The right kind of jazz?

24/03/07 - Mart Rodger has received information about the 23rd year Jazzwise Summer School 29 July to 3rd August 2007 to be held in Richmond TW9 2RE. The subjects contained are Improvisation, Combo Sessions, Theory, Jazz Musicianship & Master Classes. Jamey Aebersold is the course Director and the following are the tutors. - Saxophone: Frank Griffin, Jean Toussaint, Mike Tracy, Jack Wilkins, Tony Woods and Shelley Yoelin.. Trumpet: Pat Harbinson and Henry Lowther. Trombone: Mark Bassey. Voice: Judy Niemack. Bass: John Goldsby, Dave Jones and Bob Sinicrope. Guitar: Corey Christiansen and Mike Oultram. Drums: Steve Davis. Violin: Stuart Hall. Piano: Phil DeGreg, Dan Haerle and Terry Seabrook.

Mart says, :- I have two questions and the first is:- 

1) Has anyone heard of these tutors?
2) They forgot banjo and clarinet which makes me question are they teaching the right kind of jazz. 


24/03/07

Hello Fred

I suspect that Mart is being deliberately provocative and already knows the answers! Having attended a jazz summer school (at Burnley Mechanics), I am rising to the bait:

1) Yes. Not all of them. All are professional musicians, hoping, but rarely succeeding I imagine, to earn as much as professionals in other disciplines. One method of securing a steady income is to be an educator; another is to be a session musician; neither are routes to wide public acknowledgement. Few will appear at jazz clubs or festivals, as the money isn't there. Through his tutorial CDs and books, Jamey Aebersold is probably the world's best known jazz educator. John Goldsby (fine player) has written an excellent book on jazz bass playing, including information on Pops Foster and Wellman Braud from the early years.

2) Three questions (at least) in one. To start with the "right kind of jazz". Whose definition? I dislike pigeonholing, preferring Duke Ellington's comment that there are two types of music: good and bad. I tend to think of traditional jazz as running up to 1940, though a lot of younger musicians think jazz started with bebop. I think I love the music of Morton, Oliver and Armstrong as much as any enthusiast for traditional styles, but I like equally the music of Charlie Parker, Miles Davis (not all), John Coltrane (not all) and Bill Evans. As their music is fifty, rather than eighty, years old, perhaps it also could be described as traditional. And Mart's Manchester Men sometimes stray into more modern territory!

Jazz Summer Schools have to attract students. A wide range of tastes have to be catered for. The centre of gravity will not be at the Dixieland/New Orleans end of the spectrum, nor is there likely to be room for Free Form. At Burnley Mechanics (bassist Steve Berry organises the summer school), I think that the emphasis is similar to that at Richmond: musical theory, bandsmanship, improvising, but above all playing and listening to one another. The modern tendency is to improvise from scales and figured (Roman numeral) bass, whereas I prefer the more old-fashioned chord sequences, but that's just a personal thing. Many of the course students were there just to play with other musicians and to learn from each other and from experienced tutors; no ambitions to be the next .......... (fill in the player of your choice).

I agree over the absence of the clarinet. I don't think that the work of Dodds, Noone, Simeon, Bechet, Bailey, Hall, Shaw (to name some of MY favourites) from the early years should go unrepresented, and Jimmy Guiffre and Tony Coe have shown what can be done in more modern settings. It's quite likely that the saxophone tutors double on clarinet, and the Jazzwise brochure does show a clarinettist in the picture of the students' concert. Perhaps "Reeds" rather than "Saxophone" should be advertised.

The banjo was an instrument of its time, and largely supplanted by the guitar, owing to the efforts of players like Lonnie Johnson, Freddie Green, Eddie Lang, Eddie Condon (the last two switching from banjo), improved guitar design by Gibson, Epiphone and Martin, and better amplification. Many other erstwhile banjoists concentrated latterly on guitar: Bud Scott, Fred Guy, George van Eps, Carl Kress. While the banjo is not completely extinct (Howard Alden and Bela Fleck for example), it is doubtful that there would be enough demand of a summer school from banjoists. The only universally acknowledged banjo great was Johnny St Cyr, and he not infrequently played guitar.

