoretical and practical look at pentatonic (five-note) scales and their role in jazz, paying particular attention to the many ways they can be used to great effect in solos. Instructor lays out the theory behind them from the ground up, showing how they may be used in myriad harmonic contexts, and discusses exactly how it is that such a simple harmonic tool (they are the basis of some of the simplest folk melodies around the world) can be used so powerfully in modern music to create so many colors and degrees of tension and dissonance. Prerequisites: A basic understanding of chords and seven-note scales; familiarity with advanced harmony is desirable.
October 27, 2013
Grooves in 5, 7, 9 and beyond are increasingly common in many styles of contemporary music. Drummers need to feel just as comfortable playing in these meters as they do playing in 4/4! This hands-on workshop covers a number of approaches to playing musically in odd meters in various styles.