As Good As A 3 Credit Hour College Course
There is so much music to share, to celebrate, and to experience.
I have been involved with the Jamey Aebersold Summer Jazz Workshops as a student, a teacher-apprentice, and now for nearly 15+ years as a faculty member. Most jazz majors offered at universities across the globe offer study in jazz theory, jazz improvisation, jazz arranging/composition, jazz pedagogy, and jazz history. As I reflect on all that goes on during one week at the SJW I am amazed at HOW much information is shared with students in formal classes, in combo rehearsals, on walks back to the dorm, and around the shared tables we all use for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Let me show you what I mean:
Jazz Theory – the camp offers 5 different classes in jazz theory. Young people and adult learners get the basics and progress through an advanced course taught by IUs Pat Harbison. The bulletin board in Pat’s room is always filled with very hip thought proviking ideas about the music.
Jazz Improvisation – with two rehearsals per day, it is not uncommon for a combo to cover as many as 20 tunes in one week. Everyone improvises and the combos are allowed with instructors permission to practice together after an evening concert. Total immersion!
Jazz Composition/Arranging – Each year we are treated to new music created by touring jazz artists such as Andy LaVerne, Dave Friesen, and Dave Stryker and hip arrangements that Jim Rotondi, Eric Alexander, and Steve Davis perform with their band One For All. Students hear the music on an evening concert and they may be talking to the composer about that music the next morning.
Jazz Pedagogy – This faculty is filled with dedicated master teachers and the ideas, concepts, and recommendations they make to the students go home with these students to every corner of the world. And most camps feature the brilliant and inspiring ideas of pianist Harry Pickens. Harry’s talks give wings to our creativity.
Jazz History – Each day the camp offers master classes and bass and saxophonists are always treated to the evolution of their instruments via a medley of video clips that highlight innovators of various generations. Or jazz history comes to life on stage as Jimmy Cobb and an all-star combo perform music from Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue.
No wonder people return year after year. There is so much music to share, to celebrate, and to experience.