Contemporary, Popular & World Ensembles
The Jazzschool offers numerous performance ensembles for beginning, intermediate, and advanced instrumentalists and vocalists, each of which develops a set of music to be performed for friends and family as part of the end-of-quarter Jazzschool Student Performance Series in Hardymon Hall!
Students are placed in skill-level appropriate ensembles by audition. Audition requirements may include one or more of the following: playing selected scales; playing and/or improvising over a piece of your choice; improvising over a 12-bar blues or other skill-level appropriate pieces provided at the audition; and sight-reading. Drummers are asked to play various grooves and to solo. Bassists are asked to play stylistically appropriate bass lines. For more information about Jazzschool ensembles, please contact Rob Ewing, Community Music School Director, at 510-845-5373 x 14 or email email@example.com. You can schedule an audition online by filling out the form at: www.jazzschool.org/ensemble
World Groove Ensemble
This new ensemble explores the music of three musically and culturally vibrant regions. Each term highlights one of three places in the world community — the Caribbean, Africa, and New Orleans/Louisiana — known for its powerfully rhythmic music and its deep integration of music and culture. Students may enroll for all three terms, or they may take classes separately (subject to availability). Prerequisites: intermediate instrumental proficiency; ability to read charts and notation.
World Groove Ensemble: Caribbean Ensemble (FALL 2012)
The Caribbean Ensemble features deep grooves from Trinidad, Jamaica, and other islands of the West Indies. Depending on the specific lineup of the fall ensemble, styles may include calypso, soca, mento, ska, reggae, or classic Haitian meringue. Representative artists may include Calypso Rose, The Mighty Sparrow, Lord Kitchener, The Skatalites, Toots and The Maytals, Bob Marley, or others. This music has humor, innuendo, and depth in both its lyrics and its feel. It offers excellent rhythmic training, and is really fun to play. Open to vocals, drums, percussion, bass, guitar (acoustic and electric), piano and/or B-3, electric keyboards/synths (if you bring your own), steelpan, violin, sax, flute, brass.
World Groove Ensemble: African Ensemble (WINTER 2013)
The African Ensemble features deep, uplifting grooves from (primarily) South Africa and Nigeria. Depending on the specific lineup of the winter ensemble, styles may include Afrobeat, highlife, township/mirabi/Cape Jazz, kwela, or Malian music. Representative artists may include Fela Kuti, Oumou Sangare, Victor Olaiya, the African Jazz Pioneers, Abdullah Ibrahim (Dollar Brand), Hugh Masekela, or others. For musicians new to African time-feels, this class is a joyful and collaborative learning opportunity. For musicians who have already played some of these grooves, the class is a great chance to deepen a musical and spiritual connection to this music. Open to vocals, drums, percussion, bass, guitar, piano and/or B-3, electric keyboards/synths (if you bring your own), sax, flute, pennywhistle, brass, fiddle, appropriate African instruments.
World Groove Ensemble: New Orleans and Louisiana Ensemble (SPRING 2013)
Jennifer’s previous New Orleans R&B ensembles have focused exclusively on music by New Orleans artists. This new section features the deeply grooving music of both New Orleans and Louisiana as a whole. Depending on the specific lineup of the spring ensemble, styles may include New Orleans R&B and funk, zydeco and Cajun, swamp rock and blues, brass band/second-line tunes, and trad jazz. Representative artists may include Galactic, Clifton Chenier, Bobby Charles, Dr. John, Allen Toussaint, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, The Meters, Snooks Eaglin, Beausoleil, The Subdudes, Sidney Bechet, Professor Longhair, etc. Open to vocals, drums, percussion, bass, guitar, keyboards (piano and/or B-3), accordion, sax & woodwinds, brass, fiddle, rub board. Let the bons temps rouler!
Thursdays 8:15 – 9:45 pm
SPRING (New Orleans/Lousiana) 4/4 – 6/6 (10 weeks)
Jennifer Jolly $365
Balkan and Romani (“Gypsy”) Ensemble
This class explores the irresistible odd-metered rhythms, sultry melodic modes, and unique harmonies and varied moods of contemporary Balkan ensemble music, from soulful taxims (slow modal improvisations) to ecstatic wedding style dance tunes. These styles of music, as performed by artists including Bulgaria’s Ivo Papasov, Serbia’s Boban Markovic and Goran Bregovic, and Turkey’s Burhan Öçal are gaining global popularity. All instruments are welcome!
Mondays 8:15 – 9:45 pm
SPRING: 4/1 – 6/10 (10 weeks) no classes on 5/27
Rumen Sali Shopov $365
Motown Madness & More
Since its birth in Detroit in the 1960s, the R&B, soul and pop amalgam known as Motown music has flourished as a favorite genre for good time listening and dancing. With its catchy and poignant lyrics, solid beat and full harmonies, it continues to be a mainstay of popular American music. This ensemble recreates the energy of the original Motown stage shows, with repertoire including classic hits by Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Gladys Knight, Chaka Khan, The Temptations, Smokey Robinson, The Four Tops, Diana Ross and many others. Vocalists work from lyric sheets, alternating between lead and harmonies. Instrumentalists are provided charts with plenty of solo room. Includes an end-of-quarter student performance! Open to: piano/keyboards, guitar, bass, drums, percussion, trumpet, alto, tenor, baritone, trombone, and up to four female and/or male vocalists.
Prerequisites: Instrumentalists should have intermediate/advanced facility on their instrument and some reading ability. Vocalists should be able to sing tunes in the original keys and hold harmonies.
Wednesdays 6:30 – 8 pm
SPRING: 4/3 – 6/5 (10 weeks)
Jean Fineberg $365
Old-School Soul Kitchen
An ensemble focusing on learning and performing the classic hits of Chaka Khan, Stevie Wonder, The Police, Average White Band, Sly & the Family Stone, Earth Wind and Fire and more. Rhythm section players, vocalists and horn players welcome.
Prerequisites: functional technique on an instrument and some ability to read music.
Mondays 6:30 – 8 pm
SPRING: 4/1 – 6/10 (10 weeks) no class 5/27
Wayne Wallace $365
An intermediate/advanced ensemble with a focus on the groove! Class focuses on the music of a particular composer/band each quarter. Students may sign for all three sections, or for individual sessions (space permitting).
Thursdays 8:15 – 9:45 pm
SPRING (The Music of Weather Report): 4/4 – 6/6 (10 weeks)
Frank Martin $365
Funk, Soul, & R&B Rhythm Section Workout!
Open to guitar, keyboards, bass and drums, this ensemble class focuses on developing a deep sense of feel and groove through close study and emulation of numerous classic funk, soul, and R&B recordings. Class focuses on the music of Tower of Power, Sly & The Family Stone, The Headhunters, James Brown, Parliament and more!
Saturdays 11:45 am – 1:15 pm
SPRING: 4/6 – 6/8 (10 weeks)
Joe Bagale $365