Sunday, February 1, 2015

Jazz at home

Justin Robinson and Roy Hargrove (L to R)
This past weekend I was fortunate enough to go to Scullers Jazz Club to see the Roy Hargrove Quintet. With the blizzard and awful weather this week going out was difficult for everyone. Even without a blizzard, I know it is not always easy to go out and hear live music because of timing, transportation, cost, etc. This weather made me inspired to share some resources to listen and learn about jazz even on a snow day.

Watch Roy Hargrove play, "Strasbourg Saint Denis":

Jazz at home

Jazz at Lincoln Center is a New York City jazz venue dedicated to spreading the history and joy of jazz. The venue has different concerts from the large Rose Hall to the intimate Dizzy's Club Coca Cola. If you sign up to Jazz at Lincoln Center on livestream you can see the upcoming events, which include live full length concerts. Recently I have watched Pharoah Sanders; Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra's tribute to Duke, Dizzy, Trane, and Mingus; Our Point of View; Walter Blanding: Tick Tock; Christian Sands Trio; and more all in the comfort of my own home! 

Seeing Pharoah Sanders live at Blue Note Jazz Club

On the livecast Pharoah Sanders performed, "The Creator has a Master Plan": 

My sketch of Pharoah Sanders

2. NPR

I have mentioned NPR on my Jazz Apps and Jazz Podcasts posts. "Jazz Profiles" showcases the legends and legacy of jazz. "Live in Concert" videos present an entire concert and "Piano Jazz" is a radio show that showcases artist's upcoming performances, as well as thoughts and memories about their lives. Some concerts on NPR are radio broadcasts, and some are videos. Watch Wayne Shorter perform live at Blue Note at 75. Listen to Jon Baptiste and Stay Human perform live at the Newport Jazz Festival and Brian Blade and the Fellowship perform live at the Village Vanguard

Watching Brain Blade and the Fellowship at the 2014 Newport Jazz Festival

3. Jazz on Youtube

This may seem obvious, but there are a lot of great channels on Youtube that have jazz content. Jazz at Lincoln Center  has a great Youtube channel that features an assortment of concert clips, recordings, and behind the scenes material. Jazz at Lincoln Center's Jazz Academy is another great resource that focuses on educational content.  

Listen to C├ęcile McLorin Salvant singing "Poor Butterfly":

Watch the Jazz Academy video on "How to Learn a Song":

You can also watch interviews of jazz musicians on "Voice of America". There are many great interviews with Terence Blanchard, Fred Hersch, and Joshua Redman. Watch this interview with Joshua Redman

4. Live Albums

If you don't have to time to sit down and watch a livecast, concert, or an educational video, listening to a live jazz album may be right for you! Many jazz musicians have recorded live albums, and I really enjoy listening to live albums because you can hear everything happening in real time. Plus, you can listen to live albums while doing schoolwork, chores, or just hanging around and still feel like you are 'there' with the artist. 

Listen to Miles Davis's "Live at the Plugged Nickel":

Listen to Keith Jarrett's live recording, "The Koln Concert":

5. Online Jazz Education 

My sketch of Chick Corea 
In addition to listening to jazz in a variety of ways, you can learn about jazz through online classes. Edx has a great class called "Jazz Appreciation" that is currently running and can be audited for free. This course would be great for anybody that wants to learn about jazz figures, history, and key recordings to make listening more enjoyable. I have went on to this class, and it looks great for beginners in jazz. 

Another class that I look forward to is Berklee College of Music's "Jazz Improvisation" class taught by Gary Burton which can be audited for free. This course is great for anyone that wants to learn how to improvise, through technical aspects such as scales to more abstract concepts such as thinking of improvisation as a conversation. No doubt Gary Burton will be a great teacher! 

Also, Chick Corea has recently started a series of musical workshops for musicians. I have seen a few Google Hangout Q&A's, and they all have superb advice. Once he even brought in Stanley Clarke for an online masterclass. He is now selling an educational DVD with over nine hours of material to watch on varying topics including harmony, improvisation, piano technique, and more. 

Listen to Gary Burton and Chick Corea play "Chega de Saudade":

Meeting Gary Burton at the 2014 Newport Jazz Festival

Final thoughts: 
My sketch of Roy Hargrove
Even with all the bad weather this time of year, we can all still take advantage of many opportunities. I think live jazz is extremely exciting, because it is all happening now. Even on a snow day we can all feel like we are transported somewhere else with jazz! 

Please visit my jazz poetry blog, "Without a Poem" where I improvise a new poem everyday. I also have a song and drawing of the day, so stay tuned!

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