October 10, 2014
Celebrating the release of her highly anticipated book Jazz Child: A Portrait of Sheila Jordan, Ellen Johnson performs in dedication to her musical mentors. Johnson will present selections from her soon-to-be-released album Form & Formless, along with free improvisations that are the centerpiece of the project. Featuring Jason Martineau on piano, Peter Barshay on bass, and Bryan Bowman on drums. A limited number of signed copies of the book Jazz Child: A Portrait of Sheila Jordan will be available at the concert.
“While other singers are rehashing the great American songbook, Johnson is putting it through the meat grinder and creating a whole new menu.” – George Harris, All About Jazz
October 11, 2014
One of the challenges many musicians encounter in improvisation is in learning how to free up their rhythmic phrasing. This two-part workshop provides concepts and exercises to help you move beyond the usual tendencies in 4/4 and 3/4 time, through the study of polyrhythm and polymeter. In the first session, written examples are provided for various rhythmic patterns (with an emphasis on learning how to count them), and an overview of how to superimpose these patterns over the most common meters and forms. The second session focuses on the application of these rhythms to music through playing & listening, as well as introducing a variety of advanced exercises, concepts & practice routines. This type of ear training is essential in developing recognition and comfort within the advanced rhythmic environment of modern music — and ultimately, enables new levels of expression and interaction in any musical context. Examples are shown on drum set, but all musicians who want to develop their rhythmic sense are welcome.
Saturdays, October 4 and 11, 3:15 – 5:15pm
$60 advance • $75 day of workshop
Please click here to register
Jon Arkin has performed and recorded with a wide range of musicians since receiving his degree from the University of Miami. Credits include Julian Lage, Wil Blades, Dayna Stephens and others.
Formed 1991 in San Francisco, The Broun Fellinis play a soulful and aggressive style of post modern improvised/composed jazzical sound that is informed by dub, Afrobeat, abstract funk, hardcore/psych/prog rock and film soundtracks (the darker and more atmospheric the better). Featuring Kevin Carnes on drums and sampler (Beatnigs, UAF), David Boyce on tenor and soprano saxophone, efx, synth, and spoken word, and Kirk Peterson on electric bass.
The group has been profiled on NPR and BET in the US and on Radio Nova in France. They’ve traveled to Spain to perform at the San Sebastian International Jazz Festival and to British Columbia for the du Maurier festival. Other festival appearances include the San Francisco Jazz Festival, Stern Grove Festival in SF, the Bumbershoot Festival in Seattle and more. Broun Fellinis have toured with Ben Harper and performed with many greats such as The Last Poets, Meshell Ndegeocello, Living Colour, Erykah Badu, the Roots, Mos Def, Gil Scott-Heron, Zakir Hussain, Bernie Worrell, Eric McFadden, George Clinton, Mystic Journeymen, Jimmy Smith, Prince Lasha, Les Claypool, Buckethead, Aceyalone, Mikah 9, Antibalas, Blackalicious, General Public, Ravi Coltrane, Eric McFadden, 311 and more.
October 12, 2014
AMERICAN SONGBOOK COMPOSER SERIES — IT COULD HAPPEN TO YOU: THE MUSIC OF JIMMY VAN HEUSEN with Maye Cavallaro – Part 3
In this workshop we’ll explore and sing the music of Jimmy Van Heusen, who penned more than 120 hit songs, such as: “Like Someone in Love,” “Come Fly With Me,” “All the Way,” and “My Kind of Town (Chicago).” We’ll also listen to how some jazz greats have interpreted these songs and get ideas for our own arrangements. Students are provided with 7 lead sheets for songs, including practice-backing tracks. In the final week, we’ll work with an accompanist and sing these songs, trying out our own arrangement ideas. Six students max!
Sunday, September 28, October 5,
October 12, noon – 3pm
$250 advance • $265 day of workshop
Please call 510.845.5373 to inquire about this workshop.
A warm, charismatic stage performer and accomplished musician, Maye Cavallaro has traveled extensively in Japan and the U.S., both performing and teaching. She has appeared in the San Francisco Bay Area at clubs such as Yoshi’s, The Great American Music Hall, The Plush Room, Sweetwater and Kimball’s. She is an instructor at the Jazzschool and a mentor for the Vocal Mentor Program. She teaches performance classes and an ongoing composer workshop series as well as maintaining an active performing schedule. Read more at mzjazz.com.
This workshop series explains how to improvise with a lead-sheet using real world examples from solos by John Coltrane and others. It departs from the often-used approach of “see this chord, play this scale” and gets into the actual vocabulary of jazz in a way that is easily understood and accessible. Visiting musicians demonstrate some of the approaches under discussion, and students listen to audio recordings. No need to bring instruments to this seminar. Discussion topics include:
- How to play on standards.
- What it means to “play in a key.”
- How to recognize the key you’re in, even if it’s not obvious.
- How playing in a key, rather than from chord-to-chord, is part of the jazz tradition.
- How to practice so all this gets more intuitive and more fun.
3 Sundays, 2 – 4pm
October 12, 19 and 26
$90 advance • $105 day of workshop
Clark Suprynowicz is a Bay Area composer and music teacher who has been faculty at the Crowden School, SF School of the Arts and the SF Conservatory (composition and musicianship). He’s had new work premiered by the Berkeley Opera, the Crucible, the Berkeley Symphony, and the Pacific Mozart Ensemble. As a bassist, he’s worked with John Zorn, Bill Frisell, Art Lande, and Tom Waits. Clark runs the Berkeley Jazz Workshops, a forum for jazz musicians developing their skills that has been a fixture in Berkeley for more than thirty years.