Phew, that was a bit lengthy, especially if it was a wind-up, but the questions were asked........

Best wishes to you and Barbara (and to Mart and Janet),

John Muskett


25/03/07

Can I raise a good-natured objection to a phrase in your entry for 24/3/07 ? There are different kinds of jazz, but there isn't any one "right kind of jazz".   Let's not be as parochial as those programmers who don't consider anything pre-bebop worthy of air-time.   Keith.   P.S. I wonder if you used the phrase with your tongue in your cheek, in which case the above is perhaps an over-reaction !

28/03/07

Further to my note responding to Mart's use of the term 'the right kind of jazz' (which I now realise was indeed tongue in cheek), there seems to be some suggestion that the tutors are not too well known. On the contrary, some of them have worked at the highest level in jazz and are household names in the modern/contemporary jazz field. John Muskett has written about some of them, but here's my two penn'th:

American tenor man Jean Toussaint has worked with some of the greats of modern jazz, including Art Blakey, Wynton Marsalis, McCoy Tyner, Max Roach, Horace Silver and Gil Evans. He also used to lead the jam sessions at the Blue Note in New York.

John Goldsby has worked with Scott Hamilton, John Lewis, Peter Erskine, Eddie Harris, Wynton Marsalis and Lionel Hampton.

Another with an impeccable pedigree is trumpeter Henry Lowther, as is shown by his web site. Since appearing in his youth in the Mike Westbrook and John Dankworth bands, "his work on the British jazz scene reads like a Who's Who. He has played regularly with, amongst many others, Gordon Beck, Michael Garrick, Graham Collier, Mike Gibbs, Pete King, Loose Tubes, John Surman, John Taylor, Stan Tracey and Kenny Wheeler ... (he has) toured widely with various artists and bands in Canada, Europe, India, Japan, the former Soviet Union and the USA. He is one of only two or three players in the world to have had the honour of playing lead trumpet with both Gil Evans and George Russell."

He's also an accomplished classical and session trumpeter (London Brass Virtuosi, London Philharmonic Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, London Sinfonietta) and as a session musician he has recorded with Bing Crosby, George Harrison, Elton John, Henry Mancini, Paul McCartney, Van Morrison, Simon Rattle, Nelson Riddle and Talk Talk.

On the whole these guys seem quite well qualified to pass on their knowledge and experience to budding youngsters !

Keith Allcock


25/03/07

Hi Fred, Suggest Mart types into the web "Henry Lowther" he can then see his pedigree. Henry is the trumpet player you always seem to hear playing that lovely solo, in some of the top Films, but can never find out in the credits who it is. Also if he looks at the Jazzwise information he will see that there are two Course Tutors who are teaching Clarinet (Frank Griffen & Shelley Yoelin). As for the banjo? I thought that was something you had given to you not taught. What is the right kind of Jazz?? 

Cheers Bugleboy.


28/03/07

Dear Fred,

Lets not kid ourselves, weather you like it or not, it shows which type of Jazz is popular, 

Bert Schroeder 


Dear Fred

I have a couple of answers, and another question, or two. These are addressed not just to Mart, but to anyone who may doubt that any good can come out of this Summer School: 

The 23rd Year Jazzwise Summer School means "what it says on the tin". It is a Jazz Summer School. The names of the tutors, all except one - Henry Lowther - are unknown to me too. However, they must be experts and must have been picked for the job by experts, in order to teach JAZZ, especially when people are paying good money to travel to it and to be taught by them. I doubt very much that these tutors will teach bad, or sub-standard Jazz. We in the largely Traditional Jazz fraternity haven't heard of them, possibly because most of us are slowly dying out as a group, are too old, ill, etc., and are being replaced by younger musicians (I'll be 70 this year, and the local Jazz community has actually volunteered me into retirement - I didn't have to try!). Nevertheless, some of these younger musicians can knock spots off us wrinklies - it's their turn now! Let them get on with it! Egg them on to do well! 

