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Home » News » As Good As A 3 Credit Hour College Course

As Good As A 3 Credit Hour College Course

CalendarMarch 2, 2017
Comments4 Comments
Jim Ketch performs at the Summer Jazz Workshops.

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.

Jim Ketch

About The Author

Jim Ketch is Professor of Music and Director of Jazz Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has released three CDs for Summit Records and is Associate Director of Swing Central for the Savannah Music Festival.

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4 thoughts on “As Good As A 3 Credit Hour College Course”

  1. Bobby Scann says:

    Bravo to all. I’m looking forward to it!

  2. Greg VanBoven says:

    There is nothing like it (to my knowledge). Total immersion, as Jim says, is heaven for those of us that live and breathe music. If you haven’t attended – DO!

  3. John Jewczyn says:

    Last year, my first year, was great. Going again this year to build on that foundation.

  4. Joe Teachey says:

    I’m a beginner with the Saxophone & piano and I look forward to learning from the instructors and my soon to be fellow classmates! This will be what we call in the Marine Corps: “Being baptized by fire”!!! When learning something new in the Corps they just toss you right in there! I look forward to doing the same with this week of instruction!!! Semper Fi!!! JT

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