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.
This workshop introduces you to the book/CD series, Play Jazz, Blues, Rock Piano By Ear, presented by the author. Students receive a free book/CD (your choice of book 1, 2, or 3). Andy Ostwald guides you step-by-step, as you progress from creating simple two-chord jams to creating fully realized jazz, blues, and rock improvisations. Each chapter features relevant music theory and easy to understand guidelines, learning through listening to featured recordings and learning from your own musical exploration and discovery. Prerequisites: Basic piano and music-reading skills. No previous experience with improvising, learning by ear, or music theory is necessary.
Andy Ostwald holds a Bachelor’s degree in piano performance from San Jose State University and also studied in New York with renowned jazz pianist, Harold Mabern. Andy’s approach reflects a love for the early stride piano tradition as well as for bebop and more contemporary styles. He has played with numerous Bay Area artists at venues such as Yoshi’s, The Great American Music Hall and the Concord Jazz Festival, also touring extensively with singer Diane Witherspoon.
February 15, 2014
Experience the jazz vocal artistry and trademark sounds of Jeri Brown at this rare performance at the Jazzschool. Together, Jeri Brown and pianist Woody Woods carve an exceptional treatment of ‘standards’ and originals, exploring soulful communication between the voice and piano with an imaginative spirit in her premiere appearance. Favorites from Canadian songwriters Anne Murray, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen and Buffy St. Marie along with classic standards from the great American songbook are featured in this inventive and soulful improvisational rendering. “The collaboration on my latest CD release ECHOES: Live at Catalina Jazz Club…Los Angeles gave me a chance to re-frame some of my favorite standards tunes. I love these ‘feel good’ songs. Hanging out musically with Mr. Woods gave me a totally different inspiration for interpreting these gems. Each song tells such a beautiful story.” Performance repertoire highlights: Until It’s Time For You To Go, Both Sides Now, Hallelujah, You Needed Me, Afro Blue, I’ve Got Rhythm, Echoes, I Thought About You, & No Moon At All. The evening will feature Woody Woods on piano.
About Jeri Brown
With a swoop of delight, Jeri Brown returns to the international performance stage this February. “As an avant garde jazz singer, I am sometimes amazed by the different styles that jazz audiences are wanting to hear. Sometimes it is nostalgic standards from the great jazz vocalists, composers, and arrangers of the past. Others want to hear something new, fresh,and experimental. Still others want the mix of something urban to fuse with heavy bebop or hard bop or strong contemporary world musical settings. What I like about returning to the stage is that I love it all. I try to inspire within my vocal range and childlike passion for good musical interaction! I was born to improvise.”
The American-born jazz singer, songwriter and producer Jeri Brown currently lives in Canada, where she performs and teaches. Jeri Brown grew up in St. Louis, where she first appeared in public at age six. In Iowa, she studied classical singing, and later appeared in the Midwestern United States and Europe. After graduating, she lived in Cleveland, where she worked with the Cleveland Chamber Orchestra and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. She performed in Ohio with the band of drummer and bandleader Bob McKee. As a consequence, she had collaborations with artists such as Ellis Marsalis, Billy Taylor and Dizzy Gillespie. Jeri Brown then worked mainly in the jazz scene of the Cleveland area, focused on jazz standard material, wrote lyrics and collaborated with composers such as Henry Butler, Kenny Wheeler, Greg Carter and Cyrus Chestnut. In 1991, Brown signed with the Canadian Justin Time label. She has been under contract with this label since her debut album Mirage, where she was accompanied by pianist Fred Hersch and bassist Daniel Lessard. In 1992 she recorded Unfolding The Peacocks with Kirk Lightsey and Peter Leitch. This album contained the bebop standard “If You Could See Me Now” and “Woody N’ You”. In 1998, she produced two albums for Justin Time Records – Zaius and I’ve Got Your Number — with Leon Thomas, David Murray, Don Braden, John Hicks, Curtis Lundy and Avery Sharpe. She sang standards like “Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise”, Blue Skies medley, The Creator Has a Master Plan, Oo-Shoo-Be-Doo-Be and “You Must Believe in Spring”. Brown taught at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Cleveland State University and the University of Akron in Ohio. Brown has also worked at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and has held various teaching positions in Canada, including at Concordia University and McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, and at St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia. Jeri Brown is a recipient of the 2005 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Achievement Award. Discography Mirage (Justin Time Records, 1991) Unfolding The Peacocks (Justin Time Records, 1993) Timeless Place (Justin Time Records, 1994) Fresh Start (Justin Time Records, 1996) April in Paris (Justin Time Records, 1996) Zaius (Justin Time Records, 1998) I’ve Got Your Number (Justin Time Records, 1999) Image in the Mirror: The Triptych (Justin Time Records, 2001) Firm Roots (Justin Time Records, 2003) Sempre Nina – A Tribute to Nina Simone (Jongleur Productions, 2005) New Wonderland: The Best of Jeri Brown (Justin Time Records, 2007) Storytelling, with Woody Woods (Jongleur Productions, 2011) Echoes: Live At Catalina Jazz Club (Jongleur Productions, 2013).