If I remember rightly, Henry Lowther is a well known exponent of Modern, or Mainstream Jazz. So are Roy Williams, Johnny Barnes, Humphrey Lyttelton, Keith and Ian Christie, Chris Barber, our own Dave Mott, Ian Royle, Chris Holmes and countless others - when they want to be - because they're perfectly capable experts in most fields of Jazz. They're exceptional musicians whose playing we love; yet most of us only hear them playing Chicago style, Nicksieland (Condon style), etc. They're musicians who, like me, don't need to think of "barriers". In the USA, collectively-speaking, Jazz is Jazz. In the USA they used to proudly say "We called it Music". 

What is the right kind of Jazz? Is it not the case that it just doesn't appeal to the Purists among our ranks? It's all Jazz; it just happens to come in many varieties. About 95% is good in its own context. If it isn't New Orleans, or British "Trad", it doesn't necessarily mean that it's bad Jazz, or the wrong Jazz. It all depends on whether or not we enjoy playing it or listening to it. If we don't, let's not spoil it for those who do, or simply condemn it out if hand. It isn't our place to do that. 

God bless us one and all! 

Joe Silmon-M 


28/03/07

Forgot banjo!!!!! - what about piano?  

Tony Lawrence


28/03/07

Oh they make all the right noises, not musically though. But in the ears of those who make funding decisions, they wear the right type of hat. In other words - total bo.... ks!!!!!! 

Pete Lay


28/03/07

 Re Mart's observations, while it might be a wind-up, I am certainly fed up to the back teeth with pretentious 'see how many notes I can fit in to a bar' performers and the Joe Bloggs Trio/Quartet tracks playing Joe's latest composition where you can close your eyes and visualise the group reading the dots ... all that is missing is someone waving a white stick at them to make sure they do not stray from the score. Jazz is jazz: from the big bands of Ellington and Basie providing space for great soloists to a few enthusiasts taking their first steps - maybe to greatness! - in a church hall or room over a pub. One thing, you cannot teach anybody to really swing. 

Don Bridgewood. 


29/03/07 - Hi Fred,

I was recently in the City of Bath and came across a young man playing an alto sax. His 'penny bowl' showed a meagre but growing amount of various coins. He stood and 'wailed' on that instrument to all passers by. They thought they were listening to Jazz. They were listening to a 'No Tune' set of technical modal blues exercises which is what is largely taught by more modern teachers of Jazz improvisation.

I have attended several courses of the sort that would teach that methodology as a way to play Jazz. Sometimes it can be liberating other times just plain boring and depends on the style of Jazz one is trying to play. Sadly, the more modern forms do seem to have been 'set' in the minds of the general public as a definition of what Jazz is. Their definition is not 'good' or 'bad' music. Their conclusion is that they just don't like 'Jazz'. But, do we have ourselves to blame for this?

Recently, I sent an email to a certain excellent Jazz magazine suggesting that the more traditional jazz community, especially the musicians, offer to pass on their knowledge to others who wish to play this music. A kind of mentoring idea which doesn't need anyone to be a qualified teacher, or to be able to even read music to be able to help up and coming musicians. I had one reply. This was from a gentleman who had tried to learn his instrument but was not making the progress he wanted because he knew no one who taught the sort of traditional style jazz he wanted to play. I have been in exactly the same position myself, but was able to enlist the help of some excellent and lovely jazz musicians to get me started again. 

May I also say that instead of trying to lasso young people into playing traditional jazz, there are more than sufficient 'older' people who will willingly put the time and effort into learning this jazz style and often just need a helping hand back into jazz or the encouragement to get that instrument out from the attic and start playing again. Younger people learn from example and if we showed them more of the traditional forms of jazz and that it can be fun to play and listen to, they might more readily want to take it up themselves. 

