Thursday, November 19, 2009
Jazz at Lincoln Center's Swing University announces winter classes
I don't often wish I lived in NYC--okay, from time to time I do, along with wishing I had buckets of money--but I just opened an email from Jazz at Lincoln Center that made me long to be there.
The email describes JALC's winter schedule of adult education classes for jazz lovers and the curious. I love taking classes about jazz and they're in short supply in Minneapolis/St. Paul. When trumpeter Kelly Rossum was still at MacPhail (before leaving for, where else, NYC), he taught a series of classes on jazz history and appreciation and offered jazz "book clubs"--he assigned books to read, we read them and talked about them and listened to music.
Some of the people who came to Kelly's classes had seen a lot of live jazz performances and knew a little something about the music; others knew almost nothing but wanted to learn. Kelly made us all feel welcome and worthy.
Here's what JALC's Swing U is offering. I would totally sign up for Vincent Gardner and probably Lewis Nash, and Phil Schaap is a walking, talking, radio-announcing encyclopedia of jazz knowledge and history so he would be tempting, too.
MARY LOU WILLIAMS with Father Peter O'Brien
Monday Nights: 1/11; 1/25; 2/1; 2/8
Jazz at Lincoln Center continues to celebrate the centennial of Mary Lou Williams, one of the primary pianists, arrangers, and composers in jazz history. As an innovator, she marked the music of Kansas City, The Swing Era, long form composition, and sacred music in jazz while developing the primary concept still used in jazz piano today. In mid-career, Mary Lou Williams converted to Catholicism, and left the performance field to do good works. She was coaxed back into performing by Dizzy Gillespie and received a spiritual guide, Father Peter O'Brien - the very man teaching the course - who eventually became her manager.
DRUMS AND THE RHYTHM SECTION with drummer Lewis Nash
Monday Nights: 2/22; 3/1; 3/8, 3/15
Drumming giant Lewis Nash will guide you to understand the workings of the rhythm section and the musical blending that distinguishes great rhythm sections. This course will help you recognize drum stylists such as Art Blakey, Big Sid Catlett, Papa Jo Jones and Max Roach.
BEBOP with Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra trombonist Vincent Gardner
Tuesday Nights: 1/19; 1/26; 2/2; 2/9; 2/16; & 2/23/2010
Virtuosity, fuller harmonies and a new rhythmic sense established this sound as a new type of jazz. Join JLCO trombonist Vincent Gardner for a close look at how Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie paved the way for other masters of this innovative sound.
JAZZ 201 with WKCR radio personality Phil Schaap
Tuesday Nights: 1/19/; 1/26; 2/2; 2/9; 2/16; 2/23/; 3/2; & 3/9/2010
These in-depth sessions will open your ears to the music of known and lesser-known masters. How did King Oliver help invent the jazz solo? What was Bill Evans' role in Miles Davis' Kind of Blue? In Jazz 201 you'll learn to hear the details.
JAZZ 101 with WKCR radio personality Phil Schaap
Wednesday Nights: 1/20; 1/27; 2/3; 2/10; 2/17; 2/24; 3/3; & 3/10/2010
Discover the A to Z of jazz. Learn about the Crescent City pioneers who taught musicians everywhere how to swing and the Big Band Era heartthrobs who brought jazz into prime time. Relive the bebop revolution and follow its descendents - cool, hard bop, modal and free jazz - into the modern era.