Sorry there was a delay in posting about this last day, but here it is!
This was the final day of the workshop. Since this was the very first time the VSO School of Music had a jazz workshop, the organizers realized that this was a successful venture, and decided to offer jazz studies this fall, with the same instructors. Furthermore, they were going to continue offering the jazz workshop next year!
Historically, jazz was an idiom that was learned and passed on through watching and learning from mentors, and that would be the format that jazz would be offered in the fall and next summer, with the possibility of extending the summer workshop for 2 weeks next year.
After lunch, the instructors got together for one final jazz jam session for us. What a treat to listen to these professionals! Miles Black on piano, Steve Maddock vocals, Jesse Cahill on drums, Jodi Proznick on bass, Bill Coon on guitar, Campbell Ryga on sax. You might also see Brad Turner listening in the background.
Finally, here is our combo, after 5 days of playing together. First Blues Bossa, then C Jam Blues.
They turned the microphone off (because our vocalist was also the trombone player) so when Angela first started singing, there was no sound! This threw us off a bit because we had to quickly adapt.
After this workshop, I have learned so much about jazz music and jazz piano. It’s vastly different from classical piano. As one student remarked “I’m a recovering classical musician”.
Look at the difference between a typical jazz lead sheet, and a hymn:
Furthermore, when the pianist plays in a jazz combo, they don’t have to play the tonic of the chord (because usually the bass player plays this). This means if I see a G maj7 chord, instead of playing [G B D F#], I would play [B D F#].
Or if I see a E9(#11) chord, instead of playing [E G# B D# F# A#] I would choose 4 notes [G# D# F# A#]. Even more impressive, jazz musicians can invert these chords at whim or divide the notes among the left and right hands.
This certainly makes playing typical hymns or pop music seem a lot easier!
North by Northwest is a program from CBC that showcases artistic and creative talent around the province of BC! They did a short interview here about the VSO’s inaugural jazz workshop!
Follow the link here to the podcast. Summer jazz workshop interview starts at 13:15