Ok, what about year round weekend courses on playing, yes clarinet and banjo, and all the instruments, taught by some of the wonderful and excellent players we have in the UK? I certainly would attend and would also like to improve my own clarinet techniques as well as band leading know how as well as simple band marketing techniques. What about it guys? We need a list of 'mentors and would be players. Or - lets just simply let the whole thing die...! But don't complain when it's gone!!

Jeff Matthews


29/03/07 Hi Fred, 

I was not intending to contribute to this discussion (but old habits die hard!). What changed my mind was reading Keith Allcock's posting. I almost shouted for joy when I read his mention of Graham Collier, John Surman and the 3 Mikes (Garrick, Gibbs and Westbrook) with all of whom Henry Lowther was associated. These exciting and innovative composers, bandleaders and musicians were my heroes nearly 40 years ago, when I was discovering the wonderfully diverse nature of jazz in all its forms. Much of their original recordings have , and are continuing to be re-mastered and released on CD, and it's great that I can now add many of these to my collection, when at the time of their original release they were beyond the budget of a penniless student.

As Malcolm Hogarth attests from his recent visit to Hungary, there are lots of young people all over the world playing good jazz in all styles, and far from being pessimistic, I believe we really are entering a Golden Age, where all types of music have never before been so widely and immediately available as well as affordable.

New technology can only add to this, as I'm sure downloading of music is still in its infancy and will soon revolutionise the entire recording industry(it's already happened to classical music).

With this wonderful rennaissance taking place right infront of our eyes (and ears), I have absolutely no doubt that all jazz, from the most modern to the most traditional cannot help but thrive and develop for a long time into the future.

Phil Yates


30/03/07 Dear Fred,

I have never been to  a Jazz summer school ,but I would guess that anyone attending who is keen on playing a pre bebop style of Jazz would come home very disappointed. I may be wrong but I wouldn't  imagine that the tutors listed here would have a clue how to help  someone who wished to play in the style of say George Mitchell, Ed Hall, Wild Bill or Muggsy, etc. 

Dave Davis.


04/04/07

Re 'The right kind of Jazz'. I'm sure Mart was tongue in cheek. Some years ago I attended a couple of summer schools in Burnley which were 'mainstream' based: The trumpet tutor (Al Wood) asked us if there was any special technique we wanted to learn. I said I'd like to be able to growl like Henry Red Allen, and to do glissandos starting from the lowest note on the instrument going up to the skies also like Henry Red: His reply if I remember right was 'So would I, So would I!' Al's a big band man. I play mostly Traditional/New Orleans; but I love it all. 

(well perhaps not 'rap' and 'garage') - Richard Knock


05/04/07

As a 'trad' fan I agree with Mart Rodger's comment about the lack of courses for wanabee trad players. I have attended jazz courses (With my valve trombone) and been faced with wall to wall sax players all aspiring to be Charlie Parkers. They enthusiastically show how articulate they are running up and down the scales and chords of every type. I am stunned with memory exercise they demonstrate, all the modals , minors, majors etc. It is however difficult to find a tune in their product. It is worth the observation that our trad bands could run their own jazz workshops to promote the art. I hope one day to read about the success of Mart Rodger's 'B' band and others also. I somehow don't think this will happen because it means jazz musicians doing something for little or even nothing. Sorry to seem unkind but it could be that they are not short on the will but just managerial skills. 

David Fox


06/04/07 - Fred

Just a few thoughts about courses that you might like to add. I am enjoying your brilliant website. What a fantastic advert it has provided for the jazz course - I wonder if there is a mouthpiece lecture. I still don't know what a Zottolla is and I heard some excellent trumpet played on a jupiter 7c last night.