February 14, 2014
Linda Tillery and the Cultural Heritage Choir is a Grammy nominated, percussion driven, vocal ensemble whose mission is to preserve and share the rich musical traditions of African American roots music. Their music is rooted in the deep south and strongly connected to their West African and Caribbean origins.
The Cultural Heritage Choir, has become world renowned for their breathtaking performances and commitment to the authenticity of African-American roots music. Through stick, song, dance and story, the Cultural Heritage Choir, transports the audience to a place in time when the roots of American popular music were just being sewn by the “involuntary immigrants” from Africa’s western regions. Featuring Linda Tillery, Rhonda Benin, Tamala Brown, Elouise Burrell and Bryan Dyer.
February 9, 2014
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 legendary drummer and composer Eddie Marshall led a quintet in the late 80′s and early 90′s that was one of the premier groups on the Bay Area jazz scene, also one of the busiest. Working together in those years the group developed a rapport and sound that fit Eddie’s compositions to a tee. The remaining members of that very special band have come together every year since his passing to pay loving tribute to the wonderful music and spirit of the great Eddie Marshall, this year assisted by the wonderful Vince Lateano in the drum chair. Featuring Peck Allmond trumpet and saxophone, Kenny Brooks on tenor saxopone, Mark Levine on piano, Jeff Chambers on bass and Vince Lateano on drums. The afternoon concert will begin with a set by the Eddie Marshall Memorial Recorder Ensemble, featuring Art Maxwell, Erik Jekabson and Jeff Weinmann and other special guests.
Miles Davis famously said, “You can’t play anything on a trumpet that Louis hasn’t already played.” To this day, Louis Armstrong stands as the model of melodic improvisation, of a respect for melody, an irresistible swing, a wise use of space. He can teach anyone who wishes to perform in public a joyous, heartfelt relationship to an audience, transforming the simplest melodic line, and constructing solos that are surprising yet logical. This workshop will offer music, videos and a lively discussion of Armstrong’s performances, early and late. Even for those fortunate enough to already love Louis, there will be some surprises!
Michael Steinman runs a thriving jazz video blog, Jazz Lives, and has written reviews for Cadence, Jazz Journal and liner notes for several record labels. He is also a Professor of English at Nassau Community College, New York.
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.
The sound of your kit is equally, if not more important than the notes you play on it. This workshop addresses proper tuning, head combinations, muting and muffling techniques, hardware issues, quick fixes, and advances in new equipment. All participants are encouraged to bring a drum, a drum key and open ears!
Drummer Alan Hall has performed with Kenny Werner, Taylor Eigsti, Eddie Harris and countless others, including several seasons with Cirque Du Soleil. He is endorsed by Zildjian, Aquarian and Vic Firth and is the author of Internalization, an innovative jazz drumming method book.
Guitarist Matthew Charles Heulitt leads a workshop for guitarists covering modal harmony and improvisation. Topics include modal and diatonic chord voicings, common and unusual modal scales, using the geography of the guitar to generate fresh ideas and lines, and creating harmonic movement within a static key. Bring your instrument!
Matthew Charles Heulitt has performed and recorded around the world with artists as varied as Sting, Sammy Hagar, Carlos Santana, Mickey Hart, Taj Mahal, Keiko Matsui, Narada Michael Walden, Zigaboo Modeliste, Raz Kennedy and many others. He has been a noted Bay Area studio musician, producer and arranger since 1997.