Jamey Speaks To You
For 48 years I’ve been actively involved in conducting Summer Jazz Workshops around the world. I can truly say the first two weeks of July at the Univ. of Louisville will be a continuation of the best in jazz education you’ll find anywhere. I surround myself with only the finest educators and jazz musicians for my faculty. The staff is outstanding and caters to your every need. I am so pleased to each year see both young and old playing jazz and having the time of their lives.
Playing jazz has always had a mystery about it and for that reason, many are afraid to “give it a try.” I felt the same way at age 15 when I took my first jazz lesson. My knees were knocking and I quickly found out I didn’t know much, but that help was on the way. I dove in: asking questions, getting answers, listening to jazz, practicing the best I could with the knowledge I had, and in time I found it wasn’t nearly as difficult as I had led myself to believe.
Breakthrough moments came when:
- I realized Oscar Peterson was playing scales and chords just like me only much faster and cleaner
- David Baker showed me how each chord symbol equaled a scale and chord. At that moment I knew WHY practicing scales was so important
- Charlie Parker REALLY did practice 11 to 15 hours a day for 3 to 4 years, he wasn’t BORN with it
- By using a Pitch Pipe I could train my ear even when I wasn’t in the practice room
Recording myself enabled me to hear what I sounded like, I could pick and choose what I liked and wanted to keep, and what I didn’t like and would thus delete from my playing. In time, listening became more fun because I could begin to HEAR what the famous jazz musicians were actually doing … how they were making those beautiful lines across the chord progression, how they used various articulation to personalize their solos, and how they seemed to find those “special notes.”
Ah, a lifetime of jazz and I wouldn’t trade a note of it. It has been a learning experience for me and had I attended a Summer Jazz Workshop like the ones I now conduct at the University of Louisville as a kid or young adult, I would have been making beautiful music much sooner.
Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today. The music is inside you. Let me help you get it out.