Do university students know who their teachers are going to be? - not in my 30 yrs. experience of lecturing on, running and inspecting design courses. It does not matter as the college itself is responsible for accrediting its staff and maintaining standards. The problem is that these private courses may not be accredited or monitored by anyone so we do need to look for some evidence and I am sure the course advertising must supply this somewhere- it certainly should. Incidentally I inspect design courses occasionally for the British Accreditation Council which is a body set up for accreditation of such private courses.

Well known personalities and practitioners brought in from the ‘real world’ outside education often prove to be poor teachers just as sometimes the saying ‘those that can’t do it teach’, (usually used in a derogatory way) proves to be true of some brilliant teachers. The value of the ‘performing star’ is usually to enthuse, stimulate, demonstrate, refresh and inject some brilliance into the process then B----r off. What they won’t want, and maybe can’t do is all the hard donkey work of working out and creating, managing and delivering a structured and logical course - there usually are some highly competent unknowns behind all this and being such does not reduce their value or competence.

I went on an Owen and Iris Bryce Jazz course many years ago. It was really enjoyable to play jazz from 9am to midnight for several days solid. With only one teacher it was the students who taught each other as much as the excellent though strongly opinionated teacher - Owen. Whatever the the tutors are like the students are just as important, it is the jelling of all that will make the course and they can teach the tutors just as much as they learn.

Peter Boswell


06/04/07 - Hello Fred

Hoping I'm not becoming boring over this topic......(!)

I agree AND disagree with David Fox.

Yes - I also have encountered the saxophonists who can play all the Charlie Parker licks from a/h to b/t. They can't however produce a coherent and correctly harmonised melody (or improvisation), they can't fit in with other players, their intonation is suspect and they can't even count to thirty two. In short they can't play ANY jazz, neither dixieland nor bebop. Possibly the use of "upper harmonies" in bebop prevents their feet of clay from showing as clearly as if they were playing more traditional jazz. I don't think this is the fault of jazz courses.

No - I don't think a particular style of jazz can be taught, especially in a highly concentrated summer school. Summer schools are likely to have a centre of gravity around the bebop period, likely to please neither the traditionalists nor the freeform, garage, rap, funk etc enthusiasts. What they SHOULD cover is bandsmanship, ideas of harmony, LISTENING (while performing) and give opportunities for aspiring jazzers to play together, exchange ideas, learn and receive advice.

Picking up Jeff Matthews's thread:

When I started playing jazz, most of us were learning our instruments, developing together and copying (as slavishly as we could) from recordings. Some of us fell by the wayside, some achieved a modest ability and stuck at that, and some tried constantly to improve technical ability (often involving re-learning the instrument), to understand about harmony and to become more effective bandsmen - it's very much a team game. It's taken me 45 years to amass technical skills equivalent to a not very high grade classical level, and to understand the amount of harmony that two or three (maybe fewer) years at music college could instil. So my advice to someone wanting to play ANY style of jazz would be to get good tuition on the instrument, play (by ear) all sorts of tunes and improvisations in ALL keys, find out about harmony (get a keyboard), listen to lots of recorded jazz and develop bandsmanship and listening skills. Certainly can't be done in a one week summer school. Bandsmanship and listening skills involve finding people to play with - persistence and a huge amount of luck are required here. Obviously attending local jazz sessions is educational and supports the music (mandatory!). The ability to read music is a huge help; despite years of working out chords on the piano from sheet music (the symbols should be taken only as a guide), I am hopeless at reading - a decipherer at best.

Opportunities for playing in bands are much more limited than when I started, but there is far more educational information around and it is easily accessible. An intelligent approach is needed, with LOTS of enthusiasm and determination and maybe a bit of pushiness to make things happen. It's hard work, but IT CAN BE DONE (see Malcolm Hogarth's comments elsewhere about young musicians; I hope Phil Yates is right).

Again signing myself as a pedantic old f**t (I note you censored this from my comments on lassecollins),

John Muskett

That's because I know you and it isn't true - Fred


09/04/07 - Dear Fred,

Keith Allcock has been urging me to add my two pennyworth to this debate, so here goes.

