Monthly Archives: October 2015

2016 NEA Jazz Masters: Pharoah Sanders, Gary Burton, Wendy Oxenhorn, Archie Shepp

Written by user on October 26, 2015

Archie Shepp in 2008 (Photo: Henryk Kotowski)

Last week, the NEA announced the 2016 Jazz Masters as Pharoah Sanders, Gary Burton, Wendy Oxenhorn, and Archie Shepp. It’s a wonderfully deserving set of artists and advocates.

For those unfamiliar with Oxenhorn’s work, she has tirelessly worked as an advocate supporting artists in need through her efforts with the Jazz Foundation of America. Taking the role of executive director in 2000, Oxenhorn has achieved extraordinary success with the organization, raising millions in support of …

Read More

Electric Guitars and Big Band Jazz

Written by user on October 20, 2015

We’ve said on numerous occasions that to truly get the authentic rhythm guitar sound in a big band, one has to play on an acoustic archtop guitar (if you missed why, check out this lesson)

However, acoustic archtops can be very expensive, and if you’re director of a high school band, your guitarist may only have an electric guitar for the job. How do you handle that, and how to you approximate the correct rhythm guitar sound?

James Chirillo, who plays guitar …

Read More

Why Did Jazz Begin in New Orleans?

Written by user on October 19, 2015

(Jazz at Lincoln Center’s curator Phil Schaap)

We point to New Orleans as the birthplace of Jazz, but what made this city so unique to create the style?

What was so different about New Orleans that enabled this music to develop? For that, we look to Jazz at Lincoln Center’s curator, Phil Schaap, to talk about the unique characteristics of this city, and the remarkable people who lived there.

Want to learn more? Watch the full Origins of Jazz playlist here:

Historic Jazz Interviews from Larry Queen

Written by user on October 16, 2015

Louis Armstrong (Photo Courtesy of the Library of Congress)

Lawrence Talmadge “Larry” Queen, a remarkable journalist, Jazz scholar, teacher, and activist based in North Carolina conducted a variety of remarkable interviews with Jazz luminaries–including Louis Armstrong and Dave Brubeck–which he and his family have generously licensed to Jazz at Lincoln Center to share with the public.

We invite you to listen through these amazing historical documents, and experience these artists with a new level of insight into their lives and personalities. Through …

Read More

What Is Latin Jazz?

Written by user on October 15, 2015

(Percussionist Bobby Sanabria, Photo Courtesy of the Artist)

The legendary Jelly Roll Morton was noted for saying that Jazz had to contain “The Spanish Tinge,” indicated that Afro-Latin elements have been in Jazz from the music’s inception.

As the century progressed, however, we started to see a more overt fusion of Jazz with Afro-Cuban musical traditions, especially with BeBop innovators like Dizzy Gillespie. By today, we have a distinct style of music, called Latin Jazz, that we consider a crucial and influential …

Read More

Gospel Music and Jazz

Written by user on October 14, 2015

(Damien Sneed, Photo: Frank Stewart)

The ties between Gospel music and the Jazz tradition run deep. From Louis Armstrong performing spirituals, to the sacred music of Duke Ellington or of Mary Lou Williams, many Jazz artists have worked very closely in Gospel music, and their performances styles often draw heavily from the inspiration.

But what is the Gospel tradition, and how is it performed? The wonderful artist Damien Sneed, joined by Bishop Iona Locke, joined us at the Jazz Academy to discuss …

Read More

The Banjo in Jazz

Written by user on October 13, 2015

When you listen to a number of early Jazz recordings of the late 1910s and the early-to-mid 1920s, you don’t hear a rhythm guitar; rather, you hear a banjo.

The banjo, often in counterpoint with a tuba’s bass lines, provided a high amount of volume in bands, and could be picked up by early recording technology. As the music moved from small ensembles to big bands, however, the banjo began to disappear in favor of the acoustic archtop guitar.

If you’re playing …

Read More

Ear Training with Ingrid Jensen

Written by user on October 10, 2015

(Trumpeter Ingrid Jensen, Photo: Angela Jimenez)

Training your ears to hear pitches–and to recognize their relationship to other pitches–can be a daunting task, but trumpet master Ingrid Jensen offers a different strategy for hearing and feeling pitch. In the lesson below, she utilizes a shruti box to create a drone, and builds her ear by playing around the drone.

It’s a unique and interesting approach to ear training, and can also be turned into a fun practice routine game. Check it out …

Read More

Happy Birthday Jo Jones

Written by user on October 7, 2015

The fire in Count Basie’s legendary “All American” rhythm section, “Papa” Jo Jones revolutionized jazz drumming, through his use of the ride cymbal as a time keeper, and through his highly musical–rhythmically varied and timbrally diverse–use of the drum’s hi-hat.

Jones was an inspiration to many budding drummers, and paved the way for the generations to come. A protege of his, Michael Carvin, remembers meeting him in this wonderful video.

Creating a Lyrical Line

Written by user on October 6, 2015

(Todd Williams, Photo courtesy of the artist)

As a beginning or intermediate player, you are slowly building up your repertoire of standards. While you do that, don’t forget to remember melodic considerations, and to keep a lyrical line in your head as you improvise on melodies.

Master saxophonist Todd Williams breaks this down further, giving you some insight into how to approach melody, embellishments, and variations. Sometimes, simple exercises from your practice routine, paired with careful listening of the original recordings of …

Read More




Support the Educational mission of Jazz and Lincoln Center!