Archive for June, 2011

Summer workshops, Teaching and the Copenhagen Jazz Festival

Friday, June 24th, 2011

The blog was off line for a minute, but thanks to earthlinks tech support I am back. A lot of news for July and August.

The 5th annual Hudson Jazz Works (intensive four day program) which will be held in August is completely booked. We have students from all over the world, and we were able to offer some grants that we received from Ton Kooiman Ergonomics, The Bank of Green and Green Arts. This is very exciting, we have the highest level of students we have ever had plus we have a special guest, the great Vic Juris, whom you might know of my latest release Landmarc or from the Dave Liebman group. Included in the program will be a Concert and open Masterclass, if you would like to attend and hang out for a day in Hudson NY let me know, then I will give you directions. Its worth it, plus, there is an amazing coffee/espresso place on the main street, very important.

New York Jazz Workshop has also been working very hard on a summer summit series. It’s the third year and we offer four courses, a Improv.Comp course given by yours truly, a guitar course by Vic, a vocal course by Fay Victor and a Rhythm course by Tony Moreno. They are all amazing musicians, world reknown, and need little introduction. If you don’t know them, look them up. These courses are spread out over July and August and located in Midtown Manhattan and there are still spots available. Let me know if you are interested, I highly recommend any of these courses.

So teaching, these last two months have been a lot about teaching and it got me in a new learning cycle. I picked up a book named ‘Just play naturally’ by Vivian Mackie. She is a cellist who studied directly with Pablo Casals, one of my hero’s. This was recommended to me by a great  Alexander technique teacher, Beret Arcaya, whom I met through a student of mine who is going through some physical issues. Mackie made the correlation between the teachings of Casals and Alexander technique. An inspiring book, especially the first half (published by Duende Editions).

The second book I picked up is the famous study of counterpoint by Johann Joseph Fux’s ‘Gradus Ad Parnassum’ (published by Norton Publishing). It is blowing me away, what a fantastic work, heard about it through the years but never really gotten to it. No wonder Mozart, Back, Handle, Beethoven, Listz etc. studied out of this book. And I love the introduction, that alone is worth the whole book.

And…..I will be back at the Copenhagen Jazz Festival, in a week. I will be playing there 5 nights in a row with great pianist and friend Nikolaj Hess, man, can’t wait. Plus, there is an amazing coffee place on Jeagerbrogade, they won first price in a world competition and burn the beans on the spot. Very hip.

Well, on a general note, I am dedicated in my music to move deeper and closer to the essence of what needs to be played, an ongoing life long quest, but something I will have in front of every note and rest.

Spring in NYC plus summer workshops!

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

Winter has past and Spring is slowly making his way in NYC. I had an amazing few months, playing in the US, EU, Canada and Mexico plus a great recording project with Tim Horner’s group. And there is more coming, concerts with a fantastic group of Tony Moreno, Festivals in the summer including Global Motion at the Rochester Jazz Festival, EU tour in the fall and concerts with my celebrated group Landmarc including a winter tour in 2012 in EU.

But that is not all. Right now I am in full swing with getting the two workshops together that I am involved in as co-director and teacher. I can highly recommend both workshops and now would be the time to check this out and register if interested since both workshop programs only take a maximum of 10 students:

The 5th Annual Hudson Jazz Workshop includes me, Armen Donelian and Vic Juris as guest and I am very excited that this is the first year we can offer scholarships. So please check it out on my teaching page and apply if you are interested.

The New York Jazz Workshop 3rd annual Summer Summit series again is going to be amazing. We have an Improv program with me and Tim Horner, Vocal program with Fay Victor, Guitar program with Vic Juris and a Rhythm program with Tony Moreno. Please check it out if interested, also on my teaching page.

For now, hope to see you at one of the concerts, on skype or as a student in one of the programs. Music is feeling great!