Last week I was on The Piano People course hosted by Mike Garrick at the Benslow Music Trust in Hitchin. I was there not because I don't like Trad, but instead to expand my knowledge of Jazz. Jazz is a language and is constantly growing

A young chap on the course hardly ever listened to music produced before be-bop, not necessarily because he didn't like it, but more because he was caught up in the jazz from be-bop onwards. I'd love to be able to play the stuff he played, because I want to know what it's all about. I want to be able to play in the styles of the later jazz musicians such as Bill Evans, and Keith Jarrett (as well as in the old styles - and the fact that I can't, spurs me on even more). And I bet if the likes of James P Johnston, Fats Waller, Earl Hines, Teddy Wilson, and even Art Tatum, etc, were to come back into today's jazz scene, they'd want to know what it's all about and how to do it as well.

The term Jazz now encompasses a wide range of material from Ragtime and before, to the music being generated by students coming out of music colleges and some self-taught musicians, today. Even with my limited knowledge I can generally tell the difference between Pop and today's Jazz, but as we discussed on the aforementioned course, it's not so easy to tell the difference between today's Jazz and today's Classical music.

There's so much jazz now that Trad is suffering from the effect of dilution. So if we want to go on listening to Trad, we've got to push for it, to gain more exposure for it. The jazz musicians of today can probably play Trad (or a close approximation of it) but their audiences would be mystified if they played it all the time. But they can slip bits of the Trad style into their more up to date performances. Mike Garrick doesn't seem to have any difficulty playing Trad, but he's got so many other fish to fry (and so expertly, as well).

You'll all notice that the brandy is getting through to my brain, so I'll just finish by mentioning Geoff Eales (who I had never heard of before meeting him as one of the tutors on Mike's course). A super bloke from the Valleys of South Wales. An absolutely incredible player who is a product of a classical and jazz oriented education. And Geoff is playing an evening concert devoted to The Jazz Piano Legends (Joplin, Waller, Tatum, Peterson, Garner, Brubeck, Evans, etc) at The Purcell Room, South Bank (in London of course) on Friday April 27th, and is including a Masterclass (free to the concert-goers) in the afternoon. (More details from me if you want them - Oh, and he's produced a CD on the same topic).

So, I don't think there is a Right Kind of Jazz. You select the jazz that suits you, and you let those on the leading edge push onwards, and generally the educators teach them where it all began. Inevitably, some of those young musicians will focus somewhat on the early styles, eg Adam Swanson, Jack 'Kid' Carter, James Evans, Paul Harrison, Mike Owen, and probably countless other musicians the world over. Let's all enjoy it and whinge a little less. 

Yours in total confusion,

Malcolm Hogarth


13/04/07

The replies to the Mart Rodger 's letter has brought up that age old chestnut about jazz styles. I think it is a great pity that a different name was not chosen for the music jazz men turned to when they got fed up with jazz, and started to show off their superior articulation skills. The sound produced was unidentifiable so it was called jazz again, which continues to happen. Any wild sound produced by soloing saxes which can't be pigeonholed is called JAZZ of a different kind. When real jazz was left behind the new sound could have been called say--Wizz, Fizz or Bopper-d- Bee or other suitable name, which all the modernists, non tune players and the like could be identified with instead of confusing the sound and name of real jazz. I first heard the New Orleans sound at the age of eighteen at the Bodega in Manchester. and it was there that Barber and his band chiselled that sound into my head. I have many recordings of modern jazz, big band music rock & Roll etc and real jazz but when I hear the word JAZZ only the sound of real jazz comes into my head. The clarinet and the banjo are key to that sound. I am a sixty nine years old amateur musician with a fair amount of experience so it is unlikely that I will now change my viewpoint. I suspect there are some still out there who would agree with my comment, and no doubt thousands who don't. 

