Jazz Workshop??

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by Steve Clark, Dec 10, 2004.

  1. Steve Clark

    Steve Clark Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2004
    London ON
    I play regularly at a club in my home town. www.londonmusicclub.com Its a wonderful place for live music as you can see from the site.

    I'm neither a slab or DB or EUB player exclusivley. I wouldn't consider myself a jazz player either but I want to be. Although I am getting a few more calls for jazz gigs so maybe some folks think I am.

    The owner of the club and I get along well and there a few like minded players who really enjoy the Acoustic and Blues jams but want to expand our horizons.

    The club owner is open to the idea of adding a jazz jam to the schedule as much as once a month. He and his family (17 brothers and sisters are involved in teh arts in some way, it seems)

    What I am looking for are ideas and inspiration for how to use the night. All jam nights have no cover, same with a jazz jam. I think it would cost me about $40 CDN to 'rent' the club but probably nothing really.

    I see a night where there might be an educational component followed by a jam and then followed by a featured group. Perhaps one night can be taking a blues and gradually taking it into more 'jazzy' changes. Another night might be having the locval free-jazz guru explain what he does and then have a jam.

    How would you set up a night like this? It seems like a great opportunity. I am good with coming up with the concept but now I am stuck.
  2. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Any jam session I've been to has been just that, a session. No explaining, no lectures. Just play.

    As far as how much fun that's going to be, that kind of depends on the depth of the bench, so to speak. Any and all playing is going to be good for the players. Most musicians who are just starting to explore the music, tend to do so in more private sessions. Unless there are more experienced musicians availble to play with. For the audience, the more experienced players you have, the more forgiving the audience will be of less experienced players. I'm not sure how much fun is to be had watching a whole group of folks work through their learning curve. When I was coming up, I know I played in situations that were over my head, but there was always a much more experienced drummer or piano player or tenor player who could "bring up the level" of our playing. Do you guys have folks like that around?

    One format is the "house band", you have a group that plays or rehearses regularly, that has a book of music with originals and group generated arrangements of standards that will present themselves for the first set. This gets people in. Then, from the second set on, this group acts as the "house band" for any and all comers.

    One other option, if the owners are committed to having jazz and you want to gain experience, put together a rhythm section and get the club to hire guest artists to come in. If you're near a major metropolitan area or between two, you'd be surprised how many national and international artists are willing to take a night at a local club for far less than they usually charge, just to fill an open night on the tour schedule.
    You can learn a lot in situations like that. Including colorful language...