Classes for Jazz Enthusiasts

Jazz Appreciation Classes

“Hipsters Holiday” The Great Christmas Music

The “popular” Christmas song is a relatively modern invention – there were virtually none until 1941, when Irving Berlin opened the floodgates with his classic “White Christmas.” And even as late as 1947, when the now-classic holiday movie MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET was released, all the advertising and promotion avoided any references to Christmas or Read More

1959: The Greatest Year In Jazz

1959 was considered one of the greatest and most important year for recorded jazz. We will explore some of the classic album’s released that year and why they were so influential including recordings by John Coltrane “Giant Steps”, Miles Davis “Kind of Blue”, Dave Brubeck “Time Out”, Cannonball Adderley “Cannonball Takes Charge”, Charles Mingus “Mingus Read More

Brass Band Traditions: Then and Now

A performance driven class covering the historic and contemporary performance practice of a New Orleans Brass Band. Students will learn the history of the brass band legacy and how to execute the style authentically to perform the songs in their own unique way. For all instruments/ intermediate level

Comparative Listening: The Great Jazz Standards

Students will listen to and analyze different versions of the same tunes in order to understand the elements of different jazz styles.

History and Styles of the Classic Jazz Quintets

This class covers the history, styles, and repertoire of some of the most famous jazz quintets in history, such as Miles Davis, Art Blakey and Horace Silver.

History and Styles of the Great Jazz Pianists

This class covers the styles of the great jazz pianists of our time, including Nat Cole, Count Basie, Oscar Peterson, Wynton Kelly, Red Garland, and more. Students will become familiar with the repertoire that made these pianists unique and will learn how to recognize their styles.

History And Styles Of The Modern Big Band

In the 1950’s, the big band moved from the dance hall to the concert hall. Arrangements became more complex and adventurous; these were not your father’s (or grandfather’s) big bands. This class will study some of these great bands, including the 1950’s Basie Band, the Buddy Rich Band, the Maynard Ferguson Band, and the Thad Read More

History of Big Bands

For the non-musician and musician alike, this class will cover the evolution of Big Bands from the smaller Duke Ellington ensembles of the 1920’s through the eras of swing, bop, hard bop, and fusion. The class will cover styles, instrumentation, orchestration, composition, and soloists.

Introduction to Jazz, Hip Hop and Fusion

This course outlines the development of jazz-hip hop fusion, one of today’s most influential jazz subgenres. Beginning with the birth of hip hop in the 1970s, we will trace the ways that jazz and hip hop developed and came together in the 1980s and 1990s in the work of artists like Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Read More

Jazz Guitarists of the 1960’s

Study the styles and work of six prominent jazz guitarists in the 1960s. Discuss the unique & beautiful styles of Wes Montgomery, Grant Green, Barney Kessel, Howard Roberts and Joe Pass. We’ll dive deep into what made them unique, and into their commonality!

Jazz in Film

In this class, students will view and discuss a variety of jazz performances from theatrical releases, soundies (juke box films), television shows, and concert videos, spanning chronologically from the advent of film to the present time, and ranging stylistically from swing to mainstream, including instrumental, vocal, and dance performances.

Listening to Jazz

This class explores the act of listening to jazz, including how to listen into the music, what to listen for, who to listen to, and how to listen between the notes.

The Classic Jazz Trios

This class covers the history, styles, and repertoire of some of the most famous jazz trios in history, including the trios of Oscar Peterson, Nat Cole, Ahmad Jamal, and Red Garland.

The Duke Ellington Orchestra

Duke Ellington was one of the most important composers of the 20th century. Through his orchestra, he gave us some of history’s greatest jazz musicians and compositions, which have become a mainstay of American popular music. This listening and history class will cover Duke and his orchestra from its inception in the 1920’s to his Read More

The Influence of Afro-Latinx Culture in Contemporary Music

How has modern music progressed into what it is today? How did pop culture get from I Love Lucy to Justin Bieber and Cardi B? Learn how to differentiate rhythms along with their origins. Discover what Bo Diddly’s “hand jive” and Cuban music have in common. Understand what draws people to dance rhythms generally considered Read More

The Life & Music of Miles Davis

This course covers the life of Miles Davis from his first professional job with Ernest Randle’s Ramblers in St. Louis to his final concert at Montreaux, including his triumphs of the 1950’s with arranger Gil Evans. Listening will include music from all of the major periods in Miles’s career.

The Life and Music of Bill Evans

This class is devoted to Bill Evans’s music, including his work as a sideman, trio leader, and solo pianist, with emphasis on the evolution of his trio innovations.

The Life and Music of John Coltrane

This course covers the life of John Coltrane and the innovations he introduced. Listening will include music from the different periods and styles in Coltrane’s career.

The Life and Music of Oscar Peterson

This class is a complete study of the music and life of Oscar Peterson, one of the greatest jazz pianists of our time. Oscar was famous for his blazing technique and incredible improvisational skills. But did you know that he was a vocalist? Come and enjoy learning about this great pianist and the many musicians Read More

The Life And Music Of Stan Getz

Stan Getz was a true jazz icon of the tenor saxophone, but his life was as turbulent as his music was smooth. With guitarist Charlie Byrd, Getz is best known for starting the Bossa Nova craze in the mid 1960’s. This was far from his only musical accomplishment. From the classic Third Stream recording “Focus” Read More

World of Jazz Drummers

This class is devoted to styles of jazz drumming from big band to small ensemble. Students will learn how to listen to drums and will gain a new appreciation of the nuances and textures of jazz drumming.