David Fox


28/06/07

As usual, I am several months behind, so perhaps it is too late to add my comments about Summer Schools. (never too late - Fred)

I regret that I have not heard of any of the Tutors, but then I have only been in Jazz Bands for the last 50 years, and collecting records (remember 78's?) for a little longer. I do know people who have been to Summer Schools, and have come back with a head full of tripe, and a deterioration in their playing. Forgetting the clarinet is a glaring omission, and there are too many jokes about the place of a banjo in a Jazz Band for me to go down that route, but what about the Sousaphone or the Tuba even, as these were surely in the original marching bands of New Orleans.

I firmly believe that the only way to learn to improvise is to actually do it. By that I mean join a band, or if there is no band that would have you, then form a band. There are still places where "sit-ins" are allowed or encouraged even. Why not do as I do (not with my piano, but with an Eb Tenor Horn that I got from a junk shop in Ramsbottom) and go down to Bill Oldham's rehearsal band.

One of the Students there said to me "I've just bought a book on Jazz Improvisation"; I replied "what a waste of money". The analogy that I draw is to that of learning to ride a bike. If you want to learn to ride a bike, you don't buy a book, or download something off the Internet - no, you get on a bike a do it. Another guy had been to a weekend school, and told me how they had learnt all about crapatonic scales and gobbledygook intervals, and how they'd spent a whole two hours discussing time signatures. And was his playing any better - not on your Jelly Roll.

Eighteen months ago, another of the students - a young lad, plays guitar - came and listened to my band over in Ashton-under-Lyne, asked if he could sit-in, and last week took his place on the "Front Line" - result!

As to whether there is a "right kind of jazz" is a debate into which I will not be drawn, but suffice it to say that I cringe whenever I happen to hear a TV program containing what the Producers deem to be Jazz, particularly when the presenter says "wasn't that fantastic" and I am thinking "what an unholy row", my finger reaching for the red button, which on my remote signals the start of a beautiful silence. 

It does worry me that there are few young jazz musicians coming through - I am not the oldest in my band, nor yet the youngest. I used to have a number in my repertoire which goes "Who's going to play this old piano when I'm dead and gone?". Who indeed?

Noel Broadgate.


26/11/18 -

Time for me to join the debate, writes Paul Medina. Round about 2005, I was co-opted quite by chance, as a tutor on the Jazz Course of the Music 4 People Summer School at Giggleswick and remained on the staff for four years or so.

Much of the course content was as described by a lot of your contributors, all very good, but it did not always fulfill the aspirations of some of the students.  Realising there was desire for many of the players to take part in a more emotional experience rather than a cerebral one, so to speak, I designed a course which I felt would be more in keeping with their requirements. Although I am no longer a tutor at Giggleswick, I occasionally visit from time to time and it is always a pleasure to learn from students how much they enoyed my course.

I have just opened the 2018 Music 4 People Summer School brochure and noted that they still use my description of the course, which I have attached, which I think will answer a few questions already raised in the discussion.

 

''Dixieland Jazz

If you have a hankering to play this sort of music but have not known where to start, then this is the course for you.

This is not by any means a purist course so whilst it is directed at the standard Dixieland line-up of trumpet, trombone, clarinet, piano, guitar/banjo, bass and drums, all instruments are welcome.

Some of the repertoire will be learned by ear to enable the ensemble to perform whilst marching. (This sentence was added after I left)

You will be expected to be familiar with at least the chords of C, C7, F, F7, G, G7 in the equivalent key on your instrument to C major concert and ideally the equivalents in the keys of Bb, Eb, F and Ab concert. Lead and harmony guide parts will be provided on the course.

Apart from the jazz courses offered by the Music 4 People Summer School, they offer a wide range of activities, ranging from Folk, Orchestral, Brass, Woodwind, Choral, to name but a few and all in a wonderful rural setting near to Settle. Well worth checking out.

Paul Medina
 


 

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