Now that I have your attention, would you like to perfect your swing? I don’t mean you could become the next Bobby Jones, but you could become a better jazz musician or singer by studying with the pros!
In the old days, you could learn your craft by apprenticing yourself to a master craftsperson. The guilds are long gone, but the idea of studying with the Masters is still appealing. I don’t suggest that you need to learn Japanese or become certified as an electrician, but here’s the jazz version of such an opportunity — my idea of the Princeton Institute For Swing:
CHAUTAUQUA INSTITUTION PRESENTS
THE CHAUTAUQUA TRADITIONAL JAZZ WORKSHOP
Dan Barrett, Music Director
September 11-15, 2011
Duke Heitger, Trumpet
Scott Robinson, Reeds
Dan Barrett, Trombone
Rossano Sportiello, Piano
Howard Alden, Guitar / Banjo
Kerry Lewis, Bass
Ricky Malachi, Drums
Rebecca Kilgore, Vocals
Chautauqua’s first-ever Traditional Jazz Workshop will be held on the beautiful grounds of the Chautauqua Institution in western New York, with your home base at the historic Athenaeum Hotel. The 4-day session will include ensemble workshops, coaching, jam sessions, and performance opportunities in student groups and with faculty members. Students will focus on jazz standards and works from the American Songbook, with emphasis on improvisation and ensemble performance. Enjoy social events with faculty and fellow students on beautiful Chautauqua Lake. The workshop culminates in a performance opportunity at the opening session of the 14th Annual Jazz at Chautauqua traditional jazz party on Thursday evening.
Tuition for the workshop will be $550 USD; the lodging and meal package at the Athenaeum Hotel will be $525 per student (single occupancy) or $775 (double occupancy) USD. Stay on for the annual Jazz at Chautauqua party and receive a 20% discount on your food and lodging. For reservations at the Athenaeum, call 1-800-821-1881 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For information about the workshop, contact Nancy Griffith at 216-956-0378 or email her at email@example.com.
And if you have never thought of learning to play C JAM BLUES on the trombone, please don’t rule this idea out. The jazz fans of my generation lament the impending demise of traditional jazz.
Why not give the art form we love a blood transfusion from young folks — your guitar-strumming grandson of yours who has just discovered Teddy Bunn, or that niece who is trying to play Cootie Williams’ growls on BENNY’S BUGLE. Of course, it could also have a secret didactic purpose: turning a young man or woman slightly away from heavy metal to floating swing. Attending this workshop and learning from these genial masters could be a life-changing event.
And you don’t have to be a raw youth to come aboard, either . . . if you yourself would like to sound more like Benny Morton or Tricky Sam Nanton, this is a heavensent opportunity. Or you might sign up for the singers’ workshop just to learn from Rebecca Kilgore how to sing more sweetly!
See you in Chautauqua, and don’t be late!