Musica Pacifica will present a program emphasizing the improvisatory aspects of Baroque chamber music. The program will consist of concertos and trios by Handel and Vivaldi, where High Baroque techniques of improvised melodic ornamentation will be highlighted. Demonstrations of typical 16th-century ground bass and variation patterns and how they were used to build more substantial compositions — by improvising on them and then by playing works of masters such as Merula, Uccelini, and Rossi who used these patterns in their own works — will also be reviewed. Throughout the program, there will be discussion on the art of basso continuo improvisation and how it developed during the Baroque period. Musica Pacifica will perform their own arrangements of English Country Dance, in which they take traditional folk tunes and improvise melodic lines and harmonies.
October 17, 2014
A giant of 20th century vocal jazz, Betty Carter’s career spanned five decades and influenced countless jazz musicians. From her early days with Lionel Hampton to her preeminence as a bebop improviser to her wildly original compositions, Betty Carter was a totally unique artist, legendary bandleader, and musical innovator. Vocalist Andrea Claburn will celebrate Betty’s legacy in a performance of Carter’s original compositions, as well as some of her iconic arrangements of standards. Andrea will be joined by a world-class trio featuring Matt Clark on piano, Sam Bevan on bass and Alan Hall on drums, in what promises to be an electrifying evening of improvised music. andreaclaburn.com
“There’s really only one jazz singer – only one: Betty Carter.” – Carmen McRae
“Andrea comes to this concert with an arsenal of incredible arrangements and transcriptions from one of our great American jazz singers. Few have ventured into this territory, so I applaud her courage and skill set. It will, without question, be a very dynamic show.” – Laurie Antonioli, Chair, Vocal Program, California Jazz Conservatory
October 18, 2014
This two-part lecture series focuses on strategies to expand your approach to jazz composition and improvisation by utilizing techniques from 21st Century classical composition, including orchestration techniques of the French spectralists, heterophonic practices of the post-war avant-garde, layering principles in new complexity, and extended techniques in musique concrète instrumentale.
PART ONE explores approaches to modal jazz using techniques from French spectralism. Employing simple tools such as instrumentation, register, and dynamics, we explore ways of varying timbre and harmonic color while retaining harmonic function. We also look at how this can be reflected in structures used for improvisation.
PART TWO discusses the use of counterpoint in modern jazz. We begin with a brief introduction to the basic principles of counterpoint and review examples from jazz repertoire by composers like Dave Holland and Henry Threadgill. Utilizing tools such as rhythmic independence, heterophony, and linear melodic layering, we explore ways to extend ensemble interplay in both written and improvised contexts.
Saturdays, October 18 and 25,
3:15 – 5:15pm
$60 advance • $75 day of workshop
Jason Levis holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in Composition from UC Berkeley and a B.A. in Music, Naropa University. He has produced, composed and arranged for, performed in, and released over twodozen records, bridging a multitude of musical styles. He is an active performer on the drum set in both art and popular music settings and has extensive national and international performance experience.
The Klaxon Mutant Allstars are a fellowship of San Francisco Bay Area jazz musicians whose music lives between the worlds of jazz, electronica, indie rock and hip-hop. This year they are celebrating the release of their debut album, Robot Invasion. Their music is the product of a new generation of eclectic-minded jazz musicians living in the Bay Area’s technology-obsessed, genre-twisting, multi-cultural mix. With inspiration drawn from 1980s hip hop, to underdog baseball heroes, to the writings of David Sedaris, California politics, to covering indie rock bands like Deerhoof, the Klaxons have created an album that, like the Bay Area, is multi-pronged in its influences, vital in its relevance, and boldly points to the future. Featuring Henry Hung on trumpet, keys and efx, Eric Garland on drums, Colin Hogan on keyboards, Kasey Knudsen on saxophone and efx, Sam Bevan on bass. klaxonmutantallstars.com
October 19, 2014
AMERICAN SONGBOOK COMPOSER WORKSHOP SERIES: INTERPRETING SONGS with Maye Cavallaro, Wesla Whitfield & Mike Greensill
The American Songbook is a collection of popular music from Broadway and Hollywood musicals prevalent from the 1920s to 1960s. In this workshop we’ll explore how to express the themes of these timeless songs, including phrasing, dynamics and tone, tempos and how to sing a song so that it tells your own story. One month before the workshop, students will be given a choice of six songs, from which they will select two songs to work on. We’ll be joined by pianist and arranger Mike Greensill. Class limited to 6 performers but is open to auditors. Consultation required.
Sunday, October 19, noon – 3pm
$100 advance • $115 day of workshop, please call 510.845.5373 to register.
$50 for auditors, available online
Wesla Whitfield inhabits that indeterminate zone where jazz and cabaret meet. Trained in classical music and opera, Whitfield has toiled for more than three decades to become one of the most gifted performers breathing life into that exquisite body of Broadway tunes, movie songs and Hit Parade numbers. Working with pianist/ arranger Mike Greensill, the two released their 19th recording, “Message From the Man in the Moon.” More at weslawhitfield.com
Mike Greensill, in addition to his work with Wesla, has also had the pleasure of accompanying
such diverse talents as Rita Moreno, Margaret Whiting, Broadway stars Lillias White and Franc D’Ambrosio and jazz singers Madeline Eastman, Ann Hampton Callaway and Opie Bellas. In January 2014, Mike published his magnum opus, “Playing for Singers.” In it, he brings his many years of accompanying experience to bear in exploring the accompanist’s art as it applies to the performance of the “Great American Songbook.” Read more at mikegreensill.com