Workshops & Master Classes at the Jazzschool, Feb. 2011

Jazzschool Workshops &
Master Classes, February 2011
Berkeley, Calif.
January 6, 2011

Sun. 2/6 “Why Did You Play That?”:

Making Informed Rational Aesthetic Decisions in Music

Patrick Wolff, John Wiitala, Hamir Atwal

11:00 am-1:00 pm

Jazz often appears completely spontaneous, and at its best it is an art form that thrives in the moment. This can create the false impression that improvisation is purely a matter of chance and impulse, when in reality it is the product of years of inspiration, decision-making, and synthesis of different styles and content. In this workshop, Patrick Wolff and his trio explore and demonstrate different stylistic areas of jazz and attempt to explain how the baseline aesthetic foundations of these styles define the language and format with which musicians approach improvisation. While this kind of examination may seem abstract compared to the content- and technique-driven “what” and “how” lines of dialogue that characterize most jazz education, it is an important process for any musician at any level to make responsible musical choices and avoid brainless regurgitation, and is essential in building a set of priorities for practice and performance.

$30 Jazzschool students/$45 others

Sun. 2/6 Exploring Jazz Guitar

John Stowell

12:00 noon-3:00 pm

This workshop, taught by world-class guitarist John Stowell, focuses on chord construction, chord melodies, scale substitution, and building solo lines.

$45 Jazzschool students/$60 others

Sun. 2/6 The Holly Martins Workshop

Kasey Knudsen, Lorin Benedict, Eric Vogler

2:00-4:00 pm

A presentation and workshop, with Kasey Knudsen, Lorin Benedict, and Eric Vogler, detailing the rhythmic innovations and unusual approaches to improvisation developed by the Holly Martins, an improvising group consisting of voice, saxophone, and guitar. (The Holly Martins recently released their debut album no. no. yes. no. on Edgetone Records.)

$30 Jazzschool students/$45 others

Sun. 2/6 Salsa/Afro-Cuban/Latin Jazz Piano: A Listening Survey

Bob Karty

2:00-4:00 pm

Through close listening to selected recordings, pianist Bob Karty presents a detailed overview of the evolution of Cuban piano styles and the role of the piano in both dance music and Latin jazz from the 1930s to the present. This presentation is open to all: both musicians and non-musicians will find it of interest.

$30 Jazzschool students/$45 others

Sat. 2/12, 2/19, 2/26, and 3/5 Eastern European Songs and Vocal Technique

Janet Kutulas

3:15 – 4:45 pm

Join singers from the world-renowned women’s vocal ensemble Kitka as they introduce music from Bulgaria, Croatia, Ukraine, Russia, Albania, and other Eastern European countries. Explore the mechanics of “open voice” singing and ornamentation and learn to produce the sweet and strident sounds and luscious sounds made famous by Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares. Experience the pure joy of traditional drone and melody singing and vocal pyrotechnics such as yips, hollers, and glissandos. Work on blending, intonation, and vocal tone in small groups and individually. Songs are framed in their cultural and historical contexts with anecdotal information about the cultures and traditions of Eastern Europe.

Prerequisite: none. Singers of all levels welcome!

Maximum enrollment: 10 students.


Sun. 2/13 Jazz Drum Set Improvisation: Uncommon Approaches

Sam Ospovat

11:00 am-1:00 pm

This workshop led by Sam Ospovat focuses on exploring improvisation techniques, using sounds beyond the standard tones associated with the drum set — approaches that definitely have a place in jazz as exemplified by old masters including Papa Jo Jones and Sonny Greer, but that are now often overlooked. For all drummers.

$30 Jazzschool students/$45 others

Sun. 2/13 Improvisation Workshop with John Stowell

12:00 noon-3:00 pm

This workshop with John Stowell is a hands-on explanation and demonstration of simple ways to expand your harmonic palette using melodic and harmonic minor scales, arpeggios, and triads. Reharmonizations of progressions and tunes are also covered. All levels and instruments welcome, but intermediate to advanced students are recommended.

$45 Jazzschool students/$60 others

Sun. 2/13 Solo Jazz Piano Workshop with Dick Hindman

2:00-4:00 pm

A Dick Hindman-led workshop for jazz pianists exploring aspects of solo jazz piano performance. Participants are encouraged to bring a lead sheet of a tune of their choice to work on in class. Additional topics may be covered as time allows.

$30 Jazzschool students/$45 others

Sun. 2/20 Jazz Bass Lines for Non-Bassists

Rob Ewing

11:00 am-1:00 pm

In this workshop with trombonist Rob Ewing, students learn to construct logical, melodic, and varied bass lines over standard jazz harmony based on the study and analysis of representative transcriptions of great jazz bassists. Open to all instrumentalists, vocalists, composers, and arrangers. Please bring manuscript paper and a pencil.

$30 Jazzschool students/$45 others

Sun. 2/20 Jazz Improvisation Secrets

Chuck MacKinnon

11:00 am-1:00 pm

This workshop with trumpeter Chuck MacKinnon includes discussion and practice time working on the essential rhythmic, harmonic, and melodic elements with which to build engaging jazz solos. For all instrumentalists and vocalists.

$30 Jazzschool students/$45 others

Sun. 2/20 How to Play Any Note Over Any Chord and Make It Work

Mike Abraham

2:00-4:00 pm

Developing a fearless approach to jazz improvisation is an important step on the path to free expression. When all of the notes are available, the improviser need not fear making mistakes. This workshop with guitarist Mike Abraham explores techniques for making all notes available when improvising on chord progressions. Open to all instrumentalists and vocalists. Bring your instrument (optional).

$30 Jazzschool students/$45 others

Sun. 2/27 Early Jazz Workshop

Henry Hung

11:00-1:00 pm

A fun introduction to learning early jazz/dixieland arrangements by ear! Open to all wind instruments; led by trumpeter Henry Hung. Lots of playing in class. Bring your instrument.

$30 Jazzschool students/$45 others

Sun. 2/27 The Art of Vocalese Workshop


12:00 noon-3:00 pm

Join the members of Clockwork (Angie Doctor, Juliet Green, John Paddock, Dave Duran) for a journey into the history and practice of vocalese. Singing those crazy instrumental lines and getting in all those lyrics takes some specialized skills. If you’re interested in learning more about performing in this Twisted genre, popularized by King Pleasure, Eddie Jefferson, Lambert, Hendricks and Ross, Kurt Elling, and many others, this will be right up your Charleston Alley. Topics to be covered: ideas for listening (a little history, and some hip instrumentalists and vocalists to inspire you); performance practice (developing good phrasing, pronunciation and diction, agility and accuracy); transcribing (technology, tools, short cuts); writing your own (choosing appropriate “singable” solos, syllable emphasis, form and rhyme, copyright issues); vocalese in a group (how to sing those complex melodic lines in a vocal ensemble setting).


Sun. 2/27 Rhythm Changes

Henry Hung

2:00-4:00 pm

A workshop led by trumpeter Henry Hung on the many approaches to improvising on and reharmonizing this standard jazz song form. Prerequisites: some knowledge of jazz theory is recommended

but workshop is open to all. Bring your instrument.

$30 Jazzschool students/$45 others

Unless otherwise noted, all classes and workshops take place at the Jazzschool, located in the historic Kress Building at 2087 Addison Street (at Shattuck), in the heart of the Downtown Berkeley Arts District.

For detailed class descriptions, consult the Jazzschool web site. And for enrollment information, contact the Jazzschool: phone 510-845-5373, fax 510-841-5373, e-mail Early registration is recommended.

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Published in: on January 6, 2011 at 8:31 PM  Leave a Comment  

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